Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pearly whites

After 47 months Joe is braces free. I snapped this of him at our 'painting party' so ignore the mess behind him. Something was up with the flash so the photo is a little yellow. Luckily his teeth are nice and white! Oh, and have you noticed that in every picture of Joe on this blog he is standing in the kitchen? I think this is no accident. He just likes to be near the food. Where he puts it all, I don't know. If I had a sound track running you would hear him saying, "Mom, I am starving! What do we have to eat?".

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor day

Labor day: A weekend to relax and enjoy the last surge of summer fun before really settling in to a school routine, right? Wrong. Doug decided that this weekend was a 'family workend". Yup, all of us were commissioned by Pa to paint the house. Doug had all the kids taping, scraping and painting. Joe and Bret put up new blinds in our back windows too. It was quite a lot of work. I had to leave for a few hours with Ana to do some visiting teaching, but otherwise, I was on the clock with the rest of the brood. Doug is a master 'cutter inner' and did not once nick the ceiling. I on the other hand couldn't keep the paint from jumping off my brush.

What color did we go with you may ask? Well, we used the same beige we had on the walls before. All of the kids begged us to do these wild colors. Doug and I liked a certain yellow color, but we had a bunch of kids contesting that choice. In the end, everyone said they like the color we have, so we went with it. I am doing an accent wall in the kitchen a brick red and we are keeping the trim the whitest white. I talked Doug in to doing a wainscoting in the hall so that should look great.

All in all it was a most productive day. I am really very proud of the children. They worked all day long with out one complaint. Now if I could just get them to clean their rooms with the same attitude.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Ok, so those of you who read my old blog may remember this, but I just had to laugh the other day when I was at the GAP. This is the photo they have to go along with their 'curvy jeans'. Now mind you, they have 'long and lean', 'classic boot cut', 'straight' and many more. Here is the little blurb that goes with these jeans

Who needs perfect genes when you've got fabulous jeans?

Insinuating that these are the jeans for the gals with, you know, a little 'extra fluff'. What the heck! Look at this girl. She has the figure of a twelve year old boy. Curvy jeans? Please.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Marriage Tag

I got this marriage tag in some random email. Kind of fun..
Marriage Tag
How long have you been married? 6 years but we say 18...we give ourselves 3 years for every year so we can catch up to our peers. After this year we will start counting by one so next year will have our 19th.
Where were you married? Las Vegas Temple
Honeymoon? Yes, San Diego and St. George
How old is your spouse? 43 in one week! Which is 3 years older than I am.
Kids? Yes, 4
Who eats more? Have you met Doug? :-) He does
Who said I love you first? Doug. We were at a park in Spring Valley eating Baja Fresh after we watched the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple at his old Stake Center. It was June 27, 2002. How's that for details!
Who is taller? Have you seen me? Doug is taller.
Who sings better? Doug, hands down
Who is smarter? Language and reading- me/ Math and science and everything else-Doug
Who controls the T.V. remote? Doug
Whose temper is worse? Mine
Who does the laundry? Me
Who does the dishes? Me. (Maybe all this cleaning is why I have such a temper!)
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Doug
Who cooks dinner? Me.
Who is more stubborn? Doug
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Probably me
Whose parents do you see the most? Mine, but we don't see either enough!
Who has more siblings? Me
Who wears the pants in the family? Doug...I would rather be happy than right...but every once in a while, I try to tell him which pants to wear. ;-)
I tag: Jori, Tasey and Becky

On my Honor

Did I mention that Sunday night our ward had a court of honor for four boys recieving their Eagle? It was great. Ricky and Conner left the next day for BYU. Bo had to come home from SUU for the event and Justin is preparing to leave for his mission in the winter so he is doing culinary classes down here at the college while he gets ready to go. To my surprise and delight when it came time for the boys to present their Eagle mentor pins I was asked to come forward. Each boy chose one adult as their mentor . Justin told the audience that he had long given up on attaining his Eagle but with my help he earned the rank. It was really sweet and I was blubbering! My kids all giggling at my tears! Millie snapped a photo though. (She thinks like a blogger)

Last night, we held a board of review in our ward. Many of the boys in Bret's class earned rank advancements. Bret earned his Star rank which is quite a feat for a 12 year old. Doug and I are working hard with him and we expect he will be an Eagle before he is 14. I have to get him to finish up personal management and personal fitness this month. We have been working on them since June. He only needs a handful of required badges and 'time' as we put it before he can get going on his project. He tells Joe all the time that he will get his Eagle 'younger' than Joe did. We think it won't be long before both our boys are Eagles. Anyhow, I am really proud of Bret.

Monday, August 25, 2008

School is IN

First day went with out a hitch. Up at 4:45 to make a big breakfast for our only seminary student. The rest of the kids got up early and ate with him, so we all had an early start today. Oh how I wish the kids would be this ready for school every day! Even Bret had his hair done! Really!

First day photos 2008! Take a look!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Goodbye Summer!

The things I will miss:

1. Staying up late with out a thought as to the next morning's alarm. (Like this night at the Breaking Dawn Party!)
2. Bare feet
3. Flip flops: Back to school means for eight hours each day I have to wear real shoes!
4. Being the only one awake for the first hour or so of my day. Doug leaves before I get up but when I do I get the house to myself for an hour or more before the kids arise.5. Phone calls: I really can't talk to Dee or Sunny all day long? Impossible!

6. Joey's shaggy hair: He reminds me of Moondoggy on the old Gidget movies. Remember how he came to pick Francis(aka Gidget) up for a blind date after summer was over. If you saw the movie you get my point. Here he is all cleaned up and ready for school.7. Millie's tan. Yes she does get a little bit less whitish blue in the summer.

8. Summer reading. No not the school kind. Just enjoying books with out feeling like I should be doing 200 other things.

9. Traveling. Even though we didn't venture too far from home this year, we still got away plenty.

10. Getting paid while not working. I know it sounds almost too good to be true, but it is one of the terrific things about teaching. Be it July or January, my paycheck just keeps coming.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Back to School

Back to school. For most of my life those three words have meant something to me. From age 5 through graduate school back to school found me buying new clothes, pencils and pens, backpacks and notebooks. It meant a new beginning and time to gear up and dig in to activities and studies. I have always loved school. Well junior high was kind of bogus, but all in all I have always loved it. I think that is why I became a teacher. The smell of the library always appealed to me and the order of the entire institution still does a little something for me. You know what I mean...lunch from 11:25 to 11:58. In 1992, after college, I started teaching school. Grade 1 in North Las Vegas. Those kids are now adults, some probably married with their own children. After Doug and I married, I resigned for several years. Still, back to school was a huge part of my life. After all, I resigned to be mother to our 4 kids. I was on the PTA board and spent my time being room mom for all four kids, dedicating my self to being the best 'helper' I could be. I was teaching seminary during those years, so though I was not employed as a teacher, teaching still played a huge part in my life and the school schedule still set my pace. Now, here it is, back to school and I am beginning again. This year I get to combine two of my greatest passions, cooking and teaching. And you know, back to school hasn't changed all that much for me all these years. I don't care so much about the new clothes, but I do still like the smell of the library.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Doug's new baby

On Saturday night Doug decided to get some new baseboard for our bedroom. He told me he was going to Lowes to look at the different styles and check prices. When he arrived home we were the happy owners of a new backyard grill. I think I will be eating a lot of steak over the next few weeks.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yup, I did

So, I will admit, I am entirely obsessed with the Olympics. Staying up late has become commonplace in our home. We are planning our entire evenings around Phelp's next swim and the contest to see who the fastest man in the world is. This obsession has come at a cost. I am staying up so late that getting up in the mornings is very difficult for me. I have gotten in the bad habit of staying up til 2 or 3 and getting up after 9 closer to 10. So this morning Doug heads out for his early morning meetings and I am still in bed. Normally I get up when he gets going and spend Sunday morning looking over my lessons and helping the kids get ready for church. Today I woke to the ringing of the doorbell at 9:45. It was the teachers coming by to get Joe. Needless to say, I sprang out of bed and hopped in the shower. I got ready as fast as I could threw my lesson notes in my bag and ran to the car. I arrived at the chapel in plenty of time, High Councilor still speaking...ahhhh I sat down to relax in the foyer. Next thing I know Cathy and Theresa are giggling uncontrollably and Theresa has her camera out shooting pictures of my feet.
Ya, I really did.

On a totally different note, Millie came home from her vacation with the Moody's last night. I missed her very much. She was only gone for 5 days, but it seemed like forever. I 'm glad she had such a wonderful time, but I was happy to have her back home. My sidekick, my peanut, my Milfred.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Million Dollar Babes

Today I got to go to Tropical Smoothie Cafe with my pals, Suzi and Jori. The three of us worked together writing grants 'back in the day' . We are truly million dollar girls when it comes to writing for money... Too bad we could not just write a grant to fund our lives.

Love you guys!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You gotta love this

Look closely at this picture. We decided to roast marshmallows on the last night of camp. Normal enough right? Well, if you look closely at this picture you can see the campfire lonely and ignored in the background while our girls roast their treats over the, eh, under the...outdoor space heater!?! Go figure.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Return of the Rain and Happy Endings

So we made it back from camp a little damp but with full hearts! After returning to the mountain we had a clear evening on Wednesday and a lovely morning on Thursday but by about 1o:30 we saw the return of the rain. And rain (and hail) it did. For about 5 hours. The girls and leaders made the best of it but we had to stay put in our tents for much of the storm and just try to keep dry. It was another edition of 'a River Runs Through It" . Really it was hard and cold and wet, but all in all it was a wonderful experience and I think we all learned much. The girls were fabulous. They were spirited and crazy but also reverent at all the right moments which made me very emotional to say the least.
This year was the first time in years I got to go to camp as, in Sunny's terminology 'a low lever leader'. Anyhow I had the best time just doing what I was asked to do and what needed to be done, but not needing to make any decisions. This allowed me to spend lots of time just hanging out with the girls and yes, pranking others at camp! It was such fun helping Millie and the other first years in many a good prank! The best of all...stealing Kristie's orange pants! I was even blamed for a few pranks I had nothing to do with, like hanging a fake deer from the zip line, or stealing Dee's clothes from the shower. But alas, that is what happens. Last night we enjoyed our testimony meeting and it was so good to listen to both Millie and Jenna as they sat in that circle of their friends and leaders. I am grateful for both of these little girls and so grateful that I was able to share this with them.
Today we took down all of our soggy tents and headed back to the valley. It is good to be home but I will remember this year at camp fondly.
Doug called today and said the Scout trip to the Channel Islands was fantastic and provided an experience that went well beyond his expectations. They snorkeled, kayaked, swam and explored underwater caves. He said they hiked up to a point where they could watch the sun set and had a fireside that was tremendous. This is a photo of where they were. To make a wonderful trip even better, Joey, Wes, Garrett Doug and Doug Winters left at the close of the scout camp and headed down to Newport Beach so our boys could compete in a lacrosse tournament. They won the championship and Joe played great scoring 3 or 4 goals each game with an equal number of assists. Tonight they are headed off to a Riptide game to watch some Major League Lax. They will be heading home late, late tonight. Doug said Joe about died of joy last night when they realized they were staying at the same hotel as the Riptide players. The team members were autographing balls and the like for Joe and his pals.
Oh, and I am loving my new camera. I took a ton of pictures at camp. I posted a few here and will put in a slide show of the rest.
As for now, I am going to bed early tonight. I think over the past 4 days I have had a total of 8 hours sleep. Oh well, I can catch up! We love Camp Stimson!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Surprise...We are back! Yup, washed out we were! We got up to camp this morning and had just enough time to set up, eat a little snack and take the stake picture before the rain came down. And come down it did. For over 3 hours we fought with pounding rain, hail and a rising river. Our girls huddled under the pavilion and certified while all of the individual ward leaders tried to keep our tents from flooding. We had success with just 2 or 3 of our 9 tents. The rain flies would grow so heavy at times during the storm that water would actually seep in under and pour down onto whatever was below. My bed was the lucky recipient of such a puddle. I spent a few hours digging trenches with a pick axe to try to divert the rising waters. The few photos I have added were taken after the heaviest part of the storm. These 'rivers' you see are running right through our camp site. The pictures really can't even give you a glimpse of what this storm was like. Suffice to say, I have never been so soaking wet in clothes in my life, ever. When the stake decided to let us go on home it was with heavy hearts that we set out. I am so incredibly sad for Millie and the other first years. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we are going to try it again. I so hope we can go and enjoy girls' camp as a stake. So much work has been done and so many little girls have been waiting for this all summer long.

Monday, August 4, 2008

In just a few hours we are off to girls' camp. We just got word from the Stake that the rain is coming down in buckets and the camps are flooding. Todd is going up tonight to speak to the YCLs who always head up to camp a day early, so he said he will thoroughly check our site and let us know what we need to do. Our plan thus far is to get the girls up to camp and have them check their sleeping bags. I talked with Dee and we are bringing up gobs of towels and rags to dry any wet items. If there are wet sleeping bags we will load them up in my truck and I will haul them down and get them dried out at a laundry mat. Hopefully that will keep us from having any real problems! Wish us luck and pray that the rain, which we desperately need here in Nevada, will hold out til Sunday!

Love this. Thanks Heather L.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Breaking Dawn

Last night we spent 4 hours at Barnes and Noble at the Breaking Dawn party. Jenna, Syd, Millie and Regan all had fun waiting for the big release at midnight. Jenna stayed up half the night reading and is overjoyed to be on 'Edward's team'.
Today Doug and I are headed up to Stimson to set up camp. I knew Doug wouldn't be done with girls' camp entirely. Pictures later.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Camp countdown, Breaking Dawn Party and Animal haircuts

Today Jenna, Millie and I got all of our camp gear packed up and ready to go. This year we have 5 of our 6 leaving town for a week so our family camp gear was in high demand. Jenna called the cot, Joe wanted the air mattress, Doug likes a particular sleeping bag and I am very fussy about my stuff. Only Millie seemed ok with all the leftovers! Actually we had to go and get lots of stuff and I spent far too much at Target this afternoon replenishing our camp supplies of batteries and flashlights along with lotions and potions for the girls.
Tonight we are off to the BD party at Barnes and Noble. We have been waiting for this for months! I can hardly wait. Jenna is refusing to come up to Stimson with us tomorrow to help set up camp because she has to read! Doug is a little bothered, but me, I understand. I am so glad I finally got Jenna to catch the reading bug. It has taken me years of reading aloud and buying every book in the shop to try to interest her! When I first read Twilight I knew it would be the book with the hook, so to speak.
Other happenings today include a hair cut for our mangy pooch. Very cute. See for yourself.


Images from Camp 2008