Friday, May 25, 2007

Pictures of Ellie/ Daily Goings On...TGIF

Here are some cute pics of Ellie girl. She was just too cute yesterday for me not to get her in action. I think the last one is her totally smiling when I put the camera up. She totally knows what to do. Her teeth showing are just so classic. I love this stage. She is so fun!!

I got up early again this morning and worked out. I have now done it for 3 weeks and it feels so great. I have never stuck with getting up this early in my life. It does me wonders to get up that early and get going. I enjoy the time for scriptures and prayer and the house is quiet. I get so much more done it seems. It gives me so much energy to get through the day. I don't remember the last time I was working out in the morning. For the last few years I have had to work out at night just because of schedules. Morning is by far the best!

I decided to wash Todd's car when I got back. The neighbor came out and said that I was too ambitious for that early in the morning. I love to get as much done as I can before the morning slips away from me and then not much seems to get accomplished. I am feeling sleepy as I type now. It must be time to refuel with lunch. Todd is home today so we will go and take the girls on a drive, maybe get a taco or something. I finished up laundry and cleaning yesterday so that I could feel free for a long weekend. Mom, get your booty up here. We could be enjoying chips/salsa, more treats and more snacks. Time to go eat. Happy weekend to all!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

10 days of school left/Ellie's new skills

I can't believe how fast this school year has gone. We have 10 school days left and then what am I going to do?? HELP!! I have to start planning a serious schedule to get these children enough time out of the house. I'm not sure for who or them. I'm pretty sure it's for both.

These last 2 weeks of school are going to be busy and then we are free for the summer! Tonight is Open House for both Mitch and Casey. Casey's class is doing a performance....(a bunch of songs that they have been learning). I can remember like it was yesterday that Mitty was doing this very performance. Wow, another year down. My kids are going to be all grown up before I know it.

This weekend is the Strawberry Festival up here in our city. It's a big deal around here. Tons of activities for the children, food, strawberry desserts galore, pie eating contests, etc. We were gone last year and so weren't able to enjoy. I guess we will have to visit and see what all the hype is about.

The kids have 4 or 5 baseball games left and then closing ceremonies. I'm feeling done with the baseball season. I have really enjoyed watching the boys play but I will be happy when we have a free schedule again. The boys didn't want to play soccer this fall so I will have a break unless something else comes up.

My mom and maybe my sister are coming up next week to visit. I am looking forward to the visit and the time that we will spend together. Casey's b'day is also next week so we will have to have a party for sure. He is so excited to be 6.

Life continues to stay busy for us. Ellie is doing so much now. She pulls herself up onto everything, climbs over boxes, pulls everything down in her reach, puts toys up to her ear and we say hello, she waved to me yesterday from across the room as I said, "HHHiiiiiiiiii", she says dada and is just starting to say "mmmmaaaa". She says "hi" in the same tone that I say it to her. Emily can really get her to giggling. They have their own language between each other. It's pretty cute. She will kiss as we pucker up and say "mmmmm" she opens her mouth and leans for ours. Sounds wierd in writing but I know everyone knows what I'm talking about. Her top front teeth came through just this month and so now she has 4. Another one on the top and bottom are coming through. Before too long she will have a mouth full. They are really cute when she smiles big. :D She totally smiles and blinks her eyes when I'm trying to take a picture of her. She totally knows what to do. She still sleeps really well for us. Oh about 11-12 hours at night. It's beautiful!! She takes 2 naps during the day still. She is a fun baby and just loves to be right close by mom. She will find me after crawling around the house and then push her head into my leg. I guess kind of like a kitty. She is so cute. We just love having her in our family.

I'm off to straighten, make beds and play a game with the kids.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Weekend Recap/Back into the swing of things.....

So much has happened and is still happening that I can hardly find time to blog. There are so many I want to read and yet just don't have the time to get to everyones...darn!

Friday evening we went to our ward campout for the evening at Camp French by Lake Lopez. It was so much fun. I'm not sure if it was more fun because I knew we weren't staying the night or just that we had lots of fun with the ward members. The weather was great and the kids had a great time. Too bad I forgot my camera. I literally have to wear it around my neck to remember it. We cooked our foil dinners and the kids roasted hot dogs. That was the first foil dinner I have ever done and it was dang good. I'm hooked on that cooking. I opted for no meat but did a bunch of veggies...potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions, salt and pepper and a little butter. Tasty! Don't worry Mother...I had protein in cottage cheese before I left. :D After dinner we did s'mores and that is always a hit. We hung around the camp fire and chatted with friends. The kids ran around with the others and had a blast. We left the site around 10:15 to head back home. It is only 30 minutes from our house. The kids were out the minute the car started moving. Once we got back, I had to wash all of the clothes and blankets that we used because of the campfire smell. We emptied out the car so that it was empty for us to put our bags in the next morning to head down south to Orange County.

Saturday we packed the car and took care of every last detail. Why does it take us so long to get our car packed and actually backing out of the driveway. It is so much work even for just one night. It's crazy! The kids really were doing well for about an hour and half and then Casey told us his stomach was hurting. I looked back and Casey's face was so white it looked greenish. I wish I had taken a picture. I asked him if he was going to throw up and he said, "Uh, huh" Todd pulled the truck over so fast but I didn't get there in time. He threw up in his lap. Thank goodness it wasn't much. Got him changed, wiped the seat down, and we were good to go. He was totally car sick. We had just been through some turns and he was working on a game or something. Not a good combination. :D The minute we get back settled he wants crackers and then he fell asleep. He was fine the rest of the trip. AHH!! We finally made it to Grandma Carol's house. The kids were so excited and I was excited to see Kim and the family. We bbq chicken and burgers and ate outside. IT was beautiful weather and the kids played ball with the cousins.

Sunday we got up and had breakfast and then headed out to Amy's in Coto. The kids enjoyed time with the cousins at the pool and I enjoyed the nice weather. It was a family affair and it was fun to be with everyone. We ended up staying much later than anticipated but enjoyed the time spent with them since we don't get to see them very often. We had dinner together and spent more time with Kim and then left at 10:20pm. We knew it was going to be ugly the next day when we got home at 2:15am. Poor Todd had to be to work at 7am. I didn't stir until 7:40 and I actually let the kids sleep as long as they could. Mitch didn't get up until 9am same with Emily. It was beautiful! Casey came down with a rash on his upper arms and lower legs and so I kept him home the whole day until I could talk to a doctor. It looks like it is probably bug bites from the other night at the campout. Strange but they don't itch or bother him. It just looks bad.

Monday I was able to wash all of our laundry (6 loads) and get it put away, cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen. I was able to straighten each room too. It is nice that I didn't have to leave the house at all during the day since the kids were home. I was able to get a bunch done. That helped to start off my week on the right foot......drawers full of clean clothes and the house picked up. We had FHE last night and it was very successful. I love when I can say that after a Monday night. We have been talking about Baptism since Mitch will be there shortly (October). I had the boys writing the answers down to different questions about baptism and briefly talking about each answer. It was to the point, kept their interest, and I feel they really learned something. Emily listened and drew pictures about baptism. I am really trying to work on having Mitch feel ready and prepared for Baptism.

Today, I got back on schedule (5:00am wake up) and hit the gym. It is a wonderful thing that keeps me energized the entire day. I don't feel sluggish at all and I don't even have to drink a diet coke :D. After I took Mitch to school, we hit Target for supplies, wipes, and a few cute shirts for less than $6.00. I love to find a great deal. It doesn't happen very often for me. Got Casey off to school and then swung by the grocery store. I am ready for the tacos, bean slaw, marinated chicken with a Carribbean Jerk marinade, and tons of veggies and fruit are all on my menu this week.

I am looking forward to the long weekend. Todd has Friday and Monday off and the kids don't have any games! I love it! I'm off to play Candyland with Emily. She has been very patient while I've been writing for what seems like forever. Sorry it's long.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The house is finally quiet/Fun pictures from this week

Today was crazy. It was so full of things to do, to remember, upcoming events, kids asking a million questions, kids teasing, homework projects, painting Emily's toenails, bathing children, fixing a million meals (it can feel like a million on some days), a trip to Wal-Mart, clothes screaming they need to be folded, getting children to bed alone (Todd has a meeting tonight), and the list goes on and on :D. Never tell a child you will do something unless you can do it right then. I told Emily we would paint her nails this afternoon and it was 6:30 before I could sit down and do it. She was reminding me every 20 minutes. Along with Casey telling me "don't forget the cookies". He wanted me to help him make cookies. We got that accomplished at 7:00 just before bed. It feels good to get it all down on paper. I feel like I'm sharing my burden with someone else by writing this down. Strange! Or this just may be a release of tension built up all day. AHHHHHHH! Bedtime is soon to be here, right?!

How can the days be calmer without so much hustle and bustle? Is it possible with 4 small children? I'm convinced not but hoping there is a solution. Am I just terribly unorganized? I don't know the answer. I feel like I am pretty good in the time management category. I definitely don't know the answer. Oh and another bit of info that I was told today was about Mitch needing to sign up for day camp this summer with the cub scouts. He doesn't officially start scouts until October but they like the boys to attend day camp while they are still young because it is fun for them. I think it is a week long and they like to have the parents volunteer. Do they want all of my children at the camp? haha. Maybe just too much information for one day. Or is it the fact that I have been up since 5:00 going and going non-stop? Probably a little of both.

Some good news is that I got Emily signed up for preschool yesterday in the class that I wanted. Yeah. 2 other kids from our ward will be in there too. That should be fun for her. She is excited. It will be good for her to have some outside time on her own. She will be in heaven.

Blogger is not letting me post pictures...ugh! I had some fun pictures from this week that I took with the kids. Hopefullly I can post them soon. I better finish up some laundry while the house is still and shut down. The laundry is never ending. Goodnight!

It finally let me post the pictures......
Here is sweet Ellie Jayne standing up in her favorite position. She is pulling herself up on everything. She stands in the hall leaning on the wall by the night light. She loves to hang onto the chairs. Her smile is so cute. She is now 10 months and has 4 teeth...her front two on top and bottom. She is so cute these days. She motors all over the house and is starting to get into things. Fun for me!!

Me and Mitch on my b'day! He is a sweet boy with a bit of a 7 yr. old attitude.

Casey, Me and Ellie on my b'day.

Me and Emily being funny. She is a ham!

Here is Mitty's insect model that he put together. We had fun doing it! I think it really turned out cute. He is excited about it.

It's Been Busy

I need to make this short and sweet. I feel like my time is ticking away as I sit here and anticipate hearing one of the kids doors open...which means day is in full swing!

It's been busy around here. I have been doing all that I should around the house hence the reason no posts. I hate that. I've been trying to get to bed earlier since I'm getting up at 5:00 and so that cuts my blogging down. Darn it.

I want to thank all of you for the birthday greetings. It was a "free" day for me. I went to lunch with Todd and the girls. I enjoyed the day. We did dessert the next night at Yogurt Creations. Of course, my choice. I know Todd wouldn't be picking that on his own. Todd brought it home and we ate it and watched American Idol.

Tuesday was busy with laundry, housework, playing games with Emily and Casey, baseball games after school, working on an insect project with Mitch, etc.

Wednesday, same thing...more laundry, playing games with Emily and Casey, Costco, baseball games after school, and folding more laundry last night.

Today there are no games but another major insect project that Mitch needs to do that is due tomorrow. He has to build an insect model out of things around the house. I've put it off too long. Why do I do that? I never used to do that as a kid in school. Todd has a meeting tonight so I guess I will be the one in charge of seeing this get done. Hopefully all of the kids cooperate with me this afternoon so that I can help him.

We have our ward campout tomorrow night that I need to plan for as well. I don't think we are staying the night but we will do dinner and smores with the group. It's nice that the camp is only 15 minutes from our house. Todd's sister is making a trip out here from Boston this weekend and will be here on Saturday and Sunday. I haven't seen her in a couple of years and she has never seen Ellie so we will drive down early Saturday morning and come back Sunday before church. Quick trip! The kids are excited to see their cousins. I think it'll be fun!

I hear a couple of kids awake so I better go get showered and ready to face the day.

Just to document for myself....getting up early and working out has made such a difference in how I feel. Tuesday I didn't get up early and I was dragging the entire day. I felt so sluggish. It was bad. It was enough to make it very noticeable to me that I was sleepy and groggy. I got up Monday, Wednesday and today at 5:00 and didn't feel that way at all. Each day that I get up I am able to have time alone to read my scriptures and have personal prayer. Just what this mother needs to face each day with a family of many activities. Time to go!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Weekend/Mothers Day Recap/Happy B'day To Me!

Friday was a busy day with a couple of dr. appts...the dentist for me and the dr. for Emily. She complained of her ear hurting and I didn't want to head into the weekend without some medication. Emily preferred Todd to take her to the dr. so he did. That worked out great because I was then able to take Mitch to go get a jacket. Sure enough her ear was a bit red and so we got some medicine to clear it up. She has been just fine....phew!! After the dr. appts., we headed over to Costco to see about some shelves to hold our food storage in the garage and get that all organized. After an hour in there of chasing children, trying to look at what we went there for, chatting with a friend that we ran into and then checking out, I was truly done with Costco. We made it home, fed the kids, and then we must have gone to bed. I can't remember much more.

Saturday I worked out in the morning and then came home to get started on the garage. It was going to be a project for sure. I got everything moved out and started sweeping the floor. I threw out what was trash and what I was just sick of looking at. You know those items we never use but continue to look at on a shelf or are just plain in the way. I tossed it and felt good about it. I didn't give myself enough time for this project and so had to bring everything back into the garage in order to take the boys to their games. They overlapped a bit and so Todd and I went to different places and then met back up at Mitch's game. The boys played awesome and it was so fun to watch. The weather was perfect for a baseball game and I just enjoyed being outside on a blanket on the grass. Once we got back home, Todd got started on the shelves and started organizing. I love it when he organizes!! He knows just where to put stuff and it doesn't take him long to do it. Little did I took us until 10:00pm to get everything put away and organized for the most part. I feel so much better now. All of our food and emergency supplies are in the same area. There is a reason to be organized. It feels so good! We'll see how long this lasts. Thanks Todd for all of your help :D!

Sunday, I was able to sleep in until 8:00. Todd took the baby and handled all of that detail of feeding her and getting her diaper changed. He is so good about all of that anytime. He wants to help out with the kids and will always help. I love that about him!!! I couldn't do it alone with a husband who didn't like to help. Anyway, he made me breakfast....egg white omelette with Loco salsa. I'm not a fun person to make food for. To most, I'm probably very boring. I loved it and that is what matters!! Then the whole family played a game of Yahtzee. I haven't played for a long time. We had lots of fun. For lunch/snack before church we busted out the George Foreman grill. Todd sliced up zuchini and grilled it on there for me. It was the best!! The grill is my new best friend. It is a permanent fixture on my counter. I picked out the menu for dinner which was chicken in this sesame/ginger marinade and Todd's veggie medley. I made some fried rice for the others and they loved it. Thanks Todd for cooking up the best food. We used the grill for the chicken and it was so good. We couldn't stop laughing over using this grill. I think we were really surprised that it turned out as good as it did. I reminded Todd that my day wasn't over yet and that I wanted him to help me in the kitchen. He sure did. he took over and washed up all of the dishes, the table and the counters. What a way to end the day....not having to clean the kitchen. :D0

The boys gave me their gifts that they made at school. Casey gave me a soy candle. He poured it himself into this little container and it's the best. It smells like a 50/50 bar (orange/cream). Thanks Casey! Mitch made me a little bowl made out of clay and he painted it different colors. He said that I could put my jewelery in it. Perfect! Todd told me I am getting a combo Mother's Day/b'day gift that will come on Friday. It's fun to a have a whole week of celebrating. Grammy does it right. :D I enjoyed my day and being with my family.

My dad sent me a hat for Mother's Day and even signed it. I love that it is such a gift that will remind me of him forever. For anyone who doesn't know my dad...he owns a construction company so the "CAT" is so fitting for him to give. I love it. Thanks dad for such a fun gift.

I was up at 5:10 this morning and working out at 5:30. I'm very proud of myself for sticking to this new goal. It has now been one week and I went everyday last week. It feels good and I start my day off with some quiet time around the house, scriptures and personal prayer and some blogging. Does it get any better???

Mitch said that he is going to make me a dessert all by himself for my b'day today. This should be fun. I better go and get showered up before the kids start getting up. I hope all of you mother's had a wonderful day! I can't believe I didn't take one picture yesterday. That is bad. Oh well, today will be fine to snap some and call it Mother's day pics.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

This day really is always a special day. I love to think about how special my mom is to me. I am so grateful to have a mother who cares about me and loves me. And I love her. I am so thankful for her example in all of my 32 years that has helped me to be a good mom to my children. I really love that my mom has always put her family first. She would let the house go any day of the week to spend a few more minutes or hours with her kids. She played countless games of Chuttes and Ladders with me when I was in kindergarten. We had a few trips to Disneyland just she and I that I will never forget. Now that I am a mother myself, I can appreciate even more what she really did and sacrificed for her children. It isn't an easy job. And she had 6 kids. Mom, you win the medal!

I feel blessed to be a mother myself to my 4 children. It is the hardest job that I have ever had in all of my short 32 years. Yet, it is the best job and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I sure hope that I can follow my own mothers example of enduring through hard times/situations that I may go through with my own children. Thanks mom for all of the time you spend and have spent with me and my family. I enjoy thinking about all of the special memories that we have thus far and the ones we continue to make Women's Conference :D. Thank you for playing an active role in my children's lives. They love you and have many memories already of time spent with you.

I wish all of you mother's a happy day! Know that your role as a mother is divine. You aren't "just" a mother! It is a big job and one of the most important/rewarding jobs any woman could have. I love my job! :D

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!! I love you.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A New Book and I love it!!

This book is so awesome! My sister April gave it to me while we were up at Women's Conference. I have been reading it each night and am totally loving it. I took it with me this morning to read while I worked out and was able to read so much. I just love it and recommend it to all of you mother's. There is a quote in it that I thought was really fun. I am setting it up with what she said first and then the quote.....She said that while I am in the process of building a firm foundation of love and righteousness for my children, the Lord is in the process of building me, his daughter. And knowing that God has a hand in my life makes everything I go through here- as a mother, a wife, and a woman - worthwhile. Ok, now here is the quote that she uses from C.S. Lewis. I had to set it up...

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house than the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace." She then goes on to say...Maybe the next time someone asks, "What do you do?" you can say, with a twinkle in your eye, that you're a subcontractor, currently working on a palace or two.

Since I have been back from Women's Conference, I have thought so much about what I can do with the kids to ensure that they feel that they have the whole armor of God on each day as they leave the house. I know my kids are young but this is the time to start. I see little bits of attitude from Mitch, my 7 year old and just don't really want to imagine what the next 5+ years are going to bring. I'm sure most of you already do this but I was a little more organized about it this morning and actually followed through with it. We had 10 minutes before we had to leave to take Mitch to school and so I gathered all of the kids together on the floor for some scriptures and a family prayer minus dad. I read through a few and explained what they meant in kids terms, had a prayer and then we were off. It felt so much better than hurrying through a prayer in the car on the way to school. Has anyone been there?? Instead we were able to talk about what we read and about temptation. I can thank Amie for her example of holding a devotional with her kids in the morning. I love that! I love the room with the couches and no tv in it. That is great! I want a room like that just to myself :D hahaha! I'm reminded of what a good job she does with her family. Way to go Amie! I am trying to follow your example.

My children are really needing me now. I knew I only had a couple of minutes to write down some thoughts from this morning.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I'm Pretty Beat :D

Today was a productive day for me. I was up at 5am, working out and reading some wonderful Conference talks. I encourage all to re-read them over and over. Once I got back, I read my scriptures and had a quiet moment for my personal prayer. I know this is sounding too good to be true but it is for real. That hour of the day is becoming more and more precious to me. It's amazing how alert my mind is early in the morning. I am actually understanding some of what I'm reading. I am always so happy to at least have done scriptures and a prayer to start the day.

Casey had a field trip to Cal Poly so he went to school at 8:30 along with Mitch. Casey was so cute carrying up a big bouquet of flowers for his teacher. He really loves his teacher. It is teacher appreciation week and so the boys wanted to do flowers. After taking the boys to school, I came back and decided to wash the Suburban since it was overcast this morning. This may sound ridiculous to some but I really enjoyed working on the truck myself and not paying $20.00. It isn't that hard. It took me a good 40 minutes from start to finish. As I was washing it, I was thinking to myself how important it is to teach young people to work and to work hard. Not always for money but just for the reward of doing it yourself and getting a job done. It really felt good! After washing the car, I came inside to play a game of memory with Emily. One game turned into 3 games. It was great time well spent with her. I am trying to get in more quality time with each child. She loved it!

By noon, I was very sleepy. My eyes were getting very heavy as I was driving home from picking up Casey. Tonight I'm going to be in bed much earlier than the past couple nights.

I did laundry, washed sheets, cleaned kitchen/dishes, straightened the house and now am falling asleep at the computer.

The kids were able to find some fun activities with their bikes and scooters in the backyard this afternoon after school. Ellie took a nap and so I was able to run through the house and get a bunch done while the kids were involved outside. It worked out so well.

I am happy to see this day come to a close. My eyes are feeling the need to shut. I hope I will feel much more refreshed tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

2nd day of getting up at 5am/SPT-Cinco de Mayo

I'm on a role...I know it's only been 2 days but I plan on keeping it this way. I feel so accomplished already and it's only 9am. I just love that I can have my personal prayer and my own scripture study while no one is awake. I feel so much better doing those things that haunt me throughout the day when I don't make the time to do them. I hit the gym at 5:30 for an hour and feel so good exercising first thing. I decided to take the Ensign with me and read the conference talks. The time just flew by and I felt that I was fed with such wonderful words of council to help my family achieve our goals and to be on our toes in a world where there is so much temptation. It felt good to start my day out that way. I love to play over in my mind the words that Elder Holland spoke of when he said that we are in a glorious time, we should be grateful to live in this dispensation. He said that President Hinckley always says, "It's just going to get better and better and better." What hope that gives all of us who are striving to do what is right. I just love that and know that as we do better and better, everything around us will feel better.

I better get back to the house and kids. My list isn't too bad today:

-finish unpacking suitcase
-fold more laundry
-tidy up
-do something with the kids

Today is another beautiful day on the Central Coast. I sure hope it lasts! I will have to find something to do outside for sure. I'm sure the kids won't mind :D. Good day to you all!

SPT Challenge....Cinco de Mayo

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Here are two pictures taken on Cinco de Mayo...does that count??hahaha :D I was driving home and tried to capture how nice it was with the beautiful scenery. I never thought to snap one from the side so I would be in it. Oh well. Here is some nice scenerey through a dirty windshield and window.

I wish I had a picture of that night with me in it but I don't. I was traveling home from the airport that night after my trip to Utah. Todd did hold out and wait for me so that we could have Taco Loco together. We brought it in and had a nice relaxing dinner. He had all of the kids asleep and in bed by the time I got home (8:30pm). Good job Todd!! :D

Monday, May 07, 2007

I'm Back....It's Been A Wonderful Week

Me, my sister Barbie and my sister April in one of our dorms. The dorms this year were a brutal experience. I loved it last year but am considering new accomodations for the future....a hotel :D.

Me and my mom. I'm so glad we were all there together!

Me and my sisters again in the parking lot of the Provo temple. We were so ice cold that we were snapping pics in a hurry. I enjoyed being able to attend the temple while I was child free and literally 2 minutes from a temple. It's even better being there with mom and my sisters. We all missed Marilyn not being with us this year. Hopefully, next year for sure.

It's been busy around here getting back into the groove after being away at Women's Conference. I had a wonderful time and enjoyed the speakers and the classes so much. I really learn so much and mainly am spiritually fed and uplifted. I love it. It rejuvenates me and encourages me to be better, do better and to continually be in a state of progression. I loved the time off from the daily grind at home. Mothers need time outs for sure.

We had a great time eating out at Spaghetti Factory, CPK, Panda and Subway. Friday night we went out to CPK and met up with Amie and her mom. We enjoyed all of the time spent together talking about old times and fun times. We loved your house Amie!! What a peaceful place to live. Except for the mooing :D. Just teasing! I am commending you on your food storage. You guys are awesome. You have motivated me to really get mine finished. Thank you! You are doing such a great job with your family. James and Jessica are so polite and well mannered. They were fun to be around. Jessica is 9 going on 29. :D I think it is so funny. She is such a grown up. It was fun to catch up.

My kids did great here at home with dad and Aunt Nancy. She spoiled them by taking them to Doc Burnstein's (the ice cream store) everyday after school. They loved it!! She said Ellie's favorite ice cream seems to be strawberry. Emily has a cold and has been somewhat under the weather so I stayed home with she, Casey and Ellie yesterday and Nancy took Mitch with her to church. It was nice having a day of rest before the week started again. I so appreciate all that Nancy did to make it possible for me to leave. She did a great job and I am so thankful for her.

I have recommitted myself to some goals that I make over and over. After hearing so many wonderful words of advice at Women's conference, I would be dumb not to make it a priority each day to follow the council. I am going to spend more quality time with my children. Some things around the house can wait and maybe I just need to manage that a little bit better so that there is more time for me to spend with them. I started this morning by getting up at 5:00 to workout at 5:30 and then get my personal scripture reading in before the kids wake up. That is so essential for me to do it that early. It works out great for me. I was able to do more of my chores earlier in the morning so that I freed up time in the afternoon to spend with Emily. I sat out in the backyard, getting some color, and watched her ride her bike. She absolutely loved it. It was 85 degrees today and just beautiful. It made me feel so good to see how excited she was when I told her that I was going to come out and watch her. Anyway, I am happy to make some changes that I feel will benefit my family now and in the years to come.

I ended the day with a trip to Costco to exchange some items and build up our food storage. Todd met me there to help with the kids. It was an experience as it always is. We had family home evening and used some new books that I got at the book store to teach the scripture stories to the kids. The kids liked it and so did I. I am feeling good about the day. I really made a big effort to be conscious of how I spoke to the kids, how I reacted to certain situations that came up, and how I spent time with them. I am beat tonight but can go to bed feeling like I tried my best and made progress. Off to fold and then bed. 5am comes around very quickly :D.