Thursday, April 30, 2009

"As for me... I'll follow the Prophet."

Conversation with Brian on the way home from gymnastics.

Brian: "The other guy in my class is an only child. He says his mom and dad let him do
whatever he wants."

mom: "Really? That sounds fun, huh?"

Brian: "(sighs) Yeah, it sounds fun but I know it's not really. If that were to happen to me,
and you let me do whatever I wanted, I know I'd just have to listen to the
prophet, Thomas Monson, very carefully!"

Yeah Brian!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Menu item at Casa de la Baak!

I'm sure I have expressed the bane of my job... cooking.
However, I do try my very best to make sure that I make a nice, nutritious, homemade meal and even make breakfasts in the mornings. (we have cereal once a week).
However, I do feel like I get stuck in a rut. I hear a lot of "this, again." With a family of 7, it's hard to please everyone. There's nothing more irksome to me than to hear someone complain after I've spent a lot of time and energy doing something I do not really enjoy. So I tend to stick to the tried and true menus that get the least amount of groans.
I really would like to branch out and try something else, honestly. However, it has to be worth the grunts and groans and has to be something that I feel will live past the 'after it's been placed in front of them 10 times, they'll eventually eat it' (which I have found to be true.)
So, Sunday night, I tried something new....
and yes, I got the "what's that!" "What exactly is in this? Or my favorites, "YUCK!" & "I hate this." (even though I've never made it before.
So we suffered through the 1st time dinner jitters and no one died, vomited or even gagged. It all made it down. Although there was alotta the 1st time comments floating around the table.
Finally, Danny looks at me and says "I see why you rarely make something new!"
Understanding at last!!
Our new dinner:
Chicken foil dinners
On a square of aluminum foil:
(make 1 per person)
Spread a spoonful of your fav. bbq sauce
2-3 small red potatoes, thinly sliced
a few green/red peppers
a few slices of onion
a 1/2 a chicken breast
salt and pepper
another spoonful of BBQ sauce
fold in the aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for 35. Open foil and add a sprinkling of cheddar (or your fav.) cheese. Bake additional 5 minutes. Probably would make a good camping foil dinner.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Easter 2009

Although I am tardy in my Easter post AND I regret to say I did not document it with hardly any pics, we did have a lovely 1st Easter out here in Murrieta.

We colored eggs, although in shifts. Bryce, Brian & Kierstin did theirs first (I did not get a pic of Kierst & Bryce, sorry guys). But she did do 1 token egg so as not to break with tradition; THANKS KIERST!!

But here are Brian's creations:

And I have a confession to make... Bradley and Tyson actually colored their eggs the day after Easter. Bradley wasn't in the mood when everyone else did theirs and Tyson was asleep. I saved everything though since it was Tyson's 1st real egg decorating and he would never know (except for someday when he grows up and reads this post of course)

I'm glad Bradley decided to participate since it is a tradition and that's hard for moms to let go of.

Tyson really got into it:

Although I have no idea how it ended up on his toes.......

I didn't see any toe prints on his eggs..

They all made for a pretty table centerpiece for the rest of the week with these lovely tulips my sister Mary gave me:

Tyson was the first one to wake up and find easter eggs filled with "treasure" hidden around the house. He had so much fun discovering where they were and what was inside them:

The Easter bunny was generous to all:

We had a lovely dinner with Danny's brother Daren and his wife Nikole and kids. My grandma Mary Kay and Aunt Jayna and her son Brian came along with Mary, Patty & Ann.

Since it was Daren's birthday later that week we sang happy birthday to him.
(We won't mention his over 4 decades of life!)

We were blessed to be surrounded by people we love on one of the most sacred holidays. We were able to sit around that night and discuss the true meaning of Easter to end on a spiritual note. It was a nice day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tyson's haircut!

There is nothing "little" about the attitude of our littlest child!! He has a HUGE opinion about everything. Heavenly Father decided Danny and I need to be kept very active in our old age. I have to pick and choose my battles very carefully with this one or we will be battling constantly!! (Fortunately I started out this way so I have become very adept at this.) So, admitedly, that is why you will often see our little Tyson running around in only a diaper and maybe a shirt on a good day. Pants and especially shoes are for special occassions like church and the park.
That being said, can you tell how he feels about haircuts? Yes, pretty shaggy.
The best hairstylist for 1st haircuts and those who hate haircuts is Karen at Rainbow kids on Hamilton/Magnolia in Huntington Beach! I have tried on 2 seperate occasions to get his haircut out here in Murrieta, no good.
She has done all of the 1st haircuts on my boys and into their 2nd years. She's fast and good. So, when I had to pick up Kierstin in H.B., I scheduled an apt. and ....
I thought he might be better this time, WRONG! We got about 5 minutes, me holding him squirming all the while. If you'd had seen him, you'd really be impressed. I wish I'd have got her picture!!
Thank you Karen, at least I can see his eyes now!

Dan the Handy Man provides a peace of mind!

I mentioned before that the reason we purchased this specific home was because we loved the yard. You know we like to be outside when you consider that the big reason we purchased our H.B. house was because of the yard.

This house, like the last, is a work in progress. Not as much so as the first, but we are still living with our stuff in disaray (no floors in the upstairs bedrooms, hence we are on matresses in the living room, bonus room, etc.

Danny is busy putting this house together for us. The list of projects is still long and we have to really pick and prioritize what's at the top.

If you look in the positng if our jacuzzi initiation you will see something missing. Yes, we had been living with no fence around the pool the first 2 weeks of our life here. Needless to say, I have been somewhat frazzled always wondering where Tyson is at.

This weekend, Danny installed a beautiful wrought iron gate around the pool while I was in H.B. picking Kierstin up from spending time with friends. Danny had never installed fencing like this before. But he studied it, decided he could do it and when I got home this is what I found...

It is absolutely beautiful and such a relief! Danny really is amazing at what he can do! He never ceases to amaze me. He saved us at least $700 doing this himself and it looks professionally done!

Cost to install wrought iron gate: $600 in materials. Peace of mind it brings.... PRICELESS!!
Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! From me and Tyson!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Health Report

The real purpose of this blog is to keep a journal of our family happenings. This one is probably just going to be interesting to the kids later on. I know my family sits around pulling out the biggest boo-boo awards so I thought I would document what's been going on around here, since it's been the biggest boo-boo year thus far (and hopefully for the future).

We have always been really fortunate to enjoy good health in our family. Kierstin was the only one to have had an x- ray, when she was 3 to see if her wrist was dislocated, and 3 stitches when she dropped a bowl on her foot leaving a small cut. I can count on one hand how many times we have the stomach flu.

I try my best to never take health for granted. I understand how many people out there suffer from all types of ailments all the time.

Since we have moved to Murrieta, I have been made sure to really understand the great blessing of health and strength as we have been to the doctor more than I can ever remember! And now, Bradley, Bryce and Brian have all had their own sets of x-rays!

Bryce had chronic stomach pain all during the first part of the year. He has been absent from school about 12 times! Before this, the last time he had been to the doctor was in November of '06 for an ear infection! (He had chronic ones when he was an infant). After stomach x-rays, blood tests and stool & urine samples (yuck!) the doctor ruled out everything and chocked it up to anxiety, which a lot of kids have manifested as stomach problems at this age (Kierstin did). It's understandable but I don't regret running all the tests. It's very disconerting to have to push your kid out the door to school crying his stomach hurts when you believe it's anxiety but aren't sure. Now I can push him out the door with confidence.

In November, Bradley was running the track at school and twisted his foot; the first week of basketball of course. He stayed off it on crutches for 2 weeks. When I noticed him still limping at practice a month later I figured I'd better take him in. An x-ray and a trip to the specialist revealed that he has an xtra bone in the arch of his foot. I guess this is not uncommon. The doc. said that an injury can set off the fact it's there and cause noticeable discomfort. We could do an elective surgery to file down the bone. It's all a matter of how much he can tolerate it. I think we're going to hold off on that.

Kierstin and Bradley have both had a really hard time with their allergies out here, especially Bradley. I have had them on every over the counter type allergy medicine with minimal success. Bradley had a sinus infection a few months ago. The doctor had put him on what I thought, was a rather strong medine regime; nasal spray, antibiotic and a prescription strength allergy tablet. It seemed to clear it up for a while.

However, the day before Danny and I were supposed to leave on the trek, he really got congested. The morning of, I could tell he was miserable but what was I to do? I filled him full of allergy medicine and told him to rest. My friend, Cynthia Campbell, who was watching Bryce and Brian that day, said she would call to check in on him. Danny and I were supposed to bring our phones so I was able to periodically call him during the day. He sounded and felt awful! I was so upset to be so far away. Fortunately, my saintly friend Cynthia, took him to the doctor for me (MANY THANKS CYNTHIA!!!) Yes, he had a sinus infection. Antibiotic and Afrin nasal spray. When Danny and I got home Sunday, he still was not feeling great. So I took him to the doc on Monday. She couldn't believe he wasn't better. She sent him for a sinus xray and told him he'd have to do another course of antibiotics, Zyrtec-D in the morning, a spray of Nasonex, a Singular in the afternoon and a Zyrtec -D in the evening!! I am not big on medicine so this makes me nervous. But the doctor was firm so we're trying it out. He's back to school today. We'll see how it goes.

I feel so bad since he gets it from my side of the family; we all have allergies of some sort. It is miserable!! In fact, Kierstin had a severe allergy attack on the Trek! I wish they would have got Danny's ironclad sinuses. Seriously, since we've been married he's had 1 minor headcold. He dosn't know what congestion means, lucky him. Unfortuantely, I think most all the kids have my inferior sinuses (so sorry guys!) Hopefully it will clear up and we won't have to take a trip to the allergist~ stay tuned.
Brian - I took him and some friends to the park for a playdate. There are some sloping hills up behind the park with lots of bushes. The sign says "Stay off the slopes" but of course it is too tempting for curious young boy minds. A young head can often be seen bobbing up and down behind the bushes. It's so hard to be the tough law abiding mom all the time. Yes, I paid for it. I did allow Brian and his friend back there. Brian comes crying down the slope with a bloody leg. He had scratched it against some bush or something. One part looked like he had a tiny bit of twig impaled in it.

Playdate over of course. I admit it I was relieved that it didn't happen to his friend but it was also one of those knock you head against the wall, "why didn't I listen to that little voice in my head; I'm a bad mom," moments.

I had just talked to a couple of friends within the last month who had talked about these nasty staph infections a family member had received recently. One from scraping a hand on a nail (he almost lost his whole arm!) and the other a scratch from a rose bush!! So with visions of my poor son's leg all swollen and infected I vigilently poured hydrogen porixide all over it and smothered it in neosporin for 10 days. 2 weeks later, it had all cleared up except that one spot. It was swollen and bulging and it looked like something had festered to the top. I carefully dug off the top layer which oozed pus and hoped I got it all. A week later it still looked red and swollen. Trying not to panic I made a doc. apt. She prescribed a topical and oral antibiotic and a referall to a surgeon (she thought it looked like something was stuck in there). He sent us for xrays. Another office visit yesterday revealed it would probably be o.k. but to keep an eye on it the next month.
These are all fairly minor things but they do make me so very grateful first and foremost for health and strength. What a MAJOR blessing. Secondly, I am so grateful that after a year with no health insurance, we finally found some just before all this happened. Blessings, upon blessings. MUCH gratitude to my father in Heaven!!

When I have grown a foot or two...(?!)

I ran across this pic looking through some albums and forgot to blog it.
About every other day, Bradley runs up next to me and asks Danny "I'm taller than mom now, right?" And FORTUNATELY, Danny will chuckle and say, "you still got an inch or two Brad!" Then I turn to him and remind him that I am still in charge, even when he is taller! I will always be mom no matter how far up I have to look at my son!

And sadly, I have to admit, that is NOT going to be at 16 like my dillusional self thought when my sweet, happy, dimpled Bradley was born. He is, not quite 12 and OFF THE CHARTS for height!
I have to constantly remind myself, that he is not as old as he looks. He is still just an 11 year old boy in that 14 year old body (thank goodness).
You know how the song goes, "I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two." Well, I have to say, Bradley has not got the or 2 part before he outgrows us all. Is this really my sweet "little" dimpled, good natured boy? Yes, he is still inside that GROWING body.
I am relieved to say that he is still NOT embarrassed to give his mom a hug and a kiss before school.
Well, a mission is 7 years down the line but I know how quickly it is going to fly by. About 14 years ago I was sitting teary eyed and choked up in the H.B. 4th ward during the Draeger boys' missionary farewell. I think I was pregnant with Kierstin. Danny looks over at me and asks what's wrong. I turn to him and tell him I was just thinking about when our boys would go on a mission. His reply "we don't even have any sons yet!" .....
Here we are, 4 boys later. His life with us is half over. He is going to turn 12 in 3 short months. Have I taught him everything he needs to know? Does he really realize how special that is? He's getting close to that "finding process" of his life (finding a testimony for himself) Danny and I certainly encourage the kids constantly to find a testimony that what we are teaching them about the gospel is true for themselves. Will he do it? Have I helped plant some sturdy roots to support his testimony on its own? It's hard to let go and find out. Fortunately, I still have prayer and the knowlege that he has another set of parents who love him as much (and yet more!) than I and will make up for what I have neglected. That is a great comfort.
Life certainly flies by. Has anyone found the recipe for slowing it down yet?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday's Spring Break Fun

I always try to plan something fun for our breaks. I LOVE museums and try to share that experience with the kids. I had been planning on heading down to San Deigo to check out the Natural History museum with the kids. They have like 10 museums all close together at Balboa park. I had always wanted to take the kids there but it was a long drive, 1 1/2 hours, from H.B. and hadn't ever got around to it. Now we live about 50 min. so I thought I'd try it.

I hadn't really planned on going Tuesday but I checked my emails in the morning and found one from a friend that said that Tuesday was kids free day for the Natural History museum. So I thought that would be great. I packed up the kids ( and a MUCH protesting Bradley) and headed down south.

I was almost discouraged when we got there. I expected it to be crowded but it was INSANE! We drove around for 20 minutes trying to find a parking space by the Natural History museum to no avail. Plus the line was almost around the building to get in. I drove around the other museums and although there weren't lines around them I could not find a parking space. I haven't even been to a crowded day at Disneyland with such NO luck on a parking space.

My heart sunk because we had driven so far and Bradley had really not wanted to come; one reason being he gets car sick. But I was determined to have a cheerful attitude and prevail. So, I took the boys to good old McDonald's and we ate lunch and went back to try again. After driving around for 30 minutes (no exaggeration) we found a lady heading to her car. She was so kind as to notice and point us in the direction of her car to make sure we got her spot (thank you good neighbor!) Fortunately, she had an expedition and so my big van fit in with little problem!

I decided to not attempt the History Museum, bite the bullet and just pay to go to another museum. The boys choice the air and space museum (of course). Tyson enjoyed it as soon as he got out of the car. It was right in the flight path of the planes landing at the San Deigo airport.

The boys all LOVE planes and we had a blast checking them all out:

Look at the smiles on those faces!

Tyson trying his hand at being a pilot. It was a little chamber filled with air and you have to use the stick to keep the plane centered. He was a natural!

Bradley paid $3 to take pilot lessons. This is an actual simulator pilots start on and he's sitting next to an instructor. I sometimes wonder how far he and Tyson will make it in the sky. They have always enjoyed planes and helicopters.

We left at 2:30, to miss traffic and we did miss it! Smooth sailing all the way home. The best part... we all left with smiling faces and more fun memories to add to our collection. But the best part for me was to hear my pre-teen, previously cranky son, say "Thanks mom. I'm sorry I was grumpy this morning. It was worth it!" That, made it all worth it to me!
Lesson learned for mom, you CAN make lemonade out of lemons and ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

FHE - Jacuzzi Initiation & poor man's donuts

Last Monday, April 6, we had a fun FHE to start off our 2 WEEK spring break fun.
(yes, we get 2 weeks of break here in Murrieta.)

Dad got home from work and pumped up the jacuzzi and we all popped in. You'll have to take my word for it that Danny and I hopped in too since there is no photo evidence.

It was a beautiful evening out and we realized just how glad we were we bought this house for its location. It was so relaxing sitting out in nature, literally. This is our view as the sun was retiring for the day below the hills. It's about this time that the frog ensemble starts in. It's so funny cuz you don't really hear any frogs, just cicadas and criquets. Then, all of the sudden, one frog will call out and the rest answer, all into the night! I wonder if it's the king frog or if one just can't take being quiet any more. There is a small stream behind us that harbor all our amphibous, melodious neighbors.
The boys even earned a bit of extra cash on a dare. Although the jacuzzi was heated, the pool hasn't been. Needless to say, it is NOT warm in the slightest. So we dared Bradley to jump in the pool and back into the jacuzzi. He wasn't so hip until visions of $1 loomed before his eyes. He reasoned that was really a quick way to make a buck! Then Bryce decided he couldn't let Bradley rake in all the dough and took the plunge. Of course, Brian was right behind him. Fortunately, Tyson dosn't get the whole meaning of $$ and we didn't have to pluck him out of the feezing water. Dad, however, took a plunge, acutally did a 2 laps! (can't have his boys showing him up!) All for love and not to lose his manly title of Dad, the King! To which Bradley matched by swimming across the deep end. Mom turned out to be the only chicken. Kierstin got a "bye" as dad had dropped her off in H.B. in the morning to spend a few days with her friend Natalie. It really was refreshing and fun!
Afterwards, we made what I call "poor man's doughnuts." We used to make them as a kid and I resurrected them a few years ago. They are lower in fat too. I use the cheap refrigerated biscuits with no hydrogenated oil. You pop a hole in the middle (or shape them how you like) and fry them in some healthier, canola oil. Just a minute or two on each side until they're golden brown.
Then you pop them in a brown bag filled with cinnamon sugar, brown sugar or powdered sugar. Shake and....... Enjoy! And truly, it was an enjoyable evening! Although we missed our Kierstin. I wonder if she would havebeen chicken too?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Gratitude!

Our family was able to watch General Conference this past weekend. I look so forward to this time of year. I especially love the April session as it is so close to Easter time.

As always, I felt so many promptings on how to improve my life this conference time and learned so much from so many of the general authorities. But I was especially moved by the Apostle, Jeffery Holland's talk on the Savior. I cannot even think about it withough getting emotional. He really painted a more vivid detailed description of the events of Jesus' life than I have ever felt before. I cannot express it. I have always felt a gratitude for my Savior but it is so much more poingnant now. Truly, this is modern day apostle of the Lord speaking

Take a moment to watch this excerpt the church put out with his talk. It is truly moving and expresses all Easter sentiments better than I can ever express.

I am so profoundly GRATEFUL for all of the bounteous blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me. I feel so overwhelmed and unworthy. May I live up to the expectations of the Lord and make sure that I am not a contributor to the Lord feeling like he has to walk alone again as Elder Holland expresses.
Many blessings and happiness to you and your family.

Friday, April 10, 2009

They just Don't Make Them Like They Used To

I mean Diapers of all things!!

It's true. I have had 5 kids since 1994. Things are supposed to improve over the course of time; and things have. We have nice small little IPODS with personalized music, DVDs instead of VHS, faster computer times.

Baby items have even improved since my last 2 kids. Better high chairs, video monitors, more of selection in everything...

But diapers have taken a dump! I have used pampers, and then Luvs on all of my kids (Huggies were smelly and seemed to give my kids diaper rash). I could accidently go for 1/2 a day forgetting to change a wet diaper and no problem except the saggy baggy look. NOW however, if I haven't changed a diaper in the last 2 hours, I KNOW! I go to pick up Tyson and it leaks right through the diaper itself! Not out of the side stuff either. I even have to change his diaper once in the middle of the night or he will wake up to wet bedsheets, YUCK! I have NEVER had to change so many clothes and wash so many sheets/blankets! UGH!

I have tried EVERY different brand out there. My LUVS failed me, all store brands, even Pampers. I was willing to spend the extra $$ on the Supremes and Ultras but to no avail. I finally resorted to the dreaded HUGGIES which for me haven't worked with my kids. No, not any better AND yes, diaper rash! What is it about Baaks and Huggies that don't mix. So, back to the least offenders, Pampers Supreme.
So what is it? I think it has to do with those lovely little silicone bubbles that used to be in the diapers, remember those? Or rather, the lack of them. I heard someone say they took them out so diapers would degrade better in the landfills. They do feel a lot thinner and boy do they work like they're thinner. I'm all for going Green but seriously, can't they make them any better than this? Or is it all a diaper company scam? Really, sometimes I wonder. I have to buy 1/3 more diapers than I used to.

All I know is I am so glad to be almost done with the diaper stage forever... HOORAY! To all you my dear friends, who have many more diaper days to go..... have you ever heard of plastic pants? Good luck! I just hope they figure it out before I'm a grandma.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tyson turns 2 on March 11, 2009!

In the midst of moving preperations, Tyson hit his 2nd year milestone!

I know 2 has been termed "the terrible twos," but personally, I love hitting that 2nd year milestone. Not to say that my kids don't go through the typical stubborn, pitch fitting, throw yourself on the floor tantrums, boy do they; but it is such a relief to me. Yes, I love my babies but I do not like the lack of communication. That when they hurt or are upset I somtimes do not know what is wrong.

I love how inquisitive two is. Everything is fresh and new. The littlest things are so exciting and fun! They can really start understanding the workings of the world. At two they can at least start to communicate, even if they aren't necessarily talking (which Tyson isn't!).

We didn't have a big party with friends and everything but we made sure he knew it was a special day.

In our home, we start birthdays off with the favorite birthday breakfast with a wish warmer upper (1 candle to kind of practice on). Tyson knew just what to do with that candle atop his chocolate chip pancake (see the smoke?).

We sang happy birthday to him at every point during the day. I took him to one of his favorite places, the park (sorry, no pic) and pushed him on the swing for 35 minutes straight!

He opened presents; he knew just how to do it:

This one was a hit; a geo track airplane set. It has a remote he can work all by himself. A green button for go and red for stop..

He loved being in charge and played it until late (can you see the bleary eyes?).

Gma Nancy sent some new books for us to enjoy.

We should have opened this one last... Yes, he is bleary eyed and teary eyed. It was late and I didn't really want to do a bubble bath but...
It was his birthday, how could I spoil an otherwise fun day?

Of course there was cake and ice cream. Being child #5, mom now understands that bigger and fancier is lost on a 2 year old. Just a basic chocolate cake topped with his favorite characters, Winnie the Pooh and friends (actually, 2nd fav. Max and Ruby is #1 but I can't find any little characters).

He looked happy with the "pooh guys" as Kierstin used to always call them.

And of course, his 2 year old wish is going to come true. Candles out in one blow!

We love our little Tyson and are so gald he is a member of our family. Just a few fun facts about Tyson at 2:
Favorites: -Max and Ruby and MORE Max and Ruby, Winnie the Pooh and Little Einstein
-LOVES swinging on the swing at the park
-likes bubble baths and water in general. He unfortuantely, has no fear of even
the waves at the beach and will get back up and head straight in even when
knocked down!
-Loves being outside.
-LOVES riding with dad on the dirtbike, loves airplanes, motorcylces
Tyson quirks -Takes after Kierstin; hates his carseat, stroller, crib, etc.
-Takes after Bradley; into everything! Likes to search and destroy
-Takes after Bryce, won't talk, uses his own vocabulary! Very few words;
mam! (mom), dad, yeah, Bra-Bra (Bradley), Brai - Brian,
ga-ga - bottle, eda - motorcyle, heco -helicopter, a-pane (airplane)
dis? -what's this? does use voice inflections so you can kinda get the gist of
what he's saying!
-Takes after Brian; can pitch an AMAZING fit. Throws himself down in an all
out fit!
Tyson is an independant little soul. Already wants to do everything on his own. Already determined to keep up with his 3 older bros. He is going to keep our family active and on-the-go, that's for sure. We are blessed to have him in our family!

Welcome to our Home in Murrieta!

It's been a while since I've posted, I know. I beg off to the excuse that we have been in the midst of moving! We purchased a house here in Murrieta. It's only 2 miles from the house we were renting but puts us in a different ward than the one we were in. It actually gives us more to consider, being a member of the church and purchasing a home. We thought and prayed long and hard about whether or not we should stay in our current ward. However, living in the ward with the smallest geographical boundaries in the church (6 square miles) made it difficult. That with the fact that 1/4 of our ward is a 55 and older community and another 1/3 of our ward is out of the school boundaries for the high school and junior high we wanted Kierstin and Bradley to stay in AND finding a house with a big enough yard and pool proved to be too much. So after careful consideration we moved out of the California Oaks ward and into the Murrieta ward, which many call the Murrieta stake cuz it is so big! I had actually went to a young women training meeting and remember talking to the YW president there. She said they had 56 YW on their roles! I remember thinking I'm glad we're not in that ward, yet, here we are.

We are thankful to our CAL OAKS friends who made us feel so welcome and needed right off the bat. It made our transition so much easier. Special thanks to our friends the Campbells, who lived right up the street from us and made us feel right at home. We will miss the convenience of just going up the hill to play but know we will still keep in touch.

In any case, here is our new home in Murrieta:

See that little room with the window in front? One of my favorite features. It is actually is a single car detached garage... finally a home for all of Danny's tools and toys!! Yeah!

t sits at the end of a quiet neighborhood at the end of a cul de sac (we love that!). But this is the big reason we bought this house:

A beautiful back yard with a pool that backs up to, what I call, the wilderness! No backyard neighbors, just the hills and the wildlife; hawks, lizards, squirrels, gophers, hummingbirds, cyotes and even rattlesnakes I here (yes, it makes this mom nervous a bit). The boys have already been hiking with dad and had their own adventures back there. We look forward to many to come.

It's an older home for out here (built in 2001) and smaller (only 2850 sq. feet). Like I said, it was the yard that sold us. It has a firepit and a large side yard for a play structure and trampoline to come. (pictures to come). However, the inside has needed some TLC. Danny, once again, has been put hard to work fixing it up to our expectations. We ripped out all the moldings and put in new. Danny has fixed up the huge walk in pantry and we had to strip all the upstairs carpet. We started The previous owners had cats that just destroyed the carpet and also a son that just destroyed the upstairs bedroom. Holes in every wall and I mean huge ones! (should have taken pics). With trying to move out of the old house and clean and touch up paint it (white flat, UNWASHABLE paint and 5 kids do NOT mix!) and earn an income has been a strain. I so appreciate all his hard work and efforts to make the interior of this home has inviting as the yard.

We are kinda camping out right now as the upstairs bedrooms don't have any flooring yet. WE wanted to put wood and laminate in the bedrooms in hopes that it helps the kids' allergies. But of course, the flooring we wanted, that was within our budget, was on back order. So when we have that all done and things are settled, we'll post more pics and have you all out for a housewarming party for ourselves!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Prayers for Calam!

I believe with all my soul in the power of prayer. In fact, I believe that when I reach the next life I will still be surprised of the full power of prayer. I have seen miracles happen in my life because I have had the great gift to beseech my Father in Heaven through the wonderous workings of prayer.

So I am asking you, my friends who read this, to pray for my friend Erin McGibbon and her husband Patrick's newly adopted baby Calam. They have been waiting for this new addition to their family for such a long time. They were finally able to meet him and bring him home just yesterday. this morning, he woke with a 101 fever, which is always disconcerting to say the least with a newborn. Please pray for baby Calam and the doctors who are over his care!

Many thanks!


Words Cannot Express...

Lately, I am really truly coming to the realization of the truthfulness of the phrase, "words cannot express...."

Life is truly a whirlwind of emotions; you can be soaring high one moment, and spiraling low the next and then back up. There is such a range of emotions. For instance, how can the same word happy apply to all those different range of emotions from just simply having a good day, to finding your soulmate, to your wedding day, the birth of your children, watching your children grow to finding contentment in older years.... It just does not seem adequate for all those occasions. Nor does attaching various adverbs such as very, so much, a lot, etc.

I guess that is why it the next phrase "actions speak louder than words." really hits home lately as well too. We read so much more into a person's actions than words.

So when "I say I have learned to be so very grateful for the very bounteous goodness of my Heavenly Father lately; for his infinite patience and consideration for me and all the little things in my life." Let's just say, words cannot quite adequately express just how much gratitude is within my heart.

I think all of this stems from watching General Conference this weekend. The prophet and general authoritie's words just seemed to so hit home with me. I especially loved Elder Holland's remarks on the sufferings of the Savior and that he went through it all for us; for me! It just touched me in a way words cannot express.

I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father and for all of his bounteous blessings and especially the great gift from our elder brother, Jesus Christ. Just how wonderous a gift it truly was stirs my soul more and more.

If you did not get a chance to view conference you can find the link here:,6353,310-1,00.html

See if you are not touched as well!