Cheap Fun!

Two years ago Danny and I decided to purchase a TV projector with a screen, a combo unit that has a built in DVD player. We have a family pizza and movie night every Friday night, and thought that instead of buying a large TV for the family room we would probably have more fun watching movies on a screen. Last night we took the projector outside and brought the screen out also, but the wind was blowing just a little, but it wouldn’t take much for the screen to go flying. We aimed the projector at the wall of our house and it worked wonderful. The house is a light tan color, with a thick texture stucco, but you couldn’t even tell. I tried to get a picture of it, but it didn’t show up well on the camera. We watched The Secret Garden, Aubrey soon fell asleep since it doesn’t get dark until 8:30 so we just let her sleep outside until the movie was over. The kids were all in their sleeping bags, it was so much fun we were thinking we need to invite another family over to watch with us next time.

Emma and Alyssa waiting for the movie to start

Today Tanner had another soccer game. He was goalie again, I guess I should stop saying that, I think he’s the official team goalie, he did great, he’s getting more aggressive with his stops and is doing a great job. No one scored on him today.

Tanner has a friend hanging out with us today. Dane’s Mom went with her daughter for a daughters day out and I didn’t mind him hanging with us for the afternoon. We had lots of yard work to do so Danny set to mowing the lawn while I made up some lunch and got everyone in their swim suits. We pulled out the little kid pool and set up the slip and slide and everyone was kept busy for hours.

This picture is for Grandpa O’Barr!

Last Day of Preschool

Aubrey had her last preschool class today. We all met at a local park and just let the kids play. I’m feeling a little sad about it being over. We had a good group of kids and I enjoyed watching them play, learn and grow. I’ve done other co-op preschools with the kids and all of them had their good points, but this little group of kids were just enjoyable. I can’t believe my little Aubrey is just one year away from kindergarten, she is such a delight, and has a contagious smile, you can’t help but be happy when Aubrey is around unless she is in troll mode as we like to call it. Anyway, I snapped a few pictures of the kids at the park today.
I of course had to catch a picture of Alyssa.


I spent yesterday running around to thrift stores trying to find something for Emma to wear to school for her Ireland presentation. She already had a green wool sweater, so I was looking for a simple gray or black cotton skirt. Taking Aubrey to a thrift store is like taking her to a candy store. We came out without a single skirt, but she had a new pair of rain boots, two hats (hopefully not lice from trying on all the hats) a Lands End sweater and a pair of Gap shorts all for $6, yeah for me, I think… I finally found a simple black skirt in a couple sizes too big, if I was more confident with my sewing skills I would have loved to have made her a cute pleated charcoal gray skirt, one more thing to work on. I did find a good bargain at Gotchalks though, they had some cute shirts for 60% off the 50% off sale price so they were just a couple of bucks, I was feeling pretty happy. So things were going my way, so I wanted to push my luck. I have this garbage can, I paid $100 for it, sshh don’t tell anyone. Anyway, this garbage can broke in it’s second year of life, and I was sick over it. So I looked the company up online, since this ends good I’ll tell you the company, Simple Human. So I mustered my courage, and called their customer service line, and said that my can was broken. They asked me my name, address etc… and said that the replacement part will be here in 5 days. She asked me if that was all and I asked her if that was really all, so we’ll see what happens, but they were wonderful. I had no receipt, no proof of purchase, nothing, you don’t see levels of customer service like that very much. So over all it was a good day.
Emma had her presentation today. We made it a family event. She loaded the bus this morning, and we followed the bus to Fernley Middle School. She seemed to have a good time, and did really well, I was proud of her. Aubrey and Alyssa, frustrated me so I left early and headed home, but she was in good spirits when I picked her up from school. I have pictures, but I’m in the middle of making dinner so I’ll have to post them later.

A camping we will go

We knew that the weather was going to be bad. The predictions were for rain and cool temperatures, so we packed accordingly, but it seems like I’m never prepared enough.
Anyway, I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Castle O’Barr
The little tent to the right is our potty.
The weather held out just long enough to get everything set up and then the snow started falling. You can see a few of the flakes if you look closely in this picture.

The Royal Throne

Emma and her friend Devree

Noble was helping the boys with the bow and arrows. Everyone was getting a good laugh at Tanner because he’s never shot before, but would do a little butt shaking dance, and let it fly and hit the center of the target every time, maybe I should look into archery lessons for him.

Waking up the first morning, the lens was fogging up. We all slept well but it was cold. When Danny went outside to take Aubrey potty, Aubrey saw all the snow, and said “HOLY MOLY” She had no idea it had snowed. We laid in the tent for a long time that morning and sang Christmas carols.

Our first morning. We ended up being the only family up there in a tent, but we stuck it out. One family left after the snow storm, but they weren’t feeling well, who could blame them. Going potty was miserable.

We were a little wimpy, we took off for the morning and went into town and saw Prince Caspian. Then we headed back up to the camp and went fishing. Danny had bought a California fishing license for the day and he didn’t want it to go to waste.

By the time we returned to camp the snow had melted, and we had a great afternoon down at the river. We didn’t catch anything, which actually relieved me I didn’t want to eat fish, so we roasted hot dogs over the fire. Rhonda, made a delicious Rhubarb Crisp that she shared with all of us. Tanner told a ghost story and the snow started up again, so off to the tent we went.

Alyssa down at the river. She picked flowers and ate lots of trail mix while the kids fished. I spent most of my time keeping her out of the river.

Trail Mix

Playing at the river!

Whittling! Emma and Tanner both got involved in this, Tanner needed two band aids by the time he was done, Emma didn’t need any. Tanner was tough about it. He handed Danny back his knife, and it was covered in blood. Danny asked why it was covered in blood, and Tanner just casually mentioned to Danny that he’d cut himself. Silly boy.
Danny’s lesson on how to start a fire using flint.

“Ready or not here I come.” There were a lot of kids camping with us and they got a game of hide and seek going. That always worries me a little I’d hate to have Aubrey hide and then not be able to find her, but she was being good and was having too much fun for me to stop the game.

Emma and Tanner working on their spears. Tanner and I just finished reading Hatchet and he was thinking he could spear a fish, reality set in pretty quickly.

I unzipped the tent on morning 2 and quickly took a picture. We got up with hopes of things warming up like they did yesterday, but it never happened. I went into my friends trailer while Alyssa napped and played a game of Phase 10 with the ladies, and Danny and the kids played out by the fire. it continued to snow and rain all day and I decided to call it quits about 3pm. I knew laundry would be brutal, and so we packed it up and headed for home. It was nice sleeping in my own bed last night. I want so badly to be tough, but I’m committed to more camping trips this year, maybe in a warmer area. Hope Valley, California

What Happened…

Has anyone seen the years 2001, 2002, 2003… 2008? I was thinking back on time, and I’m not sure I remember much about those years. I remember getting married, having Emma, and Tanner, but the rest seems to be a blur. I remember certain events, but they seem to be just isolated event, and I’m not sure I could even put a year to them. Someone tell me that it’s just because I have little kids and that time will return to a more reasonable pace soon…

OK, enough of that. I’m trying to get ready for a camping trip. We are going to Hope Valley with some friends, they all have R.V.’s so we will pitch our tent in the shadow of their R.V.’s and try not to feel like losers. To be fair there will be a few families in tents, so we wont be the only ones, but I’m sure when I hear their potty flush there will be a moment of jealousy. When camping with friends in the past, I was jealous in the middle of the night when I would hear their heater kick on, and I’m awake and freezing, so this year I broke down and bought a tent heater.

We’ve had a little bit of a hot streak the last couple of weeks, but a low front is moving in and it snowed over Mt.Rose last night. We’re suppose to have highs in the low 60’s in Hope Valley this weekend with high chance of rain, I was hoping when I told the kids about the rain that they’d say, lets not go… but they thought that sounded like even more fun, so wish us luck, with rain, lows in the 30’s and us in a tent with a 2X4 over a hole potty. Anyone want to join me for a nice hotel in San Fran instead? I’ll post pictures on Monday, if we survive.

Tuesday night I was telling Danny that I wanted to live in a place that had lots of thunder and lightening storm, and of course rains a lot, doesn’t get too hot, or too cold. He laughed at me and told me to contact a real estate agent and see if such a place exists. We often go months without any kind of moisture here, we have lovely lightening storm that start fires but it never rains with the storms. Well later that night, almost in a mocking fashion to my earlier statements, the skies opened up and produced a storm that we haven’t seen here in the 10 years that we have lived in Nevada. The lightening was hitting so close that the entire house was shaking, we couldn’t count past two from seeing the flash to the sound of the thunder. Then the rain came, rain like we have never seen. Everything was soaked the gutters were over flowing, the front yard was flooding, it was amazing. I loved every moment of the storm, the kids all came and climbed in bed with us talk about spectacular. It’s been rainy and cool ever since, and I guess I got my answer without calling a real estate agent. I need to learn to find happiness in the place that I am, the grass seems to always be greener elsewhere, but our grass is pretty green, and I’m happy.

Hot Springs!

Another weekend has come and gone. I’m always a little sad on Sunday nights, knowing that my children are going back to school and Danny is going back to work. We had another good weekend. I think that the kids are catching on to my “get things done” regimen. Saturday morning the kids were up at 6:00 like normal, and we let them hang out in bed with us until 7:00 then I asked that the kids get their rooms clean. I’m not just talking picked up, I’m talking clean. I went in with Tanner and helped him out, Emma was able to take care of her and Aubrey’s room pretty much by herself, then Danny and I tackled the kitchen and the master bath. I even cleaned my tubs jets. Then it was off to Tanner’s soccer game, which they won!-good job Tan. I stayed home from this game so that Alyssa could catch a nap before the days activities, and I worked on my calling so that I wouldn’t be worried about that during the day. They called the game early because it was nearly 100 degrees and they were worried about the kids.
We took off for Grover Hot Springs which is about 20 miles over the California border. The California border is the line between ugly and beautiful. They were nice and gave us a small chunk of Lake Tahoe, but it’s mostly on the line of desert and trees/mountains, with the trees and mountains on the California side. The hot springs are pretty warm, but Alyssa didn’t want anything to do with the cool pool, so I stayed in the hot pool with her. The other kids ran between the two pool, it was so nice.

When we were waiting to get in a lady told us about a hike to a waterfall, I’m such a sucker for waterfalls, I love them, and knew I wouldn’t be able to leave without seeing the waterfall. So off we went. What the lady neglected to tell us is that you have to climb rocks, lots of large granite rocks to get to the falls, it was worth every climb though. Unfortunately the kids weren’t in climbing shoes, so they hiked the 3 miles in flip flops, there was a little whining coming down, but they were awesome.

We climbed to the top of the waterfall hoping to find a pool to swim in, but the water was running too fast to get in, there were lots of lizards hiding in the rocks, and the temperature was perfect, so it was worth the hike, it’s something I’d like to do again in proper shoes so that we can explore a little more.

Of course I took pictures, the mineral water is a lovely (gross) color, and at first I didn’t want to get in. When I went with my parents to Alaska in the motor home with the kids we stopped at some hot springs in Canada that we hiked to, and it was in the middle of a river, they were so much fun, no cement pool, just wade into the river, but the smell was like finding an easter egg three weeks after it was hidden. Grover Hot Springs didn’t stink, but I enjoy the river setting over the created pool setting.

So here are a few pictures, sorry I deleted the ones of me in a swim suit, maybe another time… yeah right.

Top part of the waterfall

Emma was mad at Tanner because he wouldn’t put on a decent face for a picture, so I told her to join him!

Moments of Cute

Emma and Tanner were sorting laundry the other day and having way too much fun doing it, so I took my camera down there to see what they were up to. I still don’t know what they were doing in there, but I asked them to open the door and this is what I got. I like it when they get along especially when they have to work together, it makes the chore more fun.

In a recent post I was saying how Alyssa wont look at the camera, and refuses to acknowledge me at all if I have a camera in my hand, somehow that has been cured and she now has Aubrey’s problem. I’m assuming she has picked it up from Aubrey, but when she sees a camera now she says “cheeeeeessssseeeee”. I’m thinking I liked being ignored more. It’s cute though. Last night in the bath she was licking water from the faucet as it poured in and I thought it would be a cute picture, this is when I discovered her change of heart for the camera, she wouldn’t lick anymore she would just say cheese.

Here’s Alyssa looking too cute in her nightgown hugging her baby. How many times can I use cute in one post?

One more moment of “cute”. I was eating lunch and put on “Little Bear” for the girls to watch for a few moments peace. When I came to see what Alyssa was up to this is what I found, luckily I had my camera right there. Sweet little sister, a mother’s dream come true.

I wish I had something exciting to tell, but sadly, things are pretty quiet around here. Danny did get the fence put up and there are only 14 days of school left, I’m behind on laundry, but I’m not sure that qualifies as exciting. So I best not waste much more time here, and go get that laundry done, blech!

Random thoughts…

Our little town has a festival called Oodles of Noodles, I guess it is to celebrate the Chinese influence on the town’s existence, Dayton was settled by Chinese mine workers, and used to be called China Town, although I see no Chinese influence in this town at all, and I’m not sure what noodles has to do with anything, you’d think Oodles of Rice or something… I know it doesn’t rhyme, I get it, but I don’t really get it… Anyway, this is going somewhere, I’m just taking the long way there! So what you do is buy a ticket and that allows you to sample different pasta dishes from local business and then you vote at the end for your favorite. So one thing that really bothers me about living where we do is our local brothels. The Bunny Ranch sponsored a booth and made a pasta dish and had their little “bunnies” out their serving it, and to top it off the noodles are shaped like yep you guessed it bunnies. Cute huh? They sell the noodles in packages with “The Bunny Ranch” on them if anyone is looking for souvenirs. Tanner and Emma came up with me to get our sample of pastas sigh, I guess everywhere has it’s problems.

Yesterday for FHE it was my night to choose activity, and I chose to go hiking on the Tahoe Rim Trail. So I packed everything up, stopped by Subway for some 5 buck foot longs, picked the kids up from school, fetched Danny from work and headed up. We had a wonderful time, but I forgot my camera, I was so disappointed, since starting this blog I’ve been so good about capturing everything we do on camera, and I think it will make a great family book, but my camera is very large and not conducive to hiking, I need a small camera that I can keep in my car for such outings. The kids had such a great time. The first mile and a half of the hike is up hill to a large out cropping of granite rocks. We usually stop there for dinner and then head home, but we wanted to go further this time so we continued on, the hike is actually hundreds of miles long, Google Tahoe Rim Trail, it’s pretty amazing. So we continued past our regular spot, but it was getting so cold and Alyssa was starting to fuss, so we ate dinner on another granite rock, I wish I had pictures, it’s so beautiful. Tanner told us a scripture story, Emma shared a lesson, and Aubrey had us singing songs the whole way down, it was delightful, and the kids had so much fun, except Alyssa who’s diaper starting leaking, I can only assume from the pressure of the back pack between her legs so she was unhappy. Aubrey made the 2 miles up without any help and didn’t slow us down at all, Danny carried her a little ways back down, but it’s nice that she is getting big enough to join us on our adventures. We were all pretty cold when we got back to the car, so we stopped by a Starbucks on our way home and the kids got hot chocolates and Danny and I got steamed skim milk with a little flavoring, Danny’s idea, he was on treat.

My friend Heather is off on a cruise this week, good for her, but really, I’m jealous!

Picture Perfect

Breakfast in bed consisted of a mushroom omelet, fresh berries and lemon poppy seed muffins. It was delicious, but I love that the kids sit in bed with me and eat my breakfast with me. The kids all looked cute for church and they couldn’t have sang any cuter. Aubrey got to go up and sing for the first time and when she came back she threw her arms around my neck and said “I did it just like my big kids, didn’t I Mom?” Emma being the big sister took good care of Aubrey on the stand and held her up a few times so that we could see her. I beamed with pride. The youth spoke about their mothers and one of the young ladies that spoke said that mothers need to live more in the moment, I thought “I live in the moment”, well most moments… some I’d rather not live in. Even with a picture perfect mother’s day there were a few moments I didn’t want to live in. How about Tanner coming to me 30 minutes before church saying his church clothes weren’t clean. I fixed that problem. We were late for church today and that NEVER happens, but we took seats in the back and we were separated. Danny was sitting behind me and during the Sacrament, Alyssa was getting trollish, so Danny hands her a new tin container of Altoid mints to play with. She promptly opens it up and they sprinkle for a full 30 seconds all over the floor, of course we were late because of Tanner’s pants, so we were in the back on the wood floor so we heard plink, plink, plink, CANDY, CANDY,plink, plink, CANDY etc… Yes Alyssa can say CANDY, and everyone knows it, what a great word for her to learn, now everyone knows what a great mother I am that one of my babies first words is candy, and she wont stop saying it. Then Aubrey had to go to the bathroom, and refused to let anyone take her but Tanner, so I called her bluff, and she eventually settled down. So this is how my Mother’s Day went, but I truly remember it as picture perfect.
When we got home from church I settled in with my sweet Tanner and read a couple of chapters of Harry Potter, we just finished Hatchet, and he couldn’t wait to do another book with me. I read the odd pages and he reads the even. We then laid in bed and he shared secrets with me, I’m so grateful that he’ll still snuggle in bed with his mom and tell me things that are important to him. Picture Perfect!

Other happenings of the week


How many times have I heard don’t leave your tooth brush on the sink, when you flush the toilet… Salmonella
How about that chicken on the counter… Salmonella.
Advertising companies, “buy our product it kills Salmonella.”
I’m not sure what Salmonella really is, I know it’s a bacteria, no maybe it’s a virus, but I’ve feared it for a long time because I’m told to fear it.
In R.S. a lady took this whole chicken and a pair of kitchen shears and started to hack away at this bird. The point being that it could save us money if we learned how to hack apart a chicken. I think what I learned was that frozen chicken from Costco was worth the extra money. So I was over at a friends house this week, and her house smelled divine, I asked what she was cooking, and she said a chicken. Instantly I stopped listening, nope, not me, I’m not hacking apart a bird, and giving my family Salmonella. But she assured me that all you have to do is take the bird wash it and huck it in a crock pot.

I guess I’d have to do the math to see if it really saved money or not, with the weight of the bones and all that is wasted with a whole chicken, but the bird cost $4.50 and it was delicious!

Our strawberry plants have all blossomed, and are looking good, can’t wait to enjoy the berries if I can get to them before the kids do that is.

I went out with Danny on Saturday morning and pounded out nails from the planks while he hammered them back up, it’s a long tedious job, and we aren’t even half done. I’m sure when we get this part put up with the winds around here it wont be long until another section goes down, I suggested that we just start replacing it with vinyl fence sections, because eventually the whole thing is going to go down, but I was veto’d.

Tanner’s team won their soccer game on Saturday!
I think that does it for this week. Oh if anyone has a few moments, Aubrey is desperately looking for mail everyday, drop her a letter and I promise I’ll help her write back.

Ewww Gross!!!

I took the kids to the library yesterday, and Tanner checked out some Star Wars Books to read, something about the Queen of the Empire, a continuation of Star Wars. I’ve never read them, but they came from the kid section, how dangerous can they be…? This morning Tanner is reading and throws the book down, and starts saying “Ewww, gross, I can’t read this, that’s disgusting.” He does a little “so grossed out dance” and goes outside to take the dog out. So I grabbed the book fearing the worse, but find a small little kissing scene, nothing inappropriate. So Tanner comes back in and I tell him it’s just a little kiss, and he said you didn’t read the next page, so Emma grabs the book and reads the next page, and you won’t believe what she read… Han Solo, and Princess Lea got married, and he’s so grossed out about it. Silly boy. Did I spell those names correct, I’ve been unable to ever watch the movies, for some reason they have a sleepy effect on me and I’m snoring by the first fight scene… but then I was thinking that I did hear that Han Solo and Princess Lea were brother and sister, is that right, if so I might can see what he was so grossed out about, but I don’t think that is why he was grossed out. Boys are just cute!