Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yay for cameras, chairs, and radish earrings. Boo for me!

I'm so happy, I got a new camera today, just an inexpensive Sony Cybershot, but a new digital camera nonetheless. Woo hoo! I found out it would be way more than the price of my previous camera to have it fixed, so here we go again. FYI: Cameras do NOT bounce! That cute little strap isn't just for looks, it's like a Wii strap -- it's there for a reason! Put it on your wrist so when your hands let go of the camera while you're holding everything else, it doesn't hit the floor. I dropped our first camera last June. Beck dropped our second camera last week. Our new camera is bright orange! So it must be awesome, right? I wish I could take a picture of it. Let's hope it stays "un-dropped" for awhile.

(drum roll....)
The first picture with the new camera, ironically it's us:
The Camera Destroyers... I'm pretty sure this new camera feels threatened already. At our house, it should.

Our new chairs ($30 each... oh yeah!) We really like red and black (obviously). They're kind of funky; they remind me of licorice or checkers. We decided to put them together all mixed up just because we can. Ha! I love that Zeke and I like the same stuff. We assembled them while watching "You've Got Mail". I have to say that is one of my all-time favorite movies. "I can't help myself!" For years I've been wanting to find that dessert picture Meg Ryan has on the wall in her kitchen. It would look great with my new chairs. (If that isn't a hint for a Christmas present, then I don't know what is.)

I haven't been feeling well... unfortunately, this is a recurring theme with me. I went to the doctor this morning. I am full of infection: sinus, ears, urinary tract... just the usual stuff for me. But I'm sick of being sick. The doctor also said I'm dehydrated... that's hard to believe because I drink water like crazy, but it would partly explain why I've been so tired. And oh yeah, I'm anemic (no, really?!). I think I've always been anemic. I can honestly say for at least 20 hours of every day, I'm thinking of a big juicy steak. Aren't you? Maybe I'm a vampire...

I went to the store and got the kids some gummy vitamins to help me feel like I'm fighting back the impending cold/flu season. "Wall-e" for the boys and "Tinkerbell" for the girls ;) I took some Tinkerbell ones for myself. Maybe my tummy can handle the kiddie vitamins. Sheesh!

Anyway, my doctor wants me to see a urologist tomorrow for the recurring UTI's. (I'm joining a club, by the way, with my friend, Stephanie) I think I would rather have E-coli than a UTI (I am NOT kidding!) I'm such a chicken baby. I don't want to go to the urologist :( that does NOT sound like fun in any sense of the word. What have I done to deserve this cruel and unusual punishment? Okay, don't answer that. I won't! I wish magic was real. I could wave my wand and say "Body Reparo" and Ta-da!

Maybe I should wear my Halloween costume to the appointment? At least the doctor would be more interested in my radish earrings...
Can you guess what my costume is going to be?
If you can, you must be cool (like me).

I have a hard time not feeling discouraged by always being sick. I was going really good for almost a year or so... but I have to remember there is "opposition in all things". Maybe Heavenly Father was just keeping me healthy until we had money to pay for all my doctor visits and medicine. Go figure. Okay, I'm going to give myself a big dose of ice cream tonight. Doctor's orders!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy....

you know that old song from Simon and Garfunkel? "Slow down, you movin' too fast, you gotta make the MORNING last. Just kickin' down the cobblestones, lookin' for fun and feelin' GROOVY!" yeah, something like that.

I took a nice hot bath after I got the kids off to school this morning. ahhhh. Ever since my bath, that song has been going through my head. I am so thankful to have HOT WATER :) Some days, a girl just needs a hot bath.

Read a great book. My friend, Nancy, let me borrow it: "I didn't plan to be a witch" by Linda Eyre. I didn't think I would like it, but it was a great little parenting book and a quick read :) I am so thankful for good books and good friends.

It's cold and rainy outside and I have a MILLION things to do, but I feel good. :)

I finished Zoe's costume yesterday (I'll post some pictures as soon as I remember to take some with Zeke's phone.) Kaia's will be done today or tomorrow. Oh, how I love to sew. I am so thankful to have a sewing machine.

I'm going to do Art Appreciation for Zoe's class today. It's a lot of fun. We're doing Origami today. We're making Halloween Pumpkins. I tried it this morning and it was so easy :) I would post a picture, but I don't have a working camera at the moment. Go see the link. Very fun!

I'm also shopping for a new garage door. Yeah, I'm spoiled. I want to get it done before the snow comes so I don't have to scrape windows or load my kids in the van outside. I am so thankful that we can get a new garage door.

Oh, by the way, have you ever eaten Spumoni ice cream? Zeke and I tried it for the first time last week and now it's our new FAVORITE! Pistachio/chocolate/fruit/nuts -- good stuff, weird, but very good and chewy and the kids don't like it so there's always some for us. Now that is groovy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Toothless, Hiccup, Costume Frenzy and "Sorry to all who know me"

(Photo of Toothless from Wikipedia)

Ok, I always say "this post will be quick" but really this one will.

We rented "How to train your dragon" Friday night from the Redbox. We absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED it! So much! Yep, it's very cute. Toothless is the cutest dragon I have ever seen! He reminds me of our big gray cat, Caspian. I am so amazed at the technology and computer animation in this movie. The water and fire look real. Even though Kaia said that I'm Astrid and she's Toothless, I feel more like Hiccup; always messing up, always misunderstood. Kinda like "Flik" in "A Bug's Life". Another good movie by the way. My kids have been drawing dragons all weekend.

Halloween is coming too fast. My girls need their costumes finished by tomorrow for a party at TaVaci. I'm in trouble. Previous lack of funds and sickness have put the costumes on hold. So today is the day! Better get sewing! They are halfway done I suppose, but with a 2 year old.... yeah.

Lastly, for those of you that don't know me too well and again for those of you that do, I just want to say "Sorry for being weird" right up front. I honestly don't want to offend anyone, but I have been told I am a bit of a "germaphobe". It's not the germs I am afraid of ... it's the late night ER visits and hospital stays that aren't my favorite. Yeah, call me crazy, but they're not fun. You wouldn't like it either. I promise.

I haven't always been this way... Kaia got a simple little cold during Christmas 5 years ago and we had to stay overnight in the ER with her. Kaia and Beck both have "Reactive Airway Disease" or sometimes it's called "Illness-induced asthma" meaning, when most people get a little cold, they get bronchitis or pneumonia every time. REALLY. It's so scary to see them wheezing and gasping for air. They get really high fevers as well. Earlier this year, Kaia was so sick, her lips were blue. And when she was three years old, I was driving her to the ER and she actually lost consciousness.

Anyway, I have been ostracized and even made fun of by a few individuals for my behavior (like using hand sanitizer, not wanting to be around sick people, not shaking people's hands -- yeah, crazy I guess.) It's hard for other people to understand unless they KNOW what it's like. I don't think other people aren't clean. Everyone gets sick. Everyone has germs. I'm just trying to protect my children the best I can. And I hope everyone can understand that. I just always feel like I have to explain myself.

I feel bad because we had a movie night planned with some friends and I didn't know one of them was sick so I told Zeke we had to cancel. Sorry guys... it's not you, it's me. I promise.

My Mom goes through the same thing with my Dad with his COPD. She just says I can't worry about what people think, but it's hard not to. :(

Friday, October 22, 2010

Special Sealing, Great-Great Grandma's Quilts, my Dad's old Chevy, and another broken camera!

ok, so it's Thursday.... this week has had a few "bumps" in the road so to speak:

On Monday, I dropped a brand new roll of toilet paper in the toilet... don't know why, but it really bummed me out. I just hate to waste stuff.

On Tuesday, Beck climbed up on the counter and got my camera out of the cupboard and dropped it... this was the last picture taken :( Those are Beck's fingers...
I am beyond bummed. It looks like the lens is broken or maybe just jammed. We just got that camera in February. I need some advice: can we fix it? or just get a new one? what would be the best solution financially?

Late Wednesday night, I woke up with the stomach flu. Ok, that's just NOT fair! I just got feeling better less than a week ago from having E-coli. I must need to learn something here... Anyway, I'm feeling much better this morning and so far, no one else has gotten sick. (Keep your fingers crossed) I felt so bad... I couldn't even get out of bed yesterday morning.

But life always gets better:

Zeke got the kids ready for school and stayed home from work. (YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY, ZEKE STAYED HOME FROM WORK!) He helped me with Beck and took care of me. What a sweetie! This new job is such a blessing. He said it's no problem for him to stay home and help me. The pressure and stress just aren't there. I can only hope it lasts. Zeke even got me some flowers yesterday (yeah, he's one of those guys and I LOVE it!). I wish I had a camera to take a picture of them. They're yellow daisies with burgundy and lime green chrysanthemums..... beautiful!

Let me share some pictures of our great weekend:

We went to a very special sealing at the Ogden temple. Zeke's sister, Dani, and her husband, Mike, have had 3 foster children in their home for the last 5 years or so. They also have 3 children of their own. Last week, the adoption of the foster children was finalized (it's taken a long time) and on Friday they were sealed to them. What a special day :) Mike is currently serving in Iraq with the military and he was able to get 2 weeks leave just to come home for the sealing. He had to go back on Wednesday and won't be home until June. We are so proud of him and Dani. They are very special people.

Zoe and Kaia playing in the fountain:
Beck by the flower/vegetable garden:
(there were ornamental peppers and cabbage, it was awesome!)
Our family: (minus Grandma Patty and Grandpa Chuck)
Gabe, Kaia, cousin Lily, Zeke, and Beck skipping in the parking lot:

Zeke's Aunt Barbie and Uncle Clyde came from Colorado. They are so awesome! They agreed to watch my kids outside on the temple grounds so Zeke and I could go to the sealing. Um, this is really something amazing to do... Beck is crazy! Thank YOU so much, I owe you big time!

Oh, yeah, I fell on the steps when we were taking pictures. Beck was falling and I went to grab him and my skirt got caught in my heel and we both went down. Luckily, Beck didn't even touch the cement (yay me!) But I got a few scrapes. I was SO embarrassed! The worst part was that I landed on my shoe (OUCH!) As soon as we got back to Dani's house, her oldest daughter, Allie, was worried about me. She got me some band-aids and Melaleuca for my cuts. It really meant a lot to me. Thanks, Allie! You are so sweet.

My owie (not as big as the owie to my pride):

Aunt Barbie brought some special gifts with her for all 10 of the grandchildren: handmade quilts from her grandma's Kathryn and Deemer (not sure of spelling?). Zeke's Mom, Patty, went through all the quilts and selected which one would be for which grandchild. I was amazed at how well she picked the colors and styles for each child. Patty couldn't be there because her dog, Doc, had surgery and needed to be taken care of. Barbie said some of the quilts are at least 70 years old. What an awesome keepsake!

Aunt Barb and the grandkids (minus Beck and Max):
All of the grandkids with their quilts:
Beck and "Cat Jack":
(I don't think that cat had to walk anywhere that day)
Allie, Kaia, and Cat Jack:

After the sealing and luncheon, we headed to my parent's house for the weekend. We had a great time. I wish I could see them everyday. My Dad gave Zeke his old truck! I made my Dad a pineapple pie in return (I had to do something!) I wanted to take a picture of them with the truck and the pie, but my Dad and Zeke both turned to me and said in unison, "I don't want to be on your blog!" Well, I guess I have to respect that. Thanks, guys! I got a picture of the pie with the truck title in the background, but I decided that wasn't good to put up because it has my Dad's full name and address on it. Anyway, the pie was delicious if I do say so myself!

I got one of my sweetie with his "new" truck: (Isn't he cute?)
Kaia got some face paint from Grandma: (Oh boy!)
My parents have some super awesome neighbors!
Thanks Julie and Brent for letting my kids ride your scooter:

Happy Friday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The future's so bright....

I gotta wear shades!! Do you remember that song from Timbuk 3? "Things are going great, and it's only gettin' better, I'm doin' alright, gettin' good grades, my future's so bright...."
Oh I thought that song was so cool! ha ha
Anyway, quick update...

We went to my parent's this weekend and I should be unpacking and doing laundry and stuff....

My Dad gave Zeke his old truck (for FREEEEEEEE!) Thanks, Dad, you are the BEST! It's a 1989 Chevy... Zeke and I started dating in 1989....hmmmmmm?

We are all feeling better!! :) just not too hungry still... not a bad thing.

Zeke got a new job!
(as in when he graduates, we'll stay here!)
We've been waiting and wondering for a couple months...
today it is official.
Same type of work, less hours, more money........
um, yeah, I don't have any problems with that. Zeke has been working over 18 hours nearly everyday for the past 6 weeks. It will be so strange/so cool to actually have him home.
Very cool!

Here's my list of things I'm going to buy now that we have a little extra cash:

1. a new mop! mine is pretty manky
2. Ink Cartridge for our printer... I don't remember the last time we had ink
3. Pictures of Beck, I haven't had any professional ones taken since he was one.
4. Fix our Garage Door, it's been broken since July
5. A new watch... all 3 of mine are broken.
6. a jar of Nutella, I've been craving that stuff like no other!
*Oh, and Gabe is getting a haircut! (he just doesn't know it yet :)

Life is so good, we are so blessed. Went to sacrament with my Mom yesterday. The speakers were EXCELLENT! :) I have so much fun with my Mom, we had some good laughs and ate some goodies. This is normal for us and I love every minute of it!

I hope you all have a great Monday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

E. coli 101: Everything you never wanted to know but should.

My son's 5th grade teacher affectionately labeled us the "E. coli clan" yesterday on Facebook and I thought it was funny. If you can laugh at it you can live with it, right? Thanks, Mr. Barker!

Well, I thought I'd fill you in on recent events. Here's a flashback in case you're just tuning in...

Kaia (my 6 year old) got sick on Oct. 1st, I took her to the Dr. and her tests came back positive for E. coli. Yeah, E. coli! These results will be sent to the state Health Department for further investigation. At this point, we're pretty sure it came from contaminated ground beef... I'm very freaked out about eating it again!

Then, on Oct. 7th, my 9 year old daughter, Zoe, got sick as well. And to even things up, on the 9th, my sons and I also got sick. My husband was a little sick on Saturday, but we thought he was going to be okay. It was good too, because he and the girls took care of us on Saturday and Sunday. We also had a Harry Potter movie marathon... fun, but we had to pause the movie every time one of us had to use the bathroom (um, like every 20 minutes or so). So we didn't get very far on the movie marathon... but you know the books are better than the movies anyway. :)

Tuesday night (the 12th) Zeke started getting sick too... oh boy, I keep thinking of the scripture in D&C where the Lord tells Joseph Smith "...thou art not yet as Job..." Now, I am not trying to compare our lives to Joseph Smith's (or Job's) -- no way. We have it so good! But it's been a rough 6 months or so, especially for Zeke. He's actually doing the best out of everyone, thank goodness.

Everyone has been in for blood tests and now all 6 of us will have to go to our doctor every Monday for the next 4 weeks or so to have our blood pressure checked and to leave a urine sample to make sure our kidneys are working properly. What a fun activity for family night! ha ha ha

Seriously, though, we are very lucky so far. I've been told we have a mild case. I don't even want to imagine what it would be like to have a serious case. Most people are hospitalized.

Did you know after you have ingested E. coli it can take 1 to 14 days for your body to show any symptoms? I didn't.
Did you know that E-coli can cause kidney failure? I didn't.
Did you know that even if you cook ground beef until it's "no longer pink" you could still be at risk for getting E-coli? I didn't.
Did you know that some people have suffered strokes, blindness, paralysis, and even death from E. coli? I didn't.
Did you know that E. coli has been classified as a potential bio-terrorist weapon? I didn't.

I just thought I'd use this bizarre and unfortunate "opportunity" to inform everyone. Please read up and take precautions. I thought I was being careful, I guess you just never know.

By the way, my friends and neighbors have been SO awesome helping us with groceries and dinners and such. Thank you Lorie, Jenny, Lisa, Denise and Kolton, Jennifer and Nathan, Diana, Nicki, and Jessica. You know you're sick when you ask your neighbor to please go buy some more toilet paper for you. Sheesh!

Thanks for your concern and prayers. I am so thankful for the power of the Priesthood. It is such a blessing to see my children getting better :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

LDS Temple Picture Giveaway!

Hi everyone, I found this awesome contest on my friend's blog.... go enter and see if you win :) I did. The artist's name is Chelsie Brown.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Not good

Please say a prayer for us: we are ALL sick :(

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Better out than in...."

Oh boy, this will be a quick post.... I'm afraid a storm is coming. Not a good storm either. We'll survive it, but in the middle of it I never think so. A stomach flu of some kind has found my house and I am not happy about it one bit!

Ok, I'm talking about gross bodily functions and bizarre lab tests... so you can skip it if you want to. Really, just scroll down to the cute picture.

Last Friday, Kaia started with stomach cramps and diarrhea.... the weird thing was there was blood in it (I've never had that happen to me or any of my children before). By Monday, it was still happening, although no one else seemed to be sick. I took her to the Doctor Tuesday morning and they were more concerned that I wanted them to be (it scared me!) They thought she may have some kind of food poisoning like salmonella or e-coli. They assured me whatever it was, it was not contagious, it was caused by something she had eaten. They said if none of the rest of us were sick, she must have eaten something we didn't (school lunch maybe?)

They took a urine sample, which also came back with blood in it and high white blood cell count. From this, they determined she has a bladder infection (poor girl).

Later that day, I had to take Kaia to the hospital to have blood work done. This was her first time and she did pretty good. The blood tests came back "fine".

They sent me home with a whole bag full of items to help me collect a stool sample. YIKES!! Yeah, that wasn't the greatest experience of my life. But hey, I'm not the one who is sick. Poor Kaia! It was very bizarre and embarrassing carrying a little "bio-hazard" bag with vials full of poo to the laboratory at the hospital. Even more bizarre was the lab technician's indifference to it. Two vials full of strange scary poo? Snore.... just go put them in the little yellow box by the door and make sure they're labeled correctly. However, I've gotta give them some credit for even being willing to do that job! The test results on that won't be back until Friday, so they told us just to wait it out and have her drink lots of fluids.

Well guess what? Today is Thursday, and Zoe woke up with the SAME symptoms! Anyway, we'll see what happens... poor girls.

My sweet Zoe and Kaia during one of their many fashion shows...
Please say a prayer for us, okay?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Best Playdough Recipe Ever!

So here's the recipe I was talking about earlier today:

I got it from my friend, Barbara (Thanks)
By the way, 12th ward girls, it's in our new cookbook.

Super Fantastic, Never-Fail, Practically Perfect Play Dough

1 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt (yes, really)
2 tsp vegetable oil
food coloring

Combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large saucepan. Mix oil, water, and food coloring together and add to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Stir constantly over medium heat using a wooden spoon. (I actually like to use a big metal one.) When the dough begins to stick together enough to form a ball, remove from heat, but continue stirring. Place dough on a hard surface and knead as it cools. (Be careful, it will be very hot.) Store in an airtight container. The salt preserves it for a long time.... we've had it dry out before it goes yucky (over 3 months!)

*I've doubled and even quadrupled this recipe and it worked out great...

If you have any questions or problems let me know :) I hope your kids have fun... I still like playing with it too.

Weekend Update... playdough and conference and parties

Well, it's Tuesday and I am so happy.... it's payday. Enough said.

Zeke has been working crazy hours still and I can't possibly imagine the day when this project is actually finished (for more reasons that one!) Yesterday, he worked from 6am to 7pm. He came home, ate dinner, and we had Family Home Evening which was very nice. Then at 10pm, he went back to work and came home at 6:30 this morning! Right now, he's sleeping. Poor guy, he is SO amazing. He is under a HUGE amount of pressure and added stress and I pray that he can get through this crazy time.

On Friday night, Gabe went to a birthday party and Zeke was at work. So the rest of us made play dough. By the way, my friend gave me THE best play dough recipe I've ever found. It's very easy to make and it doesn't stick to clothes and carpet. If you'd like the recipe, let me know.
Zeke had to work Saturday too. I was kinda bummed not to have him with us to watch Conference. But the kids and I made the best of it. We played with play dough and I embroidered a cute pillowcase for a birthday gift later that night.

Conference was amazing! I needed it so much. I took notes like crazy and I felt like several of the talks were just for me! But I always do. Some of my favorite talks were Pres. Uchtdorf's about simplifying things, Elder Holland's... I just love him!, and Elder Lawrence? about Courageous Parenting. I also loved Sister Wixom's... I could go on and on. We are so blessed.

Zeke came home around 3pm on Saturday. We all went to a birthday party for our neighbor's daughter at 4pm. Can I just tell you that I LOVE spending time with Latin-American people? They are so kind and generous. They throw THE best parties and cook THE best food. Although, I feel VERY white (in color and dancing abilities, hee hee.)

We are so blessed. Later, Zeke and Gabe went to the Priesthood Session and Zoe, Kaia, Beck and me had a dance party!! I don't know how to put videos up yet... but here's a picture of the girls after the birthday party. The lady that was doing the face painting was amazing as you can see!
Everyone went to bed and I stayed up and cleaned the house (a little) and read a book (a lot). Right now, I'm reading "The Red Pyramid" the first book in a new series by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) It's a pretty good book, very interesting and fun so far.

Zeke has worked for ASI (his company) for over 8 years. During that time, he has NEVER had to work on a Sunday. What an incredible blessing for us. This project has been so crazy, I actually thought he might have to, but thankfully he didn't.

What a great day: big breakfast, awesome conference sessions, Twister, Settlers of Zarahemla, Monopoly, Peach Cobbler, and Bob Marley. And lots of nothing! Zeke hasn't been home this much since the end of August. I just realized I don't have any pictures of him, but he was there!:)
Oh, and of course the girls had to play dress up, they do that nearly everyday.
I think this picture looks like an album cover or something....
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