Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The living room remodel #2

So here are the last pictures of the living room - you can see the before pics in an older post. You can see I haven't put anything on the walls yet. I'm enjoying the cleanness and haven't decided on where to put pictures up, etc.

I found the tv armoire on craigslist for a great deal! Just to the right of this is where our wood stove goes - We don't have it in yet - we still need to build a tile platform for it. We still have a little time before winter, though. (For those of you who don't know, we only have the wood stove to heat our home - fun, eh?!)
We had to put up this medallion because the whole was too big for the fan/light - but, I always wanted a medallion anyway - I think it looks great! This is the little rug we have in front of the door, but we have a big one, too, to put on the floor come winter. It's a dark brown - the blue is a bit brighter in reality
Come visit and see it yourself. We're really happy with it and extra anxious to do more - possibly this October!
These are pictures of the framed pictures I'm entering in the photo contest. This one is the Grand Canyon.

The next 2 are not being entered but are ones I thought about entering.
This pink one is of the sunset with all of the smoke we've had lately.

I'm doing another brave thing this week. I'm entering some of my photos in the Country Fair. We'll see how they do. I've always liked taking pictures. I've never had a class on it, though, so I don't expect too much. My sister has helped me a little, giving me a few pointers and helping me crop. I'll let you know if I win otherwise let's just pretend this didn't happen!

No kids!

This is my newest niece, Lilly, in the cute outfit I made for her. I want to make these and sell them - they are made with vintage handkerchiefs. We went to Winnemucca for her blessing on Sunday. Ben and Sarah were so excited to see their cousins. We made it through church without any problems - we only had to take Sarah out once because she wanted to go potty. And they knew her as Kylee in the nursery because Kannon didn't tell anyone who she was. They asked her cousin, Quade, and he told them she was Kylee. Then they asked Sarah if that was her name and she said, "Yeah." Cute, huh? Then we had a great lunch at their house and the kids played. Grandma P. wanted to take one of Sasha's kids home but they weren't up for it. I said, "you can take Ben." Well, Grandma ended up taking both of my children for the week. I'm dealing with it a little better today. Sunday, driving home was odd and going to bed was weird. I knew Monday morning would be hard. I usually wake up with the sound of the kids watching tv or asking for breakfast, or occasionally fighting. Yesterday there was nothing. I wasn't sure what to do with myself. Don't get me wrong there's plenty to do. It's just odd not having my children to care for or work around.

My mom was having an odd day to. Trying to adjust to having her mother come and stay with her for a few days (she's been in a rehab center and not doing well - they decided to bring her home to, basically, die.) So, I went out to help my mom and she really helped me. I'm glad she's my friend. Anyway, this is the first time in a long time that I've been home without my children. Probably since Ben was born. I've got a huge list of things I want to do. Some weeding out of their things, painting, even some scrapbooking. I feel much more productive today. I'm almost finished blogging and watering the plants. Then on to laundry and cleaning a little.

24th of July

We had a fun 24th of July celebration on Saturday. We combined with another ward for a breakfast. We stopped at a couple of yard sales on our way there. Got some really great games that I'm looking forward to playing with the fam. We ate our pancakes and the kids played. Then they had a parade. This picture is Ben and his friend Hyrum getting ready for the parade.
They had organized a lot of fun games, too. This is Ben being a wheelbarrow with his friend Reed. They didn't do so well. I don't think Reed could hold him up very well and Ben's arms weren't as strong as he would have liked them to be. A few times he was down on his arms instead of up on his hands! But, they finished. He also did a 3-legged race with his friend Luke and then a foot race.
Kannon also did a foot race. He quit three quarters of the way because "I knew I wasn't going to win." He did cross the finish line but by then he was almost walking. I didn't even try the women's foot race because I knew I would lose. I've never been a fast runner and some of the other ladies ARE runners. I didn't want to embarrass my family either by being the last and biggest up there! But congrats to Kim - a winner of the race!!! I did do a piggy-back race with Ben - I didn't win, obviously, but we weren't last either and it was fun. Kannon and I did the water balloon toss and we did okay - that was more for fun anyway. Of course that turned into a little water fight with the leftovers. Ben had a great time throwing them at his friends mothers! Sorry! And I was able to break a few on Kannon that he was holding! It was a good time.

Finding Me!

I've had some neat opportunities this summer to "find" myself. To really discover what I like to do. The summer before the 6th grade my mom signed my brother, sister and I up for summer band. That was my first experience with the french horn and I loved it! I still remember having note-holding contests and trying to be as good as Mr. Fleming. He could hold his breath forever! I played in the school band 6th-9th grade and then I quit. I only had room for one more elective and I picked jazz choir over band. (I would still pick singing in a choir over playing in a band - if I had to choose, that is!) Off and on over the past 5-10 years I've had nightmares where I was supposed to be playing in a concert and couldn't remember anything or I didn't have my instrument. Well, my nightmare came true this summer. Mr. Fleming called me in June and invited me to play in the newly formed city band. He said he'd have a horn I could borrow. The first practice I didn't even stay - just picked up my horn. At home I printed off a fingering chart that I found on the blessed internet and practiced, but I didn't do well. The first practice I went to I mostly just wrote in the fingering on the music and the few times I tried to play I just shook my head a lot. I felt so stupid. There's nothing like sitting next to a kid almost 20 years younger than you and having him teach you what to do. Miraculously, though, I've improved. Each time I practice I get a little better. Within a month Mr. Fleming even commented that I was doing really well, that I was hitting notes I wouldn't even have attempted at the beginning. So, it's been fun. Now I'd like to purchase my own horn so that I don't lose this talent again.
We had our first concert last Thursday. It wasn't advertised real well, but we had a few people show up at the gazebo at the park. It was hot, but fun to perform again after 17 years! So, this is a picture of me afterwards. It's kind of cheesy and I hate my hair in this picture, but I realized that there aren't any pictures of me playing the french horn when I was younger. Sad, but true. I think it must have been because we had such a big family and it was either forgotten or couldn't be afforded (to develop film) - I don't know, but here it is! It was really fun to have my sis and her husband play, too. She plays the saxophone and got to sit right next to me. (I'm still sad you are moving away!)
So I said there were other things that helped me discover myself. At girls camp we had a day that was filled with new experiences for most of the girls. We canoed (I loved that!), rock climbed (which I love to do, but chose not to that day), and they taught us how to use a bow and arrow. I was one of the last to leave the area because I loved it so much. I came away wishing I had my own. (I haven't given up on that desire, yet.) And I wasn't too bad, either. Then yesterday Kannon and I went and played tennis together. Ever since high school when some of my friends were playing tennis, I thought, "if I ever tried tennis I think I'd be pretty good at it." Well, the first time I ever played was on my mission with a couple of the elders. And I stunk! I was also super self-conscious around them, too. So, along the way we've bought tennis rackets for both of us and Ben, too. But we've never actually played. I always thought it would be a fun date. Since we don't have the kids this week I asked Kannon if he wanted to play tennis for a date/FHE and he agreed. We played for just over an hour and I loved every minute of it. He complained about spending so much time picking up balls, but I just chalked it up to fun exercise. I'm still not good. I still miss the ball most of the time (which is why we spent so much time picking them up!) but I did a pretty good serve. I have no idea how to play the game, scoring and what-not. Maybe someday someone will teach me! But, I still loved it and plan on doing it more. Maybe the kids can pick up the balls for us next time!
So now you know a little more about me. I love playing the french horn, shooting the bow and arrow, and playing tennis!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Eight Pounds!

I was so disgusted when I saw this picture of me, I even totally cropped it when I was developing it - but it really shows the weight on me - no cover-ups here!

Okay, so I just can't keep this to myself any more. In the past 8 1/2 years I've gained 80 pounds - ugh! Just typing that makes me sick. And no, it's not from having 2 babies, it's because I was lazy and I love food. Now, in the past month I've lost weight for the first time in those 8 1/2 years! I've lost 8 lbs. and I'm so excited. I think the best thing about actually LOSING weight is that it really motivates me to keep it up. I haven't yet got an exercise program down. I've worked hard to change the fact that most of what I eat is fruit and vegetable. And I'm enjoying that. I've also been working really hard on the house and pulling weeds which I've considered my exercise (considering that it makes me sweat so much!) So, if you see me or talk to me or email or whatever!!! please ask me how I'm doing - help me stay motivated, I'm sure I'll have down times when I don't lose much or any at all. Those are the times I will start feeling like it's pointless and I'll want more support. So, if you don't hear an update from me - please ask me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Memory Tag!

Tag! Here's the drill (This one's kind of interesting...)
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

My 5-year-old is a teen

I want you all to read my sister's story blog - at least the one titled "The fight." It is about me and my children! Well, we were at least her inspiration. And then you will know why I've not liked myself too much these days. It seems I have no control in my home. I'm bossed, yelled at, hit, ignored. You name it, it's happening. And that would be a given if I was allowing it to happen. But I don't! My day consists of constantly stopping all of the above and punishing for it. I'm doing a lot of praying for help these days. If I had to describe Benjamin in one word it would be "defiant". I know that my help will come, I just hope I don't kill him in the meantime! (That's meant to be funny - not really true -I love him too much to harm him THAT much, although the occasional spanking does happen.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Alphabet Tag!

A. ATTACHED OR SINGLE? attached - but still appreciate my free time
B. BEST FRIEND? Not just one - Kannon, Julie, Janet.....
C. CAKE OR PIE? a cream pie, anyday!
D. DAY OF CHOICE? Any day my kids are obedient and my husband helps out.
E. ESSENTIAL ITEMS? a shower and a clean kitchen - Basil, too
F. FAVORITE COLORS? Pastels, I really like pink, blue, yellow, green - in pastels. Red's good too, oh yeah, and black.....
G. GUMMY BEARS OR WORMS? If I had to choose it would be bears, but I don't like the way they stick
H. HOMETOWN? Fallon, Nevada
I. INDULGENCE? Ice cream.
J. JANUARY OR JULY? January - Happy Birthday to me!
K. KIDS? Sometimes I claim three - Ben, 5 and Sarah, 2.
L. LIFE ISN’T COMPLETE WITHOUT? The gospel of Jesus Christ www.mormon.org or www.lds.org
M. MARRIAGE DATE? June 15, 2001
N. NUMBER OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS? 3 sisters and 2 brothers, I Have the best family! Plus I have 6 sisters-in-law and 8 brothers-in-law
O. ORANGES OR APPLES? Apples - I really do love them!
P. PHOBIAS OR FEARS? Suffocating - Male drivers
Q. QUOTE? "I'm right!"
R. REASON TO SMILE? my living room is almost done!
S. SUPERMAN OR WONDER WOMAN? I guess I don't really care about either - but I know more about Superman.
T. TAG 5 PEOPLE… Susan - you need a reason to blog, Corinne- I'd love to know more about you, Nathan and Jackie - both of you!, and anyone else that wants to (Leave a note here so I know where to look!)
U. UNKNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I'm a copy-cat. I don't have any of my own creative juices. I copy from books, magazines, inernet, tv shows, peoples homes - you name it, I've done it~!
V. VEGETABLES? Love them! I've been eating a lot more of them lately. Part of my new weight loss deal.
W. WORST HABIT? wasting my time or arguing - who really wants to tell the truth on this one?
X. X-RAY OR ULTRASOUND? X-ray -Ultrasounds have always been too uncomfortable for me - though they are probably more fun to look at.
Y. YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Pasta with cream sauce and veggies.
Z. ZODIAC SIGN? Capricorn

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Living Room Remodel

Okay, so we are super brave. We are almost finished remodeling our living room. On June 28th we (Ben, Kannon, and I) knocked all the plaster off the walls and ceiling. It took only 2 hours. We had to wait until Monday (30) to do any more. We pulled all the lathe off and I hammered all the nails down so that we can use the wood this winter. (Kannon ended up having that whole week off - work was slow and they asked him to take it off. That worked out for us, we were able to get so much more done.) My sister Janet and her husband Levi also helped. Levi pounded nails with me and then they helped Kannon hang all the sheetrock on the ceiling. Tuesday, Kannon did all the electrical - ran new wires and we had that inspected on Wednesday morning. Then we hung the rest of the sheetrock. I even tried to use the drill to get one screw in. I failed miserably. I always thought I was fairly tough, but I wasn't strong enough to get one screw in! Thursday Kannon taped the walls and ceiling with Levi's help. I went to visit my sister and her family on the 4th (for the weekend). So Kannon played with Ben and did the 2nd taping of the walls and ceiling. On Saturday he textured the walls.

Before we started.
See the pile of plaster and dust on the floor? Everything in our house is dusty right now - that will definitely change this week with the end of the project.
This is Levi - He was such a big help! Thank you tons!
This is Ben and Sarah - they were helping me paint. Benjamin had painted I (heart) U MOM under the window. There were no windows in the living room for about a week and a half. That made for some hot days. And no we weren't scared. We had a screen on one window, and the other one, that you can see in this picture, goes to the screened porch. Besides we'd hear anything weird going on out there - we hear weird goings-on all the time!

So I'm going to switch to my weekend at my sisters'. Sarah and I left with my dad at 10 on the 4th. Ben and his Dad were at the parade. We ended up meeting up with Janet and my mom at the ER - my grandma had fallen and they wanted to make sure she was okay. That visit took about 3 hours. We got on our way and picked up Nathan and Jackie in Reno. It was a nice drive, I enjoyed visiting. We had a relaxing evening and watched the kids swim in the pool taking turns holding the newbie! On Saturday I went with mom, dad, Nathan, and Janet to the Denio flea market. This is one of our favorite places to visit when we go to Sac. I just enjoyed being with everyone and looking around. Next time I'll save up to have some spending money. We did some Wii bowling and golf (although I didn't join in for that one). Nancy put together some great Nacho's for dinner and we stayed up late playing Mario (Party?) It was really fun. On Sunday we had a special baby blessing for Colby- it was great. I love to feel the strong spirit around these precious babes. They have to come strong or they won't make it here. After a great dinner and a few naps we came home. While I was gone Ben and Dad ate fun food, went to the carnival, watched fireworks and just played together. I'm glad that they had some good one-on-one time.
So, I've painted the ceiling and room, the windows are in and I'm almost done painting the trim so it can be added and we can replace our things in the living room - thus, getting back the rest of the house. We've got the tv in our room, the couch on the back porch, the love seat in the kids room, and a bookshelf in the kitchen. It's great! I'll have new pictures of the finished product, SOON!!!

Here are the kids playing on the lawn that is mostly all "grown-up" now.
Sarah had her #2 birthday on the 26th. She enjoyed being a princess all day. We had to kind of squash her birthday in. Kannon gets home around 4:30 and I had to leave at 6:00. She really liked her tea set from Grammy and Papa. And often wears her pink play shoes. She likes to try and wear them to the store, too, but I don't let her get very far. She also got some princess story books and her own markers and crayons. Benjamin is always more excited than anyone about opening presents. We had to reign him in. He asked me "what time was Sarah born" and got really excited when it was that time - "Now she's really two!"

As soon as we made it home on Sunday (the 15th) I started laundry. Not something I would normally do on a Sunday, but I was leaving for girls camp in the morning. Getting out of town when pretty good. We had one girl that decided at the last minute that she wanted to go. We were only a little bit late getting to the camp site in Mammoth, CA. We had some good help getting our camp area set up, with only a little problem with the girls willingness to help. That problem happened off and on all week. I guess that's meant to be with teenage girls. I was the camp leader for the 2nd years. The nights were super-cold. Once I put my sleeping bag over my head I was fine. So, I slept like that all week. We had some good times. I really enjoyed visiting with the other leaders. I was even brave enough to go on the hike with the girls. Four miles up the mountain, a break at the lake, and another four miles down the mountain. I had a hard time. I had to go so slow uphill. It was, of course, much easier going down, but we were so anxious to get back we went kind of fast. I was so exhausted at the end of the day, and I had to do some extra walking around camp that evening. I had been asked to sing a song for the final evening after a special program about the Book of Mormon. I didn't do very well with our practice and I kept crying, I was pretty emotional. I just kept praying during the whole program, that I'd be able to do well and keep the spirit there. My song went perfect, and I felt confident throughout. My body hurt so bad by then that I was so glad we were going home in the morning. When I got home I started laundry, again. We were on our way to Elko that evening for the wedding reception there. Like I said the last month has been crazy busy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Grand Canyon was great! We set up camp when we finally got there and built our fire and cooked dinner. Then we settled down for S'mores and scary stories. I tried one (a scary story that is). Benjamin said it wasn't very good. Dad's the expert there. The next day (Thursday) we spent hiking around the Grand Canyon. They have a great system there - free bus rides to anywhere around there. You get on one and hop off when you are at a place you want to see. We started off with a 1 1/2 mile hike along the rim. That first view was incredible. We were awestruck. Then we rode a bus to another area, and had ice cream. Sarah was attacked by a squirrel there, too. She was eating a cracker and I was trying to get a picture of said squirrel. It kept coming closer and closer. A man said, "watch the squirrel, watch the squirrel!" I thought he was just getting excited but apparently he knew what "the squirrel" was capable of. It attacked her cracker, even scratched her hand a bit.

We rode the bus back to our camp area and had lunch. The kids (and dad) watched a movie and napped. Then we took the shuttle around to see more of the Canyon. By the time we were ready to go back to camp, we decided to stick it out and watch the sun set. It was nice, but honestly we still love Nevada sunsets better! Friday morning we packed up and planned on making more stops to see the Canyon, but we were all kind of burned out. We did stop at the watch tower and ate our pb&j sandwiches before heading on to St. George. That was a hot drive too, but for some reason it was pretty enjoyable. Very pretty drive, too. We went past the Vermillion Cliffs - decided to save Zions for another trip. We stayed at a hotel in St. George with Kannon's family. We enjoyed a dip in the pool and dinner, then went to bed.
Saturday was the wedding day - Kannon's brother JJ was getting married. Kannon and I got up early to attend a session at the temple. Then we went back for the sealing. Both experiences were great. We MET Kamie at the temple that day. She's a great girl. She ended up getting a blood clot in her leg, just a few days before the wedding. So, she was in a wheelchair (and in pain) for the sealing. They had to cancel their honeymoon. They did a few pictures and then we all went to a chapel for their reception. It was nice, but by the end we were all ready to leave - on the road again for another 4 hours to Ely, NV for the night. We stayed with family there and headed home in the morning. We left Benjamin there to stay with Grandma for the week.

Grandma at the temple door with Sarah, Ben and Stetson (cousin).

JJ and Kamie Polish

Riding the horses at a gas station in Wikieup, AZ.

I've been a little awol lately. We had a very busy June and I've wanted to put all of what we've been doing here - but finally decided to just do as much as I could at a time.

Saturday, June 7th, we left home very early to get to Las Vegas before it got too hot. We spent 3 days with Kannon's Aunt Karen and family. We really enjoyed just relaxing and playing in the pool. We also had a chance to visit Grandpa Wadlow and great-Grandma Sotira. We try to make this trip every year. This was the first time we stayed with the Murphy's and we really felt comfortable there. The kids got to know Kannon's cousins a little more, too. On Tuesday, June 10th, we took our second drive of the trip to Gilbert, Arizona to see my brother John and wife Heather. It was a hot drive. Our a/c has never really worked like it should, and we were obviously in a hot part of the country. We enjoyed seeing John and Heather's home. We spent a little time at the neighborhood park and had dinner with them. They also put us up for the night and the next day we went with John to an indoor amusement park and spent a few hours playing there. That was a great place - I still wish I had the money to get one going here. The kids got to ride the merry-g0-round, play bumper cars, ride a train and airplanes, air hockey, and skee-ball. There was a large indoor playground and even a sandbox. They didn't want to leave but we needed to get on our way to the Grand Canyon.