Monday, December 15, 2008

Feelin' Old

This is for all of my 20-something pals from the other night, who, although they knew many things, had NO IDEA who Howard Jones was! Enjoy this taste of the 80's, my friends. And Better Off Dead at least once before you die!

Can I get an amen from my fellow thirty-somethings?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My Favorite Day!

I have a new favorite day: Tuesday. Yes, Tuesday is nice because it's Play Group, and that's always fun; Tuesday is also nice because Brad has his appointments on our side of town, so sometimes he comes home for lunch; but the reason Tuesday is my favorite day is that...

It's Delivery Day at the 99 cent Store!!

I'm serious, here. I have never seen a dollar store like this before! Here are some of my most recent purchases--all for only 99 cents:

That very same meat at Wal-Mart was $4.88!!! We've also gotten a 5 lb bag of Idaho Potatoes, Waffles, Yoplait yogurt for only .39, Salad, a big bag of onions--they're quite the produce people! Oh, and I forgot--sometimes they have half-gallons of Dreyer's Ice Cream!! It's very crowded on Tuesdays around 11:30am, but worth it! Although I did almost get stampeded today for that cookie dough. People were buying cases of the stuff!

I never would have guessed in my wildest dreams that a dollar store could be soooo awesome!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Mr. Fix It

Mr. Fix It in one of his less-proud moments, after trying to smash an aluminum can on his forehead.

Did your school have superlatives at the end of the year? We did at our senior breakfast, although I didn't know they were called Superlatives until I taught Junior High. Maybe it's a Utah thing. know what I'm talking about. Where you vote for kids in your class on different things. Like cutest hair, or best athlete, or most likely to end up in jail. Fun stuff like that!

The only one I remember from Senior breakfast was that Tonya was voted to have most kids. While 15 years later (has it really been 15 years?! YIKES!) she has four cute ones, she got beat out by our other friend Catharine, who has five! (She not only has five, but had them all by age 27! Go Cat!) I wonder if anyone else in our class has more? Hmmm...

Anyway, back to my point--and I do have one--we have a new Superlative in our house: Best Handyman! Now, when I got married, my loving husband had many qualities I loved and adored; handiness was not one of them. But darned if he hasn't learned how! He is a regular fix-it guy now. Electrical, structural, duct-taping, he does it all! The latest was that he saved us over a Thousand Dollars ($1074.10 to be exact!) by fixing a leak on our water main. We had a guy come over and give an estimate, and he found a couple of problems, I'm not going to name them because, really, it's all blah blah blah to me. But Brad said no thanks, got himself down to Lowes, found a knowledgable guy named Darrell to tell him how to do it, talked to a neighbor, and a little digging, a lot of mud, some pipes, saws, pressure valves, and glue later, ta-da! It's fixed! I and Our Water Bill thank him!

Monday, November 24, 2008

November so Far

November has been busy for us! Brad being gone on a work retreat for three days, tons of Primary stuff, Thanksgiving celebrations at Tyler's school, speaking in church, and meetings, meetings, and more meetings have seemed to take up a lot of time. We also had our home inspection and finished up everything for our 2nd adoption. We should be approved anytime, and online right after that. Sooo...if anyone knows any birth mothers considering adoption, send them our way, k?!

Thankfully, we were able to fit in some fun stuff:

This is where I crashed Spencer and Sara's date night and we enjoyed an EXCELLENT free Veteran's day concert put on by the San Antonio Symphony. These guys were dressed up like revolutionary soldiers and played the fife, bugle, and drum.

Costumes at 75% off are da Bomb.

Creative Daddy hooked up his projecter and laptop and we watched Kung-Fu Panda on the ceiling!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Questions For You

I've decided to start teaching piano lessons. It just makes sense. I play the piano. I love the piano. I have a degree in teaching. I want to stay at home. I want to make some extra money. I know lots of people that want to take piano, but don't know anyone who teaches it. Well, now they do.

I've been researching and preparing for a couple days, but I have some questions for you, my friends and blog friends who either play yourselves or have children who play.

1. What do you like about your/your child's teacher?

2. What do you think is a fair price for a lesson?

3. Do you have a favorite curriculum?

4. Do you have any advice?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

More Potty Talk

Tyler has been day-time potty trained for several months now. But he was still wearing nightime diapers until last week. He would sometimes leak even with the diapers, so I thought he just wasn't ready. Several of my friends said that their sons just started having dry diapers in the morning, so that's how they knew they were ready to go diaperless at night. Well, I waited and waited for that to happen, but it never did. Every morning his diaper was full!

I was at the store last week, and as I put the $12 pack of 17 specialty nightime diapers in the cart, I realized I had had enough. The kid is four. He can be diaperless! So I put the diapers back on the shelf and went home to see how it would go over. We had one last diaper, so we told him this was his last one.

Brad was so great. He got our tarp all clean and put it underneath the sheet so we wouldn't have to keep changing the matress pad, too. The first night Ty was wet in the morning, but since then we've gone 5 nights accident free! I think our little guy just knew the diaper was there, so he used it.

Now if we could only master the whole wiping thing...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Travelocity Gnomes

Maybe we've been watching too much of The Amazing Race on TV. Their sponsor is Travelocity, and often the contestants have to find the Travelocity Gnome and bring it to the pit stop with them. Anyway, thought this would be a fun costume. (It also reminds me of my mission. People in Missouri have a strange affinity for gnomes as lawn ornaments! Can I get an amen?)

Here's our version

Here's Travelocity's version.

The Gnome men.

This was inbetween trick-or-treating and the trunk-or-treat. They were both hot. Note to self: Halloween in South Texas is a little bit warmer than Halloween in Northern Utah.

I actually did a bit of research on Gnome families. It turns out the female gnomes are quite homely and only wear grey or brown. So homely, if fact, that the females do not go out in public, only the males. And females start growing beards at around age 350. Hmmm...the guy's costumes were definitely cuter!
I accidentally got a big glob of hot glue on my hat, so I covered it with a picture of a toadstool that said Home Sweet Home. I crack myself up!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


In the car, a day after reading about the Millenium:

Tyler: When is Jesus coming back?

Us: Nobody knows except Heavenly Father.

Tyler: Nobody knows?

Us: No, but we've been given signs to know that He's coming soon. We just need to make sure we're ready anytime.

Tyler: Well, we're ready right?

Us: Well, are we reading scriptures and saying prayers?

Tyler: Yes.

Us: Are we paying tithing? Are we obeying Heavenly Father?

Tyler: I am a very obedient boy.

Us: Yes you are. Obedience is important!

Tyler: Then I guess we're ready. We'll hold 'em up when Jesus comes, right?

Us: What?

Tyler: We'll hold em up.

Us: Hold what up?

Tyler: The signs!

Us: What signs?

Tyler: The signs when Jesus comes! We'll hold em up in our yard, right?

Us: (long pause) Oh, the signs! Well, we're given different kinds of signs to know that Jesus is coming, not actual signs that we hold up...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Who are you like?

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!

You are thoughtful and care very deeply for your family. A loving home is of great
importance to you and you always try to make people feel welcome. Although you have a great capacity to love, you also have a great capacity to hurt, so at times you can be sensitive. You're firm when you need to be, but people trust your judgment and appreciate the kind way you always handle things.

I know, I didn't LOVE the Twilight series like everyone else. (I hate Bella and Edward's relationship. She should be with Jacob.) But my good friend TJ posted this and it picqued my curiosity to see who I'm most like. I'm glad it's Esme.

Who are you like?

Friday, October 24, 2008


This pic was taken in Fort Worth at the Stockyards during a cattle drive. That blue car with the Go Cougs poster in the window is ours. We had NO IDEA when we parked there that cows with long, sharp horns would be traipsing by. There was a moment when I thought we might get horned!

I got gas for $2.22 today!! I'm sooooo happpppyyy!

I finally made up my mind and voted today (early voting--avoid the lines)! I love voting!

How do the primaries in your ward or stake excuse children? Do they wait for the parents to pick them up? Is there a big back up at the door? Is there a more efficient way to do this?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Cake

It started around his second birthday. Ty was really into Elmo, and saw an Elmo cake at the store. Only I didn't want to pay 50,000 dollars for some cheap-o cake, so I decided to make one myself. He loved it! I enjoyed doing it. And so a tradition was born.

Birthday #3. Spiderman was all the rage. To this day he has never actually seen a spiderman cartoon or movie, but he loves him all the same. I was especially proud of this cake.

Birthday #4. Let's back up here a moment. Just a few weeks after his third birthday, he somehow decided that he wanted a Jesus cake for his fourth birthday. I thought that was cute, but didn't think too much about it, because I was sure he would change his mind before his birthday, which was almost a year away! Only he never changed his mind. All year he talked about his Jesus cake, and never wavered!

So here is where a mother gets confused. Is it disrespectful to put Him on a cake? How do you cut the cake? Who gets what part of His face? It doesn't seem right to just pick at the leftovers like our family tends to do (my sister-in-law calls this phenomenon the Domecake, because the cakes always end up as a circle as we pick at them one bite at a time). After worrying for awhile, I came to the conclusion that if my little boy looks to Jesus as his hero, then that's a great thing, and maybe He would be honored.

So...don't laugh, I did the best I could!

Ty loved it! I just hope that next year we're back to an earthly cake!

p.s. Please ignore the lame-o toothpicks that he's blowing out. I forgot the candles!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Interview with Ty

My friend Tonya interviewed her son and tagged anyone else to do the same. It was funny to hear what Ty had to say.

1. What is something that Mom always says to you? " Listen."

2. What makes Mom happy? "Me"

3. What makes Mom sad? "When I don't do the right things."

4. How does your Mom make you laugh? "By saying silly words."

5. What was you Mom like as a child? "Like me!"

6. How old is your Mom? "4."

7. How tall is your Mom? "The same as I was when I was Number Three."

8. What is her favorite thing to do with you? "Play Transformers!"

9. What does your Mom do when you're not around? "You just go somewhere."

10. If your Mom becomes famous what would it be for? "For everybody."

11. What is your Mom really good at? "At Transformers"

12. What is your Mom not very good at? "It's hard for you to play with Transformers."

13. What does your mom do for her job? "You be silly."

14. What is Mom's favorite food? "Daddy's Special Oatmeal"

15. What makes you proud of Mom? "When we get birthday cards and birthday presents."

16. If your Mom was a cartoon character who would she be? "I don't know."

17. What do you and your Mom do together? "Play with Transformers."

18. How are you and your Mom the same? "We both play."

19. How are you and your Mom different? "Cause we have different shirts on and different pants."

20. How do you know your Mom loves you? "Cause I love you."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Focusing on the Positive

OK. So our Dallas trip wasn't as joyful as we had hoped. So our mighty Cougars didn't even show up to play. So it was embarrassing to sit among the TCU fans (who really were very nice) trying to explain to them why we were ranked 8th in the country. So we're out of the running for a BCS bowl. So that's millions of dollars to the school that we won't get.
There were some positives:

Ty got to meet Cosmo face to face. We named our car after Cosmo, so this is a big deal for him.

Ty got to meet our other favorite Ty! He was so nice, even when we came back to get another picture since the first one on Brad's phone (we forgot our camera) didn't get saved. Here's our Ty saying how old he was when Ty Detmer asked him.

I'm just glad we got the pictures before TCU broke the longest winning streak in the nation. There weren't as many smiles after the game.

p.s. Isn't it so great that the last time the Cougars lost (16 games ago), we were there to see it in Tulsa? I'm thinking we're jinxed. Maybe the next time they come to our area of the country we should pass.

Monday, October 13, 2008


This was our fun FHE project tonight. I found the idea online somewhere--I googled ModPodge projects, cause I was in the mood to decoupage. I love that word: decoupage.

Anyway, very simple to make, and tons of fun for a three (almost four!) year old.

I couldn't find the exact site where I got the idea, but there's pretty much the same thing on a site called Skip to My Lou.

Another tip: if you don't have the glassware lying around waiting to be decoupaged, go to a thrift store, they've got all sorts of funky shapes and sizes. I got mine for 49 cents each.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fat Chance

Gas has finally fallen below $3/gallon, and we're back to where we were about a year ago!

Do you think the price of food and all the other things that went up due to "gas prices" will go back down, too?

And do you think that by Christmas, when we head to Oregon on United Airlines, they'll stop charging us $15 for the first checked bag, and $50 for the second?

I didn't think so either.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

General Conference

What a great weekend this was, and not just because I got a break from Primary!

There were some excellent, poignant talks this conference weren't there? I loved several, but my favorite had to be Elder Holland. He is such a powerful speaker, and says things so succinctly. He spoke of angels, in both immortal and mortal form.

What a great thing to be reminded of, that angels are round about us. The Heavens do care about our journey here. I like to think of angels (perhaps including loved ones) ministering to us in our struggles, in our tough times, and in our everyday lives. I know there have been times in my life when I have definitely felt angels around me.

Elder Holland told us to take heart, be filled with faith, and remember our covenants. As we do this, Heavenly Father has promised that He will fight our battles for us. Who else better?

What did you like about Conference?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Q Tips

I know we're not supposed to stick anything smaller than our elbow in our ear, but come on! Is my eardrum really gonna rupture? Is earwax really going to be smashed in there so much that I go deaf? I'm gonna need concrete evidence before I stop one of my favorite daily activities!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heaven Help Us

Is anyone else worried about the economy these days? As I watch our 401k getting smaller and smaller, even though we're adding more and more money into it, I get worried.

I admit, I don't really understand whether that whole 700 Billion Dollar bailout would have worked, but I worry that nobody's doing anything; that congress is stuck in their political circus, not actually getting anything done.

And I wonder what's the answer? Is there an answer? Everything is so complicated and intertwined, is there really a solution?

And can John McCain or Barack Obama really do anything about it all?

What's your take?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A New Generation

I only knew a handful of you during one of my favorite life moments: Playing Maria in Kennedy Middle School's production of The Sound of Music. But my love for anything related to Julie Andrews, nuns, and puppets started long before the age of 13.

I have loved the movie ever since I can remember. Every Easter it would come on TV and I would watch the whole thing, dancing around like Gretl in the Gazebo, and swirling on my own living room hill, singing "The Hills are Alive..." (Thanks, Mom, for letting me stay up past my bedtime to watch it!)

It is one of the only movies that I know pretty much all the lines. So when it came on TV a few weeks ago, I couldn't pass it up. Brad, Ty and I watched and watched, and I was amazed that Ty fell in love with it, too! His favorite is the "Flibbertigibbet song," but he was entranced for the whole thing. When I cried at the end when they climb to their freedom, he was very curious. I told him it was just a happy cry. Now when he's crying for real, he says it's just a happy cry, in between sobs!

Since I had the CD in my collection but had never played it for Ty, he quickly played it over and over at bedtime. Soon, he knew all the words, too! When I saw the movie for two bucks at the thrift store, I couldn't resist!

And that is how our home--and some very public places--have been filled with the magic of the Sound of Music once more! We find ourselves singing those songs all over town, in our head, anywhere!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All is Calm

Updated 72-hour kit: check
Flashlights and batteries: check
More water than we would ever need: check
Non-perishable food: check
Outside items stored in garage: check
Ty's school cancelled: check
Brad's appointments cancelled: check
Storm:..........? Storm:................? Storm:.......................?
200 miles to the east.

San Antonio is such a weather vacuum!!! We got nothing!!! We never get anything!! Just sunshine and a 95 degree day ahead of us. Nothing!!

(I'm sure our Houston friends who are without power would trade with me in a heartbeat, so I'm trying not to be too disappointed that we got left out.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


See that projected path? The center of it is Corpus Christi, where Brad had appointments scheduled for tomorrow. Thankfully, Corpus is in full Evacuation-mode, so we do not have to go down there!

But do you see that first red hurricane symbol after it hits land? That is over San Antonio, where we live! We're not supposed to get hurricanes here, we're 140 miles inland! But it's a possibility. Also very possible, and some even say likely, are tornados. And power failure. And flooding.

So, today, instead of traveling to Corpus, we are taking out our dusty 72 hour kit to do a few updates. Ty is no longer a size 3-6months. We live in Texas now, not Utah, so we probably don't need the heavy warm clothes we had in there before.

We're filling up our gas tanks. We're getting some cash in low denominations. We're storing our BBQ and patio furniture. Copying all our important documents. Gathering our flashlights and batteries. Getting lots of water.

I was at the church last night, and the Ward and Stake are preparing, as well. It's comforting to know we have a church family.

Anything I'm forgetting?

*Update: As of Thursday morning, the storm seems to be inching further east, so hopefully we won't be in the direct path anymore.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Budding Photographer

What to do when, because of last minute scheduling conflicts, you end up bringing your 3 year old to a weeknight meeting with a Bishopbric member?

Well, after a measely pen/paper combo doesn’t excite, give the boy your camera and pray he doesn’t break it!

The result: Life through the lens of a 3 year old:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bye Bye Beijing

I loved the Olympics like I've always loved the Olympics, but this year was extra fun: it was Tyler's first Summer Games and he watched a lot of it right along with us.

One extra cool byproduct of logging all those hours cheering on Team USA is our own Family Olympics.

For example:

  • At dinner time, Tyler usually doesn't eat very much, and sometimes gags just looking at our food. The last couple of weeks, however, he's eaten all of his food so he can get a "Gold Medal" in eating!
  • It's often difficult to get him to kneel down and stay quiet during family prayer. Not anymore, now that he can get a "Gold Medal!"
  • Same with getting dressed.
  • Same with picking up toys.

IT'S THE BEST THING IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD, I tell ya! And I'm a little sad because I know this fascination with Gold Medals is not going to last forever. But hey, if buying that box of Michael Phelps Corn Flakes will keep Little Man eating well and doing chores without a fight, I just might stock up!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Old Friend

I had a pretty good handle on our infertility. Several years removed from the monthly charting, lab tests, psycho medications and those beastly little home pregnancy tests, I was comfortable–content even–with the fact that our children would not come through biological means, but through the miracle of adoption.

It’s not that I was totally over it–I’m not sure that ever happens. But I was at a place where I didn’t think about it that much. I was honestly happy for friends and family who announced that they were expecting. I opened up about our experiences, trying to share with my "breeding" friends the new and exciting world of Open Adoption. I could see the blessings that had come to us through these struggles. I still didn’t attend most Baby Showers, but between you and me, it was more because I just hated those things rather than any real relation to my grief!

Gearing up for our 2nd adoption, I met with my doctor to have the required medical exam. A day later, I got a phone call from his office. My blood work had come back with a big surprise: I was pregnant! I was stunned. I will forever remember that moment: sitting in the hot sun on a pool chair, watching our son’s swimming lesson, asking the nurse if she was absolutely sure. "Yes," she said, I was "several weeks along."

How could this be? My doctors had said it would never happen. I was incredulous and grateful and excited. What a miracle that after nine years of negative results, it had finally just happened on its own!

I let myself go where I’d never allowed myself to go before: thinking about this baby. Was it a boy or a girl? What would it look like? Would it have the strong forehead/eyes of Brad’s family? Would it be a towhead like Brad was? He had been so supportive through the years. In his mind, it wasn’t my infertility, it was ours. Yet I had always felt remorse and guilt for being the reason we couldn’t conceive. To finally be able to bear a child was such a relief! I would no longer be "the infertile one." I would be able to contribute when the conversations among friends turned–as they always do–to childbirth! So much of our LDS culture revolves around "fulfilling the measure of our creation." Although I knew that I could do that without actually producing a child, it felt good that I was finally able to go the conventional route!

After letting it settle in for a few hours, I was determined to see for myself that it was true, so I headed down to the drug store. I was finally going to beat my nemesis, the Home Pregnancy Test!

Only I didn’t.

Another single line, just like the thousands of other single lines I’d gotten over the years. Another test a few hours later repeated the same result.

Although I was disappointed–and really annoyed that the test had beaten me again–I was perplexed but not too worried. After all, my blood results had come out positive. The doctor knows best, right?!

The next day on our way out of town, I zipped in to give another sample of blood, just to be sure. How ironic that Brad and I were headed to Dallas, where we were to attend an adoption conference, as well as interview with our adoption caseworker. In the middle of lunch, just before Brad was to present a class on "Coping With Your Infertility," (no I’m not joking!) I received the phone call I had been dreading: the lab had messed up somehow–I, in fact, was not pregnant. Never was. Talk about a cruel joke to play on an infertile lady!

What gets me is that I truly had made peace with not being a biological mother. But to have that hope–to believe that somehow a miracle had occurred, only to find out that it hadn’t–that was a big blow.

I don’t share this personal story to get pity or condolences. I share it to remind myself and others that grief over infertility–or anything, really–is a very real thing. The important thing is to let myself feel the pain, and acknowledge that it might never entirely go away. And that’s okay.

I’ve met some couples along the way, however, that don’t allow themselves to feel the pain of infertility. Instead they stuff it away and pretend it’s not there, and think that all they really need is a baby. So they begin the adoption process, with appreciation, but little tolerance for their child’s birth parents. Dealing with them is merely the means to an end. Once they get their baby, they don’t keep the promises they made regarding communication. They resent the fact that they have to communicate at all. This is their baby, now, after all. They don’t see how their infertility issues are adversely affecting their child.

Newsflash: Adoption does not cure the pain of infertility. Just as the birth mother bravely examined her options and chose what was best for her child, we also must step back and do what’s best for the child. We must celebrate who they are, and that includes where they came from before they were with us. If my child grows up sensing secrecy and bad vibes about his birth family, he’s going to think there’s something fundamentally wrong with him. If he can see, however, that we love and honor his birth family, and talk freely and positively about them, he’ll feel much better about himself and his adoption.

Sometimes I wish that I had given birth to my son. It would certainly be less complicated. But I look at him, and I know that he wouldn’t be who he is today if he had my genes. I’m not threatened by his birth family. Instead, I welcome them into the circle of people who truly love him, and want what’s best for him.

A quote by a participant in Barbara Eck Menning’s Infertility study sums up how I feel about things: "My infertility," she says, "resides in my heart as an old friend. I do not hear from it for weeks at a time, and then, a moment, a thought, a baby announcement or some such thing, and I will feel the tug–maybe even be sad or shed a few tears. And I think, 'There’s my old friend.' It will always be a part of me."

So that's what I've been up to the last couple of weeks: visiting with an old friend. Not to be rude, but she stayed a little too long this time! I'm kind of glad she's gone for now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thank Heavens for AAA and Nice People!

About a month ago I got sucked in by an infomercial for AAA. We'd never been members before, but I often wished we were because they always got better hotel rates. Anyway, maybe it was the free extra membership, or maybe the complementary stainless steel thermos, but we decided to sign up. About a week ago we got our cards, and a couple days later we saved our first money on a hotel for a business trip when we got a AAA rate that Brad's work travel agency couldn't match!

But today was when I became really grateful. On our way home from Ty's swimming lesson, the car's steering froze up, and it stopped accelerating. After trying a couple times to start it up again, I realized that Ty and I were in the hot sun with a broken-down car, without a cell phone (I left it home accidentally!) and my husband was up in Austin an hour away. After turning on the hazards, and using my best hand-to-ear signal to symbolize a phone, a fellow motorist took pity on me and lent me his phone. He also mentioned that he's a car salesman, and gave me his card to call him if life with my Taurus didn't work out. (No worries, Cosmo the blue Taurus is home tonight in our garage, working splendidly.)

AAA to the rescue! While we waited, clouds covered the sun, making it blessedly cooler. Just 15 minutes later a nice man from the Dominican Republic rescued Ty and me. Without having to pay anything, we were chauffeured to my new favorite Auto shop, just about a mile from our house. Gilberto Herrera is the proprietor, and although I was impressed with him before when we took the car in for something, I became more so today. He offered to take us home since Brad wasn't with me, then he found the problem and quickly had it fixed. He came and picked us up at the house, as well! Not only that, the total was ten dollars less than he quoted me, plus he gave me free gas!

I guess I'm pretty proud of myself: I handled a possibly stressful situation really well all by myself; several people were really nice and helpful; and we now have a mechanic that we trust, and he's just around the corner from us! And it's nice that although it was kind of a pain and cost us a couple hundred bucks to fix the car, several blessings (joining AAA, clouds covering the sun, nice people, good mechanic) were interspersed throughout, making it as pleasant as could be!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Swimming Lessons

Despite this,


and this,

he LOVES it and can't wait to go back tomorrow! Yay!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


I was just called as Primary President today, and I am seriously worried. I have not spent much time in Primary since I was in it myself! A brief stint as a nursery assistant back in 2005 doesn't necessarily qualify me. And I thought Girls Camp was a challenge!

Anyway, I would LOVE it if you could give me your best tips, advice, things you've seen and liked, things you haven't liked--anything you have to say related to Primary. Thanks!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye, Dolly

If you've read my blog for awhile, you know I have a shameful little secret: I like storms. But I don't like to be hit by them. I just like to be close enough to be involved in all the hullabaloo that surrounds them. That's why San Antonio is a great place for me: too far inland to really get hit, but close enough to feel the effects.

Take Hurricane Dolly, for instance: we were scheduled for our bi-monthly trip to Corpus Christi (it's on the coast) on Wednesday/Thursday. I think it was around Sunday that I first saw that a hurricane was forming in the Gulf and had a possible landfall on the Texas coast around Wednesday. See how that's kind of exciting? Ooooooh...possible danger! Should we stay or go? We waited until Tuesday night to make the decision. At this point we knew the eye of the storm was further south, and that it was due to hit land in the early afternoon. So Brad changed some of his Wednesday appointments and drove down in the evening. I decided not to go this time--I did not want to get stuck in a car for hours with a 3 yr old in case there were evacuations!

Everything turned out fine--turns out the heaviest rain Brad had to drive through was in San Antonio! We had little bursts of heavy rain and even a couple tornados (none in our side of town)!

Anyway, I had fun watching the news and the Weather Channel, seeing places familiar to me on the TV, and watching how everyone was preparing for the worst.

I wonder what this Hurricane season will bring next?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Girls Camp

I did not want to go to Girls Camp this year. With only five weeks remaining, I received increased responsibility because our Stake split and we were left with some vacancies. Three of those weeks I was on vacation, so preparation time all of a sudden became very limited. I was sad to leave my boys, and our A/C went out--TWICE (the second time was the day before camp)!

I was also annoyed that it wasn't really "camping" like the Girls Camp of my youth. On my High Horse, I judged these spoiled Texans with their electricity, air conditioning, mattresses, showers, swimming pools, and food cooked for them! They were spending WAY more money than we ever spent, and there were WAY too many preparation meetings where I didn't know all the traditions and lingo. Anxiety started taking over, and I began dreading it.

As I was dripping in sweat in my 100 degree, 80% humidity house the day before camp, decoupaging this, and laminating that, I talked to my friend/cousin Sara with the worst attitude she's probably ever seen from me (except maybe when she dragged me into coaching basketball with her)! She did lament with me for awhile, but also couldn't stop laughing. With the wisdom I've come to admire in her, she gently reminded me that in five days' time I'd be blubbering on and on about how wonderful it was and cry about how I didn't want to leave. I laughed and, honestly, this time, I really didn't think that would happen. Although I had loved Girls Camp in the past--both as a girl and a leader--I was annoyed and stressed enough about this camp that I couldn't fathom having a positive experience.

But then...
  • I got to know the sweetest, most obedient, valiant, fun, crazy girls I've ever met.
  • I felt loved and appreciated as I served.
  • I was able to reclaim the "me" that sometimes gets lost in the dizziness and monotony of motherhood.
  • I testified of special truths to these precious Little Sisters.
  • I bonded with other leaders, who now are part of my Stake family, rather than just a bunch of strangers I see at Stake Conference.
  • I found joy in seeing these 16 & 17 year-olds find their voice and lead their little sisters.
  • I felt the spirit over and over again.

Sure, no camp is perfect. It was a camp of 120 girls plus their women leaders. We had our fair share of:

  • Drama
  • Misunderstandings
  • Sweat and A/C units not working
  • Medical issues
  • Searches for missing girls
  • Backbiting
  • Bugs
  • Messes
  • Nazi leaders
  • Broken rules

And yet all the bad things seem to have been erased, and what lingers is a sweet place in my heart for the incredible week I've just experienced. So, Sara was right: I did cry because I didn't want to leave. And yes, I've been blubbering all day about all the great things at camp.

I'm left wondering just one thing: is it too early to start preparing for next year?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Mustache, A Moon, and A Firecracker

We recently returned from our awesome two week vacation to Oregon! Between the laundry, repairing the broken A/C, fixing and cleaning our little pool, yardwork, another business trip to Corpus, and preparing for next week's Girls Camp, I've been a tidge busy since we got home, so forgive me if the next couple blog entries are a bit dated!

We found ourselves in the Quaint Coastal town of Bandon, Oregon on the Fourth of July. Although we missed the parade (we were busy looking at tidepools on the beach--I'll post about that later!), we managed to make it to the Fourth of July Festival they had at the city park. We perused booths run by quilters, crafters, environmentalists that brought an owl, and the Bandon Punk Rock Band, and ate cones filled with Umpqua Ice Cream. Ty jumped in the inflatable jumping-house-thingy and played on the playground.

The highlight for Ty, however had to be the face-painting. We had told him previously there would be face-painting there, so he started thinking about what he wanted on his face. After--seriously--an hour-long wait in line (the lady took, like, 15 minutes per child!), it was finally his turn! And he knew exactly what he wanted!

First, the consultation...

Next, some BRT (Building Relationships of Trust)...

Some jokes and sweet-talking...

Finishing Touches...

And Voila! A mustache, a moon, and a firecracker. The perfect face-painting design!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Training Ideas for a Young Super Hero

1. Gather together all your super powers so you'll be prepared for any situation.

2. Learn from history--namely the U.S.S. Lexington. One of the greatest WWII aircraft carriers, Lady Lex, as she was called, is now docked in Corpus Christi Bay. This tour could have taken all day, there's that much to see. Lots of climbing of ladders and big airplanes on top, what an interesting outing for a 3 year old (and his parents)!

3. Ride the shuttle to and from the Lex--Heaven knows you'll be walking enough inside the ship!

4.Remain cool, calm and collected inside the cockpit of a plane--Yeah, you've got it going on!

5. Ride on the Wings of Angels--The Blue Angels, that is.

6. You think you've just found the perfect beach for a moment of relaxation. Ha Ha! Surprise training: jellyfish and biting flies! Your mission is to high-tail it back to the car without getting stung by the jellyfish, and limiting the number of fly bites.

7. Know the ins and outs of Ferry Boat rides. Be sure to close the car windows before the flock of attacking seagulls you're feeding bites Daddy's finger! (This really happened. It was freaky!)

8. Upon arrival at a new beach, check your surroundings for any dangerous critters or sealife. Everything's great at this beach!

9. Overcome fear of waves. Play for hours in the surf.

10. After a day at the beach, board a sunset sightseeing cruise to get the big picture. Spot several wild dolphins swimming along with the boat.

11. Avoid getting "special droppings" on your head from the seagulls that follow you the whole boat ride.

12. Take a moment to reflect on all you've learned.

13. It's okay to crash on the way home. You've had a busy weekend. Congratulations, you passed your training course!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Swag Bucks