Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Five: Fall, Shopping and Sushi

Happy Fall everyone!  The weather has definitely become fall like here, and I love it!  Here is this week's Friday 5.

5 Thoughts

1. It feels like fall here a bit finally, I am loving it.  After the crazy hot weather we had at the beginning of the month, this is a relief.

2. This morning, Alex asked me- should I wear long sleeves, to which I replied, "Yes it is going to be cold today, wear long sleeves."  The high today is 70.  I really have become a California wimp.

3. My mom was in town this week.  She came to help my sister move to her new house.  We had a ton of fun shopping and going out to lunch yesterday.

4. Eric and I ate at an amazing sushi place this weekend for our 'Eating the Alphabet'.  We asked the chef to surprise us with our 5th choice.  Whatever he made was something totally new, as the waiter said he wasn't even sure what it was as he had never seen the chef make it before, it was yummy.

5. Lucas went camping with the scouts again this weekend.  They go camping about once a month.  Thankfully he seems to be enjoying it more and doesn't freak out as much about going.

5 Pictures 

cracking eggs

snickers bar trouble maker


palm trees

scout camping trip


Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Five: Donuts, Sunsets and Public Speaking

I almost forgot my Friday 5 today, as this morning definitely did not start as planned.  Here are 5 thoughts and 5 pictures to recap the week.

5 Thoughts

1. Today all the kids woke up the normal time, ate breakfast but then Ryder started saying his stomach hurt.  Laying around crying type hurt.  I got the throw-up bowl ready, almost positive it was going to be utilized.  Got the other two off the school, only for the morning to progress with not only no throw-up, but really questioning why I didn't send Ryder to school.  He is not a faker, never has been, so I truly think something was hurting his stomach this morning, but he totally could have went to school.  I think that is often one of the hardest calls as a parent, when to send them and when to keep them home.

2. Alex's soccer season started off great with two wins for her team.  I really do hope they have a great season as they are such a great group of girls.

3. We actually got back to eating the alphabet this month, we are cutting it close for finishing it this year.  It really has been such a fun experience though!

4. This last Saturday I had a photo shoot at the beach, Alex came with to be my assistant and keep me company on the ride out there.  I think if we lived closer to the beach I would be out there almost every evening just to watch the sunset.

5. This weekend I am speaking in church.  I really don't mind it, and over the years have become more and more comfortable with it.  One of the congregations I am speaking in is actually a Tongan Congregation though, most do speak English, but part of the service is in Tongan, so that will be very different.

5 Pictures

sunset over ocean

eating out lunch

mother daughter at beach

cracking eggs

Monday, September 11, 2017

My Thoughts on September 11th

Devastation... that really is a good word to describe the country right now.  Hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes have been plaguing this country and the world in full force these last few weeks.  That doesn't even touch on the political and social upheaval that is currently happening.  It can make you start to question and wonder and lose hope, but we cannot lose hope. This country was built on hope.

Today is the anniversary of a day I will never forget.  I found a post I wrote several years ago on the anniversary of September 11th and it is still so relevant today, so I am going to re-share this post, as my hopes and dreams for this country and this world remain the same.  


Since I was no longer a single student staying up way too late, hanging out with my roommates or my boyfriend; I figured I could handle an early morning college class.  It was the beginning of my junior year of college; I was a newlywed of 3 months and loving life.  Eric and I were both going to school full time and working part time.  We had a little 1 bedroom apartment but felt like we were rich with our little box TV and brand new DVD player. 

I trudged into class, students were all gathered together talking.  'I heard a plane hit the Twin Towers' some of the students were saying.  We all wondered if this was true.   A few more students came into class saying the same thing.  It must be true.

There were no smart phones, no twitter, no Facebook that we could quickly turn to to confirm if this was true.  I had a cell phone, a large brick of a phone that was actually pretty advanced with a black and white game of SkipBo on it.

We all wondered what had happened.  As soon as class ended we all hurried to the nearest TV.  It was true.  Planes had hit the Twin Towers in New York City.

We were all shocked and not quite sure what to do.

I had a doctors appointment after my class and headed to that as I normally would.  The waiting room was silent, everyone's eyes glued to the TV they had brought into the waiting room.  I sat there watching the coverage, watching people run, hearing the speculations as to what could have happened, then I saw it live, the second tower collapse.  

People cried freely and held each others hands.  What happened to our country?

I will never forget that day.  I will always remember.  

I also remember what happened after; flights were canceled, security went to all new levels-- but so did something else.

The country's pride.  The number of American Flags that were flown by peoples homes.  Peoples desire to step up, help out, be a little more kind, be more united.

Those terrorists wanted to hurt us and they did but they also made us stronger.

Now 12 years later in a world of instant communication and instant gratification, too many have forgotten.  They have forgotten that his country was founded on freedom.  A freedom to work, the freedom to prosper and have the American dream because of hard work and determination.

Far too many want the American Dream for nothing; they feel entitled to have it handed to them, to be taken care of.   This is not the America I love.  This is not the America that everyone cried over that day 12 years ago.

The American Dream is not meant to be handed out like a participation trophy to everyone who plays. It's meant to be worked for, fought for, something that we desire with everything that we are.

It is our right to work, our right to try hard, our right to try and better our lives.

It is not our right, or our children's right to be given a free ride, a place to live, or even a phone.  Just because everyone has one is never a reason for anything. Things that we have should be earned because we have helped in the home (and in the world), shown that we are responsible, and have earned it.   

Sometimes life is hard and it will be and it will seem unfair; this is the time to tighten our belts, cut back and work even harder.  It is not a time to keep trying to live like the Jone's just because 'it isn't fair'.

Life is not fair.

Something needs to change and it starts with you and me.

It starts with us understanding that in life there may be times that we all will need hand-ups but never hand-outs.   This country, our children, this society needs a little tough love.  A little wake up call, a lesson in life.  As moms we know all too well that there is only so much we give before we totally lose it.  How can this country survive by just giving and giving?  It is going to lose it. 

I will not stand idly by and let that happen.  I will fight, in my own way, in my own home, in my own city and state. I will fight by educating myself and my children and by stepping up and speaking out.   I will help those in need by helping them learn how to help themselves.  I am not going to hand out free fish, I am going to teach a man to fish.  To whom much is given, much is required and I will give- but my giving will be in ways that can help change a life forever not just for a day.

This is the American Dream, this is what those terrorists tried to take away from us on that awful September day.  Don't let them win! Don't let them win through entitlement, laziness and dependency.  

I am living the American Dream because I have worked and am working to deserve it.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday Five: Disasters, Student of the Month and Soccer

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope everyone that needs to has evacuated from Florida, so many devistations right now.

5 Thoughts

1. Hurricanes, Fires, earthquakes... it truly is astounding how much of our country and the world is suffering from an astronomical amount of these events right now.  It definitely makes me take pause to see if we are prepared and half worried if we are going to get the big one here in SoCal.

2. On Saturday Alex played in two soccer games in the 103 degree heat, it was crazy. She did really good and the team she was guesting for ended up getting 2nd place in the tournament.  At one point there was a collision where one of Alex's teammates feet literally ended up on Alex's face while they were both lying on the ground, it was crazy but everyone was okay in the end.

3. This last Sunday was very special as Eric was ordained a High Priest and set apart to serve on the High Council.  I know he will serve wonderfully and am proud of the choices he has made in his life to try and be closer to Christ.

4. This week Alex was awarded Student of the Month.  This month a student was chosen that represents the character trait of trustworthiness.  Her teacher wrote her a note that says "You are definitely a person that others can trust and count on.  You exude confidence, humility, and honesty.  Thank you for being a shining example to those around you. And you do it with a constant smile."  I was beaming when I read that!  So proud of my girl.

5. Soccer season starts this weekend, not like it ever really ends with Club, but it officially starts this weekend.  Hoping our team does good this season.

5 Pictures

soccer team

sleeping in car

mother and son

silly grandparent picture

proud parents

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Some Days Are Like That... Even in Australia

It began at 6:30 A.M. when our doorbell rang.

We were expecting it, a nurse coming to draw some blood and a check-up for my husband for a life insurance policy.

My kids began waking up around this time, unsure what to do with this new person in our house.

When people come over my kids tend to go in one of two modes, 1- supper shy forgetting how to speak or 2- this person is their best friend and an audience they have to perform for.  Today was #1.

None of them would even tell me what they wanted for breakfast and come eat, so we flipped our morning routine around and got dressed first; any parent knows totally changing the morning routine is a recipe for disaster.  They went upstairs to get dressed away from this home invader.

Finally around 7:00 it was safe for my kids to go downstairs.  They all got started on their breakfasts, poptarts, Ego Waffles and bagels, yes breakfast of champions there, but this is when the real drama began.

You see, Alex's waffles got slightly over toasted, and when I say slightly I truly mean it- they looked like they would be perfectly fine.  She pouted, gave lots of evil looks to her brothers, because somehow it must have been their fault, and just decided at that point her morning was going to be miserable.

I talked about lemons and lemonade and urged her to at least try as I figured with enough syrup they would be just fine.

All the while, I am trying to read from the scriptures for our morning scripture study, let's just say not much was learned from the scriptures this morning.

Eventually I cave and just tell her to find something else while I take Ryder upstairs to brush his teeth.  By now my panic button is starting to kick in as we already passed our usual departure time.  After teeth brushing, I come down to see Alex spreading cream cheese on a bagel she had made for herself, strawberry cream cheese... strawberry cream cheese, which we bought a while ago, I flip over the container, it was expired.

"Miss, I am so sorry."-- at this point it is now full on sobbing tears.

I hurry to make her another bagel, this time with regular cream cheese, not expired, and tell the boys to go get their shoes on and get in the car.  Now it is getting to be-Lucas will be late to school time.

We hurry put Alex's breakfast on a plate and head to the car, where Lucas is standing there and declares that one of the sprinklers is broken. Sure enough at the end of our driveway, one of the sprinkler heads is shooting out more than the normal amount of water.

I hurry down to investigate and find one of the pieces on the ground, I bet I can just shove it back in, I think in desperation.... I push the piece back in.....

Gyser fountain!

Half of my body is now soaked.  I hurry and turn the sprinklers off.  Tell everyone to hurry and get it the car, hit the garage door button only for it not to go down.  A shoe is blocking the sensor.  I hurry move the shoe and the garage successfully closes.  We drive off the school and some how manage to get Lucas there before the gates are closed.

When then drive over to the elementary where I am more than happy to say goodbye and come home to the quiet.

Deep breath.

What a terrible horrible, no good very bad morning.  But some mornings are just like that, even in Australia.