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Preview: My Family Blog

Making Memories Not Messes

Updated: 2018-03-05T11:29:26.464-08:00




School has started again....Yay!!!  happy day.  Don't get me wrong I love summer and the freedom that comes with it but there is something to be said with having a (semi) regular schedule for the kids.  Boredom was definitely kicking in and the kids really need to get back in a routine.

  Here are our recent upgrades. Liv is now a junior, Mr. E is in 7th grade, Sweet Pea is in 6th grade and Little A is in 3rd grade.  Now Sweet Pea and Little A have been in school for a month but Liv and Mr. E just started on Thursday.  So far everyone seems to be happy with their classes and teachers.

 Upgrades for me....
  Demolition time!
My little helpers.


I was fortunate enough to have someone give me some free granite.  Enough to do this small bathroom downstairs.  So I thought it was a perfect excuse to tear out our old tile counter tops (I hate tile!!!) and put in the granite.  I'm very pleased with the way it turned out.    But, of course, with any home improvement project, once you start something, you want to do more.  Now I want to paint the cabinets and redo the floors.  Maybe one day.....



We just recently returned from our family vacation to Disneyland.What a fun time we had. And more than just being a Disneyland, it was because we were all together again.  Recently G-man has moved out for the summer to work in another city as a "Bug Boy."  He is selling pest control door-to-door. This vacation was his choice as it will be our last family vacation before he leaves on his mission.  Here are just a few photos until I get the rest off of hubby's phone.  I love my family!!!




A couple weeks ago, I had my nephew here visiting.  He was kind enough to spend one of his last weeks before leaving on his mission with us.  I'd like to say that we had a great time when he was here, but I barely spent any time with him.  From the minute he got here to the minute he left, Gman and he were off on all sorts of adventures. Rock climbing, Golfing, Movies, Basketball, Six Flags, Golden Gate Bridge, Santa Cruz, The Mystery Spot, Baptisms and to top it all off Sky diving!  Which happens to be the only activity that I have pictures of because Gman paid for them.

 S & G on their way.  They had to wait around a few hours for the clouds to clear before they could jump.  (If I had that many hours to think about it, it wouldn't have happened.)

 One more little push.

A year ago he was flying a plane, now he's jumping out of them!

Landing!  Whew! 

What an adventure these boys had.  I'm so grateful that these cousins get along so well and the memories they have created that they will never forget.

There's more.....


Not everyone looks to the date of April 15th as a happy one.  But for me it was a day that my first beautiful daughter was born.  I knew she was independent and ready to grow up from a very young age.  Walking by the time she was 9mo old.  Talking and potty trained by 18mo.  Reading by 4 yrs old.  She has just been ready to do her own thing as long as I can remember.
 I do have to admit that I wasn't really looking forward to this birthday, even though, it didn't come fast enough for Liv.  I tried canceling,  postponing, denial, tantrums, nothing seemed to work, the day still crept closer.  (Even as a tax payer I got an extra 2 days to file my taxes.)  But, alas, that is not the case with birthdays.  They come even when they are not welcomed.  For me that is.  However, for Liv, it was a much anticipated birthday.  For some turning 16 means driving, but for Liv it is all about the DATING!  She already had her first weekend booked before she even officially turned 16.
Without further ado, I give you my now 16 year old daughter.

Hee, hee,  just kidding. 

(Sorry you have to tilt your head to see this.  I tried editing it but it still came out this way when I uploaded it.)
Liv has recently adopted the cowgirl image.  Those boots were a birthday present to herself.  The dress and sweater a gift from me (From Goodwill for under $8 total)  that has been sitting in her closet for months because she couldn't wear it until she had the boots to complete the outfit!!!!  A friend gave her a cowboy hat but she's obviously not wearing at the moment.

I'm have now come to terms with her being 16.  I even threw
 her a surprise birthday party.  I think she had a great weekend.  Happy Sweet 16th Liv!!  Mama, loves you!

Birthday Mania!!


My baby is 8!April 6th was a very important day in the life of this young man.  Not only was it his birthday, but he was also baptized.  Little A wanted his big brother Gman to baptize him.  As a mother, let me just say what an awesome experience this was for me.  Friends being goofy! Oops! Starting cutting before I took a picture!Love these boys!!![...]

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!


 My apologies to my not so little Sweet Pea.  She just celebrated her 11th birthday  earlier this month but as normal I am posting this late.  I believe she had a wonderful birthday.My girls! Here are some pictures of Sweet Pea's birthday gift.  First let me say that Sweet Pea loves horses and when she grows up, plans on having a farm somewhere in Tennessee and is saving all her money to buy one.  For her birthday she asked for cowboy boots. Of course, if you have cowboy boots you need a horse to ride!  Luckily I have a very sweet friend that has horses and let Sweet Pea come over to learn about taking care of horses and then for a riding lesson.  She was in heaven! My friend said that she was quite the natural on a horse and did very well for her first time.  We are working out a plan where she can go over to help take care of the horse in exchange for riding lessons. This is what happens when your older sister gets hold of you and dresses you up!  (Note the boots!) Now she just needs a hat!  [...]

More growing pains...for mama!


Well, I think this post is more painful for me to write about than turning my keys over to G-man. 
This weekend Liv had her performance of State Fair that she is in.  She was gone just about all day Saturday.  She came home to this:

Ugh!!!!  I'm really not ready for my daughter to start dating!  As parents, Hubby and I have upheld our Churches standard which is not dating until they are 16.  I thought I was safe because the proms for our local schools are before her birthday, however, she has one friend that goes to school in a different school district and his prom is AFTER her birthday.   Now, it's the painful process of finding a modest dress, etc.  This is not easy for me!

Holiday Trappings?


What is it about this time of year that makes me feel like I have to turn into Martha Stewart?  I mean right now as I type, I'm folding a magazine into a Christmas tree!  Seriously, I really am.  Why do I feel the need for my house to turn into a picture perfect scene fresh out of the pages of a Pottery Barn or West Elm Magazine?  I think it all boils down to one word.  Pride.   I hate the feeling I sometimes get when I walk into friend's house and I start to covet the things they have and mumble about the things I don't.  For shame.  Seriously, I'm 40 and need to get over it.  I'll work on that for next year, promise.  So back to Martha Stewart, which I'm not, let's just make that real clear, what do I do? I  compensated, since I can't afford a bunch of fancy decorations I  tried to be crafty.  Found these cute, cute 3d snowflakes on my new time waster website, Pinterest. (which is fantastic by the way, but that's a whole nother post)A better view. Our little Christmas village. These are the results of all their efforts shown below.  Yes, there are only 6, I didn't make one, I was busy making scones. (see photo farther below) You know it's a fun family activity when your 18 year son is late to class so he can finish his "masterpiece." Nibbling the graham cracker down to just the right size. See!  Yummy scones. The fried fattening kind, with cinnamon sugar, or nutella and whip cream! Definitely ate too many of those. Sweet Pea helping her Papa with the decorating. Little A's finished product. Liv's house, that she dreamed up during her Science class that day.Who needs fancy decorations when you have home made ones!!  No photo of my Christmas tree made out of a magazine, I realized after I started that I need a magazine with more pages in it.  So I'll attempt it again tomorrow.[...]

Thanksgiving 2011


Happy Thanksgiving!!  Oh, how I love thanksgiving.  The food, family, the time off from school, the weather, the cooking and eating.  I love you can stretch out the Thanksgiving season and start in  October and have two months celebrating the bounty of Autumn.  Everything is so delightful.  This year I didn't have any stress about it so I think finally after 15 years of making Thanksgiving dinner I must have it down. Or maybe it was because this year I actually had a little helper.  Sweet Pea wanted to be involved in everything!  She was so helpful.  She helped me with the apple pie yesterday, she got up early today and helped me with the rolls, the turkey, she even personally cut every potato!  I was so impressed.  She wanted to do everything.  She even made these cute little napkin rings.  It made me so happy that she actually wanted to be apart of making our Thanksgiving dinner and I loved having the help!Here's some photos of our day.ok... well maybe not.  I downloaded the pictures onto my computer and I can see them in my photo album but when I go to look for them to upload to Blogger, they are not there!  That's frustrating.  Even more so because I deleted the photos from my sd card so I can't download them again.  I'll have to try again later. Sorry!......It worked!  Maybe my computer just needed time to think about it.  Sweet Pea's cute napkin rings. Courtesy of Our Best Bites.  When I decided to make these,  I went searching for the flowers and couldn't find anything in the right color.  I could see the flowers in my head but could not find anything close.  Dejected I came home and that night before I went to bed I had a revelation of sorts.  I knew I had seen the flowers I wanted, they were in my bathroom downstairs being used as a decoration.  Well, needless to say, I don't have that decoration anymore!  It was totally worth it, these were adorable. For breakfast.  Homemade egg Mcmuffin sandwiches, homemade pumpkin muffins and bread. Sweet Pea making rolls. Sweet Pea cutting all those potatoes! Hubby's way of celebrating Thanksgiving! Sweet Pea enjoying the fruits of her labors! Little A loves his slush! The Gang, which included: Hubby's parents and his Sister's family.  Fewer in numbers this year but still very nice. Slightly better photo.Relaxing after the eatin'[...]

Happy Birthday!!!


Happy 18th Birthday G-man!

This year was the start of many significant birthdays in our family.  It definitely has put me in melancholy mood.  Constant reminders of how quickly life goes by and how important it is to not waste time and enjoy every moment.   
Birthday breakfast in bed. 
(He will not appreciate this but, hey, he probably won't even see it, hee, hee)
I'm so proud of the man you are becoming.  Working full time (sometimes even more) taking a college class, buying your own car and paying for your own expenses and saving for your mission at the same time!  You are an excellent example to your siblings and me!  I appreciate you and all your hard work and dedication.
I love you!



 Well, here it is.  G-man's exciting news.  He bought his very first car!  (yes, he paid for every penny) 2001 Honda Civic.  I have to say, I'm a bit jealous, it's newer and nicer than my van and has less miles on it than Hubby's 2006 car.  To say he is excited, is an understatement.   I have to give credit where credit is due though,  it's thanks to Grandma and Grandpa V that he has it.  They actually found it for us.  Their neighbor was selling it and they told us about it.  I'm so excited too because now he doesn't have to borrow my van anymore.

A perfect match!

Turning 12


Party Rock Anthem for my Mr. E (Just try to sit still for this song) Almost a month ago my Mr. E turned 12!  A big year in our church because he is now out of Primary.  Primary is Sunday School for the kids.  When you turn 12 you get to move up into the Young Men and Young Women program.  By the time you turn 12 all the kids are ready to get out of Primary.  Luckily for Mr. E.  he turned 12 before our Primary program, which is a culmination of all the lessons and songs they have learned throughout the year preformed in Sacramento meeting.  He was SO excited that he didn't have to do it year this.  He really doesn't enjoy singing. Traditional birthday breakfast in bed.  (Much easier given on the bottom bunk than top!) Growing up!  ALMOST as tall as me. Give him another month or so and he will surpass me.Backtracking a little bit.  First day of school.  Kinda.  For Liv that is.  The other 3 had been in school for about 4 weeks already but, of course, I forgot to take pictures of that.  I wasn't even home on Liv's first day because I was off having some much needed mommy-time at Education Week in Utah.  So hubby made sure to take pictures on Liv's first day.  What a good man.Strange to see a first day of school picture with one missing.  G-man is taking one class at the community college, and then has been working full-time to save for his mission and something else exciting that I hope to post sometime next week!!!!BTW- the song you're hearing is our new favorite song in our house.  It has a really fun dance that goes with it that you have to see if you haven't already.  Liv and I spend time trying to learn it.  Well, she learned it,  I just look like a chicken. =)[...]

I'm still here....


But I still haven't learned to manage my time well enough for this to become a priority.  I hope to return soon.  Thanks for waiting... or not.

Letting Go


As parents we do a lot of "letting go."  It all starts very gradually at first.  Letting someone else hold your baby.  Then  letting go of your child's hands when they take their first steps.   A few short years later, we're letting go to send them school.  Then letting them go to their friend's house after school.  Then it's scout/girls camp for a week. Not to mention the letting go of the expectations we started with.  You know:  Clean rooms, straight A's,  good manners, complete obedience.   Well, now it's the letting go of my car keys.  A few months ago G-man got his license.  I know it's an inevitable right of passage for a teenager but I still was not prepared for the feeling I got when Hubby dangled a set of car keys in front of G-man's face and asked him if he wanted to go for a ride. By himself.  I asked if I could sit in the backseat but Hubby wouldn't let me.  It was one of those moments where I had to offer up silent prayers and then keep busy until he returned.  Now he has graduated from high school and he can't let go fast enough.  You'd think I've had enough time to prepare but I don't feel I have.  Time went by too fast and I'm not ready to let him go.

 At least he'll still hug me!

 May 17, 2011

Typical of our family, pictures were rushed and not very good.  The graduation took place at Arco Arena (excuse me, PowerBalance Arena) at 7pm on a rainy day.  We had to take two cars to fit everyone and then had to drop G-man off at a different location then where we were to go.  After the graduation, it was a miracle to even find him again and it was pouring and dark.  Not good picture taking weather.  So very few pictures were taken.   I might have to stage a family graduation picture another time.


All about Liv!


This post is all about Liv.  In April she celebrated her 15th birthday. She's wishing it was 16 but we're grateful we still have another year before that happens!
Liv eating her birthday breakfast.  (also notice the color of her walls,  we have since painted and I'll post that picture later)

Liv is taking a Spanish class this year and one of her projects was to make a pinta.  She decided on Kirby, a SmashBros. character.  It turned out so cute.  She was so proud of it.!

Here he is again.  Click HERE to see a picture of him.

One of Liv's birthday presents was to have her room finally painted just like I did with Sweet Pea.  After 7 years of living here, I want everyone to finally be settled into finished rooms.  The problem is we always have to do things in stages and I never feel like we finish any one room.  Her room is now painted and I'm working on making some wall hangings.  Not sure if I'm going to make the curtains or if I can find something we both like.  But I'll post some pictures when we're done.  So far, it's turning out really pretty!  Hopefully it won't take too long.

Happy Birthday Little A!


A quickie post which may come in parts because I'm tired and I realized I haven't downloaded all of Little A's birthday photos yet. But I have to get something in now because Liv's birthday is the end of this week and I can't post about her birthday before Little A's!

 My baby turned 7!  Here he is enjoy his requested egg sandwich for his birthday breakfast.  Apparently he was in the mood for breakfast because we had breakfast for dinner too! 

Love this face!

Senior Ball Photos


I just sent G-man off on his first formal High School dance/date.  Wow, crazy.   I did have to talk him into it.  He was really indifferent to going.  He's not really one to participate in these kind of things but I wanted him to have a traditional High School experience to remember.  So he was gracious and indulge me.  Although, I have to say I was blown away by the prices of renting a tux.  At least a girl gets to keep her dress. But I don't want to rant about that right now.
Here's the cute couple.  

Awww, he cleans up pretty good, I'd say.

Birthday Time!


Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!!We're now into rapid fire birthdays, 3 in a month's time.  Sweet Pea kicked it off on Tuesday celebrating her 10th birthday!  Wow, I can't believe it.  She's grown and matured so much over the last year.  She's almost a different person. I was worried for awhile but We're finally getting out of her meltdown stage and has turned into a very dependable young girl. I can always count on her to fulfill her responsibilities without being told. She;s just a sweet little girl.  The picture above was taken  in San Francisco when my mom came to visit. I just love it!  I think she's about 1 1/2-2 yrs old here. Our traditional birthday breakfast in bed.  She chose an egg sandwich.  Although, notice she's so good about getting ready in the morning that she was up, bed made, dressed and just waiting for us to come in! Recently I decided to do a little room switching (again).  This used to be G-man's room but I moved him downstairs.  Liv is back upstairs in Sweet Pea's old room.  Part of her birthday gift was finally painting her room.  Last time we switched bedrooms I said I would paint it and then never got around to it.  (Good thing)  So this time I had a goal and got it done.  A very bright pink.  Nice and cheery just like her. The white corner piece was my "one man's garbage is another man's treasure" find.    It was out front someone house  and had a "free" sign on it so I grabbed G-man and had him help me put it in the van.  I knew I would paint it white and put it in Sweet Pea's room. I finally did it.    Eventually we'll get somethings on the walls.Last month Little A and Sweet Pea were off track. I can't tell you how many times I heard, "I'm bored"  Because I'm home schooling Ethan, we couldn't really do much.  So I decided that Sweet Pea needed to have a hobby and learn a skill.  We bought her knitting looms.  I was really nervous she would be like "What are these!"  But she totally loves them!  She started right away making a scarf, I should have bought that a long time ago.  Funny, even my boys want to learn how to do it. (No, she didn't make the hat she's wearing. She bought it for herself and wears it all the time.) One thing that hasn't changed is caring about what she wears!Happy Birthday to my beautiful little girl!![...]



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This is so cute. Watch Little A.  I'm just bummed that he walked out of my screen and then my battery ran out.

Me At 40!


It's my month!


Well, this is it.  This is the year, this is the month.  Forty years ago, I was born.  Seems hard to believe.
I don't remember my Mom turning 40, however, I do remember my step-father turning 40.  I was 15 and we threw him an "over the hill party."  I remember thinking he was so old.  The Funny thing about getting older is that older people don't seem as old to me as they  used to. I do, however, feel my age when I see my children growing up.  Had a reality check this Christmas as I realized we only have one more Christmas with my oldest son before he will leave to serve a 2 year mission for our church.  That made me cry,
 The number doesn't bother me,  I don't "feel" 40, whatever that means.  I am starting to "see" what 40 looks like though. The most significant changes are not being able to eat the way I used to.  I see the affects of my indulgences almost immediately and have to work harder to get rid of them. Although, I hope this will work in my favor.  Fine lines are becoming more visible and my hair color is no longer my own.  My outward appearance is now a reflection of the life I've lived and I"m so grateful for it.  In fact, the older I get, the more grateful I am.  Heavenly Father has blessed me with more than I deserve and I plan to embrace every year I have with my beautiful family.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Christmas Holiday


Christmas comes and goes so quickly anymore I feel like there's hardly time to enjoy it!  I tried to be as organized as possible but no matter how much I do ahead of time, I think it's just inevitable that stress automatically comes this time of year, mo matter how much you prepare.  Of course, when you combined the stress and feeling run down, with a holiday break,  one usually gets sick. So that was me, I've been pretty healthy all year but this last month, I've been sick twice.  Still really trying to shake it.  Thankfully, there are still a few more days before everything starts up again. Anyway, we were able to enjoy a few days of fun. Christmas was delightful, kids enjoyed it. After a long 14 train ride G-man made it to Utah to snowboard with his cousin.    Here are the few pictures I took during Christmas.  Christmas baking! Spent all weekend baking and dipping.  Finally after 20 plates and 10+ bags of Chocolate, caramel dipped pretzels I was done!!! A day at the Snow!Liv's first snow angel.   Little A's first time at the snow ever! After a few runs Little A was ready to go home.  There was lots of fresh snow and we had to make our own runs. Sweet Pea chillin' A beautiful day!The Aftermath! The Kiddos!Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's! The favorite Christmas gifts this year would have to be Pogo Sticks!  Mr. E and Sweet Pea both got them and they love them!!!  The family was excited to get our Wii replaced. (It's been broken for awhile) and a Blue Ray player (our VHS/DVD combo broke too) I love that we can stream our Netflix through it, airsoft guns and some fun board games.  Hopefully, enough to keep everyone entertained for awhile.  [...]

Rare Opportunity


 G-man had a unexpected Christmas gift this year.  He works for a couple in our ward that have their own business and he does odd jobs for them around their house.  The husband loves flying and apparently they would talk about planes and flying at work.   Well, for Christmas they gave him a flying lesson. (they asked us first)  So after two canceled flights, because of weather, he hit the skies on Tuesday.  What an amazing opportunity for him.  (Hubby is SO Jealous!)  The picture above is him with his instructor.Inside the cockpit. Checking stuff.A Cessna 172  Take Off! Flying over his school and our house! Coming in for a Landing.We totally missed his landing because we were all freezing we went inside to wait.  He did great and he loved it.  And I am so grateful for a safe flight! [...]

Snow Camping


 Now that Mr. E is an 11 year old scout that means that he can go on camp outs with the Boy Scouts. Over Thanksgiving break, the Scouts went to Yosemite to do some snow camping.  So glad I get to pass that off to Hubby.  I'm not a big fan of regular camping, there is no way I would intentionally go snow camping but that's exactly what these scouts did.  And you know what??  They had a great time! The boys standing next to (it's a bit hard to see) the (our) tent that collapsed under the weight of the snow!  Luckily they weren't in it at the time.  It was so cold one morning when they woke up, there were icicles inside the tent.  BBRRRRRRR!!!!!! Their campsite It sure is beautiful.Mr. E trying to get warm and dry. [...]

Life is Good....


Wow! I don't know about you but I'm having a hard time believing it's December already!!  Now that Thanksgiving is over I can totally immerse myself in the spirit of Christmas.  Everyone in my house knows no Christmas music until AFTER Thanksgiving.  I just can't wrap my brain around more than one holiday at a time. My goal for this month is to be more prepared.  I'm really going to try not to wait until the last minute to do my shopping, baking, etc.  That's my plan anyway. (hope  you don't mind listening to some of my favorite Christmas songs)To recap a bit.  We had a lovely Thanksgiving.  Hubby's parents and sister's family all came up.  It was so very nice to get together.  It has been too long, considering we only live 30 minutes away, however, when we do get together, it's always a great time.  We watched a great movie I'd never heard of before.  If you're in the mood for a good cry, watch Taking Chance.  A movie that documents the body of a soldier after he has died until he's buried.  Very moving.  Unfortunately, I have no pictures to post of our great feast but it all went well and I'm told it was delicious! Here are just some random pics that the kids and I took at the temple one Sunday after church.Little A, always ready for a picture. Someone always has to be looking in the wrong direction.  tired of the photo shootSisters!What to do when your bored.  waiting their turn...Who needs to go to Disneyland when you have a plastic bucket and stairs????Last but certainly not least. Mr. E gets his Arrow of Light award!An Eagle Scout in the making![...]