Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our yearly camping trip

I love, Love, LOVE the school schedule that the boys have here in Georgia. Right when I am starting to feel totally overwhelmed with our schedules, the boys get a week long break and we get to just hang around and do what we want. They are on their fall break this week and it is so nice to just focus on the house and maybe even some organization.

We have gone on a camping trip in Oct. ever year that we have  been in GA I think. This past weekend we went camping on a lake in Augusta. We were planning on leaving on Friday when the boys got home from school since they got out at 12:00. The problem was, I had no interest or time to plan the trip before Friday and when you are going camping there is a lot to plan. So on Friday morning, I planned a little and did a lot of hoping and just threw in what I had as I thought of it. We finally left home about 4pm. Luckily Augusta is only 2 hours away, but we still had to do a lot of the tent pitching in the dark. The boys did a great job helping Steve and we eventually did get to bed.

Alex watching the tent crew

The next morning we woke up to this scene taken from our campsite:

It was such a beautiful area! and especially at this time of year when the weather has cooled off a little and a lot of the nasty bugs have started to go away.The lake was huge and just such a beautiful scene. The boys enjoyed playing around the water and the woods.


During the day, Steve took the boys on a canoe ride on the water two at a time

Of course Alex stayed safely on the shore with Mommy.

They also went fishing right by our campsite one day.

And Steve always has to have a little relaxation time with all of the boys scratching his back or rubbing his head. He made up a very entertaining points game this time.

We even got the blessing of a full moon. It was so beautiful!

One night we were able to get Alex to sleep by himself, so we got to sit around the fire and listen to some of Steve's campfire stories. And the boys love his stories!

Speaking of Alex and his sleep, boy is this boy difficult when it comes to that. He cannot sleep if there is any noise around him. He just has to know what is going on and sits up and looks around with any sound. As you can imagine, this made camping a bit difficult with him. He had to wait and go to bed when I was ready to lay down most night. And during his naps, we had to send the boys out into the woods to play so he could sleep. Once or twice he fell asleep in the car and I was able to leave him in there for an hour or so without us having to tiptoe around the camp. Ridiculous. I know.
He did fall asleep in his stroller on the morning we were packing up. I gave him his binky and blanket and ignored him for long enough and he slept for maybe half an hour. A real miracle.


Now I do need to give myself a pat on the back really quick here. As most of you know, I Love to go to garage sales. I love to see what unique things people are getting rid of, or what kind of treasures I can find. I also LOVE getting a good deal. Well, some of those great garage sale purchases were really helpful on this camping trip. I found this collapsible 5 gallon water container for $2 at a garage sale last year. At our campsite there was no running water, so I would go a mile to the RV site in the morning and fill up my water jug and it worked out great. We used it to wash hands, get a drink, brush teeth, etc. It was perfect.

 With every seat in the van now full, it is impossible to get us all, plus three days worth of camping supplies in the car. At one point I found this rooftop carrier thingy to carry some of our extra junk. Steve strapped it to the top, and put as much stuff as we could in it and away we went. Well worth the $20 I spent!
I do need to apologize to Alicia for the lack of an eggs-in-a-frame picture, but rest assured we had our fair share. As well as lots of other delicious camp food. I swear 90% of our camping trip is spent, cooking, eating and cleaning up. We love it though.

And we will look forward to our next camping trip.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

What I learned this week

Wow, it has been a great week of learning for me, and I love the things I have learned,  now I just need to implement them. I have been a little stressed with my Young Women calling lately. I felt like we had everything under control and moving along, and then things started changing, and people were getting moved to other callings and I felt like it was all falling apart. After a lot of thought, prayer, and long talks with people with great ideas, I am so excited about the changes now. I have gained a stronger testimony that the Lord cares very much what happens in the Statesboro Ward Young Womens and if I will just trust Him it will all work out.

I absolutely LOVED Conference this weekend. Especially both sessions on Saturday. I felt the Spirit so strongly and had great ideas come to my mind and many reassuring things said. Of course that is probably because of the above paragraph, but I just really loved it.
Because of this new very addicting website called Pintrest, I planned ahead and made Conference more enjoyable for the boys too. They each got a Conference basket with bingo, candy, hot chocolate, a new pen, a small notebook, and some conference activities in them. They enjoyed them and were able to stay a little quieter during the Sunday morning session. Thank you Pintrest.

Last night, it got down to 41 degrees here! Woohoo, I love the fall weather. I am so thrilled that it is here. Hopefully we won't have anymore hot humid days in 2011. I would Love it. Anyway, Steve decided it was time to do some fun "macho" activity with the boys, so they all slept on the trampoline. It is so funny because Steve goes to great lengths to make sure he is comfortable when he sleeps. So, he proceeded to pull a mattress out to the trampoline to sleep with the boys. Now we all know what happens when you sleep on the trampoline right? Everyone slides to the heaviest point. So, I guess all the boys would just slide to the mattress that Steve was on. Well, around 4am Steve retreated and came to bed with me. I guess it was super cold, the dew was getting everything wet and he was ready for some good sleep. Brandon eventually came in too,  but the other boys held out until the morning. And then they proceeded to jump with the mattress and blankets and sleeping bags and pillows all day long. Oh the joys of the trampoline.


  We also had our annual fall festival at the school on Friday night. We always go and spend money on junk, but I am happy because it goes back to the school. Here are Alexander and Steve as we were leaving.

And today, while I was taking advantage of having Steve around to help, I got out my sewing machine and I was hemming table clothes for YW that have been on a six month to do list. During that time, Steve was in charge of the baby boy. Can you guess what he did to keep him happy?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sad Loss

You see this beautiful red lawn mower that has been put to very good use on our property.

Well, it is no longer running. :-( Steve has been sooooo busy with school lately, and I really enjoy cutting the grass every once in a while. Since this week wasn't too hot and the grass was overgrown, especially in the back, I decided I would do Steve a favor and cut it. As I was working on the backyard just finishing the area that grows the most, the mower just stopped. No sputtering, no signs it just quite. When we looked at it later we discovered that it had no oil, and apparently engines don't like to run without oil. It had been leaking oil pretty bad for a while now and Steve always checks the oil when he mows, but since I was just filling in, I did not think to do that and now we have almost 1 acre of grass and no mower. I will let you know what we decide to do.

This one is just for fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blog update!

I have been told that it is time for a blog update??

Life in Georgia is GREAT! It is finally cooling down and we are going to really enjoy the fall weather.  I have been keeping myself extremely busy, but I am tired of thinking about how busy I am. So, I am reprioritizing and I am going to keep on top of things if it kills me. :-)

The boys have been in school now almost 9 weeks and they are doing great. I love my straight A students. We still walk to school every morning so we are holing up our Brooklet reputation. I have also started a co-op with Brandon this year with 3 women in the ward whom I think are fabulous. He is loving it and I think it is pretty great too. It would be Perfect if it didn't cut into Alexander's nap schedule so badly. Brandon goes every Wed. and Thurs. from 9:30 to 12. We had the kids at our house last week and learned about the ocean one day and heat and fans the second day. I really enjoyed it.

Since I can't go back three months I will tell you about our weekend. On Friday some ladies from the ward got together for a salad luncheon. We all brought a salad of our choice and the recipe. It was delicious and a lot of fun. I love my Statesboro friends. I was supposed to have a garage sale Saturday morning, but I procrastinated calling the paper until it was too late, so I had to postpone that. So Saturday was spent doing whatever we wanted until 5pm when we had the missionaries over for a wonderful dinner. When they left I went to the General Relief Society Broadcast and loved it. Today (Sunday) was the Primary Program at church and it was so good. They sang "The Family is of God" for their first song and the second verse which is about father's was sung by Steve and our 4 boys that are Primary age. Steve bought them matching ties for the event and they looked adorable. They sang pretty good too. :-) I brought the camera to tape it but Steve brought me to my senses so I didn't record in Sacrament Meeting although I SSOOO wanted to. Tonight Steve made dinner and he made an Indian dish called Tikka Masala. Yum! It was great.

So, the boys have somehow broken my Kodak camera that I got for Christmas, but I have been able to get a couple of pictures from our old camera.

Alexander is 8 months old as of Today! Can you believe it. Here he is in the bath and then playing with Steve. When he is tired he laughs so easily and it is adorable.

Alex is definitely not from the same mold as the other boys. I have said this before and it continues to be true. He is totally crazy! He can't sit still for a single second. Always moving and turning and climbing. Because he is moving so much he is way ahead of where the other boys were at this age. He is already climbing up and holding on to the side of the couch. That is so young. I am curious if he will walk earlier. He is a very pleasant baby that sure loves his sleep. He still can't handle staying awake for longer than two hours which is a problem on busy days, but on stay at home days I love it. ;-)

Hopefully I will be back again shortly.  See you then.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A week in the pool and the reception

After the Petersen's wedding, they headed out for their honeymoon and the rest of us headed to Bakersfield. Most of the men left on Sunday or Monday to get back to work. Steve went on a business trip to Utah while we stayed at my Mom and Dad's house. We had a week ahead of us of relaxing by the pool before we had a reception to give. We were all so excited for this week because we knew we would have this time to spend together. I really love being with my family and just relaxing and enjoying each other. All week, we woke up, went out to swim and then shared dinner together.
My sister Laura's birthday was on Monday and to celebrate all the women went out to dinner. I Loved it! Happy Birthday Laura.

One of the days we went out to a produce farm in Bakersfield where they grow and sell all sorts of delicious food. We started out picking blueberries and they were so perfect right off the plant. Then we moved on to plums and apricots. They were all so good and we didn't even feel guilty about eating so much since it was fruit. We had a great time and I am glad we decided to go.

{fun corn pit found at the farm. did they think about what a group of boys would do in the pit?}
{The blueberries! We ate sooo many of them, and we didn't even make a dent.}
{Most of the group made it in this picture}
{Steven with the apricots and plums}

{rock candy}
{The baby who does not like to sleep on the go. Poor kid. :( }

By Saturday we had enjoyed hours of leisure and we were ready to get this reception together. I am little help when it comes to parties because I have no decorating skill or interest. Pretty much all aspects of the party I am useless with, but I am happy to help where needed if anyone finds a job for me. My sisters and sister-in-law are so good when it comes to these areas though and they got Mom and Dad's backyard looking amazing. I heard that it was just how Tawna envisioned it, so mission accomplished.

{Cleaning up for the reception}

{My older sister Alicia and her husband Scott at the reception}
{The boys put on some aprons and were in charge of picking up trash. They really got into it by the end of the night and were refilling drinks and bringing people cupcakes.}

The reception was a backyard barbecue with pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, rolls, and beans. For dessert they wanted cotton candy and caramel apples. Quite a difference from the typical wedding cake, but it was very good and very unique.

{cotton candy!}
{And one handsome little boy just for your enjoyment. }

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The wedding and The birthday

Oh were do I begin. Last week we got back from one of the most perfect vacations we have had in a long time.
{The preparation. 5 excited boys, 2 suitcases, and one messy room!}We flew to Los Angeles on a Thursday. No delays, no cancellations, no fussy children, just perfect flying and got to our destination by noon. Where we had the privilege of attending the temple that evening with Tawna who was taking out her endowments. I LOVE being in the temple with family. It just feels so right. After the temple we put the kids to bed in the apartments that are right there on the temple grounds and had ourselves a dinner party.
{Favorite in-laws}

{Krista and Emily who did a fine job of keeping the children alive while we enjoyed the temple both days}
{Baja Fresh. Delish!}
The next morning we woke up to streamers to welcome in Steven's tenth birthday! Yes, we now have a child in the double digits. I love it. I love the maturity, the responsibility and the better conversation that comes with having an older child. And what a great way to spend his birthday. With extended family in apartments on every side of you. We took all the kids to Chuck E Cheese for Steven's special day and spent a fortune on pizza since we never seem to have the coupon when we need it. We had a great time though while the kids played and the adults chatted (and played).
{Just chillin at Chuck E Cheese the day before their wedding.}

That night we had a beach barbecue with Tawna and Kory and all of the wedding party that was there at this point. It was a fun little get together. We built a fire and had hot dogs and chips while the boys went swimming in the frigid water. It was windy and chilly though so Alexander didn't last as long as the rest. I ended up in the van with him for the last little bit with the heater blowing. Most of the swimmers ended up in there with us as well. :-)
{Our attempts at keeping Alexander warm were failing. All he had on was a little summer outfit. :(}
{My cute little niece Eva}
{Yeah, it was a little cold. }
{The boys playing with my cousin Lauren whom the boys had the best time with}

Wedding Day. Saturday June 4th. Tawna and Kory were sealed in the Los Angeles temple. Eight of my nine brothers and sisters were there and it felt wonderful. The sealing was amazing with some thoughts and advice that I have recorded to use in my own life. I am so happy for Tawna and this next step she has taken in her life.

{All the siblings except Evan}

{Steven being so helpful. }

{The boys getting staged for the tree shot}

After the wedding we went to the wedding dinner hosted by the Petersen's which was so enjoyable. We left the kids behind again except for the babies and it was so nice just to sit in a nice restaurant and enjoy the day. Practically Perfect!