Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Dam Post

I was reading a book last night with one of the girls and it was mentioning a dam... which made me think of driving to Washington this last time. On our travels through Oregon, we come upon 3 separate dams. They are pretty amazing to me really. Normally they all have water shooting out of them. We always tell the kids, "look at the dam" or "here comes another dam."



When my parents and brother & family came to visit they drove past these 3 dams. As they were driving by one of these dams, my dad told a story that his mother told him. It goes something like this:



A man went to the dam to get some dam water. He asked the dam man for some dam water. The dam man said he couldn't have any of his dam water. The man told the dam man to keep his dam water.



While my dad was telling this story, my nephew who has a grandpa with a fowl mouth, was shocked to hear my dad (his other Grandpa) to talk this way. He just sat there with his mouth open!

When they arrived at our house they related the story to us. Then my brother wanted my dad to tell Emily the dam story. So again, the story was told. Emily just looked at him and was like, oh-okay. Again, my nephew Thomas was just cracking up and now thought it was pretty funny. But my innocent (sheltered) daughter only heard it and understood it as I wrote it, only having thinking about the dam. She responded to it the same as if my dad had told her the man went to the lake to get some lake water... she saw nothing funny about it.

It made me realize how sheltered she is, which is good and bad. My mom then explained to her that dam could also be used as a bad word.... Still Emily was like-oh. No humor in it at all for her.

On the other hand, Robert and I found it to be pretty funny (and my brother Kelly and his wife Sarah).

As we drove to WA, we approach the first dam on our trip. Robert says, "Look they even have a dam flag!" I of course look, see the flag and crack up laughing. I text my dad and Kelly & Sarah saying what Robert said. (I had been texting back and forth with Kelly and Sarah most of the way.) As we are getting closer to the dam (which we have pointed out to the girls by now) Emily asked if we can drive across the dam. Robert starts to crack up and then says, "There's no dam road!" I am now cracking up. I text what Robert says about the dam. We come up to the dam, and see they do have a road on the dam. I tell the kids (but mostly to Robert), "they do have a dam road, we just can't use it."

We drive past it and look back at all the water pouring out. Then one of the kids asks how the water comes out of the dam. Robert must be a dam expert or something, because he replied, "through the dam holes!"

We had many more dam jokes as we were driving by all the dams. I just can't remember them all.

It was hilarious, maybe one of those "had to be there" jokes. I was also texting back and forth with Kelly and Sarah. Sarah or Kelly would text, "where are you?" I would respond, "in the suburban" It made for a fun road trip even though it was long. We kept joking back in forth. At one point they asked where we were, and I told them "Fairy Queen" but I had just mistyped.

I would frequently just text "176 miles to Portland" which gave them an idea of where we were. They were at my parents house waiting for us to get there. I would text mile post markers or certain exits they would know of, or what the signs said, "Entering Washington" or "Oregon thanks you for coming" type signs that would give them an idea of when we would arrive.

We would have gotten there faster, but Sgt or maybe Trooper Ring (not sure his real title) stopped and wanted to talk to us. He got Robert for speeding, and also crossing over the line while driving. He asked Robert why he was doing that. Robert kind of looked at him, and then looked back at the 5 girls and said, just a car load of girls. The officer of course asked for all our info, and we didn't have a current insurance card... sitting at home on our desk. The officer went back to his car, came back with some "Oregon Junior Trooper" silver star shaped stickers for the kids and let Robert off with a warning. I guess he felt sorry for him and all the girls! We made jokes about that for many miles too.

I guess road trips can be fun, if you are in good company. A few great dam jokes help too. Maybe you should think about taking a dam road trip too. LOL

Friday, April 24, 2009

Emily and the A.L.L. program

When we had our parent teacher conferences back in Feb. Emily's teacher suggested for Emily to look into a special program they have. It is called the Accelerated Learning Lab or A.L.L. It is through the school district. I had to fill out a Parent Referral which basically is me answering a few questions and me saying why I think she should be in the program. Then her teacher is suppose to fill out the same sort of form. After that, the school district reviews it and tells us if she can test for it. Then the district gives a CogAt test and they also have to write a story.

We got a letter back saying she has been accepted for the program. I went today to see her test results. I thought I could actually look at them, but they just kind of tell you the numbers. She did pretty well. She got a 77 on her writing and the lady said 50 was about average for her grade. The CogAt scores where given in SAS (Standard Age Score) which is I interpret it as how most other kids do at this age. The lady with the district that I talked to said that 90-100 is like average, 115 is above average, and 130 is high. Emily scored 129 in Reading, 124 in Math, and 128 in Non Verbal. From what I was reading the average score is 100 and the highest possible score would be 150, and they use the scores to determined what they consider "gifted" for special programs like the ALL program.

Now we have to decide if we want to go through with the program. A few downsides to it is that she will be going to a different school then my other girls. They are building a new school that my girls will be going to next year, but the program will stay at the school that the girls attend now. Emily will be familiar with the school and teachers but I will have the problem of picking up and dropping off of kids, since their will be no buses for us next year, or so that is what I am hearing. Another bad thing is she won't be going to the same school as the majority of the neighbors here (unless they are in the program too).

I think it would be good for Emily since she normally kind of feels bored in classes... she has always done well in reading and spelling. Her first grade teacher gave her special spelling words because she had no problems doing her other spelling words. It seems like she did that in 2nd grade maybe too. I think she would like the special things the class would do. I think of the wonderful chance this is for her to participate in... especially since the school is so close to us, and it wouldn't really be like changing school. Emily has a hard time with change like that, since she is shy to start.

With that being said, I don't want to push her into things too hard either and make her feel like she has to be "perfect" as she sometimes complains that I make her feel like she needs to be. She wants to do the program. It is a 2 year commitment, so it's not like we can try it and say no thank you if it is too much. Emily wants to do it, so maybe that is all there is to it. I guess also they wouldn't put her in it if she didn't test well. The lady said they had like 66 kids in Emily's grade (through out the WHOLE district) that were accepted. That is pretty impressive to me. Emily is a pretty smart girl!

What to do? What to do?
Decisions...decisions.... maybe I need to go put on some chapstick and think about this.... (see previous post about Amber and chapstick)

Why I don't use chapstick anymore!

Amber totally cracks me up. I know I have said this before... but she really does. She has me laughing or I am trying to be angry because she is doing something she isn't suppose to be. She is a smart little girl and is always talking and reasoning with me.

She was up on the counter one day getting some candy and knocked my cookie jar lid on the floor which shattered the lid. It was a present from Lauren for Christmas. Lauren and the rest of the girls where pretty sad that my pig jar broke. They made Amber feel pretty sad about it. Now Amber will just out of the blue say, "I am sorry I broke your present mom, it was an accident!" I keep telling her that I knew it was and that it is okay. She is so cute when she says it.

In Washington she loved to play the piano. She had her Grandpa and Grandma pretty well tied around her finger.


Lately when I take pictures, she is wanting me to take some of her. These are from WA, and I had my camera. She will say, "Take a picture of me!" Then I will snap a shot, then she says, "Again" or "here" or "do this one." She would have me there all day if I would let her. Here are some of her poses, all in a row of how she did them. She is a funny girl!









Yes she has me wrapped around her finger too!
A funny story for you.... Amber loves chapstick! I have chapstick that I keep in my purse as it seems like in the winter time my lips get pretty chapped and sore, well in the summer they do too. Anyway... Amber is always finding chapstick. She knows where Emily keeps her chapstick, Emily is always complaing that Amber was in her chapstick again. Normally Amber is pretty good with chapstick, but is always pretty slobbery. I normally let her use my chapstick, then wipe it on my jeans in hope to get all her slimy slobbers off. (I am pretty bad at all the "germs" and sharing things. I don't like to share cups or drink after others, or have them drink after me. I normally just let the drinker have it if they have used my cup. I admit I am a little overboard on this, which makes this story even funnier!)
So this one day, Amber has my chapstick. I am doing something else, cleaning, or doing laundry, maybe even blogging... and Amber hands me my chapstick and says, "I am all done with your chapstick." I am trying to be better about my "germ phobia" so I just say, "Thanks" and slab my chapstick on my lips. I go and put my chapstick back in my purse where is belongs and remember that Amber is still naked. (I can't remember why she was naked, seems like 2 year olds are always naked when they chose to be.) I grab Amber and get a diaper. I am getting the diaper ready for Amber's bum, she is lately really into using diaper cream (she calls it lotion). She doesn't really need it but she likes the idea of it. As I get her diaper under her she says, "I don't need lotion, I already put chapstick on my bum!"
Gross huh, but funny! Hey does anyone want some chapstick? It's Burt's Bees (and a little bit of Amber-bum) and free! If you see me with chapped lips, you will know why now....LOL
Last night she had a glue stick using it as chapstick... serves her right for using my chapstick on her bum! Too bad she didn't use the glue stick on her bum.

Easter Sunday

Thomas was baptized on Saturday and then on Easter Sunday he was confirmed which is when he receives the Holy Ghost. For those who aren't familar with the LDS church, after baptism, you recieve a special blessing from someone who holds the priesthood and is given the gift of the Holy Ghost. We came to Washington for this purpose mostly... to be a support for Kelly and his family during this exciting event of Thomas' baptism.

Robert confirmed Thomas on Sunday, Kelly baptized Thomas on Saturday. (Robert was pretty nervous to his suprise as I am sure Kelly was nervous on Saturday.) It was such a wonderful thing to see my brother do that. I always thought it was so cool when older brothers baptized their younger sibblings, of course I didn't have any older brothers to do that. It was still just wonderful to see my brother perform this wonderful ordiance for his son. I am really glad we were there.

Of course on the non-spiritual side of Easter, my girls got Easter buckets. I think it is always fun to see their excitement. Amber was pretty funny, and Samantha didn't have a clue. The older girls feed Amber all the excitement and anticipation of things like Easter and Christmas. Early on Sunday morning, one of my sleeping problems was Amber and Lauren both waking up and then Lauren talked and talke to Amber about the Easter bunny. I kept telling them to go to sleep or the bunny wouldn't be coming!


Samantha got bunny ears and a swim suit mostly.


All the girls got pencils, stickers, a chocolate bunny, sidewalk chalk, a book, a ring pop... (I am sure I am forgetting something)


The girls didn't really get much candy although they got lots of candy in the eggs from the egg hunt on Saturday. Amber got bunny ears and some gloves and tights too I think. She didn't get some of the stuff the older girls got.

Amber enjoyed the ears of her chocolate bunny!

Pony Poop Farm additions

Spring is a good time for additions to any farm! It seems every year the stock at Pony Poop Farm seems to dwindle. They were down on chickens and ducks. Spring is a good time to restock. Three new ducks and perhaps 14 chickens... not sure how many chickens, too many to count, and they don't hold still very well.

The girls each picked out a duck... this is Lauren with her yellow duck, which she named Ming Ming.


The girls named all the chickens and ducks... not that I could keep up with all the names, especially since sometimes they changed their names.

Amber liked the chicks and ducks too, but wasn't very gentle with them. At times I thought, I hope this one is going to make it... so far they have all survived. I guess we left just in time.

Here is Lindsey with a little chick. We had to give the chickens time outs so the kids would stop holding them. They would sit and watch TV with them, and just hold them. They got pretty tame.

The chickens didn't seem to be afraid. Even when on Amber's head.

A girl and her chickens. I think she just kissed one of them. She was always kissing them.

Here is Amber with ALL the chickens and the 3 ducks.

Amber was trying to get one to sit on her finger like Grandma's birds do. Grandma tells her birds to step up, and they hop on her finger. This chick wasn't so good at it. It needs more training. By the end of our stay, the chicks would sit on a finger and just perch there and be still.

Amber took the chickens and was making them talk.
"Hi there."
"How are you?"
"My name is chicken."
"Do you want to play?"
She sat there playing with them like you would do with Barbies or other little figurines.

Next time we see them, they won't remember all the fun they had with the Utah Girls. They will be all grown up and won't even want to go in the tub or sit on a finger. They will just run from the Utah Girls when they see them the next time. Poor Utah Girls. (Although I was feeling pretty bad for the chickens and ducks, they were getting handled a little too much!)

To Washington we go...

For spring break we took a last minute trip to Washington. My nephew Thomas was getting baptized, so we thought we could go and support him. We had a wonderful time. The car ride as usual is kind of long and hard. The kids always get tired and grumpy with being in the car for that long. We normally start out early and then don't get there til late.


I was so happy to spend some good quality time with all my family. I normally always see and spend time with my parents. I also got to see my sister Becky who is really struggling at this time to find happiness and I think even more to find herself. She use to have it all, but trials and choices have brought her such unhappiness.


Most of us all went out one night to dinner. We have such a good time when we get together, or I do anyway. It is just laughs after laughs mostly. I hope my children have this same great relationship when they are older too. I know I didn't always feel this way with my sisters and brothers. I wouldn't trade any of them now. Being around them really makes me miss them and miss the whole family... all the small times they get together. I have been so busy and caught up in my own world that I often forget about those things and how much I miss it. Being back up there, and I think combined with my brother and his family coming here to visit, really brought back that ache I had when I moved out here.


I have a friend up there that I use to work with, she had twins last year. I was hoping to go suprise here with my visit there, but I was sick the whole time. I started off with a horrible cough, it started before we left to WA. It was a not stopping cough, the kind that you lose any sympathy for the person and you just want them to stop coughing because they are just noisy and annoying at this point. That was me, my brother and his wife took Robert down to the airport with me, and they kept saying, stop coughing! Or they would talk back and forth and say, we are stopping to get you cough drops! After the cough was a bit better then came a bad sore throat. I think I took Nyquil most the nights there. I really wanted to see Jennifer and her babies who were just turning one... but I didn't want to get her sick or her little cuties! Such a disappointment for me. I was really excited to see her, and kept waiting to get over my cough. I didn't even call and tell her I was there. I didn't want to call and say, "I am here, but I am really sick... do you want to see me?" and then have her feel obligated to say it was okay even though I was sick. (I am just now feeling a bit better in the throat area.)

We had a Easter Egg hunt on Saturday and a lunch/dinner too. Everyone was there, it was so great. I think most everyone stayed up that night until like 1 am. Of course then my kids didn't sleep that night real well and I was SO tired the next morning. It was well worth it.

Who put an egg up there??

No one wants to get eggs out of the pokey monkey tree.

There were SO many eggs that we ran out of places to put them. It wasn't very challenging really for the kids. There were some older kids that hunted eggs too. Two of the older boys were just looking for the eggs with money in them. They would pick up an egg, open it, and if it had candy in it, they would just put it back or throw it. Or they would say, I don't like that candy and look for something different.

She wants a duck for her bath

We were up in Washington for our spring break... Amber loved to go outside to play at "the park" she called it. My parents have a playground area outside, slide, swings, teeter tatter (or as my older girls use to call it the "up and down"), a balance beam, a tire swing, monkey bars and then some other bars and a swinging bar too I think... the playground equipment has changed from when I was growing up. I guess all those kids and then the grandkids are hard on playground equipment. The original slide is long gone!

When Amber goes out, she has boots on but not for long. She soon takes off her boots and socks if she had them on, and then she drags her feet on the ground as she goes around on the tire swing. And this is what she looks like.


It was definetly time for a bath! Which is no problem Amber loves baths. She also seemed to find some of her cousin Destiny's little ducks so she wanted to have a duck for her bath too. She is in the tub with her one pink duck, and then asks for some more ducks. I had a hard time finding the ducks she wanted but ended up finding some that seemed to work out okay.



video

In fact, after Lindsey got a look, she instantly started stripping to get in the tub too. I had to quickly tell her no, and that I was taking Amber out in just a minute. Pretty funny!

Things like this may only happen on Pony Poop Farm!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rocks and Dirt

It has been kind of hard here, since we don't have a yard, just dirt and dust with lots of stickers and pokey weeds. Now that the weather is nicer, the kids want to go out and play... but where are they to play? They have their bikes and scooters, but that only goes so long. What I want it grass now.

Our lot is pretty unlevel, lots of slopes. We decided to do a rock wall on one side of our house to help make a more level yard for the kids to play on, and in hopes to have a playground area there too someday.

Here is what it looks like now, with the rock wall. The kids really like the huge rocks and of course more fresh dirt that gives them a nice digging ground.

Check out Amber's boots! We were packing to go to Washington, she had 2 red boots on, she took off one red boot and put it in Lauren's suit case. Then she found a yellow boot. They are both the same boot, both left boots. LOL Silly girl!


The girls are loving to dig in the dirt and make tunnels. They ask to go play in the sad. It is funny they call it that. It is pretty sandy dirt.




We have a rock wall on the South side of our house, but it needed a little help, there was a small gap between our rock wall and the wall behind us on the neighbors driveway. We got more rocks for this area too.

I think this will be fun to do landscaping with... I am just not sure WHAT to do yet... I have a good imagination but maybe not for landscaping.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More silly glasses

As I was looking through my pics, I forgot I had these on here, and I wanted to add them to my other post but my camera battery died. Here are some other silly eyes from our Washington visitors at the begining of April.



Samantha


Here is Emily and cousin Thomas. I love Emily's face expression!

Baby Parker, looking a little like Harry Potter to me.


My brother Kelly, he looks like he should be on The Big Comfy Couch with the rest of the clowns.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Made fun of for coupon clipping

When my brother and his wife where here last week, they discovered my couponing habbits. They laughed at me and kept making fun of me. They would say, "do you have a coupon for that?" or "Why didn't you use a coupon?" when we would go to the store or what not. They were cracking me up with their funny sayings and joking. Not to mention I do have a bit of a problem in my basement with lack of shelves... I have about 40 bags of stuff just dropped on the floor. The bags contain anything from aluminum foil, razors, tooth paste, plug in candles, bathroom cleaners, laundry soap, toilet paper to fruit snacks, cereal, apple juice, gum, granola bars, instant oatmeal, and crackers (and many things inbetween).

We are planning on being with my brothers family over Easter so I called him to ask if we were doing an Easter Hunt or anything... and told him I could buy some candy, I have coupons for candy and also some dollar rewards to spend at Walgreens that I could combine and get a good deal on lots of candy for eggs. I prefer to use wrapped candy in the eggs, I didn't use to but currently, it disgusts me to just through some whoppers in an egg and then have it sit out in the grass till someone finds it and eats it. Not to mention the whole plastic egg "made in china", is it really made or more importantly SAFE to eat out of? (Maybe this habbit of having candy wrapped started when Grandma/Grandpa started to throw pocket change in the eggs with the M&M's...some things just gross me out like that.)

I am talking to my brother, he is just laughing, "Oh you have coupons huh!" as he is laughing and telling his wife or my mom or who ever is there... I then was wondering what we were doing for dinner. I told them I would much prefer to bring things from home, if I could for dinner than to have to worry about buying them there and have to go shopping instead of visiting. Again my brother is just laughing at me... saying, "oh yeah, you want to bring your own food... you probably have coupons for that huh!" I was going to tell him also, that who ever bought the ham to be sure to save their receipt, since there is a $20 rebate when you buy a ham and some other groceries. After his laughing, I was afraid to tell him. (I do have 4 extras of those coupons since it is only one per household for anyone that doesn't get the Sunday paper if anyone is interested.)

He thinks it is pretty funny, and he likes to make fun of me. I was telling him at Walgreen's they have a sale through this month that you buy Colgate for $3.49 and then you get a coupon back for $3.50 so your toothpaste is basically free. He was arguing me on it, "It isn't free, it is only like free...that isn't the same." I then told him at one Walgreen's in Lehi their toothpast is only $2.99 and then I had a $.75 off coupon, so I paid $2.24 and then they gave me $3.50 back. He again argued that it wasn't FREE as I was claiming it was, or that they weren't really paying me to buy it as I was telling him it was sort of like they were. (He likes to argue with me!) He still makes fun of me even though I got a GREAT deal, and he laughes when I tell him about things like that.

But I see nothing funny or nothing wrong with using a coupon to get toothpast or chapstick that is kind of like free.... Or when I use coupons to buy 6 boxes of cereal for $1.70, would you?

Albertson's is having a sale on Post brand cereal, they are $2.07 a box, but if you buy two of more, you save $1 off two, so instead of $2.07 it is then $1.57. Then I had a coupon for $1 off 2 boxes of cereal, making them now, $1.07... but when you buy 5 or more there is a catalina coupon that prints off at check out for $5 off your next purchase. So the first time I bought 6 boxes of cereal I paid $6.07, but then the next 6 I used my $5 coupon, and the next 6 I used my $5 coupon making my cereal $1.07 for 6 boxes. Then my coupons for the cereal were gone. (Which is probably okay, since we have about 55 boxes of cereal in our basement, and that isn't counting the ones that may be in our pantry closet.)

What is so funny about that? My brother just doesn't understand a good sale! Awww, I am falling in love with coupons!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Temple Trip

We took Kelly and his family along with my parents to Temple Square. Kelly had been there back in 1980 when my parents were sealed, and all of us kids sealed to them. (We believe as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that when we are sealed in the temple that it binds our family in heaven, so we can have the same family relationships in heaven as we do here on earth. When we are married on earth, it is "until death do you part" meaning that once you die your marriage in no longer in effect. We believe that when you are married in the temple or sealed in the temple that your marriage will go on beyond the grave and beyond death so we can be married in heaven as well.) We (my brother and I) were like almost 4 years old, so he didn't remember much. Sarah had been there a time before when she drove back from WA with me. Their kids visited Utah for the first time this trip. (I hope to have them all come again!!)
Robert took half the day off and went with us too. Robert's parents came and watched our kids and also Kelly and Sarah's little one so we could go with my parents to down town Salt Lake to see the temple. We rode Trax down there. The kids thought that was pretty fun!

Here we are getting ready to get on Trax.
Here Thomas is having fun riding on Trax.

Destiny had fun too, she almost fell asleep on the way downtown.
We watched the movie about Joseph Smith, and my parents got some scriptures for Thomas for his 9th birthday. Thomas has decided to be baptized, and will be doing so on the Sat. before Easter. It will also be the Sat. after his 9th birthday. He is pretty excited.
We walked around the temple. The weather was pretty cold, the wind was blowing. In fact there was some snow on the ground, not on the sidewalks but on the grass or the bushes or what not. Destiny fell asleep during the movie, so after we got out, Kelly put her on his shoulders. She didn't seem quite awake for a little while.
Sarah, Kelly, Thomas, and Destiny stood up next to the temple here up the steps by the big wooden doors.

Like I said, there was still snow on the ground. It seemed like for some reason the snow kept falling, although it had some help from many others... Thomas here has a big snowball he just threw at his dad.

You can see how snowy he is. I am not sure Destiny was too happy about most of the snow throwing at first. She was better later as she woke up more. There was so much snow flying that later that night I went to get something out of my purse, and it was totally soaked inside. It took me the longest time to figure out what "spilled" in my purse or what I set it on that was all wet. I then realized it was probably that giant snow ball Kelly threw at me.


This was actually taken before the movie, before Destiny fell asleep. We walked through Temple Square for just a second on our way to see the movie.


I think every time I see the Salt Lake Temple, it still amazes me! It is such a gigantic amazing building. I can help but to just stare at it. It seems to be beyond words for me really. My parents and probably my brother and his wife kept telling the kids about the temple, so they were really excited to see it. I think they all had a good time. I was glad to go with them to show it to them, and I am sure my parents where glad as well to be there with them.
It was nice to go again, as I hadn't been there for awhile. It is funny how you have something so magnificent so close yet you seem to forget about it. I definitely see a Temple Square visit for my family in the near future.... when it warms up a bit.