Monday, September 29, 2008

In Trying Times~

Everywhere we look there is crisis in our nation and world.
From financial crisis to energy crisis~from political crisis to war.
Many are unsettled in these times. I found some advice that makes me feel like I can do my part to help the world a little bit...
"The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender.

There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind...

We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith."

I know that if we are tender, kind and faithful we can help ourselves and others go through this time of turmoil.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Super Scientific Seven Selebration

What do you get when you have tons of DRY ICE....

...fourteen 6 & 7 year old boys,


You get a birthday party that all the guests say, "I want a Science Party too!"

Dayton is really into science, more specifically inventing things and knowing how things work. So in planning for his party, being a teacher, I suggested a science party. I really intended on hiring someone to come do the party for me. A friend of ours works at Lawrence Livermore Lab and decided that he and his wife could do it for us. Un-be-lievable!

My sister who has a friend that makes cakes. I told her to use her imagination and this is what she came up with! Now can you imagine all the boys eyes when they looked at this cake? And it was really good too!Check her out.
Let the science begin!

They demonstrated some cool chemical reactions and explained why it happens.

Then we moved to bathroom and lit some "volatile solution" on fire. Always a crowd pleaser!
This is called "elephant toothpaste" and requires chemicals that we cannot go out a buy...ooooh, coooool!
This is the cornstarch/water or "quick sand" mixture that looks like a liquid but feels like a solid. He is domonstrating how to run on it.
This in Mentos/Diet Coke rocket. Lots of oooohs and aaaaahs!

This is D doing the "happy dance" after opening his presents.

"Thaaaaank Yoooooou EVERYBODY!"
How do you thank someone when words and all the money just doesn't express your gratitude?
This is how it all ended... E, D and Dad having a "quick sand" war...
...and the birthday boy soaking his feet in pajamas that are 4 sizes too small.

Happy Birthday Dayton!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

♥Honoring A 7 Year Old♥

I was scared to death about having a boy. You know all the things you hear!
When he was born he had black, thick hair on his head and all down his back. We nicknamed him "hairy back monkey".
He has always been "all boy". He has military in his blood. His favorite place is the beaches of Normandy. He knew the historical significance and says "it is a cool place to play".
He learns in his own way. He thinks very logically so words that do not sound out are very difficult for him. But math is very easy since it is logical.

When we thought about having our second child, I have to admit I was hoping the new baby would knock E off her pedestal a little bit. He has built up her pedestal even higher.

He loves her sooooo much!

His two favorite things in the world are: his 115! stuffed animals (every single one of them) and he loves to make designs of inventions!

He is named after my dad.

Big D,

Without you a big piece of my heart would be missing. You are so loving and smart. I love the way you care about others and look forward to watching you grow!

Love, M♥m

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tag! I'm it, maybe you're on!

Emma tagged me! Thanks lovebug!

Hopefully you can read the rules above.

Hopefully I will find 7 new things to share about myself that you didn't read here.

Hopefully you will not mind if I tag you, if you do just ignore it. :)

  1. My favorite breakfast is toasted sourdough bread with real butter and dipped in Ghiradelli hot chocolate. My Nana used to make this for us when I was little.
  2. I once had to testify in a murder trial as a witness, even though I did not witness it.
  3. I have one enemy: mosquitoes! They love me, I hate them!
  4. I do not feel good about either Presidential candidate!!!!!
  5. I want to live in Charleston, South Carolina even though I have never been there.
  6. Whenever I find something I love I tell everyone about this.
  7. I want to write a funny book about my struggle with body image and weight loss.

Okay, this is who I am tagging! Jessica, La Fuji Mama, Rose Vine Cottage, Liz & Tracy, Bee on the Go!, Ca girl on the move, Carissa. Have fun girls!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Conversation with a PRINCE

Prince: Mom, is there a mom's school?
Mom: Nope!
Prince: I bet you all learned how to be a mom up in heaven. Then when you came to earth you forgot what you learned. When you were a teenager you forgot. Then when you became a mom you remembered it all again.
Later, while snuggling in for an evening movie of FINDING NEMO, he watched the opening scene where Nemo's mom is worried about her baby eggs he said,
Prince: That is such a good mom worrying about her babies. I bet you would worry too if you were her. Being a mom is hard.
This little prince is turning 7 on Saturday. He was feeling particularly grateful for motherhood . You see, this prince is part monkey and he likes to climb up the door jams. Despite me, the mom, telling him "NOOOOO!" he has continued to do it. Well, yesterday his hands slipped, he fell and immediately got the wind knocked out of him. Have you ever seen that look from your child, when they can't talk and their eyes are screaming, "HELP ME MOM!" Well that is what I saw. He was complaining about his back and hips and soon I found a knot the size of Plymouth Rock on the back of his head. His pupils were the size of a pinhead. Minutes later, when he could speak he said,
"Mom, I learned my lesson. Sometimes the best way to learn a lesson is the hard way."
He is doing fine now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh, If I Must

Those of you who know me know that Halloween is not my favorite time of the year. It has nothing to do with the ghosts and goblins part of it, there is just nothing about this holiday that I reap joy in doing. Last year I hit the clearance section of Michael's, after Halloween, and picked up some adorable black and white goodies. Even though Halloween is not my thing, black and white most surely is!

Remember this- who knew it would prove to be something useful for Fall too.
The good thing about this candy is that I would rather look at it than eat it.

Is that really possible?

All of this will probably be moved around twenty time before October 31st. For now, it stays.

My New ♥♥motto♥♥

Enough said. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Why Did I Do IT?

No news to y'all that I am home now. Confession to follow...

...One of my favorite things to do when I am traveling is read an entertaining book. I did both of those things on this trip. As I said before I took three books with me for our two week jaunt and read through them in the first week. I picked up another book at Kmart which lasted me another four days. Then my family left and I had 24 hours to myself. What was I going to do? No car, no I did it! I went into the market at the hotel and looked through their six novels...all inflated $4.50 above the asking price. The only book that was for women was Sex And The City. Here is my justification:
I've always been curious about the show, a lot of my friends like it.
It is the only book here that does not involve spying and killing.
It can't be that bad! I have read some juicy books in my day.

As she steps onto her soapbox... I read the first 100 pages and OMGosh! It was such filth and slime it made my insides sick! Sorry to any of you who read it and liked it But seriously, I am so ashamed (not guilt) that A) I even read that many pages! B) people saw me reading it! thank goodness my daughter had left already C) Most of all, I did not listen to the Holy Spirit.

"You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness."President Henry B. Eyring First Counselor in the First Presidency

So why am I writing this confession? Because I want people to know , including my children, that ~we all face social pressure ~that we all don't make the right choice all the time~and that these experiences can teach and strengthen what we already know to be true.

I feel so disgusted by that book that I would not even allow it in my house. I feel so repulsed by it that I would not even pass it onto someone else. There goes $12.50 right into the garbage can (hubby will kill me for that). I am angry that this stuff has made it into mainstream society in such a way. Before Sex And The City was a book, tv show and movie it was a column in the New York Times!!! Could you imaging opening the newspaper and reading that?

I know many of you are thinking "wow, this chick is a major prude!". You know what? Fine with me! And no, I am not promoting censorship!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

St. Thomas- Looking back

Please forgive me as I continue to post about this never-ending vacation.
People have asked me whether two weeks is too long in paradise. Uh, no wayyy! The only way it has been too long is that we miss Jupiter.
I am beginning to be anxious about things that will be awaiting me when I get home. I will have exactly 7 days to put together a "7 year old Science party" for 13 boys.
Due to stipulations with using frequent flyer miles, Hubby and the kids are flying out early tomorrow morning. I will be staying here until Saturday by myself. On one hand I am thrilled to have a day and a night to myself. But the bigger part of me is freaked out to say goodbye (what if?) and how much I will miss them for more than 24 hours.
Please pray that our seperate return travel will be safe.
~here are some "behind the scenes" memories that I do not want to forget soon~
  • Wii Super Mario Kart - every afternoon we have cup challenges. I finally made it to the platform (twice).
  • Watching chick flicks everynight while laying in bed ( wow, what partiers we are!)- we don't have a tv in our bedroom at home so it has been fun. Here are all the movies I've watched- Music & Lyrics, Because I Said So, The Wedding Date, Pretty Woman, Failure To Launch
  • I have read four books in two weeks. 1. Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot- good, lots of cussing, my first mystery. 2. Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot- same as above. But the romance had me hooked. 3. Big Boned by Meg Cabot- same as above. Perfect for beach reading. 4. The Manning Brides by Debbie Macomber- Basically a modern-day version of Danielle Steel, but it was utterly "clean" and entertaining.
  • The water slide here at the hotel.
  • The icky grocery stores here.
  • Going to church here. Wow, what a great experience. It took us a while to even find our church here on the island. I am so glad we did. It was a humbling experience to see how service oriented the members are here. It is a small branch, but very humble people who want to serve eachother. I learned a lot from their example.
  • Driving . Even though I did not drive, hubby did, it was very entertaining. He was fine with driving on the left side. What he was not fine with was the lack of road signs. It was tricky to figure out how to get around on the first couple of days. Now we have it down, the island is only 13 miles long and 5 miles wide.
  • Our friends from Wisconsin- We met a great family our first week here. They had four kids so our kids were never bored. We did a lot with them and had a really great time. We hope to keep in tough through email and Christmas cards.
  • Jet skiing- no pictures sadly. But we were out in the middle of the ocean, between St. Thomas and St. John, going 45 mph with D and E hanging on for dear life. Soooo fun!
  • Watching the cruise ships- We will never get tired of watching the ships go in and out right before our eyes.
  • To date, we have only eaten out 5 times! Why is cooking in the hotel so much more fun than at home? Doing laundry is more fun here too! Wierd!

You can tell, this has been a great trip. So much, in fact, that we are planning on coming back. Anyone want to join us????

Monday, September 15, 2008

St. Thomas VI- picture catch-up

My dad requested pictures from the Marriott vacation club that we are staying. It is called Frenchman's Cove. It will not be completed until 2010, but it is awesome!!! The darker part in the water below is a reef that is really great snorkeling. (I am sure you are tired of hearing me say that) Here are some pictures Pops!
The view from our balconey.Steps from the beach.
On the hill where you see the construction will be an adult only pool.

The 99 steps to Blackbeard's Castle.

Historical Main Street

A great friend had requested a picture of hubby and I. Here ya go!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

100 Things....

...Beware, it is a long one... a few friends have done this so I thought it might be fun. If I only get to 50, please know I started out for 100 but ran it goes...I am an open book so most of you probably know these things about me already~
  1. I was born in Napa, CA.
  2. I have only lived in CA.
  3. I want to live somewhere with a lot of charm like Charleston, South Carolina.
  4. I am the baby in my family.
  5. My parents were high school sweethearts.
  6. I do not like pasta, despite being half Italian.
  7. I have a unique relationship with each of my siblings.
  8. I became an aunt when I was in 3rd grade.
  9. I was in the delivery room when my nephew was born, I was 15.
  10. I have always had "Napoleon's Syndrome" where I have tried to make up for my lack of height.
  11. I stopped drinking when I became legal.
  12. I became a cheerleader when I was 5.
  13. I stopped cheering my senior year of high school.
  14. I love to talk.
  15. I am shallow in literature and movies.
  16. Despite being a teacher I really do not enjoy learning. (Told ya I was shallow)
  17. My favorite color is yellow.
  18. My daughter was named after the Jane Austen character, emma.
  19. The only time I lose weight is when I get pregnant.
  20. I love child birth. I consider it one of my God-given talents.
  21. I've had braces twice and my teeth are still crooked.
  22. My mom sometimes still calls me a brat.
  23. I almost went to school in Switzerland, until I met my h.s. sweetheart.
  24. I love flowers.
  25. Roses (white with pink trim) are my favorite flower.
  26. My favorite perfume is floral based.
  27. When I travel, the architecture is my favorite part.
  28. Paris is my favorite city in the world.
  29. I love chocolate.
  30. I love cheese.
  31. I have traced my son's name, Dayton, back 8 generations.
  32. My sister is my best friend.
  33. I love going to the theater to see musicals.
  34. My favorite line from a movie is: "I would rather fight with you then make love with anyone else". The Wedding Date.
  35. Despite our constant travel, it is not my favortite thing to do, it actually causes me much anxiety.
  36. I love the smell of pine trees in the mountains.
  37. Lake Tahoe is one of my very favorite places.
  38. I used to work at Disneyland as many characters.
  39. We have been to all 5 Disneylands.
  40. I was married in the Oakland, CA temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
  41. My husband speaks fluent Japanese.
  42. I grew up with a dog named Arthur.
  43. I had a goldfish named Gonzo for 6 years.
  44. I swore I would never have a pet again.
  45. We have a dog named Jupiter.
  46. I wish I would've become a psychologist.
  47. My favorite job was the front desk at a hotel.
  48. I love to socialize.
  49. I usually fall in lust with whatever guy plays the lead in chick flicks.
  50. I am obsessed with home decor. ~half way there, do you think I can make it?~
  51. I love massages.
  52. Marriage is the hardest thing I've ever done.
  53. Parenting is the funnest thing I have ever done.
  54. I loved high school, the socializing.
  55. I got sent to the office in 7th grade for having pepper spray.
  56. I played the flute for 5 years.
  57. I played the piano for 6 years.
  58. I cannot read music or carry a tune.
  59. I love to sing, just not in public.
  60. I love public speaking.
  61. I wanted to be a writer.
  62. I was a journalism major.
  63. I read three books last week.
  64. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
  65. I did a 180 degree change when I learned about Jesus Christ.
  66. The temple is my favorite place to be.
  67. The students are my favorite thing about my job.
  68. I am Dayton's first grade teacher, one day a week.
  69. Even though I love who I am on the inside...I am DYING to be skinny!
  70. My oldest friend I have known since 5th grade.
  71. I had an imaginary friend named Charlene.
  72. I want to have a front porch someday.
  73. I want to have a white picket fence one day.
  74. I love the fountain in my backyard.
  75. I am a total morning person.
  76. I could take naps everyday.
  77. I like to go to bed early, even though it is close to 1 Am right now.
  78. I cannot sleep in no matter how much I try.
  79. I have freckles.
  80. My favorite drink is water.
  81. I don't like to cook very much.
  82. My family is the most important thing to me.
  83. My son looks like me.
  84. My daughter looks like my husband.
  85. I think we are done having kids. :(
  86. I collect dishes (chintzware)
  87. I love to go to garage sales.
  88. Flea markets are one of my favorite pastimes.
  89. I want to have an annual "girl's weekend" with good friends.
  90. I cherish relationships.
  91. I cherish memories.
  92. I love to garden, I hate yardwork.
  93. I want to learn photography.
  94. I love to play board games.
  95. I am afraid of heights.
  96. I do not watch rated R movies.
  97. I have tried to climb out windows in my sleep.
  98. I have been known to eat in my sleep.
  99. I cry very, very easily.
  100. I laugh very, very easily too!

St. Thomas V- Charlotte Amalie

Our first week of vacation was up and we needed to go on over to the Marriott hotel for one night. So we packed up and decided to go to the historical part of town. We really wanted to see the 99 steps that leads to Blackbeard's Castle (pictures to follow). Downtown is so beautiful and the architecture is vibrant and breathtaking. Disneyland really got it right in New Orleans Square.

So we head up the ancient steps anticipating how cool the pirate hideout will be, only to find it is CLOSED! Ugh! It is not only closed, but there is a way to get up there that does not require hiking!

So what is a girl to do? Go shopping! Of course, they try to lure you into all the jewelry shops (nothing like Hong Kong though). It is a good thing that I am not a jewelry lover or else I would've been aboslutely over the moon.
sorry there are no pictures on this post, I will upload them and add them soon.
Now we are back at the Marriott Villa and we are glad to have our huge two bedroom. three tv, full kitchen, and washer and dryer back. I know, I know...I am spoiled! We are looking forward to our second week!

St John I- Trunk Bay

It was really fun for the kids to hop on a ferry, with our car, and cruise over to St. John. I really liked this island. It is very charming.
The water at Trunk Bay was calmer and more clear than our community pool back home! Those people right behind us in the picture above are snorkeling on an underwater trail. It has plaques to read to tell you about the coral and fish. Okay, THIS IS the best snorkeling we have EVER done! You really feel like you are in Finding Nemo. As a matter of fact, do you remember the fish that gave directional signs and made pictures for Marlin? Well, we saw thousands of those tiny silver fish. It was incredible!

Okay, if you are planning a trip here. Do not do the Atlantis Submarine and great snorkeling. Everything we saw at Trunk Bay, for a small fee, was what we saw on the sub (for a not so small fee). Except for the shark, thank goodness!

food challenge update: we are now on our 8th day of vacation and have only eaten out four times! Two of the times are because we got $100 to spend at the hotel, listening to the timeshare presentation.

St. Thomas IV- Atlantis

I am sorry to have been so behind in my posts. We are still totally fine with the weather. No sign of any hurricanes, or even tropical storms. It rains for a few minutes each day.

Above is our view from our room. The ships go right in and out in front of us. Check out the sea plane too.

For D's sake, we went on the Atlantis Submarine. It went down 75 feet off of Buck Island. D, with his eagle eyes, spotted a shark for us all. We could not catch it in a picture though.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

St. Thomas III - Sapphire Beach

Right now I am very sunburned and listening to the pitter pat of tropical rain. M & E are playing basketball in the pool. D is in the tub.
Yesterday we went to Magen's Bay. It was the most pristine white sand beach I have ever been to. We had the entire beach to ourselves.
Today we did not know where the wind would take us. The kids wanted to go to the pool, but a gentleman intercepted us and told us we really should try Sapphire Beach. Every time we visit a beach they get better and better.
The snorkeling here is unbelievable! Hubby and I followed a huge sea turtle for about 20 minutes. D and hubby saw a baracuda and a sting ray. I watched a school of squid, there were about 100 of them. Amazing!
E has been snorkeling since two years old. Her daddy was always holding out for her to SCUBA DIVE with him someday. This trip she has been saying "ewww, gross!" a lot! She sure is growing up. Have you seen that cruise commercial where the daughter rarely smiles? Well, we feel like we are in that commercial!!!!
Last September my sister and I went ziplining in Kauai. Ever since then, I wanted to Parasail. Despite my fear of heights, TODAY WAS THE DAY! D and I went up first. Absolutely amazing views of all the islands at 400 FEET HIGH!
D was not even scared! It was so calm and peaceful up there. The aqua water colors were unforgettable! At the end they dipped us into the water oh-so-gently and then we landed, standing up right on the boat. So Fun!
Next it was E and Hubby's turn! They had a blast too! You should totally try it when you have the chance!