Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to School 2010

Well today was the first day that all the kids are back in school. Three of them headed back to school on Tuesday but my Hannahbear was @ home sick with the flu poor thing. She missed the first two days, but would definitely have preferred to be at school. Thankfully she's almost back to 100%... still a bit of an upset tummy but that always takes time to heal after such an upset.

Caley started highschool and 'shocker' uh hem NOT... she LOVED it! Most of her friends are at other schools but she's my social 'b' (butterfly) and adjusts quite well to change. So proud of her. She surely is blossoming into quite a beautiful young taller than her mama woman. Caleys also in soccer and pretty much the team was a group of friends who were handpicked. So that'll make for a fun season.

Hannah has only one day of 8th grade under her belt but seems good so far. Just a few notes to copy nothing much yet on the homework front. She had a growth spurt over the summer herself and has joined the club of towering over her mama. Beautiful, precious girl. Hannah's latest 'kick' is an ' I want a piggy!' kick where she draws out plans, writes me sweet notes, and makes all these promises and arguments as to why she MUST have a teacup piggy.

Chrish & Emma share a class together so I figured they can share a paragraph too. It's a 3-4-5 combo class. I love the teachers! Emma came home the first day saying ' mommy my teachers are hilarious!' so that's a great sign. Teachers should make learning fun. Chrish was in this class last year and had a tough time. I'm hoping that this year he will really surprise us all and show great effort in his studies this year. If not, may have to move him to a new class, we'll see. Chrish is doing soccer again. I think he's really burning out on it though unfortunately. Especially for such a talented kid. Can't say as I blame him though. In 2 weekends he's already had 7 games. Seems like a lot to me. Emma had her first gymnastics class last night. Something she's been asking for for a long time now. She was BEAMING! Quite giddy actually and besides the good excercise it tuckered her out ;) I'm glad that she's found something that she enjoys.

So I think that's the latest here. I'm praying we all stay healthy and enjoy this new season. The weather is a bit confusing but there's beauty in all of it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Role

Well this is my first blog as a single mom. I've been one for technically almost a year now but felt like one for the last 14 years. Let me back track a bit. I've been married for 16 years, was pretty happy with my 'husband', and four kids. Life wasn't perfect but I didn't expect it to be. In fact I rather enjoyed some of the imperfections and was truly gratefuI for our family life!

Let me just spare the long story and say that it takes 2 to make a relationship work. I was totally in. He wasn't. It blows me away that it's been almost a year now. Still somewhat surreal really. The death of a relationship takes time to mourn and for all ones heartstrings to really be severed. Slowly, the hurt is peeling in layers, going deeper and deeper.

He pretty much moved out and right into his girlfriends house with her 2 boys. Talk about rejection! What hurts the most is all the pain and hurt my kids have to go through. I've been and am hurting too but no one messes with my kids! I see the pain in their eyes, the nightmares, the being scared someone's going to hurt us or break in. They know their dads dad left on him when he was a kid and have asked him why he would do that to them since he knew how it felt. I am proud of them for articulating so well. My kids are really quite amazing! They are such gifts from God and are why I get out of bed every morning.

There have already been some changes and will be even more to come. Making this home 'our' home and ridding it of 'his' stuff has been very mixed but mostly a healthy necessary thing. Trying to make this home more organized, more fun, more structured. I've been trying to enjoy the summer with the kids and really enjoy each day to the fullest (as I always have) They have grown up so much this last year and unnaturally, not by choice. I want them to grow and mature but having to this forced and painful way is just crushing.

Good things have come from all this and I'm sure even more will be to come. The peace and love have been very evident to us. No tip toeing around, lots of laughing, cuddling and family time. We'll see what this next year has in store. Hopefully more bonding, more good long talks, lots more giggles and doing things on the spur of the moment. If I had to pick from a list of problems to have... I'd say there's a lot worse to ones have. I've got four healthy kids and am utterly grateful to God for them!

I'm going to be strong for them. Move on and make the best possible life I can for them. It won't be easy but I have four amazing inspirations to try my hardest for every day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Lil' Man

Whenever it's one of my kids birthdays or even close to, I tend to get all sentimental and mixed feelings of both incredible happiness and a tinge of sadness at just how fast my precious babe has grown. This week will be my lil' mans 9th birthday. How can that be? It seems like only yesterday I was pregnant with him and was pretty sure he was a boy before the ultrasound confirmed it from his powerful kicks that truly scared me. I thought he might deliver himself he was so incredibly strong!

As a baby, Christian was colicky for the first few months but then seemed to settle in good. Before he was one he climbed out of his crib.... then over his gate..... and then I found him on the counter in the kitchen reaching for the above cupboards. I knew then that I would have to keep my eyes on this lil' guy big time! Since before he could walk which was at 8 months Chrish would bang on the screen door wanting to play outside. He insisted on riding a scooter and rode one very impressively I might add by 1 1/2. He's always been such a remarkable, fearless and gifted kid. Everything sports related and physical he is truly amazing at! His love is for soccer and baseball. He'll blow you away shooting one basket after the next in basketball. He also has a passion to build things. You name it, he can build it! Some of the many projects he has built for us have been a deck. It was sturdy enough to withstand a rather big earthquake too with bbq on it and all. He has also built a scooter, some shelves, forts, a table, chair, desks......

Besides his many abilities, Chrish has an incredible compassionate heart. He can make friends with any and everyone of all ages. He loves giving things or helping people out. What he'll end up doing in life I'm not sure but I do know that he can do whatever he sets his mind to. I am already so incredibly (obviously) proud of him and to be his mom and sometimes try to take a lesson from him and to live my life passionately like he does. Happy birthday Chrish I love you!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Blast on A Dime

After much planning and re-arranging my girlfriends and I went on an overnight together. There are 6 of us and we were all cutting way back on the finances but still wanted to do something together. How often can you get 6 moms with 26 kids between us to coordinate our calendars and spend a weekend together.

It was going to be either camping on the beach in a trailer which would have been fine except the temps here lately have been on the chilly side. Our friend offered us her moms house in the desert which is what we ended up doing. Since her mom was going to be babysitting for her anyways the place was already going to be vacant and you can't beat the price of 'free'.

After dropping the kids off to school Friday morning we all met up, stopped off at Starbucks and were on our way to the desert. Once we got settled at the house we loaded in the car and headed up to the mountains for the afternoon. Once there we found a great spot to eat called 'The Red Kettle'. We walked around the little shops and found ourselves a quaint little candy shop. Of coarse we had to treat ourselves and then headed back down the mountain. One of the girls is pregnant and wanted to share the experience of a 4D ultra sound with us, so our tech savvy friend found the where and when and we all got to watch on a huge screen our dear friends precious baby boy.

The rest of the weekend consisted of delicious food, talking, watching a movie, more talking and definitely laughing...... a truly great time. Some of the girls had to take off so the rest of us headed back towards home unsure of our plans. We ended up going to one of our friends homes where we ate more yummy food, drank some wine and relaxed in the jacuzzi. It was a great way to end our weekend.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Heart You

Those who know me pretty well know that I am a HUGE fan of hearts. I've always liked them and still do. Whenever I see one, especially in things of nature I become child-like and my heart fills up with excitement. I don't go looking for them, but when I do see them it's like God saying "I love you Cherie". It is also something I can say happens at just the right moment and quite frequently. But every time it does, it surprises me as much as it did the very first time. Even my kids know how much hearts mean to me and sometimes come running up to me excitedly saying "here you go mommy!" God shows me His love in many different ways but this is just one of the ways He does.

Like most people these days, things have been tight but Valentines Day is a special day I so look forward to. Yesterday was pretty mellow and relaxing for the most part which is always such a treat because it's not the norm. Christian picked us some flowers (thanks neighbours) and put a beautiful bouquet together for us. How sweet he is! Emma made Larry and I an adorable Valentines card. She really enjoys making things for people and has a generous heart. The girls and I made a delicious Valentines dinner (steak, mashed potatoes and veggies) and a festive Valentines cake with cinnamon candy on it. We enjoyed our delicious meal, and then the older girls and I went out to the movies which was a nice treat. All in all a wonderful extra cuddly, lovey day.

The kids have the day off from school tomorrow which I'm thankful for. I'm hoping to spend the first part of the day hanging out, playing games and then definitely getting some organizing done, and then finishing the day off with the same way we start it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Knock, knock... Lemonade?

I got home from running yesterday and pulled up to a sign Christian had made for a lemonade stand. They've done this many times before. They have even gone around to neighbours gathering lemons and have tried to make 'fresh' squeezed lemonade. Running in the house all excited to show us their profit and begging me to buy a cup from them. As I hesitatingly sipped and even more hesitatingly swallowed down the most sour water I've ever had..... I insisted they NOT sell fresh squeezed lemonade again.

So as soon as I realized what they were up to, I insisted on going to the store to get some descent lemonade. By the time I got back they were all set up. They had chairs, a table, the pitcher and cups all ready. Even their container to collect the money in. At first Christian was thinking of selling at $2 a cup (if any kid could he could) but being as it's hard times for everyone right now he thought maybe $1.

The kids weren't outside more than 15 maybe 20 minutes and ran inside showing the $9 they had made. After that I didn't see them for a bit. I figured that they got bored or were satisfied and over it already. The kids ran in asking for more lemonade. When I asked who for they said they were going around the neighbourhood selling lemonade door to door. By the time they were done they collected $20. I was quite shocked but that only lasted a moment til' I realized 'this is Christian we're talking about'. That kid can sell anything to anyone and make money.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finishing Out '08 Strong!

As I write, we are in La Quinta enjoying a nice family getaway for a few days with extended family. I'll back up though and tell you about our Christmas first. It was another very fun-filled Christmas. The kids woke me up with their giggling (my favourite way to be woke up) at 5am. Since I didn't get to bed until 2ish I made them go back to bed for a while. They ended up falling back asleep and then came tiptoeing in to get me at about 715am.

We opened our gifts. Everyone was excited about what they got and very thankful. I even got knocked down with grattitude a few times. The big family gift came last which was the 'wii'. The kids were ecstatic about it to say the least. A special gift the kids made for Larry and I was a dvd. It had photos playing to music and was very sweet and thoughtful. I've been enjoying my Christmas gift for the last month which is my new camera. I just wanted to give myself time to get used to it before the holidays.

After opening our gifts, a little clean up and our traditional 'cinnabon cinnamon rolls' we had Myke and Dara over. We exchanged gifts, ate food (almost McD's which wasn't open... don't ask) and really enjoyed their company. They spoiled the kids with 'Rock Band' for the Wii which the kids LOVED!!!! They left and then we had Donna, Ed and the girls over for some more fun. More presents, more food, a very LOUD Lakers game and some good times.

Having family around is a precious blessing I do not take lightly. If you know me you know that my family is in Canada with the exception of my brother Myke and his wife Dara. It has been such an incredible blessing to have them out here the past 2.5 years or so. They just told us about a week ago that they are moving back to Toronto, Canada. Very sad news for us, but exciting for them! It's definitely hard at times having my family so far away and seeing them few and far between but I know that I am especially blessed to have married into such a great family. I have my older (doesn't look it though) sister I always wanted, great brother in law, awesome nieced that I adore. I also didn't expect to come to love Lar's Gram as much as I do. I love her as much as if she were my very own. The whole rest of Lar's family is a huge blessing to that I could go on and on about. Besides actual family I have been hugely blessed with a group of dear friends that are like family to me too! I know they would do anything for me and be here whenever I need them. How blessed am I! Richly for sure!

Okay enough sappiness. We enjoyed a quiet restful boxing day which I love! Lar had to work a bit and so I ended up taking the kiddos to see Marley & Me. The lines were long and tickets went fast so we hung out at the plaza for a bit. Grabbed dinner, enjoyed some yummy warm Starbucks and waited in line all huttled together. Saw the movie which I thought was cute. Had to have the two little ones cover their eyes a couple of times. Thankfully those moments were few and short.

The next day, Saturday I think? Yes Saturday we left for the desert to hang out with the Saltis for a few days. The cousins are playing and colouring and having a blast. We're eating delicious food and just relaxing as much as possible with 7 kids under 12. We're planning on spending our New Years Eve here. Ending the year together and starting a new year together. The way it should be. Right now they're yodeling and I can't quite concentrate anymore..... Happy New years to you, may it be a blessed year for you and your loved ones!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Countdown

I have to say I'm pretty excited. Only a few more days until Christmas. I'm so looking forward to the kids waking up all excited, opening their gifts and just enjoying more time together. This year Emma is definitely excited, probably the most I've seen her yet. She has been singing non-stop (mostly 'Deck The Halls') since mid- November. It seems the kids and I just put up our advent calendar and now we're almost finished with it.

I enjoy our usual traditions that we have such as decorating Thanksgiving weekend, looking at Christmas lights, decorating gingerbread houses, having a Happy Birthday Jesus party and the ol' pickle ornament (whoever finds the pickle ornament gets to open the family gift). It's interesting to me though how those traditions are changing or shifting I guess you'd say a bit. For instance, I have kids who are very excited about wrapping which is something I take great joy in but now need to share which is fine. This is the second year that I've let the kids help decorate the big tree. They still decorated the 4 ft one too though. They were quite thoughtful in their ornament placement which was sweet.

A friend of mine had a good idea that I decided to incorporate which is having the kids draw names. They were very excited to do it and very precious in picking out their gifts for each other. Emma insisted on buying her Dad a 'handsome' gift. She just couldn't believe how handsome her item was and insisted we get him one. Besides the gifts I so love how the kids enjoy giving. Whether it's making special pictures and/or cards for each other, sharing their Christmas treats they got from school/ friends it's quite sweet. The last few days the kids have been pairing up and taking turns making funny faces on iphoto which you just can't help but cry you end up laughing so hard.

Anyways, if this is scattered I'm sorry I need to get back to more wrapping in my rather chilly garage. But how I do love listening to the rains pitter pattering on the roof. I'll post back soon with some photos of the holidays. Hope your holidays are merry and bright with warm memories and loved ones close by.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tis' The Season 2008

Well gosh it's been a while. I think with Thanksgiving being later this year this Christmas season sure has seemed to pop up on me rather fast. I'm trying really hard to enjoy this season and not overcommit or spread myself out too thin.

This last half of the year has really been full with four kids playing soccer and Larry being coach for Christians team. Don't get me wrong, it's been a blast! We have so enjoyed watching the kids games, cheering them on and all the time being outdoors. It just gets tiring and there has not been much downtime at all. So, this will be our first (besides THanksgiving weekend) weekend with no soccer games since the beginning of August. All the kids did great this year. Larry coached Christians team all the way to 1st place! Hannahs team came out on top too! Hannah and Christian both made it to the all stars (the best of the best) and both of their teams finished first place. Last weekend between Hannah and Chrish they played 6 games and won every one. You can't tell I'm competitive can you? I'm honestly just very proud of them and happy for them. They will be playing more soccer in January sometime but I'm not sure when.

Caley and Hannah had a holiday concert choir performance that went very well. I was impressed with what they've learned in only 3 months. Chrish and Emma's holiday program has been going on this week. I'll get to see them on Thursday and am looking forward to seeing them. Emmabear has a speaking part that she is quite excited about and I'm already looking forward to Christians concentrated cute face.

I'm SO excited about the kids getting out of school on Friday :D Some of the things that we're planning on in this next week are: driving around looking at all the Christmas lights, seeing a live nativity, decorating gingerbread houses, making a few homemade gifts and definitely making time for some holiday drinks and serious cuddling while watching some Christmas flicks. Well, I'll try and post more later but for now Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yesterday I awoke like any other day. After getting the kids off to school, my first cup of coffee and then looking at my calendar I realized that it was Thanksgiving in Canada. Being Canadian, loving another day to be thankful not to mention yummy food..... I thought I'd try to meet my brother for lunch to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Myke and I did have a delicious lunch over in Orange @ Panera. It was great to catch up with him and I just love hanging out with him, he's a great guy. On my way home from lunch I decided that I'd try to surprise the family with maybe not a 'traditional' Thanksgiving dinner but a Thanksgiving dinner none the less. Obviously I wasn't going to be able to cook a 'traditional' turkey...... I was running out of time. I headed to the store and picked up the last available like it was there just for me pre-cooked turkey. I was SO delighted. Then potatoes, ingredients for everyones favourite creamed corn (NOT the canned kind), salad, dressing, and in my books a definite Thanksgiving important food item...... pumpkin pie with whip cream. No, the pie was not homemade which I think are the best but time was an issue for me and this Vons bakery pie was quite tasty and two of my non-pumpkin pie eaters tried some and were surprised at how much they loved it.

My second oldest Hannah, helped me get dinner ready. She really likes working in the kitchen. Emma helped to set the table which she seems to enjoy and take pride in doing, very cute. We then sat around the table eating some deliciously filling food while taking turns around the table sharing what we were each thankful for. It seemed to go on and on and I'm very happy to say we have a lot to be thankful for! Though I've not celebrated Canada's Thanksgiving for the time I've lived here (mostly due to little ones and lack of planning) I took pride in a tradition I grew up with and hey, any day is a good day to reflect and be thankful. I wanted my kids to appreciate some of their herritage but mostly I want them to grow up in the habit of being thankful.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Little Pill Lots of Magic

Well for the last 6 years I have on and off (mostly on) been taking a little pill first thing in the morning. Let me back up a bit. Probably about 6 months after I had my 4th baby I was so absolutely fatigued, depressed, freezing cold in 100 degree weather amongst other symptoms. I just thought I was a failure and 4 kids was just too much for me.

After several people recommended that I go to the doctors, I finally did. The doctor pretty much suspected right away that I had a thyroid problem. He did some blood work and he himself called me a couple of days later telling me to come back in right away. When I did, he proceeded to tell me that he was shocked I wasn't in the hospital. My thyroid levels were SO wacked! A normal persons levels would be somewhere between 4 and 11. Mine were over 100. He also explained that I would have to be on a pill the rest of my life because I had hypothyroidism which means my thyroid is underactive. I didn't even know what a thyroid was or did. He just said 'basically it's what gives you your energy'. AHA, that would explain my lack of functioning. I was SO relieved I can't even explain it. Weird yes, to be happy something was wrong with me. BUT, at least it meant I wasn't really a failure.

Jumping ahead a little bit. It took roughly 2 years for them to balance my thyroid levels. After seeing a specialist and her telling me basically to ignore the instructions on my pill bottle which were telling me to take with a full glass of water. She instructed me to take enough water just to make the pill go down and then wait an hour before having anything else. I did that and within 6 weeks felt remarkably better and at my next appointment my levels were all normal. Praise God!

Why this story continues is because for some crazy reason, I have a couple of times taken myself off my meds..... forgetting what NOT being on them was really like. Well, this summer I again went off my 'magic' pills and let me tell you, it was NOT pretty! I basically just got my levels checked again and was back to where I started at +100 and feeling lethargic and quite honestly, pretty miserable. As soon as I got my new prescription I immediately took my pill. I've been taking them consistently and do not plan on messing around with them again. Now that I am again reminded of what not being on them is like I am truly thankful for them and like the magic they seem to work. Life with 4 kiddos is challenging already with the help of my magic pill, and take away the meds, makes my quality of life really go down to barely functioning.

Maybe down the road, when time and money are more accessible I will look further into a more natural way to supplement my thyroid meds. I would only ever do that if I had a professionals help and guidance. For now though, the doctors are helping me, what they have done for me is working and helping me. So, I'll take it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

One Way Or Another

I was just reading a blog and this person articulated very well what I've been kind of figuring out on my own lately. She was saying that instead of becoming distracted ' if one shifted their focus on the outcome of their goals maybe one would be more productive.' To some people this may be a 'no brainer' but for people like me it's just not that easy.

We all have our 'to do lists' some are scribbled down on paper, some typed out, some people keep track on their phones, or in their head. Well although having lists has personally helped me be more organized it has also been somewhat overwhelming. I tend to make not just one list but several and put way too much on them. I have the classic 'Today ' to do list 'This week list, the 'fix it' list for things around the home which is a constant. Just when you think you finally finished that list there are four more things to add to it (actually I guess they're all that way). Then there's the grocery list, shopping list, school list. I think I sound way more organized than I really am. This is my attempt at becoming organized and now I'm learning to scale it back and do fewer lists with far less on them. More of just the essentials. Back to simplicity.

I've had some projects that I've been wanting to get done for a LONG time and instead of just taking it one thing at a time like I should I get overwhelmed and don't even know where to start....... so I don't do any of them. I'm going to pick one project for the month of October and get something big off my to do list. I'm thinking I'll start with painting the bathroom or organize my photos. Then I'll go down the list from there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bogged Down

I don't know about you but I'm not much for watching the news or reading the paper. I don't think there's anything wrong with staying up to date on current events and in fact I actually think we need to, to some degree. For me though, things seem to stay with me and it's hard for me not to be weighed down and sometimes even depressed by certain stories. I'll pray for the people involved and try not to dwell on the story but it's not always that easy. Sometimes I feel so weighed down and such heaviness that's it really stresses me out. I realize that this is a problem for me that I'm working through but is also the main reason I personally don't keep up on current events regularly. Usually how I will even hear of a story, I'm talking more about personal tragedies, abductions, murders etc.... is if someone tells me, when I check my email there will be news headings that pull me in, if I overhear the news while the hubs is watching it (though he usually watches political shows and stays away from the stories I'm talking about).

Last night I was praying to God about why it's so hard for me to not be so weighed and bogged down by all the stories that seem to flood through the media. This morning I felt like He was telling me that I have a compassionate heart, I'm sensitive and care deeply about people. That's not a bad thing really. He also reminded me that I should pray and then give each situation to God and trust that He will take care of 'them' because it's simply not my job. I think the enemy knows my buttons and besides distracting me, he also knows I tend to take on other peoples stories and he at times can really weigh me down. There are times that I have walked in this and it's such a wonderfully free place to live in, just hard to live there all the time.

I'm thinking of that saying 'you are what you eat' or how about 'garbage in garbage out'. In other words what we allow to filter through us will come out in some way. If I'm constantly being bombarded (some by choice some not) by sad and depressing news, then chances are I'm going to struggle with being sad and depressed.

There are things I do to prevent that very thing from happening which usually is a great help. Besides the obvious of praying and asking for God's help which I try to daily, I listen to worship and/or upbeat music, I do a gratitude journal or at least try to verbalize my gratitude in little throw ups (prayers to God while I'm working) to God while I'm cleaning house. These things really are instruments that seem to help and are how I try to live not because I have to but more because for me, it's just healthier to. Some days/seasons are easier than others for sure but the truth remains that I do have a lot to be thankful for no matter what I'm going through or what the season is!

This morning in my devotional time, I read a verse that struck me and touched me deeply. One that I've heard many, many times and there is even a beautiful song about it but especially after writing the above yesterday and actually stressing quite a bit about my point not really getting across this verse was quite timely for me.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Too Cute

The kids have been collecting lizards (pretty small ones) out in our back yard. Just this afternoon they caught four of them. The kids walk back through the house to go find some more and Emma says, "Christian, they're NOT all boys" while he interrupts her saying "yes they are!" and Emma continues, " I named one a girl!" Another Emmism today was pretty cute too. She was throwing a fit while she was in a time out in her room. She yells out "Fine, I'm calling 911 if you don't let me out of here!" A few minutes go by and she then says "The police are coming in 1 hour!"

I just love the innocence and the confidence to boot. So precious and sweet. Another innocent moment today was while Emma, Hannah and I were setting up to play cards. I was saying "we have to shuffle the cards really good" and Emma says "I can fushle the cards" I tried to correct her a few times and each time she again, confidently like I KNOW MOM, said "I AM fushelling the cards!" Had me in tears. SO dang cute!

Over the years we've had several of those kinds of sayings. From calling things like "cajuzzi (jacuzzi), panpakes (pancakes), tomatoes (potatoes) ....... the list goes on. I do have the really funny ones written down in a book I've kept (not very well I'm afraid) of cute things the kids said or did. At the time you think you'll remember that precious moment forever but unfortunately that's not always the case.

My oldest used to watch Barney (who really was a lifesaver) so much so that Larry and I would get some of the songs stuck in our heads. Great that she was learning important things but Geesh those songs were very catchy and annoying. She used to call him Bonny. Another things when she was little was that she was very impatient. I'd have her in her highchair and sometimes make her waffles. No not the homemade batter kind. The kind you put in the toaster. Well the moment she saw me take them out of the freezer she'd want them. So I'd put them in the toaster and crouch down and try to explain we had to wait for them to pop up. So I'd crouch down and jump up in the air shouting "POP!" which would make her giggle so hard. She also came up with "all D" (meaning all done) which carried onto our other three kids.

I'll have to find the 'safe place' I put that book and add on to this later but for now that's all I've got. I'm looking forward to more of those innocent moments though.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Goodbye Summer Hello School.....

Well, it's quite surreal that summer is coming to an end already! It has been fun though much slower paced than normal which I'm sure is a good thing. Especially considering our schedule coming up. We started the summer out going to Catalina for a week which we're already looking forward to doing again next summer. Then July it was camping (not something we're planning on next summer) although we did have some fun moments. Then there's now.... I'm sitting in a beautiful 4800 sq ft house in La Quinta and have been lounging by the pool, playing with kids and having some quality family time (when the kids aren't fighting and frustrating me). It has been a great way to end the summer and is our 2nd year doing this. I'm thinking it could be our new tradition. I LOVE traditions!

As of yet we have no plans for this coming 'Labour Day' weekend. Maybe a family BBQ will be in order. Then it's back to school on Tuesday for the kids. New schedule, new teachers, back to making lunches and homework and ........ boy here we go. We've already dived into soccer so we've pretty much got into the rhythm of it already. Eight practices a week M-Thurs and 4 games each Saturday..... yep I'm ready for it!

Although I'm surprised at how quickly summer has gone by, I'm looking forward to a more structured schedule. It seems to do me and the kids a LOT of good. I'm also really looking forward to my summers resolution which so DIDN't happen. Thinking I would have a slower paced schedule I was planning on hitting the gym religiously. Nope, didn't happen. Now though I feel very motivated and excited to start going back to the gym regularly. It will be my first year of having all four kiddos in school ALL day!!! I'm really hoping to be able to get more things done and time to take better care of myself. Both at the gym and also having a more consistent daily time with God.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Camping 2008

On Sunday we left to go camping in Lake Arrowhead. The kids were so excited it was quite cute. I think the last time we went camping was 3 or 4 years ago, so it had been a while. We got to the site and immediately at the check in two ladies made us want to do a u-turn and just head back home. They told us that someone had left food out on Friday and a bear came onto the campsite. They said since then they had seen a 9 ft bear and also a mama bear and her cub. Usually they only come for the dumpsters they said but that one had gone onto our campsite.

So we nervously drove to our campsite and started setting up our two tents. Unfortunately our campsite was apart from the 3 other families that we went with. They all were beside each other on pretty open and flat huge lots. Our site was up a hill and across the way, with lots of bushes which one would think would make me feel more comfortable but actually left me feeling more vulnerable as it was harder to tell if something was hiding in or behind them. The only plus to our lot was shade during the day and it was close to the bathrooms.

Lar and I had just finished setting up the first tent and the kids were excitedly running around playing with their friends. Next we see Chrish and his friend were playing with a wave board/ripstip (not exactly sure what they're called) which I wasn't too nervous about until they brought them up the steep hill and were about to go down. We told them no and suggested a flat area for them to play on....... next thing you know they're both going down the hill at excellerated speeds, the friends mom is screaming for them to stop and get off..... her son wiped out. From where we were we saw everyone run up to her son helping him out. Usually Caley is mama bear and is pretty good at letting her siblings know their boundaries so I just figured she was running around the corner to catch up to Chrish and bring him back. Still everyone is gathered around the friend. Caley makes her way up to our site. So we ask her where Chrish is. She says 'well he's beat up pretty good'. We couldn't get her to talk fast enough. So we run down there with the first aid kit. We see Chrish standing up watching his friends knee scratches get cleaned up.

We then ask Chrish how he is. He stands up looking pale as a ghost and says 'Dad? I can't think clear'. I then couldn't get him to look at me straight or answer me so we lay him down as he almost passes out. Thankfully Larry knew to elevate his legs which pretty quickly brought colour back to his face. I start cleaning his obvious and deep elbow gash. It was hard to stomach but I was relieved to get it cleaned and stop the bleeding. Hoping that was the extent of it I was informed that no, there were more wounds to clean up. He ended up scraping both elbows, his side was pretty raw, his chest was scratched up and then lastly I noticed on the side away from me his left wrist/hand area was so incredibly raw. Chunks of skin were actually missing. Meanwhile we've got bees flying all over and fine sticky camp dirt sticking like glue to him. We got him cleaned up as best we could, took him back to the campsite where we gave him some orange juice and some tylenol. After struggling to get comfortable he then took a little nap. When he woke he was much, much better thankfully. I don't think it took him all of 30 minutes before he was back on the wave board.

I should mention that Chrish rode down the hill and why we told the boys not to was because they didn't have any helmets or pads. He rode down anyways and did a superman dive off after he heard his friends mom saying get off. He would've been fine if he stayed on I'm certain. That was on Sunday. The rest of the time camping the boys were running around, more wave boarding from not as steep those crazy kids! Larry and Chrish were playing catch and football and though he favoured his especially 'raw' arm we were pretty sure it was because it was SO raw. We got home Tuesday the older 3 got home the next day. I help Chrish bathe and get as much of the sticky camp dirt off and carefully away from his wounds as I can. As I'm working ever so careful on his 'raw' arm I realize that two of his knuckles (index and the next one to it) are swollen and he admits pain inside not just the skin or lack of it.

I brought him in to the Dr.s the next day. They then send me to an orthopedic later that day who thinks there is a bone broken but is not 100%. He puts a cast on him for 2 weeks for precautionary reasons and says we'll then re-examine and go from there. The first day Chrish was quite excited about it. Unfortunately because of the raw wounds he couldn't put him in a waterproof cast. So he has to be extra careful because with those wounds under the cast if he gets wet or dirty there could be serious infection. Yesterday was a pretty tough day with frustration and tears and he was definitely pushing the limits. He at one point was trying to take his cast off and said he'd slip it right back on after he was done playing. So I have to keep my eyes on him like a hawk.

Oh to sum up on the 'bear scare'. We didn't sleep a wink the first night. Chrish and Caley insisted on sleeping in their tent which with our campsite layout couldn't be right beside ours. Had they been with us I think Lar, Hannah and I would have slept some. Every little sounds sent my heart a racing. I kept listening for the kids. At one point I saw the silhouettes of a pack of somethings. Not sure what but they were close enough to our tent and in the morning found paw prints all over our site. Later on that night we all heard something sniffing around the tent which I was sure was a bear. Caley and Chrish heard it too. Our second night we put everyone in our tent. Lar had his own twin and me and the kids put two twin air mattresses beside each other and laid side by side width way. Slept much much better thankfully.

We had some fun moments but don't think we'll be going camping anytime soon. At least not tent camping. It was fun hanging out with the other 3 families and even driving to Lake Gregory where they had waterslides and paddle boats. It just was a LOT of work and exhausting going back and forth between the camps.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hamptons by the Sea

Well, we've been told about this camp called Campus by the Sea for years (well I have at least). I've heard so much about it and have mentioned it to Larry a few times figuring it just wasn't his thing. Last year one of the husbands was talking to Larry about it and probably because it wasn't ME telling him (you know how that goes) he actually thought about going.

I have to throw this in..... the two little ones heard Lar talking about possibly going and summer of 2007 had packed their bags for it. It wasn't until I noticed a few certain items were missing (a few months later) that I found already packed suitcases under their beds. We then broke the news to them that they'd have to wait for summer of 2008.

How it works is that you sign up for your 1st,2nd and 3rd choice of weeks and then they get back to you and let you know which week you get. We got our registration sent in the first possible day and got our first choice which was the last week in June which also happened to be my birthday week. The fun thing too is that we had four other families from our church that went the same week as us.

Anyways, to sum up our trip..... well it was a structured Christian family camp that had guest speakers, sing time (which everyone seemed to enjoy) set meal times and I HAVE to mention the food was awesome! A huge thing is that we never had to once think 'uh oh, where's Chrish?' the kids are either with their leaders for group time or off doing their own thing. They had so much freedom but it was in a totally safe environment. We didn't have the usual exhausting chore of keeping an eye on them the whole time, or the checking in continually. The kids even had an account at the 'snack shack' and I don't know who enjoyed it more (ok well the kids) but we set the limits for the kids on the first day and whenever they wanted a snack they'd go get what they wanted and as long as they hadn't gone over their limit they got what they wanted. It was nice not to keep track or have to keep small cash or change on me or even have to accompany them.

There was kayaking, tubing, snorkeling,fishing (Hannah had the catch of the week catching an 18 incher, and Chrish caught a 12 incher) volleyball, basketball, camp fires, square dancing (all the kids tried it and kept up very well), talent show, game show night, a make your own boat and race competition. We were in the top 10 out of like 30 boats.... not bad for us newbies.

Wednesday was my birthday and happened to be the 'free' day. Those who wanted to hiked into Avalon at 7am. Hannah stayed at camp all day with her friends. Larry and Emma took a boat ride in at 930 while Caley, Christian and I did the 6 mile hike into town. Unfortunately Caley got poked with some cactus which left a dozen or so pricks in her leg, poor girl. But, she was a trooper and kept going though we couldn't get them all out. Got to Avalon, played a game of mini golf (Emma has her own strategy) then we ate right by the water which I enjoyed. We then got some yummy ice cream and hiked in town another couple of miles to watch the kids play soccer. After a relaxing boat ride back to camp we had beach time which was one of my favourite times. At dinner they had announcements like normal and reminded us about the talent show that night. The next thing you know all the workers start singing a RENT song (really well too) I was getting into it and luckily I stopped and realized they were all coming to my table. I was thinking "this must be for the talent show and spread out you guys" and then they stopped and sang happy birthday to me. Tickled me pink! What's funny too is that Emma who had gone to the bathroom came in right when they were coming up to me so they grabbed her hand and she joined in.

On Friday night they had a nice banquet for everyone. Well, the adults had their own and they decorated the food hall with all the crafts the kids had made during the week. We had a delicious prime rib dinner and then took turns sharing our highlights of the week. Some people had been going there for more than 20 years.

While we were doing our thing, there was a separate banquet for the jr. high and highschoolers and then a movie night and camp fire for the youngsters. Everyone seemed to really enjoyed themselves. It was a great way to end such a spectacular week too.

I think it was by day 2 that the kids were saying ' when we come next year can we.......' It's definitely a place we want to go to again and are planning on going next year. If you know Emma then you won't be surprised when I say that she has already asked me 'how many more days til' we come back mommy?'

Sunday, June 8, 2008

All Muddy

I've had my calendar marked for months now and yesterday was the day. My friend Marianne and I had been training for a few months for the "Mud Run" at Camp Pendleton. It's a world famous 10k obstacle course run that 4000 people signed up to do. You can run as individuals which is what we did although we stayed together, or you can do teams of 5. If you ran as a team you had matching outfits and let me tell you, some of those outfits were very creative. There were guys who were only wearing running shoes and speedos, naturally they named themselves the "speedos". Cracked me up! Then other teams wearing colourful nylons under their shorts, people with rainbow hair and mostly people with matching coloured t-shirts with their team name on them.

The race was to start at 9am sharp so we left my house by 615 so we had enough time to check in and know where to be. It was like a sea of people. All kinds too. Young and old, athletic and well, not. Married couples, father/daughter teams, friends you name it they were there. I really loved how everyone was so encouraging to each other. There were several army guys there showing us the way, handing us out water and gatorade, guys who were kneeling down in the mud allowing us to use their knee to get over the 5ft walls, those poor guys!

Some of the obstacles we did were....... you guessed it, the tires which kind of came out of nowhere but were a piece of cake. There was an ambulance right there in case anyone got hurt too which hopefully didn't happen. We went through a couple of very muddy creeks which REALLY weighed down your shoes but at the same time was refreshingly cool. There was a mud wall about 3 ft high to climb over and on the other side was a 50ft mud pit about knee deep leading you to the 5ft wall to climb, then another 50 ft of mud pit to get through and over the 3 ft mud hill. Then we made our way to this football fld length ravine that was over 5 ft we had to cross with an extremely muddy slippery bottom and seaweed to boot. You couldn't really swim it because your feet felt like they were 20lbs and luckily for me there was a rope on each side for us shorter people to grab onto. A few people had to be carried across because they were just too short. This other obstacle called 'Suicide Hill' was pretty funny (SIDE NOTE: it was definitely a different kind of marathon...... obstacles and laughing most of the way) leading up to it was this super-slippery mud pit and then an incredibly steep, steep muddy hill to climb with someone using a pressure powered hose (like a fire truck would spray) to shoot down the hill. So there was running water going down this hill as we're trying not to fall climbing up. Towards the end, actually right before the finish line was a tunnel to crawl through, more mud pits, mud walls, 5 ft walls and a 50ft 3ft deep muddy water pit with ropes and flags just above the water that we had to crawl under on our hands and knees then climbing another mud wall with the soldiers help this time and then was the finish line.

Being that this was my first time doing this I now know what to expect and how to train better too. My friend and I were told that there would be a major hill, but weren't aware that most of this race was hills. We're talking steep big hills that once you were on top and looked down it was amazing! Also, the way down ....... I wouldn't say it was easier than going up. It was SO steep that you had to be very careful not to fall and I'm glad to say we didn't. I'm very proud of my friend and I one for even trying this and two, for finishing it.

After we finished the race, we made our way back up to claim our bags and headed for the open showers which did help with the mud situation a bit though not entirely. Then luckily they had 2 canopies together that they called the womens changing room. That was an obstacle in itself! After that my friend and I headed home but not before stopping at our favourite breakfast place 'The Pancake House' which was such a reward. I'm told there is another Mud Run in October and can't wait to sign up for it. I'm looking very forward to it and hopefully other marathons in the future.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New DO

Alrighty friends, I took a chance today and got a new do today. I'm happy with the results and think it'll be great for the summer too. I won't have to do too much with it and the messier it is the cuter it will look. Bedhead ROCKS! Anyways, I'll be turning 33 in a few weeks and still need to make sure I have some edge to me. No 'mommy' hairdo for me no siree. Anyways, I just thought I'd share a few pics.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Green Disaster!

My poor bud. I feel terrible for him! Well let me back up here and tell you from the beginning........ Christian has been saving money for a few months now for this thing called a Green Machine. It was $100.00 and he worked very hard to earn money to buy it for himself. He did work in the yard, helped around the house, and even made a lemonade stand (more like lemon juice) and he STILL made $4.00 for that. Anyways, he had been bugging and pleading with me for a few days to PLEASE take him to Toys R Us so he could finally get what he's been wanting for so long. Well, we thought we'd surprise him and plus it was just plain convenient for Larry to get it one day while he was out near there anyways. So Chrish came home from school and saw that his dad had gotten him the Green Machine. Unfortunately there wasn't time for us to put it together for him but still, he at least was able to get it. Well, after homework was finished, Chrish and Hannah together put it together all by themselves and actually did a great job! They were having a blast riding that thing. It was a crack up just watching them. Even Lar got on it one evening and I of coarse just HAD to get evidence of this.

Christian got the Green Machine on Thursday. Well, Sunday rolled around and the kids were playing back and forth between my house and our neighbours down the street as usual. I'm not exactly sure just how this happened but one of the kids left the Green Machine out on the sidewalk as they tend to do. Unfortunately it was left behind our next door neighbours truck. Need I say more?

So, on the one hand I feel just awful for poor Chrish! I mostly feel grateful that no one was ON the Green Machine - thank you Jesus!. I also feel like whether it was Chrish (which he INSISTS it wasn't him who left it there) or not it's an expensive lesson in taking better care of your belongings as he does need to improve on. We've tried taking the wheel that is all mangled down to a bike shop to see if they had anything in that particular size but they didn't. Next we'll try looking on ebay for a possible replacement part. Who knows? So, another life lesson for the poor guy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Betcha didn't know.....

-that one of my pet peeves is having my pants tuck under my shoes as I walk. HATE it! That's partly why I wear heals most of the time. Most of my pants are too long for me (yes I could get them hemmed) but who has the time?

-I used to wear a clothes pin to pinch just above my lip to give me what I call a more defined 'bum lip' I love those!

-I still enjoy watching Saturday morning cartoons :P

-I used to bite my nails until I got engaged. (I tried everything to stop but nothing helped..... except for an engagement ring apparently)

- though I truly don't care for hip hop music it's great to clean to and makes for a good work out : )

-I can't even count how many white hairs I have on my head because there are just too many.

-I don't have a favourite colour or flower because I see the beauty in all of them.

-My favourite chocolate bar is called 'crunchie' and BOY is it Yummy :P

- I do NOT like thunderstorms!

-I do however truly LOVE sunrises and sunsets.

Kind of random but things that I betcha didn't know about me and now you do :D

Monday, May 12, 2008

Where Do I Start?

Well, the last month has flown by as fast as the first few of this year. Where do I start? Okay, well we celebrated Christians birthday at a place called Boomers. I wasn't sure how chaotic it would be taking 10 kids there but it worked out that everyone had a fantastic time. Batting cages, laser tag, go- carts, spinning tea cups and other carnival rides, arcades....... are just some of the fun things we did. It was definitely a memorable birthday for Chrish that he was incredibly grateful for. It's hard to believe he's getting so big.

I've been training for the 'Mud Run' which is coming up the beginning of June. It's a 6 mile obstacle course at Camp Pendleton and is quite fun, so I've heard. I've been running with a friend 2-3 times a week. We've been following a training schedule and are pretty proud of our accomplishment so far. The proceeds go towards helping the troops which I think is a great cause and am honoured to be able to help out a little.

To say there is a lot going on at school right now would be a HUGE understatement! It's quite overwhelming actually but we're managing okay. Lots of order forms for this and that (yearbooks, 5th grade t-shirts, carnival donations and work, spring photos, fairy tale ball, 5th grade graduation party...... and the list goes on) so needless to say I'll be a little relieved when the kids are out of school and SO looking forward to spending more time with them and less time spent in the car or doing homework.

Also, wrapping up this week will be baseball and signature soccer for Christian. It's been so fun watching him play. He's truly remarkable at everything he does. I'm not just saying that either. People really trip out at how great he is. He's #1 pitcher (also the youngest and smallest on his team) and he plays forward on his soccer team. For a bit there he was doing two practices and two games each week which made for one tuckered out little boy.

We just celebrated Emma's 6th birthday this week. I've started letting the kids have a 'big' party every other year. This was her 'off' year and she was such a great sport. We always have a 'family' party though which she absolutely savored and appreciated. What 6 year old wouldn't want to be the center of attention for the day? She was thrilled with all her gifts and as I tucked her in bed she so Emma like (she LOVES counting down to things) asked me how many days until her sleepover? I decided that she could have a friend spend the night on the weekend (her first one). They actually did great too. I had a total of 7 kids that night and they all were sleeping by 11:30pm. Not bad at all. I decorated Emma's room with streamers and balloons everywhere which she seemed to love.

Well, I should go and continue my day after I have my Monday morning coffee of coarse, and tackle some of the things on my 'to -do' list. I just LOVE crossing things out!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

We Had A Ball!

Last night we went to a Fairy Tale Ball that our school had for our kindergarten classes. The teachers have been teaching on fairy tales and the parents a few years ago decided it would be special if they ended that unit with an actual ball. If you had a daughter in the class then the Daddy would take them and if a son then the mommy would. I helped out so that's why I got to go. You could dress up as fancy as you wanted (parents and children). Some kids wore their 'disney' costumes, ball gowns, or regular 'Easter Sunday' dresses as my Emma wore. Of coarse Emma decided to tell me the night before the ball that she wanted to wear one of the older more worn dresses. I took a deep breath and decided that it was 'her' night and she could wear whatever she wanted.

As soon as she put her dress on you could immediately tell that she felt beautiful! She insisted that her shoes have heals so that when she danced they made noise. Thankfully she also approved of the way I did her hair. We added some bling and a pretty tiara and you could tell she truly felt like a princess...... oh and we definitely couldn't forget the sparkles.

Larry looked handsome as usual and dressed up quite nicely for his baby girl. They both boogied on the dance floor, made a royal goblet together, ate some yummy dinner and had a memorable night. Emma was so bummed when the ball was over she made if very clear the clock hadn't struck midnight yet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hard Lessons To Learn

Both of my girls tried out for cheerleading this year. We've already gone through all this just last year when Caley tried out. Hard to believe it was a year ago already. The intense stress and nausea were fresh in my mind. These tryouts are pretty brutal as I recall and more than half the kids get turned down. There were two cuts. They had a couple of clinics where the girls would all learn a cheer and try out with a given partner.

Sadly, Caley got cut the first round and handled it incredibly, though it was hard. Hannah made it to the final round. She had to make her own dance to a given cheer as well as learn a dance in only a couple of hours that the whole group of girls would learn. It was unbelievably difficult! This time they would be performing two routines all by themselves in a closed off room with a panel of 12 judges. (I about cried for her, talk about nerve wrecking!)

Hannah was number four. When she came out after her turn she decided she didn't want to wait for an hour and half to get the results and that she wanted to go home. I'm so glad she did! I should mention that Caley was very supportive through all this to her sister and friends. Talk about making me proud! Well, we found out that Hannah didn't make the team either which broke her heart because she had worked so incredibly hard for this and wanted this so much!

Her chin is now up, a lesson has been learned, and both of the girls are already talking about trying out again next year. I'm so proud of both of my girls for not giving up on something that they want! They may not have made that particular cheerleading squad but they sure are my cheerleaders and anyone is lucky to know them! They naturally love to encourage people and cheer people on in all they do! Go girls go, I love you both!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The last few days have been pretty jam packed to say the least. On Thursday was the cheer try-outs (the first cut) which I couldn't believe how stressful it was. I don't care if the girls are cheerleaders or's their feelings I'm more concerned about. Both girls did great but we have to go from about almost 50 girls down to 24 at the most. Yikes! That's more than half to say no to. Well, I really thought both the girls would make the first cut. Hannah did make it and Caley did not. Both of the girls were quite shocked. Hannah thought she wouldn't make it and Caley was sure she would. Caley got over it really quick and already wants to go to cheer classes and prepare for next year. I should note that this is the second time Caley tried and didn't make it. The only reason for telling you that is that I think it says a LOT of her character. She's an incredible girl! Hannah knows how proud we are of her and has been working her butt off since she got home from school on Friday and every spare chance she gets. She really wants to make it. I believe she can too! The finals are next Wednesday so we'll see how that goes. The same day as Christians birthday unfortunately but oh well, that's life.
Thursday was also the night of the talent show which was fun. I wished it wasn't on the same week as cheer was but nothing could be done about it. We made it work. Both Emma and Hannah were in the show. Emma in the beginning and Hannah was the second last. Both of the girls did great! Emma stepped on what looked like a block and was actually a prop that her foot got stuck in. She was giggling trying to get her foot out. When she finally did she went on with the show. At one time she also ran out at the wrong time which was still very cute and funny. Hannah and her friends did a great job dancing and staying in sink with each other. It was such a long and tiring day that we all came home and conked out pretty quick.
Today I woke up at 730 to go running with my friend. We had 3 miles to run today. We have a race in June at Camp Pendelton that we're trying to train for. It's actually a 6 mile track with an obstacle course to boot. I've heard it's really quite fun and am really looking forward to it. I guess there are some block walls to climb over and some nets to crawl under through the mud. You get so dirty and muddy that you are told not to plan on keeping what you wear. Anyways, we're following a marathon training schedule and are only at the beginning of it but it's been fun so far.
Caley has a party tonight where she needs to dress semi-formal. We had to go buy her a dress being as she's not had a need to have a semi-formal dress really before. We found one and on sale I might add. She looks absolutely beautiful. It's for a birthday party for her friend. They're going to go see "Guys and Dolls" which I heard was really great. I'm sure they'll have a good time.
While Caley's at her party, Christian and Larry are going to go to watch a basketball game. That leaves Hannah (probably practicing cheer) and Emma and I to have a much needed time of veggin' out!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Calling All Talent

So I have about ten minutes before today kicks into high gear (for the second time today) so I thought I'd atleast try to recap my day yesterday. What a day it was! The morning wasn't too crazy and some plans actually fell through and I had a chance to catch up on some much needed house work which was nice. After I picked up Emma is when the craziness started. I picked her up at 145pm then took her to her talent show rehearsals, picked up the elementary kids, went home for about 20 minutes which flew by like it was 2. Got Chrish ready for his baseball game (luckily his clothes were dry.....pheeeeew). I then took Hannah to cheer where her sister was going to meet her. They're both trying out for cheer this year! Which means cheer clinics every day after school for a bit. Dropped Hannah off, said hi to Caley (check) luckily within walking distance was Christians baseball game. Dropped him off walked back to cheer, whispered sternly to Emma to NOT climb up and down on the bleachers while the girls were trying out. Took the girls home to change and get ready for the talent show rehearsal. Picked up a friend and dinner to go (thank you Carls). Got to the school 20 minutes early thought we'd have time to chow people started flooding in, had to go cheesecake MUST wait ;( We got there about 530 and didn't leave until 9pm. Emma is in the 'circus' act as a ballerina and is the second act on. Hannah is dancing to the song Toxic (I know I didn't pick it) with her friends (they're really good too) literally closing out the show. Guess what number? Act 36. It will be a great (LONG...........) show. It's just rough on a school night. Well, even though it was crazy and I felt like I was constantly thinking 'what's next?' there were lots of smiles exchanged and laughs that were had. I'm glad every day isn't as crazy as that but am thankful for every day I get.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Break

Wow this week has gone by fast! It has been an enjoyable and relaxing one though I must say. It's been quite nice to have a break from all the chauffeuring, making lunches, homework and everyday routine. Don't get me wrong, I usually enjoy the daily routine. It's just nice to slow down and not HAVE to go anywhere.
On Monday we went to the beach which was absolutely beautiful. We saw a whale actually which was not something we've seen there before. We got to see some sea lions and dolphins too. We see dolphins there regularly but not the sea lions. The kids were boogie boarding and digging pits. It was such a great day!
Tuesday we went to the movies to see 'Horton Hears A Who' which was cute. We then got some frozen yogurt which is such a yummy treat. For the rest of the week we've just been taking it easy hanging out at home. Watched a few movies on t.v like 'The Secret Garden', and 'The Princess Bride'.
Yesterday while Chrish was at baseball practice the girls decided to play 'spa'. It was great. They had a massage chair set up, and were giving each other facials and massages.Too sweet I tell you.
Tonight we're going to go to my sister in laws to have a pizza party and hang out. Her hubby's out of town and mine is in LA so I thought we'd not make a big production of dinner and enjoy each others company. The kids are looking forward to it too. So the day is almost over, then we've got the weekend and then it's back to the usual everyday routine which by then we'll need because the kids are getting a little tired of each other.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ahhhh........ went for a nice run this morning. Oh how I enjoy running! The more I do it, the more I realize that I really need to make time for it. The fresh breeze against my skin is so refreshing and I am truly amazed and absolutely love pushing myself past my own limits. It's quite a sense of accomplishment and recharges me unlike anything else.
On my 'list' for today ( I really like making lists) is decorating eggs with the kiddos, baking some cupcakes and a cake for our Easter celebration tomorrow, putting together the kids Easter baskets (later tonight so the kids don't peek), one more grocery store trip (I knew I forgot something!), the carwash is a MUST and in general just relaxing and hanging out with the fam.
Tomorrow we're going to church as usual. Larry will be playing guitar in the sanctuary and the kids will help me out in Sunday school class. Then we will head home to rest up a bit for our Easter celebration dinner @ four pm. We'll pig out, kick back and of coarse have an egg hunt with the cousins. Much fun will be had I'm sure. I'll be sure to snap some pix and post them. Happy Easter to all!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Again, it's been a bit since I last wrote. Gosh this month is flying by as fast as the first two of this year did! Everyone's is healthy and doing good though thankfully. The last few weeks have been filled with a new book study I'm going to with some girlfriends. We're studying the book called "The Shack". I don't want to say too much about it because I think everyone should read it and I definitely don't want to give anything away. I hope that it is as impacting on you as it was me.
This month Chrish has played his first few games of baseball. He's amazing! He's the main pitcher and for a lil' guy who is still 7 playing against 9 and 10 year olds he's quite remarkable. I find it hard sitting on the bleachers controlling my 'proud mom' smile that I just can't wipe off my face. I don't think I could be more proud of him. He's so incredible at all he does sport related, now if he'd just apply himself more at school. I'm really honoured to be his mom.
My last few weeks have been so choppy between taking the four kiddos to school almost all at different times, to all the various meetings and tryouts and what nots. The kids had try-outs for the annual talent show. You would've thought it was a try-out for American Idol. The judges were just fine, but there was just a lot of chaos and pushy moms. Let me just say that I got there 20 minutes early, was third in line and ended up getting cut in on a bunch of the time I got out of there with the kids it was an hour later. I'm glad that process is done with and am really looking forward to the show in April.
There's meetings for 'The Fairytale Ball' yes that's right, they're having a ball for the kindergarteners. It's been quite interesting meeting with a bunch of moms all with different opinions as to how to have things done and some way more outspoken then others. Makes me more giggly than frustrated so that's good.
Also there's meetings for the 5th grade graduation. For sanity sake I missed the first one (life must still go on) and they really did fine without me I later heard. I'm looking forward though to being a part of the planning process though and making it a special time for my girl.
Let's see, book study, fairytale ball, baseball, talent show,.......... oh yeah the end of the year carnival, pancake breakfast, read-a-thon and jog-a-thon. I won't go into detail on those because they are pretty self explanitory. This year with all my kiddos now in school I've been able to help out in school more and am really enjoying myself. That's something I love about our school. You can go there at any time and find parents who are there and giving of their time. I love helping out the teachers and being able to peek in or work with my kids too. They seem to get an extra glow when mama's around.
Of coarse school wouldn't be the same without all the gazillion parties. Hey I actually think it's a good thing teaching them to celebrate life. Forecast for this week, Monday morning first thing I'm helping out in lil' mans class to make green eggs and ham (and green milk apparently) : } We'll see how that turns out. Then Tuesday the kindergarten class won a rootbeer float party from the read-a-thon. Wednesday and Thursday are my normal days to work at the school, and then Friday is Spring party day. Wahoooo. I think I better get to work and get a bunch done around here cause it looks like I'll be gone a lot this week. Fun, fun FUN!

Monday, February 25, 2008

All Mixed Up and Very Raw

Well, it's hard to know quite where to start but after being gone this weekend from home and the kids I really thought today was about jumping back into our normal routine. It sure didn't happen that way. It started out just like any other day really.
Alarm went off at 630am, got the kids up, lunches made, got ready for the day. I took the first batch of kids to school and was wondering what I was forgetting and why all those people were standing lined up all along the front of the school. Not thinking too much of it at the time, I went back home continued with this and that. The phone rang, and it was my close friend telling me that something horrible had happened and involved some kids that go to my kids school.
She proceeded to tell me that the dad had killed the wife and three of the kids and also himself. The 14 year old who goes to my daughters school survived. I also came to find out that the youngest of the kids was a kindergardener and the two little girls were ages 8 and 9. My kids didn't know them very well but did know who they were.
I've been through a whole slew of emotions today. I've been all mixed up with pure shock, heartache, believe it or not thankfulness that the guy didn't put my kids at risk, gratefulness that though there's a very tough road ahead, that 14 year old boy survived!!! I've been really surprised at just how much I've been affected by this. The kids all handled it differently and as I expected the little one was acting up quite a bit this week which isn't like her. She may act up here and there but not for a whole week. I'm just trying to have some extra grace for the kiddos this week. Well, how do you end something like this. I guess just that I pray that God blesses that 14 year old boy beyond belief, and also to remember to be thankful for the here and now you just never know how God numbered our days. Enjoy today the best you can!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So, it's been a while since I last posted. Wow, almost a month! Well, it's been pretty event-filled to say the least. I'll try and fill you in on a few things but I won't go in any particular order, just by what my scattered mind allows me to remember.

Well, starting with the most current, I'm sad to say that Emmabear is sick AGAIN! I can't believe this flu season. It is by far the worst that I've ever seen since I've had kids. After 16 hours she is finally starting to feel a little bit better, but boy has she tugged on my heartstrings today. She was tearfully pleading 'Jesus please make my tummy all better, I don't feel like being sick!' I wished I could trade places with her.

Larry and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary! We spoiled ourselves by going to the spa. Enjoyed it as always. When we got home we were surprised that our middle two were making us what turned out to be a scrumptious ' anniversary ' cake. So sweet of them. Then we went to a yummy steakhouse close by that we really like. Our newly 12 year old was dipping her feet into baby-sitting at night for us and did a great job.

Our daughter Hannah entered a contest at school to design the cover of this years yearbook. She ended up winning which truthfully wasn't surprising at all! We're so happy for her and proud of her though. Quite the talented artist she is.

Hubby quit his job and has been at home the last few weeks studying in a new field. So that's a big change. Thankfully he left appraising on friendly terms and now has a great opportunity. We'll have to see what the next few months bring eh.

We hung out with Myke and Dara on Saturday night. That was something we haven't done in a while. We went to a restaurant called Catals in Downtown Disney. It was yummy and as always lots of fun just hanging out with them.

Oh, I guess I should mention that morning (Saturday) I got my haircut. That might not be too big of a surprise, but I did get it cut shorter than I've ever had it before. I've always wanted to go super-short but just wasn't brave enough. Well, finally did, plus changed the hair colour yet again (I like changing things up a bit.......get bored easy). Anyways, I'm really happy with the new do, and bonus.... Larry loves it too! Emma wants me to glue my hair back on but I told her everyone has different tastes.

Christians soccer team played all-star district (quite an accomplishment in itself) and beat the other team 5-0 with us having only 7 players no subs and them having basically two fresh new teams. It was quite a victory that our guys were very deserving of. Buddy boy saved the team a bunch of times stopping any goals from coming our way. Oh yeah, and he lost a total of four teeth now. He's quite fond of money cause atleast two of the four teeth were'nt even loose when he pulled them out. Believe me, I was NOT encouraging him.

Lastly, I'm leaving tomorrow night (Thursday) to go to Vegas with two of my dearest girlfriends. There was going to be six of us but it's rather hard getting six moms of atleast four to get our schedules all to coordinate. So we'll be us three. We're just going for the weekend and we'll be back Sunday night. It'll be nice to sleep in, read, not have to clean......just hanging out, talking, laughing being girly girls. I'm just really praying that no else gets sick because it will be very hard to leave!!!

Oh, for anyone interested in a great book. Okay first of all, I don't read all that much. Don't have much time or even care to honestly. A friend recommended a book called ' The Shack ' by William P. Young (canadian.....boooyaa) anyways, I cried tears of sorrow and joy in it and finished it in about two days. Easy read, very touching, impacting book.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Enough Already!

Well, our start into 2008 has been a rather frustrating one health-wise to say the least. Pretty much since boxing day somebody has been sick in the Hampton household. Now don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that it hasn't been worse or anything more serious. Just when you're going through it and for such a long stretch as this one has been it takes it's toll on you and you get where I am now which is sick of sickness. I do prefer to be the one sick then watching my loved ones sick though. It almost seems like as soon as I think we're in the clear and done with this for a while.....someone gets sick all over again.
First we started out with Larry getting the flu the day after Christmas, then Chrish a couple days later. Then Emma caught us off-guard and got it on New Years Eve. I think that was her first time getting the flu. She did NOT like it one bit except for the extra cuddling she said. Then Larry got sick again a couple days after his birthday, with myself and Hannah joining in. What a long drawn out horrible thing. Now I'm left with an annoying cold which is taking it's time going away.
I got home from seeing a movie last night with my friend Amber. We saw "Bucketlist" which was a good movie. We were crying we were laughing so hard. Anyways, got home and in bed by 11:30pm and Emma came running in my room at 1:50am crying and in pain. I was so startled and concerned. So I jumped out of bed took her temp. 103F and we cuddled on the couch all night long so I could keep a close eye on her. Gave her a popsicle and cold cloth on her head........fever broke (rather quickly too thank you God) One would think, four kids, we've had our share of sickness, you'd think I'd be more used to this by now but no! I do NOT like seeing my kids sick. I'm sure no one does. It just puts knots in my stomach like nobody's business. Now my lil' princess is up colouring wishing she could go to school as though nothing happened. Hey, I'll take it!
I've read an article before saying that Doctors say a family gets sick an average of 8-10 times a year. Well, I'm thinking we're almost meeting that quota. So hopefully we'll be real healthy the rest of 2008. We'll see how that goes. So, here's to a healthy rest of the year for everyone.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Dancing Princess

Yesterday was Emma's first dance class. Well her first real dance class anyways. When she was about 3 1/2 she took a short session at our friends community center..... it was more of a 'toddler gymboree' class then a ballet class. Though she seemed to enjoy it, she didn't learn one dance move. Yesterdays ballet/tap class was by a teacher who taught my older girls when they were Emma's age. We walked in the room and Emma was delighted/relieved to see a classmate from school. We had no idea we would see them there, it was a pleasant surprise.
Half of her class was ballet and then half-way through they change into their tap shoes. Emma was so excited that she was giggling for most of the first half, but she not surprisingly picked up some dance moves right away and very gracefully I might add. One of the other moms was asking me how many years Emma had been taking dance and was surprised with my answer. She thought for sure Emma had taken dance for a couple years anyways.
Emma has ten more weeks of this class left. I'm certainly going to enjoy watching her continue to improve and grow and mostly just have fun while twirling and spinning around.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Good Things CAN Come Out Of Bad

This morning I was woke up (surprise surprise) by my Emma who unfortunately wasn't feeling well. "No! This couldn't be. She couldn't have got it from...." I began thinking. Before I could even finish that thought she got sick (if you know what I mean). My poor girl. I thought we were in the clear. I mean Larry was sick all day 'boxing day' the day after Christmas. Then Chrish got sick the day after that. For the next few days I had been having on and off prayers to God asking Him to please not let anyone else get sick. Just when I thought we were in the clear Emma woke up with the flu too!

It just makes me sad when my loved ones get sick. As much as I hate being nauseous I'd much prefer myself to be sick then anyone else. It's almost harder to watch my poor lil' one being sick and in pain and saying 'Mama, I don't feel like being sick!' or the latest when I went in to check on her and asked how she was feeling she said ' I'm warmish hotish'.

The only good thing to come of this is that we've spent a LOT of time cuddling today than most which I truly do treasure. Though I wish it were for better circumstances I do cherish any time I get to hold my baby while she's still available, still wants to, and while we both have the time to spare. I know it won't always be this way. Emma and I actually cuddle quite a bit, but today was a bit different being that our cuddling was helping her to feel better she told me. Me too Emma, atleast I was doing a little something to help out. Her Daddy came home with some popsicles for her which put the very first smile I've seen on her face all day. Yay, Daddy to the rescue!

Though I didn't expect to spend the last day of the 2007 like this, it definitely had it's precious moments. I can get my 'list' of things done any other day but it's not every day that my sweet Emma needs her mommy like she did today. Hope you all have a blessed and very happy New Year. Here we come 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Break From Pirates of the Hairabean

My kids can't seem to get enough of the movies "Pirates of the Carribean" and "Hairspray". We've watched each three or four times in less than a week. Each time that I've watched 'Pirates' it has grown on me more and more. I have to admit the first time I watched it I found it rather hard to follow and thought part of that was due to my four lil' interrupters who played their part real well I might add. Having the movie on four times though did allow me to watch the movie in it's entirety and I grew to like it more and more. The girls and I went to see "Hairspray" in the theatres (with Auntie Dara too) which I thought was good then and now the girls and I go around the house singing the songs. I don't know if I'm getting a little tired of the movie (being that it's on for the 3rd time) due to overload, or hearing Caley telling me how 'hot' she thinks Zack Efron is. Weird to hear my baby talk like that. Anyways, I think I'll just have to insist on a break from both of these movies for a while so we don't end up disliking them altogether.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Hampton Style

It was a wonderful Christmas here at the Hampton household. We celebrated with hubby's side of the family on Christmas Eve with last minute location change to HERE! Worked out great though and we didn't want to chance picking up the flu from a cousin who was sick the day before. The kids and I were already planning on cleaning up for Christmas anyways and everyone seemed to work together really well. I just wrote a list of what needed to be done and we went from there.
Everyone came around three. We ate an incredible amount of delicious food with leftovers to spare, had good laughs and fun, and enjoyed listening to squeals of delight and excitement. My very thoughtful sister in law who had already surprised me a month early with a very sentimental ceramic Christmas tree also surprised me with a set of glass mugs with flowers etched on them just like mom used to have. I couldn't even tell you why they mean so much to me, they just do! (maybe I'll try though) They bring back warm feelings of anticiaption, fond memories, fun times. I used to watch my mom drink from those glass mugs and couldn't wait til' I was the grown-up drinking from them too! I suppose I even just assumed that we'd both be drinking out of them while playing 'boggle' or a card game like mom and aunt Theresa used to do most every weekend. My mom and us kids would drive back to our home town and get together seemed like every weekend (staying over at Grams if we didnt already live there) During those times, the adults talked and played games and the kids had fun playing in the fields make believing, or playing video games, or building forts..... times I'll cherish always. I also could'nt wait to have my very own ceramic tree like Gram used to make proudly displayed in my house. Even though mine is not 'Gram-made' it still symbolizes those same fond memories and good times. After everyone left the kids were eager to go to bed so Christmas would come sooner. Then hubby and I did our usual Christams Eve tradition which is to watch 'It's a Wonderful Life' while bringing out all the presents.
Christmas day the kids got us up at 619am and all ready to go. Of coarse they had to wait in their room until Lar and I got the camcord all ready but they did good. We then opened up our gifts and I have to tell you I was pleasantly surprised at just how excited the kids were to hand out their presents. We then had our traditional cinnamon rolls and started the clean-up process while trying to NOT throw away things accidentally as has happened in the past. In the afternoon my brother Myke and his wife Dara came over which was fun. We caught up a bit, relaxed (with Christians electric guitar playing in the background) ate more food and Myke spoiled us by making and sharing his delicious buttertarts. Myke just 'had' to try Hannah's Guitar Hero which he liked. He also decided to pump some weights with the gift he wanted but gave to Chrish (magnetix) Dara was sweet to help Chrish build his birdhouse he got. They did a good job! I think everyone was a bit stuffed and sleepy so we just layed low but had a good time. The rest of the day was spent playing games, watching movies and cuddling. I think I nodded off before the kids. I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. Well, here's wishing you happy holidays and a happy new year.
BTW, I've been trying to post some photos with this blog but for some reason it's not working......I'll try tomorrow.