Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Party!

We went to several Christmas parties this year, but my favorite one was the Ward party at our church.  I swore off mall Santas several years ago after deciding it's not worth waiting in line for 2-1/2 hours with cranky kids, only to find, when we finally get our turn, that they gouge you on the picture prices, and Santa doesn't really have time to listen to what your kids want for Christmas (why else would they have waited so long to talk to you?  Do you think THEY care about the pictures??).  They just snap the picture and herd them through as fast as possible.  No, thank you!

It may be less formal, but I sure do enjoy the atmosphere of the "church Santa" so much more than the mall version.  It is WAY more memorable for my kids, and I am allowed to stand close enough to hear what they are asking Santa for.....(Just because I like to know).  Plus, I always know who's lap my kids are really sitting on, and that's a comfort to me!

Aren't they cute?  Another great thing about the church party this year is that Tom cooked all the food, and he did such a great job!  We had pork loin and roasted baby red potatoes, along with a yummy veggie medley, salad, and freshly baked rolls (Those were ordered in).  Everyone raved about the food.  It made me so proud of him.  He's still got it!

I didn't get a very good picture of Mikey this time, so I'm hoping my friend Dani got a better one, since she was taking pictures of all the kids on Santa's lap that night.  If she did, I'll try to update this.  Danny sat on Santa's lap, but didn't want me to take a picture of it, so I can't post it.  Teenagers are strange that way, aren't they?  Not too old to sit with Santa, but too old for anybody to have proof of it!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thanksgiving in Long Beach, WA

So we went to Long Beach this year for a week over Thanksgiving.  The weather was beautiful, if chilly, and we had a unit facing the beach and boardwalk, so we had a beautiful view from every room of the condo.

We didn't get to explore too much of the great outdoors, but we did get to spend 6 hours in the ER at Ocean Beach Hospital in Ilwaco one day because baby C was pretty sick and we were very worried about him.  The ER Dr. said he had a cold and sent us on our way.  We found out a few days later (when we got home and took him to his regular Dr.) that he had RSV and we spent 3 days in the hospital observing him until he started to get better.  It was scary!

So we spent a lot of time indoors, but Tom and I did manage to get away a couple of times to go Christmas shopping in Oregon (tax free!)  Thanks to our family who watched our 5 kids for us so we could do that!  It was nice to be with Tom's parents, and his 2 sisters and their families over the holiday.  We played a lot of games, and watched a lot of movies, and most of the kids went swimming everyday, except the ones that were too sick (we all ended up sick before all was said and done).

In the end, we had a nice time, and we remembered to be thankful for our blessings, which is the most important part, and it was nice to hang out without schedules and meetings, and everyday responsibilities for a change!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Settling In

No pictures today, because I don't seem to have time to take pictures until after the kids are in bed, but by then there's nobody to take pictures of!  I do want to say that we are settling in with our new family.  Boy, I NEVER pictured us having 5 kids, but right now that's what we have.  Luckily, one of them is temporary, although he's a sweetie and I would probably keep him if I could.  Having 2 babies is certainly interesting.....I always wanted twins, so I guess this is my chance to see how it feels.  The second hardest part is trying to go somewhere.  On Friday we went to Target for more baby gear, and we had to put both babies in their carriers in the double stroller while putting the 3 year old in the cart.  Luckily there were several of us to help push them around the store.  The hardest part, though?  Sleep deprivation.  I'm not complaining.  I am very blessed to have all of them in my life.  Just stating the facts.  With that being said, I'm off to bed while I still have the chance!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Visit from Bell's Palsy

On Sunday we were at Church, very much enjoying a special Stake Conference where Elder L. Tom Perry spoke to us, when Dan noticed that he couldn't close his left eye.  Assuming it was some kind of muscle spasm, I told him we'd put a warm compress on it when we got home.  But before we left church that day, he realized that the paralysis had spread to all the muscles on the left side of his face.  He couldn't smile or raise his eyebrow, etc.  Me, being the kind of overprotective Mom that I am, decided that a nerve is being pinched by a brain tumor and rushed him to the ER to get it checked out before it could grow any bigger.

3 Hours later, we left the ER with the comparatively wonderful news that it was "not a tumor" (remember:  Kindergarten Cop), but Bell's Palsy instead.  Whew!  That's a relief!

For those of you who don't know (as I didn't) about Bells Palsy, here's an article that describes what it is:  http://www.bing.com/health/article.aspx?id=articles%2fmayo%2f518713b29d2fbf1977e844bca6524327.html&br=lv&q=bells+palsy&FORM=K1RE1

The Dr. prescribed 3 medications (an anti-viral, an anti-inflammatory, and an ointment to moisten the eye that he can't close) and told us not to worry.  We are expecting a full recovery within the month.

Sorry there is no picture to post, but Dan didn't want me to post one while his face is still paralyzed (can you blame him?).  Thanks to all our friends who helped us through those first few hours of uncertainty and dare I say terror before finding out his diagnosis. 

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miracles Happen

One month ago we posted about our two little foster kids who left us to go and live with a relative.  It was a very sad time for us.  On Thursday we found out that they are coming back to us.  Miracles DO happen!  We have really missed these little guys over the last 4 weeks!  We wish they had never left, but sadly, it wasn't up to us.  Now they are coming home and hopefully it will be for good this time!  Of course, the judge has to rule before they can move back in with us, but in the meantime, we will be able to spend time with them, like taking them to trunk-or-treat at church tonight!  They'll be spending the night so we can take them to Church tomorrow as well.  We are grateful to have had these two angels in our lives and we are especially grateful to know that we will have them in our lives again soon.  We love them so much!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Deals at Cash & Carry

My house smells like bacon.  It doesn't always smell like bacon, but right now it does.  Why, you may ask?  Because of one of the great deals I got at Cash & Carry last week.  If you don't know about Cash & Carry, then let me be the first to alert you to it's awesomeness.  If you're willing to watch for deals, you will definitely find them there.  Last week I stopped in (without even researching the sales) and here are the deals I got:

3 heads of green cabbage - .94 each (sold individually)
11 lbs Hillshire Farms Kielbasa - $1.59/lb (11lb package)
5 lbs sliced pepperoni - $3.45/lb (5 lb package.  The 10 lb package would have been $2.97/lb!)
24 lbs bacon slices and pieces - .49/lb (I bought 8 - 3lb packages)
10 lbs yellow onions - .32/lb (10 lb bag)
50 lbs LARGE baking potatoes - .12/lb (50 lb bag)

Grand Total:  $58.50

Since I have a Foodsaver machine (and a couple of extra freezers), I brought the meats home and divided them up to freeze.  I cooked 2 packages of the bacon (I think there was more meat on these than on regular sliced bacon!), then I chopped up the meat and now I have lots of frozen packages of bacon bits, which we will use in soups, salads, omelets, and on baked potatoes (we'll be eating a lot of potatoes in the coming month!).

If you are interested in seeing the sales at the Tacoma Mall Blvd Cash & Carry, please go to this link. 


And if you find any screaming good deals, please let me know!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Youth Conference!

"I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I know who I am.  I know God's plan.  I'll follow him in faith.  I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ.  I'll follow his plan.  I'll do what is right.  I'll follow His light.  His truth I will proclaim!"

Since I am a counselor in the Young Women's organization at my church, I was fortunate to participate in this year's Ward Youth Conference over the weekend.  A Book of Mormon marathon.  It wasn't easy, but we read the entire Book of Mormon from cover to cover over a 2 day period.  I am so proud of the 22 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 who valiantly showed up early Friday morning and stuck to a brutal schedule with minimal breaks, taking turns reading aloud until almost midnight, only to turn around and be back at 7am for another day of the same!  I'm not kidding about the brutal schedule....We even listened to it during meals! 

At first I thought that it would just be a fun challenge (do you really think we can do it in 2 days?), but that we wouldn't get much out of it, since we wouldn't have time to stop and discuss what we were reading.  I was wrong.  As for me, I gained a new understanding of the Book of Mormon as a whole.  It seemed to flow so well together and I feel like I got a real sense of the timeline and history of the Book by reading it straight through.  I don't think I've ever seen it from that perspective before.  I am grateful for the opportunity I had to participate in this memorable event, and I hope that everyone gets the chance, once in their life, to feast on the Book of Mormon as we did.  HAZAA!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Goodbye to my sweet little ones

"Pinky sqaure....I love you!" - AJ

As sometimes happens in our lives, we had to say goodbye to these 2 incredible kids last week when they went to live with a relative.  We are very sad to see them go!  It is always hard to say goodbye, but sometimes it's downright heartbreaking - and this was one of those times.  We really love them as if they were ours.  In fact, if the option had been available, we would have adopted them and kept them forever.  So good luck, you two.  I hope you have a happy life with all the love and care you deserve.  We miss you so much, and though we know as time passes you won't remember us, we'll never forget either of you!  We love you, our little "magpie" and "cereal"!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Baby is Home!!!

Daniel kissing a baby crab!

I have been missing my teenage son terribly since he left on a 2+ week vacation with his grandparents.  Well, he came home yesterday and I was SOOOOOO happy!  I didn't think I'd miss him as much as I did, but I was wrong.  As much as he drives me crazy, I can't imagine my life without him!  I'm glad he had fun on his trip, but I'm even more glad to have him back home where he belongs.  Welcome home, "Baby"!  I love you!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A New Addition

No time to post yesterday, as we welcomed a new addition to our home.  Meet Baby C.  He's a tiny little peanut at only 5-1/2 pounds.  Since he is 8 weeks premature, he has spent the first 2 weeks of his life in the NICU, but was finally big enough and strong enough to come home with us yesterday, and we're very happy to have him!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A day off!

Well, more like 4-1/2 hours off, but still.....FREE TIME FOR ME!  You remember when you were a little kid and your birthday was coming up, and you were so excited you just had to tell everyone about it?  Well, that's how I have felt about this upcoming day off!  On my day off I will be all alone with completely unscheduled time for 4-1/2 hours!  Don't get me wrong, I love, LoVe, LOVE my family!  But do you know how rare it is that I get this kind of free time?  Well, I can't remember the last time, so it has been quite a while!  So I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got to go and......Oh, yeah, I don't have to do anything!  Hope you have a great day, too!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Baby M is 6 months old today!  I can't believe he's been with us this long already!  It seems like only yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital.....He was so tiny then, only 6 pounds.  Now he weighs in at 14 pounds, which is small for his age, but more than twice as big as he was only 6 short months ago!  They grow up WAY too fast!  We love this little guy, and wish he was our forever baby, but alas, it's not meant to be.  He and his big sister will be moving in with their grandma in 2 short weeks.  We'll miss them both so much!  Happy Birthday, baby.  We love you!!!

Friday is Golf and Errand Day.

So, it's Friday, and that means Tom is golfing.  He golfs on Saturdays, too, because those are his days off from work.  I'm glad that Tom is able to get out and do something he enjoys, because he works hard and deserves it.  Luckily his regular job allows for him to spend every afternoon home with the family, so we don't feel like he's gone all the time.

Fridays for me are usually full of running errands before the weekend.  I spent the morning going to the bank, the DOL to get new tabs (mine expired last month.  Oops!), the Verizon store, the grocery store, the library, and shopping for a gift for a bachelorette party I'm going to tonight.  Then home for lunch/naps/chores, and back out to pick up my daughter H from school.  I always try to finish my errands during school, so I can actually be home while I'm a stay at home Mom!

Grocery Deals This Week:  Today I took advantage of Albertson's sale on Campbell's soup.  Tomato and Chicken Noodle are on sale for .50 cents a can, but if you buy 30 cans, you get a catalina at checkout good for $5 off your next shopping trip, which makes the soup really 3/$1, which is a good deal.  What will I do with 30 cans of soup, you ask?  Well, we eat a lot of soup when the weather gets cold, and I've got 4 kids right now, so I don't think that will be a problem!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Giving in

So I've decided to write a blog; nevermind that I have no idea how to do it! But, I pride myself on being a self-taught kind of person, and I love to learn new things, so this should be a perfect challenge for me. I hope I get it right!