Grumpy Lady Bug

Alyssa is very shy, and quiet, and the school party seemed to be a little much for her. Everywhere she went there were kids trying to pick her up and adults who stopped to tell her how cute she was, and being the center of attention is not her idea of a good time. She did manage to tell a few adults that she was a lady bug, but that was getting her even more attention. Finally her fingers went in her mouth, and she was done with being cute.

We went to Danny’s work party after school. When Alyssa figured out that they were handing her candy she forgot all shyness and started helping herself to as much as she could take. There was this large, bald, nicely built probation guy there who was encouraging Alyssa to take as much as she could. I thought Alyssa wouldn’t even approach him, but she proved me wrong and took his challenge to heart and the more candy she would take the more he laughed and encouraged her to take more. I guess for candy she’ll put up with being the center of attention.

For your viewing pleasure, Danny as Captain Jack Sparrow!
Only one more day of this Halloween stuff, then on to one of my favorite times of the year… I’ve already been torturing the kids with Christmas music in the mornings… now no one can stop me!
I absolutely love Thanksgiving, I just think Christmas music can be a part of the whole season, including Thanksgiving, I hold off on all Christmas decor, but the music, 30 days is just not enough of it.

Trunk or Treat

Every year our ward holds a trunk or treat a week or two before Halloween. That is when the chaos begins. I really don’t mind Halloween, it just that they have to do costumes so many times. The day Nevada became a state is also Halloween, so in the past they have actually moved Halloween to accommodate Nevada Day celebrations. Recently they passed a law that states that Nevada Day will be celebrated on the last Friday of October, which this year happens to fall on Halloween. So there is no school on Halloween, so I have to get the kids in costume on Thursday and then again on Friday for Trick or Treating. So the trunk or treat is just the beginning of the season of Halloween. When I was a kid, we had Halloween on Halloween, we dressed once, and then it was over. The kids have to make a run into Danny’s office on Thursday for his work party, and they come out with more candy there then when they trick or treat, it’s just amazing how much candy they get. I’ll stop being a scrooge now and move on to some cute picture of the kids in their costumes. The Trunk or Treat was fun. It was combined with the other ward here in Dayton and it was fun seeing the other families that we used to work with when we were just one ward. We had chili and corn bread, and then the candy began.

In case you can’t tell, Emma is a butterfly, Tanner is a mad scientist, Alyssa is a lady bug, and Aubrey is Tinker Bell.

Another Book Review

Grandpa T, brought Tanner and Emma some books to read when he was here visiting a couple of weeks ago. Tanner is a funny reader, he’ll read almost anything non-fiction, he loves Mythology, how things work, information about animals etc… and Popular Science is often an object of contention between Tanner and his Dad. I read books with him at night that I think he wouldn’t necessarily read on his own and might be a bit of a challenge for him. He enjoys that I think just because it’s one on one time with me. So we have been reading Island of the Blue Dolphins together the last couple of weeks. Anyway, he picked up The Lightening Thief, that Grandpa brought over, and couldn’t put it down. Walking through grocery stores, riding in the car, preferred it over TV time, in the last two weeks he has devoured all 4 books in the series. When I find a fiction book that captures his attention I feel like I have to share it with the world. He came running into my room when he finished book 4, it was pretty late at night, and I was surprised to see him awake. He was so upset, I guess book 4 isn’t the end, and he’s frustrated because they didn’t finish the story. I’m so glad he found something to read besides Star Wars, and Indiana Jones.

OK, I think I can do it this time…

A few of you saw an announcement that I made last week on my blog. I quickly deleted it, putting it in writing made it a little too real, and completely sent me into a panic. I’m really struggling with this, and I’m not sure how to deal with the feelings I’m having. Of course a new baby is such a blessing, and we will love this new addition with all of our hearts, it’s just going to take a while to adjust to this. The kids seem very excited about it, Tanner would really like a brother, of course there are no guarantees there. I pray that I will find a way to balance all of the needs of these young spirits, and know how to guide them, teach them, and help them find their place in this sometimes scary world. Excuse my drama, we’re all entitled to a little now and then right?
Anyway, we are excited, scared, worried, I’m sure there isn’t an emotion that we haven’t experienced over the last few weeks, but in the end we will have another beautiful member of our family, and I’m sure that I will look back on this and wonder what I was ever worried about, and wont be able to imagine life without this new little one…
I’ll keep you posted on due date, I haven’t called the doctor yet, I’m not anxious to start all the appointments, blood draws, weigh ins, etc… I have an appointment on the 27th of Oct. to see how the birth control is working for me, so maybe I’ll keep that appointment and let him know how it’s working then.


Snow in Dayton before we left

Why is it whenever I attempt a camping trip we get snow. If you look back, our trip to Yakima– snow! Hope Valley– snow! I thought this trip to Yosemite would be canceled because of the snow. They closed Tioga Pass on Friday, and we have driven all the way around in the past, but I didn’t want to endure that drive, so I told the kids our trip was cancelled. When we got home from church on Sunday, I checked online and they had opened the pass as of noon on Sunday… so off we went.
We arrived in Upper Pines Camp at 7:30pm, and started setting up the tent in the dark. It was far colder then I was expecting, and spirits for me were low, the kids were excited to be out of the car, and were given freedom to get dirty.

Five minutes after our arrival a Ranger came up to us and told us that a bear had just been in our camp, and was now just sitting 100 yards from us. He said that her cub was up in a tree behind us and that we needed to finish our business and get our bear box locked… Great!
The first night dropped into the 20’s, and we were all chilly. Alyssa had an accident on her green blanket, so we were without her comfort, and then there was that bear issue, things were looking bleak. Of course none of this seemed to affect the kids, but I was looking at those hotel lights wishing that we’d gone that course instead of camping. I’m the weakest link.

Tanner was a trooper he got up in the morning with Dad to start the fire, and get some hot chocolate made. It took a little more persuation to get the girls out of the tent, but eventually nature called and we all got up. Alyssa thought we were nuts and just kept asking to go home, finally the morning warmed up and she was OK with the world again. We hung out in the valley on Monday, and did some small hikes, and sight seeing. We played down in the river, where Tanner and Aubrey fell in, Tanner was trying to save Aubrey, although the river is less then a foot deep and I don’t think she needed too much saving, but they were both wet.

The thing I love most about camping is that the kids have so much to do. There are downed trees everywhere, and giant granite rocks, lizards, and streams, just endless things to explore. The kids found a rather large rock and spent an hour climbing to the top and sliding down the side. We had a family from Asia ask if they could take their picture with us… it wierded me out. I was thinking they were going back to show how fat Americans are… but Danny said they were probably just fascinated by a large american family… I still think my answer applies here.

Our second night was a little warmer, and I managed to get Green Blanket cleaned, so we were back in business. We all slept fairly well, at least better then the first night. We had another bear encounter on our second night. We had spilled some bacon greese on the table and a bear scratched at the table trying to get the greese, until a ranger scared it off.

We took a hike to Taft Point and discovered Dad doesn’t care so much for cliffs 3,500 feet in the air. We had to keep tight hold of Aubrey and Alyssa. We had lunch up there, and then headed back.

Taft Point

View from Taft Point
3500 feet straight down

Tuesday night was warm, well, warmer then the 20’s, so I thought we were in for some good sleep, but Tanner got sick and lost it right outside the tent. Thank goodness it was outside the tent and not inside, but then I was stressed about the bears, coming right up to our tent to eat well… what Tanner lost. So Danny did his best to scoop it all up and move it away from the tent. Luckily there was no bear that night, but I was up quite a bit listening for one to come.

Wednesday we headed for home. Before I had kids, and it was just me, camping was fun, a challenge, exciting, but now, I must sum it up with the word miserable. Danny and I talked about how having kids have changed us both, but not in important ways. So I don’t enjoy camping so much anymore, is there really an eternal problem with that? It’s always my idea to go camping, I used to really enjoy it, and I will continue to camp for the children, but someday, when it’s just Danny and I and given the choice, that hotel in Yosemite is going to look very tempting. I’m greatful for a partner who is willing to move vomit, face the bears, and in general take good care of us.

Tutu's, Dumplings, Preschool, Birthday and Soccer

The title of this blog says it all. A lot has been going on this week, and I wasn’t sure how to include it all, but for the sake of recording it as part of my family journal, I’m going to lump it all together.

Grandma and Grandpa Titcomb arrived on Monday, the kids anxiously waited for the motor home to arrive all day long. In celebration of them coming I decided to make my Dad’s Mother’s, Mother’s who knows how many mothers recipe of Chicken and Dumplings. This was always a treat when we were kids, and it helped pass the time while waiting for their arrival. I can’t imagine how the ladies of the past made this without a mixer.

Aubrey wants to be Tinkerbell for Halloween. I’m not a fan of spending $30 on a Disney costume so I made Aubrey a green sparkly tutu. It was actually an enjoyable project, that I did one afternoon while Alyssa was napping and Aubrey and I enjoyed an episode or 20 of Dora!
I’ll pair it with a green turtle neck for warmth and maybe some white leggings, I haven’t worked out the details yet, but of course she will need some wings and some fairy dust to finish it off, but here’s what I’ve got.
It was so easy that I decided to do a red tutu for Alyssa with black pants, turtle neck, and she can go as a lady bug, I’ll work on that one during Conference tomorrow.
Friday was Emma’s birthday and preschool for Aubrey at my home! The theme for me was the 5 senses. We baked pumpkin muffins, of course smelling, and tasting the different igredients as we went along. The kids tasted the salt and the sugar, smelled the cinnamon and the pumpkin, and then ate the muffins for snack. For hearing we made paper plate tamborines, with beans. Then of course we had to do touch, so I put shaving cream all over the back yard table, and we practiced writing our letters in it and then I hosed them all down. That was their favorite part. Alyssa got involved and had a blast with the shaving cream.

I pulled Emma out of school early on Friday and we went home and did presents and cake before gymnastics. We went out to B’sghetti’s for dinner, and over to Walmart to look for a new DS game to spend her birthday money on, but she couldn’t make up her mind. I told her to call Uncle Benny, he’s up on the new releases and maybe there is something coming out she’d like to wait for. So we headed home to bed.

The kids actually slept in until 7:02 this morning, I know it was 7:02 because they all came running in to tell us they slept in… I think they were up around 6:30 but waited as long as they could to wake us up.

It was cold this morning, but we all headed to the soccer field to support Tanner.
It was tough game, and Tanner’s team lost…

Grandma and Grandpa… freezing!

10 Years

Aaack, 10 years ago today my Emma was born. I have a hard time putting my feelings into words. Emma, is everything I imagined she would be. I remember looking into her little eyes after she was born, and just knew as every mother does when they see that baby for the first time that something wonderful has just occurred.
There are so many things I wished I’d known, so many things I might have done differently, but it’s been an adventure and so worth the time invested.
Emma is so wonderful, she’s beautiful, and smart, I have seen her grow into a little lady and I couldn’t be more proud of her and her accomplishments. She is so great with her little brother and sisters, she so helpful with them and has learned so many little mother skills. One attribute that I think about when I think of Emma is her honesty. She has proven herself over and over, and has never given me reason to doubt her. I know that she is only 10, but when I think that I only have 8 more years with her until she is considered an adult I want to freeze time, or at least slow it down. I’m going to try and live more in the moment, and enjoy the ride with her, because it goes too quickly.
Happy Birthday Emma!!!