Sunday, December 25, 2011

November December 2011

Hmm, can't seem to find many November pictures. What did we do?
A Tea Party!
I know I got to go shopping with my mom for a day. I bought clothes for me for Christmas.

Our weekend in Elko for Thanksgiving was really fun.
We got to play and do projects, shop and swim.
Let's Make a Deal was a super fun family game!
Decorating gingerbread cookies at Grandma's house.

And hanging them on Grandma's tree.
December 1st we met Tiddly - the Polish Family Elf on a Shelf.
Sarah was afraid of him, at first. She was really worried about him coming into her room at night. So, she whispered to him, with Ben close by for comfort, that she didn't want him in her room, and things went well after that. I think he played it safe this year, only moving to different spots, so as not to scare her. Maybe next year he'll be more active in our home!
The ward Christmas party. Our ward has shrunk considerably in the last 6 months, but that meant all of the primary kids had a special part in the program.
Ben is the purple wise man. Sarah, the brown "horse".
A visit with Santa.

Ben was the last kid to see Santa and I think Santa had been overworked as evidenced by his drooping beard. He was a great Santa with a sweet elf helper.
The theme was Christmas around the world and there were 2 pinatas! Sarah got a little trampled picking up candy.
We also got to decorate graham cracker houses.
Me too!
I just saw the pistachios in that last picture and remembered that I had made baklava for our ward party. That was tedious but it turned out pretty good. I don't think we loved it enough to want to make it again, but it is a family dessert from Kannon's Albanian family.
Sarah's kindergarten class got to help with the 4th
grade "A Christmas Carol" play. They were the prelude music and the carolers in the play. I think the class loves to sing. They did a great job. Here she is with Macray, Raegan, and Hunter.
I made goodies. I started making them on a Saturday night, mid-month. Got doughs made and a few cookies done. Then everyone in the family got sick and I tossed everything in the freezer. I was disappointed that I didn't get to finish what I started and that I spent the whole week caring for sick kids even though I didn't feel great, either. But, then we were all well again, I sent the kids back to school, and got back on the baking train. The kids helped me sprinkle the spritz cookies. It was the only thing I let them help with.
We got to have cousins over for a day. We decorated stockings and I was reminded that glitter should only be for 8 and ups!
We went to the pond to feed the ducks. I had a lot of bread in the freezer to use. The pond was frozen except for a few spots where the water was cycled through. The ducks liked the bread and then we saw the sign that said, "do not feed the wildlife". Ooops! Our little hands were freezing from the frozen bread and the 30 degree temperature. I took the 2 littlest ones back to the car while the older 4 played on the slide, etc.
Somebody's friendly dog showed up and the kids freaked out! After a little bit I got out of the car to find the owner. He was in his car watching the kids and his dog. He came over apologizing and I told him that these kids all get nervous around big dogs. Then he got mad at me and said I shouldn't have brought them to the dog park. I reminded him of the fenced area for dogs. He pointed out the big field for dogs, too. Then I said, "but THIS area is not for dogs." He left and I packed up the kids and we went back home. I was pretty upset about that for a while.

Monday, November 21, 2011

October 2011

I took the kids to Lattin Farms for a ward activity. Kannon was teaching a welding class in Reno all month. That meant he was gone all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I wasn't thrilled to go on my own. The 3 kids are a handful by myself. Well, it's Joshua, actually. He requires constant supervision and then there isn't an adult left to keep on eye on the other two. But, it all worked out okay.

The dinner part was kind of a mess. I'm on a strict diet and it being a "harvest" dinner, I thought there'd be plenty to choose from. I didn't count on the potatoes being drowned in sauces. So, I ate very little. The kids nibbled and were anxious to run and play. We went first to the cow train. Joshua looked fine, until the train got going faster, then I could tell he was nervous. He didn't move. No sounds, no facial expressions. Just held on for dear life!

Yeah, this is the before shot.Then, Ben and Sarah were desperate to go through the corn maze. We went. But, we couldn't find our way out. I know we were close. Somebody finally put us out of our misery and led us out. I was so ready to go home. All in all, a good time.

The beginning of October always brings us General Conference. A time to listen to the Prophet and Apostles and be given some spiritual feasting. We chose to watch it from our computer, again, this year. So, for two days we hung out on mom and dad's bed enjoying conference.

Playing Bingo.
I'm loving Pinterest. I find all kinds of things to do or make. I put together a conference basket. Each time one of the 12 Apostles of the First Presidency spoke the kids got to get a bag from the basket. I printed out photos of the brethren and put one on each baggie. Inside the baggies were treats or things to do (like the bingo game).

Blowing bubbles with bubble gum.

We each got a pair of conference socks (I picked them up from the dollar bins at Target).

We made toilet paper roll puppets of the First Presidency.

Our internet connection is goofy. We have wireless internet and when we had it set up we were using our little laptop. The big computer wasn't working then. Now that the big computer is working it has a hard time detecting the wireless internet. We always have to do the "diagnose" deal when we turn it on and sometimes it just shuts down when we are already on. So, we had the laptop going sometimes, too.

Kannon brought in his special Ikea chair to lounge in. He kept falling asleep in it, so I ended up kicking him out of it!

When we opened up a baggie we would tape the picture up on the closet door. Then we put up sticky notes of what the talk was about. It kept us focused.

Most of October was really mild in the weather area. Joshua still spent a lot of every day outside. He loves the dirt and sometimes I would look out the window to see how he's doing and he'd be face down in the dirt. Sometimes licking the dirt, but lots of times just looking at it. Maybe smelling it?

The garden lasted through most of the month, too. We mostly got tomatoes this year. They went wild. We had a few watermelon, too. Kannon and I took one day toward the end of the month to clean up the space and pull out all the plants. We used 8 big garbage bags! We ended up getting a lot of salsa out of the garden and I still have a bag of tomatoes, that we picked green, that are now ready to be taken care of. I think I'll make pizza sauce.

For some reason Sarah likes to dress up in Mommy's shoes instead of her own play heels. So, of course, little brother has to do the same. You can see them both wearing my heels in this picture. I laugh because he's going to be so embarrassed by this picture someday!

Kannon turned 33 in October! We went and had family pictures taken that day. He got a new shirt and pants out of that deal. We gave him some money to spend. He added that to the money he got from his mom and my mom and bought himself a new exhaust and muffler for his car. (It's loud. I finally drove it and it gave me a headache!) Must be a guy thing!

Then comes Halloween. Here is Joshua in one of the pairs of jammies we have for him. (They come with capes, too!) He's doing the kachow thing that he does with his hands. Ready for a friendly fight.

At our ward party. We went as Alice in Wonderland and Crew again this year. Last year we were in Elko, so I figured it would be good to get more use out of these costumes that had a lot of effort put into. Joshua's costume was new, though. I didn't think it would be a good idea to make him be a pink cat again.

The kids had fun running around. Kannon made the chili. I didn't get to eat much, because chili isn't exactly on my meal plan. Neither is cornbread. I ate when we got home. They got lots of candy at the trunk-or-treat.

We spent one evening out at my mom and dad's. We wanted to use the firepit before the weather got too cold. So, we roasted hotdogs. Ben and Sarah also got to spend the night there.

I guess I got some goofy looking pictures here, because everyone was busy eating.

We also did Kannon's birthday cake out there, so that we could share it. Here's me doing my best pirate imitation and showing off the awesome Super-duper chocolate cake that I made (with help from pinterest, again.) Two layers of chocolate cake, a brownie layer and a layer of cheesecake. Once again, not something I can eat, but I snuck a few bites anyway and it was yummy and very rich. There's still more than half a cake frozen at my parents house. We'll have to pull it out and share it again soon.

Our town did trick-or-treating a few days early. It was a little weird but also okay. Sarah was a flapper, Joshua was Superman and Ben had decided he was going to be Harry Potter back in the summer when we read the book. This is with their friends Lily and Reed Mortensen.

Joshua loved running up to the doors and being given candy. At one house he was standing behind the man on his porch as he handed out the candy. He missed Joshua, and when he put the bowl down, Josh just helped himself!

He and Sarah both got tired before the rest of the kids so I headed back with them. I realized that I didn't have a key, Kannon did, so we stopped at the Mortensen's house to wait for the boys. It was nice to just hang out with my friend Donna.

The kids got to dress up for school on the 31st. I help out in the lunch room and at recess on Mondays so I got to see the kids in their costumes. It was fun to see all the different ideas out there. I saw twin mermaids, lots of witches, about 6 ninjas chasing an Incredible Hulk, and only about 3 kids that didn't dress up. I'm glad their school lets them dress up for Halloween. I'm glad that I got to dress up like that when I was a kid. Dressing up was a big part of my youth. We had costumes galore. We dressed up anytime the cousins came over and anytime we were at my grandma's house. It was great fun. I got to show some of those pictures to my kids last month, too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Funny Farm

I think I'm going crazy.

Joshua is making me crazy.

I know something is not "right" with him, but I don't know exactly what

or what to do about it.

We don't have a doctor, we go to the Urgent Care 30 minutes away since none of the doctors in Fallon are covered on our insurance.

So, I don't have one to ask about the issues I'm having with Joshua.

This kid is something else. He's wild. He makes people cry.

He doesn't stop moving (except when he's watching Cars). Helping him get to sleep at nap time and bedtime is terribly hard.

I fall asleep at nap time and by bedtime I'm worn to a pulp, I can't really function anymore.

Tonight I put him down. He sleeps with Ben on the bottom bunk. He had his sippy of milk and his special blankie. He seemed to be sleepy enough, but about 10 minutes (okay maybe only 5, I only got some of my dishes done) later I hear a smack and then he cries. I went to the bedroom and apparently Joshua hit Ben in the nose. For no reason. It's what he does. So, I had to try and lay with him, but he wouldn't lay down and kept touching both me and

Ben. Every time I tried to leave he would sit up and call, "mommy?" From the time I put him in his bed, until the time he finally fell asleep was about 45 minutes. Not terrible, but hard when I'm the "single" mom for the night and he and I have been together since wake-up.

I was kicked in the face, by him, at least twice today, once when changing his diaper and also when helping him sleep. He made my mom cry yesterday. He didn't want his poopy diaper changed. He threw his tantrum and it was enough to upset her. Plus, when that was over, he continued to return to her to show his anger by hitting at her or throwing things. That is 100% typical. And it makes me sad.

I used to judge people who had children that were a little more difficult. I didn't even like their children. Now that I have one of those children I feel guilty for my judgements and so much more understanding. That being said, I figure everyone that doesn't have a difficult child is judging me and doesn't like Joshua. I know, I know, not everyone is as bad as me. I don't like to ask anyone to watch him. But, I also don't like to take him anywhere.

So, my latest desire is to take my family and live in a bubble. A place where we can all work together to figure this out. A bigger house would be nice, too.

I cry often about all of this. I pray often, too. I "weary" the Lord with my pleas. I'm learning that I need to be proactive. I need to do my part, not just ask. But, I guess I'm still a bit clueless as to what my part is.

As he fell asleep tonight, I tried to picture him as a spirit child of Heavenly Father. I look forward to the day when we can be friends and I hope that can happen in this earth life.

For now, I'm working on loving him, being patient but firm, and trying desperately to remain sane.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ben's 1st annual Blog

Hello,this is Ben speaking here last night me and dad went to a UNR football game at the Mackay stadium. Here is the first part of the story,one day the phone rang ,it was dad he said that he bought 2 tickets to a football game. He asked me if I wanted to go i said YES! He also said that if I didn't want to go he would ask Sarah if she wanted to go. Well here I am waiting the day we were going it took a while but I still cared. On the way dad showed me the tickets,they looked cool. It said Nevada VS Las Vegas. When we got there (to Reno) we had to find a parking space,it took a while (a long time). The parking space was a long ways away from the stadium so we had to walk there a long ways away. It took us not that long to get there,but when we got there we figured out that we had seats in the sun. so we took turns using dad's hat.
It finally got dark and we were in the lead but, sadly, Las Vegas had nothing. The first three shots of the cannon i figured out that the cannon not only shot smoke but confetti.

At the end (almost the end)of the game we had 36 points and Las Vegas had 0,on one of the plays we got a TOUCHDOWN! the board said NEVADA:37 Las Vegas:0 and the game was almost over there were 23 more sec. in the 4th qr. we were about half way to getting a touchdown the sec. were gone and everyone who was at the sides of the field where the field goals were started jumping off the side line and crowding the wolf pack cheering there was a huge crowd on the big screen.

Now to finish the story when we got back to the car dad said ''Ben's about to taste the best chicken,biscuits,onion rings,ranch and fries in the whole world'' I said ''where is that'' he said its at Popeye's I said ''we going there'' he said ''yes''.When we got there we ordered the you know what.Dad and I were stuffed. we finally got home with our confetti. Now we've caught up to the future.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

A ringing phone

The phone just rang. Whoever was calling hung up before I got to it. We don’t have caller I.D. and I will be wondering , for the rest of the night, “who called”? I don’t know why I have that kind of obsession. If you know me at all, you know that I’m not a huge phone-talking kind of gal. I hate making phone calls of my own, but when you call me that’s a different story. I remember racing to answer the phone as a youth. Wanting to be the first to pick up the phone and sometimes knocking down a sibling in the effort. I was appalled that things didn’t run the same in my husbands family. The phone would ring. . . .. . And nobody moved. What?! Don’t you want to know who’s calling?
And can you imagine my feelings as a college student when the phone would ring? I’m sure it wasn’t often for me, but there was still a thrill in the answering of it. I went on my mission to Oklahoma and have some very fond phone memories. Calls from the district leader -for numbers, zone leader -to encourage me, mission president, even his wife -inviting us to a sleepover and play day. Or the call from a less-active telling us her husband was ready to get baptized.
Then there were the days of dating and engagement. I remember a long late-night conversation with Kannon during a thunderstorm. Our phone calls were truly how we became acquainted and fell in love. Our long-distance engagement of 16 months wouldn’t have been the same without the nightly phone calls.
Two weeks before our wedding I moved out of my apartment and into what would be our first home together. We had finished putting the house together and were chatting on the couch when the phone rang. The phone was down the hall and I jumped up and onto the coffee table, fully intending to land gracefully on the other side, in order to be the one to answer the first phone call in our new home. Things didn’t go as planned and I slipped coming off the table and landed on the side of my foot, tearing a ligament off the top of it. Lying on the floor in agonizing pain, the first words out of my mouth were, “go get the phone!” It was imperative that Kannon answer the phone and find out who was calling. (If you care, it was my mother-in-law, who promptly came over to help and called the stake president who was a podiatrist.) I was in a boot and on crutches till the day before our wedding.

Just today, I yelled at my sweet daughter to come and answer the phone
(my hands were covered in the process of bottling pears). Because heaven forbid the answering machine should pick up!
Benjamin and another boy had some trouble at school a few weeks ago. They had a substitute teacher and as she was busy reading to the class, her cell phone was ringing in her purse. One of the boys in the class must have issues like mine, because his first instinct was to answer her phone for her. Ben wanted to find out what was going on and went to check it out. These actions caused the two boys to lose recess for the next week. What a traumatic experience that was for the boy who just wanted to answer the phone for his teacher. I feel his pain!
I don’t know why I have this strange fixation. You’d think it would be enough to prompt the purchase of a phone plan with caller I.D. But, it’s rare that I don’t get to the phone when I’m home and if it rings when I’m gone and no one leaves a message, well, then I didn’t even know they called, right? So, for now, we’ll shelve this problem and save it for the psychiatrist I will never be able to afford. Until then, happy ringing!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Kids' Room

Labor Day was on it's way and we didn't have any plans. I was freaking out, not dealing well with all of my responsibilities. Kannon could tell and offered to take the kids and go to Elko for the whole 4 days. They left Friday morning and then I headed out to Reno. I finished buying the items I needed to complete the projects I planned for the kids' bedroom.

So, you will find below before and after pictures of the items and set up of the kids room.

I painted the bedroom and stayed up late every night spray-painting furniture, making my owls, and planning. I watched the entire 2 seasons of Jericho and all of the Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea movies. I even fit in a visit from some lovely sisters in my ward who brought over lunch on Monday and helped me iron some curtains. I finished putting the last book on the shelf just as the kids walked in the house. They say they love it. I know I do.

This nightstand was beige and gold. Matched the bookshelf,

desk, and dresser (which is still in storage). I painted it white with the one blue drawer

and a fancy knob. Well, you can obviously see that.

This is the bedroom before. This was the first room we remodeled. We painted it this tan color because we thought we'd be selling soon and wanted a neutral color. The curtains have been hanging in Ben's room since he was 6 months old. It was sure time for a change. The dresser and little dresser in this corner are now in the closet and next to the closet at the foot of the bed. All the clothes now in one corner.

Here's the same corner after my redecoration. Don't those
colors just relax and invigorate at the same time?!

Bed before:

And after. I really like the turquoise curtain. It makes for some fun color changes throughout the day. Sarah got her pink bed and the boys have a blue one. I went with all white sheet sets. You can see the cute owls on the walls by their beds, although Joshua already knocked off theirs and bent the nail, so I've got to come up with a new place for those owls.

Then there is this crazy corner. Check out those books! And the

clock hasn't even worked for a few years.

I decided to store some of our books. Again. I probably have 6 boxes of books in storage now. Or more. I took the bookshelf off the desk for

now, so that it would be easier to do homework at the desk.

And see the new clock? It ticks. And tocks. I bought the storage unit for the kids toys. I think it's been good. We can just put the toys quickly into the basket and shove it on a shelf.

This is the revamped desk. I painted the fronts of the drawers yellow and used the same blue as the nightstand to paint the knobs and pulls. I thought about buying new knobs, but couldn't afford it and am actually happy about the way it turned out. I loved picking out a material to match it all. And I modpodged it to the top of the desk. Awesome!!

Earlier this year I bought this side table at the thrift store. It had ridges down the middle that weren't nice for writing. I filled those in with putty, sanded, and spray-painted the legs white. Then I pulled out the chalkboard paint for the top of the table. I paired it with a shiny red chair!

My boy owls! I spent hours Sunday night trying to get the patterns just right. I love them all. Mod Podged some scrapbook papers that I made from my own patterns drawn from ideas I found on Pinterest. Yes, I spend a lot of time there, but it actually came into good use this time.

And my girl owl. I love this one, too!

A few things are still undone. I have some paint a shade darker than the walls to paint vertical stripes on the wall with the bed. I still need to finish painting in the closet and the door. I have super cool material to make a clothes hamper that I found on Pinterest, too. I'll get to them eventually. (I hope. The trim in the closet never did get finished when we totally remodeled 5 years ago!) It's nice to have a change once in awhile. Now, I'm wondering when I'll get to do my own room?!