Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eric's BIG surprise

Eric is really good at giving gifts and doing fun surprises. The day after I got back from Education week we loaded the girls in the car (We had packed suitcases the night before and had them in the trunk) and told them that we were going to visit some friends. The questioning quickly became intense... "Please tell us where we are going!" "Are we going to the beach to see Grace?" they wanted to know where we were going and did not want to be surprised. Eric and I stuck to our guns and just kept saying "We are going to visit some friends".

45 minutes later and only 4 blocks from our destination Haley shouted out "Are we going to Disneyland?" Eric said yes and all the girls screamed. But instead of pulling into the Disney parking lot he kept driving. "You missed it!"..."Where are you going?" the questions continued until he pulled under the big entrance for the Paradise Pier hotel. "What, we are staying at a HOTEL?" Haley said in total unbelief. I said yes Daddy dosen't have to work on Monday so we are staying for 2 nights. "You mean we are missing school?" Haley asked

"Only if you want to. We can drive you to school in the morning if you want" The girls were all SCREAMING as Eric got out of the car to check up into the hotel.

Guess who's the best Dad in the whole world?

The girls wanted to go swimming right away so we did. They have the longest waterslide of the Disney resorts so that was their favorite.

Ruby went on the slide non-stop. Eric went with her willingly for the 1st 20-25 times then he told her he was tired and needed a break... she talked him into about a dozen more times.

After we had our fill of swimming we dried off and walked across the street to California Adventure. They all wanted to go on Grizzly rapids so we did.

Unfortunately Lucy was the sole beneficiary of the wave of water that came into our raft. She was smiling after, but would no go on this ride again.

My favorite new ride at California Adventure was the Toy Story ride. It a 4D game that you play as you go through. It was really fun and any age could do it.

Disneyland has a house of the future. I was so excited to see all the state of the art things, but it was really boring. Basically they had LED picture frames all over the house. The only thing that was cool was the magic mirror in the teenage girls room. You could stand in front of the mirror and with a remote control select from all different kinds of outfits. The outfits would actually move and fabric would move with the person.

We waited in line for way to long to tide on Autotopia but it was worth it to see how serious Lucy was about driving.
Talk about serious- you have not seen serious until you have seen Eric in the Buzz Lightyear ride. It's a game where you try to score the most points and he is always one of the top scorers. He has to ride alone... so he can focus.

One of the greatest accomplishments of this trip was we got Haley to go on California Screaming- the largest roller coaster at the park. I was worried that she would come off crying, but she loved it and rode it a 2nd time with Eric.

The next morning we went to the character breakfast. What a hit this was. Ruby would see a character coming and run to them (before they made it to our table) She would give them the biggest most sincere hugs like they were her best friend that she had not seen for a while. Even Haley who doesn't like her picture taken would ask for her photo with certain animals.

Eric LOVES Disneyland, so when you go with him you stay as long as possible. We literally close down the park. One time it was 12pm and the announcements were going that the park was closed, but Main street would remain open until 1pm to allow for additional shopping. We sat on main street and ate Toll house cookies until we had to leave.

After closing down the park for 2 nights and waking up early, by day three I was kind of done.

By 2pm Eric was talking about the parade at 7pm. I said to Eric "Everyone is tired, cranky, spent and ready to go home, but if you REALLY have to see the parade, we can stay" To which Eric replied "Great- lets go over by toon town".

The reality of my situation quickly started to sufficate me.
I was never, ever going to be able to leave the happiest place on earth.
I could not get away from tattoo covered half clothed people.
I knew that I had to get the girls up in the morning for school and they would have 2 days of classwork and homework to make up.
I felt like I was autistic and every sound/ sight was overwhelming for me.
I seriously contemplated going to a bathroom stall for a quiet place to cry.

Then I could not hold it together anymore. I put my sunglasses down and started crying. When Eric realized I was crying he said "are you DONE?"
"Totally" I answered.

He calmly told the girls we were leaving and told them that he was tired and needed to go home. I thought he would be mad or bugged at me wanting to leave before the park closed. He was not mad at all.

When we were in the car and the girls were watching a movie with headphones he said. "I am so confused, why didn't you tell me you wanted to leave?"

I said "I told you that everyone was spent and wanted to go home but we could stay if you REALLY wanted to"

To which Eric replied "Please do me a favor, in the future when you want to leave- just say that you want to leave. I wont be mad if you want to leave... but if you give me the option of staying I will always take it. "

I assured him that I am not a communist and I do like Disneyland for the 1st 650 hours, but once we hit the 900th hour I cannot take one more second!

Overall we had a great trip and one that I know the girls will never forget.

Am I the only one that feels like this about Disneyland? 

Education Week

I have always wanted to go to Education week at BYU. When we lived in Utah I never went because I thought it was really expensive and I couldn't just leave my kids for a week. This year Eric just told me to plan it and we would make it happen. Luckily Eric was able to go into work late and Hawley & John (Eric's Mom and Step Dad) picked the girls up from school and did homework with them until Eric was able to get home. It all worked out and I was so thrilled I got to go.  As for the classes being expensive... I paid $46.00 for four days and attended 24 classes so each class cost me a whopping $1.92.

Melissa, Me, Jackie & Stephanie

I drove up with four of my good friends so we had a blast the entire time.  I was cracking up watching them.  All three of them came with a stack of CD's or an Ipod and wanted to DJ the ride but they all had very different music styles. As a result we had a very musically eclectic ride all the way to beautiful Provo. 
Jackie was very excited to show us her new quilt blocks for the Christmas exchange.  Whenever there was a lull in the conversation she would pull them out and start talking about them.  It became a joke so every so often we would say "Hey Jackie, lets talk about your blocks".  The present block she quickly designed herself and it's so stinkin cute. I wish I had a better photo, the present is paper pieced and the bow is appliqued. 

We also stopped at the Outlets at State line and went into the Williams Sonoma/ Pottery Barn outlet to see if they had a Staub pumpkin pot that I have wanted for a long time.  They had it-  20% off the outlet price, but it was still ridiculously expensive so I left with a broken heart.

We stayed in the dorm rooms. 
This was the largest class I went to (so I figured no one would notice my taking a photo). It was by Elder Hales and the topic was Life long learning. You can read a summery of the talk here.

My Mom had told me that a dear friend of ours Kay Stevenson was at Education week with his Grandsons. I really hoped I would run into him but knew it would be impossible. Anyone on the campus that was not pregnant, had grey hair and was about 60-70. There was no way I could pick him out of the crowd. Of all the places- I saw him outside this class getting a drink of water! I was so thrilled, it made my day.

Since this is my year to "remodel" one of my favorite class series was on becoming an influencer and changing habits. Here is a quick summery of Wednesday's class.  The guys that taught this class wrote Influencer (A New York TImes best seller). They have this web site that has some of the videos they used to show how individuals influenced people to change their habits and ultimately saved thousands of lives. I took 15 pages of notes from the 4 classes they taught but I still think I want to buy their book.

I had full intention of giving a little blurb on each class that I attended, but looking at my spiral bound notebook that is full of notes, I realize that I could never do each class justice. I will say that I found every class that I went to outstanding except for two of them, they were unbelievably boring and painful to sit through. 

I attended classes on everything from raising emotionally healthy children to ancient scripture, marriage, communication and intimacy, healthy eating and financial planning.

One thing that surprised me about Education week. I have never seen so many pregnant women in my life! Seriously. I think about 40% of all the women I saw on campus were pregnant.

Steph, Melissa and Jacki- do you agree or was it more like 80% ?

When we were not in class, of course we were checking out the local quilt shops. All four of us are quilters so we loved seeing the plethora of quilt shops Utah has to offer.  I am proud to say that I only purchased 2 fat quarters of fabric on the whole trip, but look at the car.... there was plenty of fabric purchased to keep Utah's economy strong.

We drove up to Utah with just a few suitcases in the trunk. We had to put the back seat down for the ride home in order to accommodate all the purchased fabric and maternity clothes (Stephanie and Jackie are both pregnant).

On the drive home we decided to try the Outlet again to see if the pumpkin pots were say 90% off- no luck. I came home pumpkinless.  

We decided that the gas in Mesquite was too expensive and to try for Vegas. About 10 miles outside of Vegas our DTE- Distance until empty went to *.  Luckily we made it to a station before I had to kick the 2 pregnant girls out to push us!
This was such an amazing experience for me. I learned so much and received council that I needed.  My head(and notebook) is so full of things I need to change and or improve it will take me a while to process it all. I left with a full tank spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I can see why so many people have gone to education week every year for several years. I really home I can make it back next year. 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Getting educated

I'm leaving for a week to get educated!

I have always wanted to go to Education Week but it was just not possible with 3 little kids and a busy husband. This year between Eric and his Mom, and the girl in school it's finally going to happen.

I have my class schedule all marked up and can't wait to get there!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Managing $

If you handle the finances for your family (like I do) I have to recommend this web site

It has been a huge time saver for me and I love it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The 1st day of school

Today was the 1st day of school!

Why do we start on Aug 13... Because we are on a modified traditional schedule here so our Summer is shorter but we get more time off for holidays throughout the year.

When I went in to wake up Ruby and Lucy, they not only had their outfits laid out for school, but they even had their toothbrushes with toothpaste right on top!

Ruby is starting 2nd grade
Lucy is starting kindergarden
Haley is starting 5th grade- ouch!
After school we went out to go get frozen yogurt with some friends.

This photo was taken on the second day of school. I was going to walk Lucy to her class and she told me that she would just walk in with Ruby. It kind of broke my heart to realize she is so grown up, but at the same time I am proud of her for being so brave.

This will be the first time ever that all my girls are in school all day- I thought this day would never come, but now that it has it's bittersweet.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Blond bomb site

I have had so many haircuts I can’t even count.

I have had long hair and super short hair, my hair grows fast so I am always willing to try new styles... that may change.

I went to get my haircut at a new place today and as I always do I told the hairdresser
“Do whatever you think would look best on me”.

She chopped off 7 inches of hair and layered EVERYTHING... this is how I came home.

To quote Niecy from Clean House "Somebody better pray for me!"

I went back to my regular hairdresser and had her fix the dew. She thinned out the blond bell shape and adding texture to the back. She even cut more bangs on top of the super short ones to help hide them. I can finally go outside without looking like Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Busy Bees

I taught Haley's Busy Bee's group for 10 year old girls. I wanted to have them learn basic piecing for a quilt, but realized there were too many girls and too little time with only 2 hours for the class.

I decided on a simple sewing project. I got the idea here, but decided to do ribbon loops instead of grommets. This was a great project for teaching kids to sew. I think kids as young as 5 could do this with close supervision.

The girls showing off their new backpacks!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Our can of worms

For Lucy's 5th birthday she asked for a fish tank. We were thrilled that she didn't want a hamster or guinea pig. We thought it would be great to have fish in their room to watch and help them relax and fall asleep at night... we were so wrong. We have had nothing but sleep issues since these little fish joined our family.

I'm really not sure if it's the sound of the filter/water running or the fact that we had just returned from our big road trip, but Ruby has been coming in our room every night for the past several weeks. Some nights she just wanders the hall making little whimpering noises. Last night Lucy and Ruby were both on our floor when I woke up.

It has been so bad that I took Ruby to the Pediatrician last week and she counseled her for 45 min on the importance of sleep and putting yourself back to sleep when you wake up. She also said to give her Benadryl for a week to help her get her sleep pattern back on track... it's not working.

I'm ready to pull the tank out of the room, but I don't think it will help, I think Ruby has convinced herself that she really can't sleep.

Does anyone have any brilliant ideas?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Opal!

Opal turned one year old today!

She got to play with some friends both human and canine.

She even got to go swimming with Ruby... although she was not completely thrilled about it.

If she decides to stop eating her poop she may live to see her 2nd birthday.

Ruby's art camp

For the past two weeks Ruby has been going to an art camp at our local art association. The teacher was the most mellow, sweet, anything goes kind of teacher... just the way an art teacher should be at this age. Ruby LOVED these classes so it was sad that today was her last day.

Her rock petroglyph of our family.
Dad (yellow), Haley holding a fish, Mom and Opal (white), Max (brown) and Ruby and Lucy(red).

An adobe house with a guinea pig (in the back right corner).

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