Saturday, April 14, 2018

Andy's Birthday Party

 Andy had some friends over and we played some carnival games. We played a fishing game and Andy won the fishing game.
 We played a ring toss game and his friend, Terrell, won that one. We also played a knocking over cans game and Emmy won that one.
 I played the Star Wars awards ceremony music while Brian, from 2 doors down, put the medals around the winners necks. Everyone had fun when they weren't arguing over whose turn it was.
 We went inside and opened gifts.
 Andy got a lightsaber card,
 some money,


 a glowing trident,

 travel-sized Connect Four,

 a squirt gun,

 a car,
 and a creature inside an egg.


After presents we had cake and ice cream. Everybody said they had fun.

Vacay!

 Derek won a trip at work. I don't remember the particulars, but we got to go on a cruise to Mexico.
 We started off in Florida. We spent the first night in Sunrise. We stayed at an AirBnB and there was plenty of shops within walking distance for the few items we forgot to pack and for dinner that night.
 The second day of our trip we got to get on the boat. His work had a reception that night for us. We had food and drinks and got to watch a music group.

 I think it was the second night on the boat when we had a formal dinner. Derek's mom found him a suit that actually fit him and he looked quite nice, I thought.
 The third day we got off the boat and went shopping at Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico. This boat isn't ours, but it was there, too, and roughly the same size as far as I could tell.
 I really liked this open feeling shopping center. I know it's a tourist town, but it was really cute.

 The dolphins didn't want to help me get a good picture of them.
 Interesting fountain.

 We trusted a stranger to hold my phone and take our picture.

 Heading back to the boat. Very windy couple of days.
 Third day we went to Cozumel, Mexico.  The shops reminded me of California. I'm sure it was more authentic that Costa Maya, but it was more crowded and less cute, I thought.
 The ship crew was amazing. All the staff were very friendly to us. It was neat to meet people from all over the world. Their name tags all listed their countries of origin. Apparently, the housekeeping staff enjoyed towel folding. We got and elephant, frog, dinosaur, and swan.


All in all, we had a nice time. It was great to get away for a while. We didn't pay for the cell service or internet, so we were unplugged from the rest of the world the whole week. We got off the boat back in Miami and flew back to Utah where we had stashed our car at my sister's house. We ate Chinese food with 2 of my sisters 5 niblings. This isn't all the pictures. Derek sent me some on messenger from his phone, but I couldn't figure out how to upload them from my messages to my computer to then to put them on here.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Is it school time yet?

Yes, I'm ready for my kids to go back to school. They have about 2 weeks left before school starts up again. I think they are looking forward to seeing their friends and teachers again. We've had a pretty good summer, but they are spending way to much time together. They always seem to be fighting.

I am looking forward to school supply shopping, though I don't know what all they need. I guess we could start with the basics and go from there. Andy is starting in the Junior/Senior High and I think we'll get him one big binder with folders for each class, like a trapper keeper. I loved the one I had as a kid. I've seen zipper ones in the store and I think that would be really good for him. He needs to be organized and take his homework seriously. He's so much like me it's scary. I never liked homework either. Sometimes I wish I could talk to my younger self and tell me all the things I need to do for a better future, like do homework. One day when the kids are grown up I hope to take a few college courses. Of course it will be stuff I'm actually interested in and will hopefully do well. I want to learn more math and languages. I'd love to learn Spanish and get better at German.

The kids are doing laundry. I'm scared. I told them what to do. We'll see how it goes. I've also taught them how to wash dishes, but I have to fill the sink with water. If they do it they don't get the water nearly hot enough. Sometimes I make it too hot and we let the dishes soak for a few minutes. I'm trying really hard to teach them the basics of homemaking. I've heard of kids moving out at 18 and having no clue what to do. I don't want that for my kids. Now I want them to make brownies. We have a mix they can use, so it will be really easy.

For my birthday this summer I got yarn from a few people. I really needed yarn and that was all I asked for. I made Emmy a hat, scarf, finger-less mittens, and leg warmers.
 I'm still working on some stuff for Andy.

Recently, Andy and I went on a quick trip to Idaho. Part of the trip was spent on the Snake River. Here's Andy in the cavity of a large rock.
 We had a lot of fun. We were with the church youth group and all the kids were so great. We went to the temple and did baptisms, then toured a food storehouse, then went to the river and explored and swam, then went to an escape room activity, then slept at a campground. Of course all this included eating lunch and dinner along the way. It was great and I can't wait till next time.

Monday, April 24, 2017

We Bought a House

We bought a house. It's just a little thing, but it is big enough for us. I never wanted anything too big. We've been moved in for a week now. A couple days ago one of my sisters asked over the phone if I was all unpacked. Yeah, right! I'll be totally unpacked in two years, maybe.

I'm very excited about the back yard. There are two little garden plots and there is already rhubarb growing. Aw, yeah! Tomorrow, while the kids are at school, I'll try to make rhubarb crisp and rhubarb muffins. I think I have everything I need and I just need to find my recipe box for the crisp recipe. Emmy has a Guide to the Smurfs with a muffin recipe in it that we used to make rhubarb muffins a few years ago and they turned out really good. The kids are pretty excited for the treats. I really ought to make chocolate chip cookies for Derek to take to work. He loves to share with his employees. People really seem to like my cookies and I don't hate baking.

I am getting excited for my family trips this summer. My family is having our last big reunion. That means next time Mom and Dad are not going to pay for everything. Just to be clear, we never asked them to pay for everything, they just knew we could use the help. I've been in charge of the talent show for many of the reunions in the past, so this time I volunteered to be in charge of the games. It should be really great. It's going to be a lot of work, but I've already started making pieces and collecting questions and what not. We will be doing big group games. Before we had games for just the children or teams for Minute to Win It style games. This year I am doing Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, Match Game, and Giant Trivial Pursuit. I think they will be as fun to watch as it will be to play. Of course I'll be the host for most of these and not participating, and that is okay. I'm not as quick on my feet as some people in my family. Let's just say I'm really looking forward to Match Game. Of course Trivial Pursuit I will be able to play with the others. I love to answer questions. I'll bring several card sets and we can choose which to do or pick a different topic each turn or by player. So, I may request Star Wars questions while the little kids may want Disney questions and Gram and Granddad may want Baby Boomer questions. It should be great. We'll just need someone to be question master and hope they don't mix up the cards. I'm a real stickler about my games. My mom and I made a spinning wheel for the Wheel of Fortune. It just has points, no money. Should work out fine. I made giant dice, 1 foot cubed, for the Giant Trivial Pursuit. I still need to get my game board, yet. I'm knocking around a few ideas, whether to use cardboard or felt, and how big it needs to be. Luckily most of the card sets have the same colors. I'm glad they did that.

About a week after we get home from my family reunion we will go on a big fishing trip with some of Derek's family. Andrew has been 3 years, Emmy has gone 2 years, and last year was the first time for Derek and me. He isn't sure if he'll be able to get the time off this year. He's requested for both trips, but thinks he'll only get one and that is okay. I think he would have fun with either activity, but he'd prefer the fishing. This year I have to get Emmy and new camping chair. She has a little kid one and she needs an adult size now. In my head she is still 3 feet tall, but when she stands in front of me she comes up to my chin. Andy, of course, is my height already. He's only 12, but we have high hopes for him. Yes, that was an intended pun.

Andy and Emmy are making friends at their new school. On Friday they walked home with another little girl who lives somewhere on our street. My kids came inside and she walked on. I've been letting them walk home after school. They keep saying that since Andrew is 12 that I should be okay with it. They are still letting me walk them to the corner in the morning, though. It's very tough for me to let them go without me. We told them that if anyone tried to kidnap them they are allowed to kick, bite, pinch, scratch, or anything else it would take. Not that I'm worried about them being abducted from this tiny little town we've moved into, but that sort of thing does happen. Most children that are kidnapped are taken by the non-custodial parent, so mine would be abducted by psychos. Really makes me feel better.

Tomorrow I am going to search the boxes for my yarn and crochet hooks. I really miss making things. I packed up my apartment 2 months ago and everything went into storage. We were only supposed to stay with my parents for a couple of weeks before we moved into our new house, but then a series of obstacles called for us to start over and find a new house. We stayed with my parents for about 11 weeks and all our stuff was in storage except for some clothing we kept out of the boxes and anything that we bought within that time. It was tough to not be able to have stuff to make things. I started looking at pinterest much more often. I found several crochet projects I want to try. I saw some darling crocheted gingerbread houses for Christmastime. My sister-in-law Heather asked when I was going to give her one and I said this year for Christmas. I don't think it's too early to start making gifts.

Well, it's almost 2am and I'm finally tired so I'm gonna go to bed now. Nighty-Night!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Too Soon? Nah.

I was talking to my mom the other day about popsicle stick puzzles. She gave me some unused Christmas cards and I got out my trusty paper cutter and the decoupage.  Let's just say that there will be about 20 more of these puzzles coming.

Here are all the sticks in a jumble.

 Two puzzles done.

One puzzle flipped over and reassembled.

The last puzzle flipped and reassembled.

So much fun and so easy to do.




Flaming Gorge

Every year some of Derek's family go on a big fishing trip to Flaming Gorge, which sits on the Utah/Wyoming border. Andy and Emmy have each gotten to go before, but this year was the first year that Derek and I got to go. I pretty much just handed the camera to the kids and here are some pictures that they took.
Of course not everyone who was there was captured on film.