Friday, June 29, 2007

Sunday Scribblings

A few weeks ago I found this blog and I really liked the idea behind it. But today will be the first time I will have ever participated.

My sign

I am an Aries. I never thought much of it until my best friend and I started buying those little astrologer books in the checkout lane at the grocery store. It was fun to read the descriptions of our signs and see how much our personality matched the descriptions. We actually would read about a specific day after the day had passed, just to see how right on it was. Sometimes it would be right on, most of the time not.

As much as astrology is fun, and can sometimes be right, I'm not a big fan. In thinking about it, those that do believe and go by every word in their horoscope, to me seem to need some guidance. And they find it in their horoscope. And as much as I don't subscribe to that way of thinking, at least they have something to help them through the day. So many people out there are wandering aimlessly, and have no direction at all. So, I don't agree, but you won't see me criticizing anyone that does do it. And hey, even now, sometimes I read my horoscope in the paper or in a magazine. It doesn't hurt, does it????

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I am finally sitting down to write about camp, even though I have about 10 other things that I need to do.

Getting up to camp was very easy. We were assigned one of the furthest away areas, but that was OK. More exercise right? We shared a kitchen area with another ward of girls. Their leaders were very nice. Two of them were really really Mormon, if you know what I mean. The other one was pretty normal. We never had a problem with any of them.

Dinah and I had our own cabin which was great. The first day we sweat a ton. We could not drive our cars up to the cabins, so they had wagons for us to unload with. That might seem cool, but after your fourth trip, its not so cool anymore. We got the girls where they needed to be, and Dinah and I went swimming. It felt so good. I actually got a little brown, even with sunscreen just from that short hour of being in the water. That whole day we had sun, and of course humidity, and we were exhausted. The girls were not. They stayed up quite late. Luckily, I slept like the dead. Which I never do. (I actually woke up once when I heard an earthquake coming. no joke.) Poor Dinah kept waking up, and had to get upset at them for them to be quiet. We didn't have any more problems with being quiet after that.

Not sure if this was a blessing or a curse, but the next day (Wednesday) we had monsoon rains. Thunder, lightning, pouring pouring pouring rain. And the rest of our time at camp, we didn't have a whole lot of sun. We got spit on a bit here and there. Sometimes it really rained. Growing up in California, we really didn't get a lot of storms. So it was really strange to me when all of a sudden the wind came up and the flaps on the cabin started making noise, and it got really loud. So, we were a bit damp the rest of our week there. It wasn't too bad, actually helped to make the humidity a bit more bearable because the sun wasn't out.

We only had a little bit of drama the very last night at about 1am. And it wasn't even that bad. I got yelled at too. The circuit breaker for the kitchen went out, and our foil dinners were only halfway done. So, we had to go back to camp and start up a fire, wait for it to get to coals, cook them the rest of the way, eat dessert which we had already made (burned) in the dutch oven, and then clean up, and get over to the dining hall. Our Stake Camp director came up to me and told me a few things. And I just told her what we had to do. A few people came up to me and Dinah and apologized for her yelling. It was the night that the Stake Relief Society came up to camp and she was a little stressed I think. Not a good reason, but she did have an excuse for it.

I will post pictures later today. Since I was taking these pictures, I'm not in any of them. Our color was orange, and we made the girls capri's to wear with our orange shirts. They look a little like clown pants but they are really comfortable!! I know other people have some pictures of me wearing them, so if I get a copy I will post it.

Camp really wiped me out!! Oh, I forgot a few things. On the way up, I almost hit a deer. There were two, and one of them was about to step into the road. I totally freaked out. In Texas, in addition to the already nasty bugs, they are usually bigger here, and we have the added plus of scorpions that are also fun to deal with. One of the cabins in another ward had a scorpions nest in their cabin and ended up killing about 6 of them. We only saw a few in our area. We also saw armadillos, heard peacocks crowing, the caretakers dogs made off with a lot of some of the campers things (but not our ward) and at about 2am (when we were having the drama, and I was waiting for my girls to go and apologize for their part and come back) I saw something, but because it was so dark, I have no idea what it was.

Camp was fun, but I am SO glad it is done.

I have submitted names for my counselors, so hopefully Sunday I will have a full crew. And I think I'm teaching on Sunday. Hooray......

edited:: I just reread the paragraph about being yelled at. Just to clarify, we were half an hour late and that was why she was upset.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm back

I am back from camp, and we almost got through it without any drama. As it is late Saturday night, I will not be posting anything terribly exciting. Other than the fact that CAMP IS OVER!!!!
Unfortunately, with that, I now have to spend time being the RS president.

I found a little lizard in the house tonite. I wasn't very freaked out. After a week of huge spiders, june bugs, wasps, and scorpions, a tame little lizard was a pleasant change. I may not post anything until Monday as my parents are still here and I have a ton of laundry to do. Yay, laundry.......

Monday, June 18, 2007


No energy for anything other than telling you that I don't have any energy. Please check back here sometime on saturday or sunday and I'm sure I'll have lots to say about camp. Probably because you guys will be the only people I can really tell the truth to. Have a good week!


As of yesterday, I am our wards new Relief Society President. But I'm not doing anything until I get back from camp. The good thing about this is that we move in December. Only 6 months as president. And as I leave for camp tomorrow, this will probably be my last post until next weekend. Unless I have a spurt of energy late tonight.......

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Story Time

I thought for this blog today that I would tell a story of a funny thing that happened to me last year.

We were living in Germany and my Relief Society President called or we were talking and she mentioned that there was a family moving in from Mannheim. She said that they lived really close to us, and so I thought it would be nice to call her and say hello. Maybe meet at the park or something like that.

I ended up being friends with her. She and her husband had two little girls, and one was just older than Andrew and the other was just older than Lucy. The kids played really well together, and we all hung out a few times together, parents and children. She is Swedish, and has an accent, and I always enjoyed talking to her because sometimes she would put words in the wrong places in sentences, but it never bothered me. I liked it because the sentence structure in French seemed to be similar.

Since they were only going to be there a short time, they decided not to get a land line, but stick with their cell phones. Her phone got really really bad reception in their apartment, and she had to stand in a corner of her bedroom or living room to even be able to connect. It was a nice day outside and Andrew was asking to play with Megan and Ashley, their daughters. So, I tried calling her. I don't think she knew how to get messages, so I didn't leave one. Since I knew that she got horrible reception in her house, I tried probably more times than I would normally. Found out later that in one day I called her phone about 7 times. Yeah, a little excessive, BUT (notice how big that but is) I knew about the bad reception, knew that she didn't know how to get her messages. Had she been able to, I would have left a message saying that we wanted to play with them at the park, and then waited for her to call back.

So, because I called her 7 times that day, she stopped being my friend. She would avoid me at church, wouldn't answer her phone when I called afterwards. My husband was in Poland for five days, and her husband invited us over to have dinner. She purposely left the house so that she would not be there when I was there. He told me that they had arguments about it. He thought Matt and I were great, and that he didn't understand why she couldn't just have called me back and asked why I had called so many times.

So, I lost a friend because I called her too many times. That seriously floored me. I had dropped friends because of several months of behavior that was bad, years even. So, now I'm a little hesitant to call or do things with people too much. I don't want to scare them, or push them away or think I'm taking advantage of their time. I know that the majority of us out there wouldn't stop being friends with someone because of the amount of times they had called that day.

Now, its more like a joke for me and my real friends. My friend Anne apparently called me a lot one day while I was gone because she was hoping that I had something that she could borrow, and really needed it. When we finally talked she said something to the effect that she hoped that my phone didn't show how many times that she had called....

Maybe she didn't want to be friends with me or didn't like me and took the first thing that she could hold on to, to not be friends. Who knows. We never talked about it, and then she and her husband left. Sometimes I wish I did say something, and I was actually planning on it, but I never got the chance to. So, the moral of the story is that if someone calls you a lot, let them have a chance to explain themselves.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Some cool giveaways

There are three cool giveaways this weekend that I am aware of and I thought that I would pass this along to all of you that read here. The first is over at Design Mom, and her giveaway has many different things in it. The next is over at My Many Colored Days. Some fun magnets!! The next is at Scribbit. Some really really cool stationary and cute pens. Even if I don't win these its just fun to see the cool stuff that is out there.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Our family night

So, does anyone else spend family night shopping at Walmart??

We went to dinner at Quizno's, and then we went to Walmart afterwards. I still remember the first time I walked into an American Walmart after being in Germany. Totally overwhelmed. I felt like I had never seen anything so big in my life.

Fridays are the only nights that we get to spend with Matt. He doesn't study at all after he comes home. We usually go out to dinner, which can be anything from Sonic to Quizno's and when we have a babysitter, Applebee's. We bought a fairly large pool to set up outside that Matt wants to teach the kids to swim in. Its much deeper than your run of the mill kiddie pool. So he's excited about that. A good family activity for us. We have been to the pool on post (which is free!!) but the water isn't so clear, and we're just not fans of chlorine. So, we figure we can have fun at our house without the need of chemicals. And it will be a nice place for me to improve the tan that I already have started. OK, so its only on my arms and the top of my feet. But my legs aren't too bad, and my face has some color for the first time in I don't know how long.

I look forward to Friday nights. The kids love having dad with us when we go out, and having him to play around with.

Camp is a week from Tuesday. I don't know how I'm going to get everything done that I need to do before then. Here is my list of things to do:

~finish writing the parent letter for our meeting after church on Sunday
~go back to hobby lobby and buy more canvas bags because Lucy decided to draw on two of them while I was in the shower today
~make our banner AND our flag. (does anyone else see this as overkill????)
~make sure we have rides for the girls that go up early on Monday and for the rest of us on Tuesday. And for getting home on Saturday
~type up a schedule and info sheet for my parents to refer to while I'm gone.
~my regular schedule of cleaning, laundry etc......
~stuff the bags with everything that we have (bandanna's, capri's, cute small bottles of shampoo.....)
~make sure I have a letter from the parents of each girl before we go to camp. (this is the worst idea ever. ever try collecting these things??? pure torture)
~clean out my van so that the girls can actually get into it.

I do not have anytime to waste!!!

And on top of this, our ward will be splitting on Sunday, its Youth Conference weekend, and girls camp and scout camp are right on top of each other. So there will be lots of people that will be very busy....

So, what am I doing up late? Trying to remember everything that needs to go on the letter I'm giving to the parents on Sunday. And reading blogs of course. My posting will probably be a bit sporadic next week and the week after there won't be any posts while I'm gone.

OK, back to work!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Never gonna get it

As I mentioned earlier this week, Matt's dad was in town for a business trip. He has come over a few times, and played with the kids. He had dinner here Sunday, and the kids have enjoyed have a grandpa to play with.

Before Matt and I got married, I found out some interesting things about his parents. (and I'm not even telling you everything, just the bare bones details) Both of them have been married several times. And Matt's grandma, his dads mom, has also been married at least four times. His mom is in the process of I believe her 4th divorce. It could be her 5th. I'm not sure. His dad is going on 10 years of marriage with his 4th wife, who is also 20 years younger than he is. Matt has a little half sister that is about 9 months older than Andrew. Matt's mom was also married to a man that was 6 months younger than her daughters husband, but as I already said, they are now getting a divorce.

Now, (please do not try and think I'm comparing and then saying my family life is better, just different. OK, so you can argue that it was better, BUT, that's not the point of my post) my parents just had their 30th wedding anniversary. Both of my grandparents were married for 50 years, and out of all my aunts and uncles, only one of them has ever gotten a divorce, and she has never remarried.

Coming from that type of a family, and joining Matt's was not easy. It has always been difficult for me to really understand and get past all of my hangups about it. There is only one person that I can talk to about it and feel like she is understanding me and is willing to also be honest with me. Its Matt's oldest sister. She has been very helpful to me since we've been married. Whenever I have had a questions (usually its been why and what???) she has listened, understands where I'm coming from, and does her best to explain. I feel safe with her.

So, I have tried to bring up the fact of my discomfort and lack of understanding of the family situation. I have now brought it up at least two times, possibly three. I realized today what I was looking for. The response that I was looking for was "I can see how that would be hard coming from your family background" or something along those lines of trying to see it just a little from my perspective. Each time the actual response I get is usually an explanation of why he/she has been married so many times, I was too young, or She would always threaten me with divorce, He never provided for us financially......So, I have now given up.

I know that I will probably never get that response from them. And now that's OK. I thought that I needed it, but the reality is that I don't. It would be really nice if I did. After being involved with this family now for 6 years, I think time will be the best thing for me to help me understand the whys and the whats.

Oh, and grandpa leaves tomorrow early in the morning, so his visit is done. And my parents will be here in little over a week (AHHHHH!!!!!) as they are going to watch my kids while I am at girls camp. The good part about that is that I will be gone the majority of the time that they are here and that lessens the chances of any issues with my mother. Always look on the bright side, right????

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Crazy day

Today was the busiest day we have had for a while. I got up and rode my stationary bike, took a shower, and then did all the morning stuff. I had someone coming over from church to do some planning for our girls camp that is coming up in two weeks. She had brought her kids to play with mine so that we would have some peace while trying to get things done. Then my father in law came by after he had gone to swim laps with Matt at the pool. And he stayed for a while. I put Lucy down, then Matt came home really early. I decided to run to the store with Andrew so that I didn't have to wait for Lucy to wake up. Before that, I had realized that our house was really warm, warmer than usual. Well, it turns out that our AC died. Luckily, being in military housing, I just call the maintenance line, and they come out and fix it. They had it fixed by 5pm. It is now blowing cold air all through our house. Then I made our dinner as fast as I could. After we ate, threw the kids in the car and drove down to the church as we were having an activity that was getting ready for our girls camp. Got home just after 9, and put the kids right to bed. At least this morning I got to vacuum a bit and got most of the dishes done from the day before. My days are usually filled with watching Disney playhouse, building with blocks, settling arguments, wiping bums, going to the park, drawing on the magna doodles.....
Oops, forgot reading stories, and picking up messes and eating snacks.

I like these days when I don't have plans and the kids can play at the park with their friends and be out in this awesome sun. We had sun in Germany, but it was nothing like it is here.

I'm glad I have some quiet time now. But I just might fall asleep......

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My brothers and sisters

I decided to write a little about my siblings. If I hadn't already mentioned it, I'm the oldest of 6 kids. Never something I enjoyed, nor really wanted. Being the oldest of 4 would have been a little better. Anyway, here are some interesting things about me and my fam.

Dawnette: She and I are 19 months apart. For the majority of the years that I can remember, we have not ever gotten along. In fact in high school I really hated her. She was the exact opposite of me. She had long blond hair, blue eyes, very neat and tidy, worked her tail of in school.....very rarely was disobedient. I mean never. We have almost gotten into fist fights. Until I got married and I went to live in Germany, we were not really friends. I think the turning point was when I was able to go and help her during a hard time for their family. She was on bed rest, at any point could lose the baby, and I went to help out with her daughter for a week. She ended up miscarrying, but we really bonded well that week. Anyway, we have since figured out why we hated each other so much (something that was totally out of our control and that we were not aware of) and now are very good friends. We talk at least once a week. She is one of the good reasons about being back in the USA.

Sean: He is child number 3. He has always been excellent in sports. Almost anything that he did, he did well. He is now playing ball for a community college in Southern California. He has always had a hard time with school. He has a lot of problems. As a kid, I don't remember much other than that I was the overbearing older sister, but that really wasn't a reason to chase me around the house with a baseball bat now was it??? This brother has caused a lot of problems within our family. I really struggle with this brother. Not really sure what my interaction with him should be, and what kind of support I should, if any, give him. Still working all of those things out.

Marshall: Child number 4. He looks just like my dad. He talks like my dad. He acts like my dad. I didn't interact with him very much. He was younger. The first time I remember having any actual good bonding was when I was coaching the freshman girls basketball team at our high school, and he was on the boys freshman team. We would have practice at the same times a lot, and the girls that I were coaching would tell me things about my brother. He was so skinny that sometimes as he was going for a layup, his jersey would slide off his shoulder and his arm would get stuck. He had a hard time gaining weight, and the kid could eat. As could my brother Sean too. Marshall ended up taking french, and would tell our french teacher (even though it was in his 4th year of taking it) that he didn't speak this language. They would torture each other. It was awesome when he got his mission call and was being sent to the Switzerland Geneva mission. I was able to go and visit him twice while he was in Nancy, and I was in Heidelberg. I brought him root beer, Mexican food, pnut butter, sunflower seeds..... My mom also came over to pick him up and he and I and my mom all went to Paris together. I get along really well with this brother. He stresses out a lot though.

Camille: Number 5. I remember when she was born. I took her to my 3rd grade class for show and tell. Dawnette, Camille, and I shared a room until I was 15 and we moved into what felt like a castle. Camille is a quiet person, doesn't talk a lot unless spoken too. She is stubborn. I remember she got in trouble when we were camping when she was maybe 3 or 4. She was told to walk over to my parents, and she took the absolute smallest steps possible. It took her forever. I went to live with my parents when Matt went into basic and then to AIT. That was her senior year of high school, and we were able to get to know each other much better. She is in the nursing program at BYU, and wants to be a neonatal nurse. Or whatever its called when you take care of infants. She is flying to see me this summer for a week! I'm pretty excited to have her come.

Garrett: Number 6. I also remember when he was born. I took him to my 5th grade class for show and tell. I remember my mom going to the hospital in the morning, and leaving me with the rest of the kids. I was only 10. Garrett is a good kid. He will be turning 19 this summer and is excited about sending in his mission papers. He has also taken french and is really wanting to go somewhere that speaks french. He was also at home when I lived with my parents, and he would help with Andrew sometimes. Andrew had horrible yeast infections on his bum when he was an infant, so I would let his bum air out for a while after baths. Garrett got peed on once and wouldn't help me anymore..... One thing I remember vividly about him as a little kid: He wasn't allowed to get into bed with my parents. He took a long time to potty train, and even when he was older, would wet the bed sometimes. He was fine during the day, but just slept so soundly that he wouldn't wake up to go to the bathroom. Anyway, Garrett would climb into bed with me and wet my bed. All the stinkin' time. That is one story that I will be telling his wife, and his kids. Recently I called him while my parents were in Hawaii, and usually he doesn't have much to say, but he talked to me for an hour and a half. I actually said very little. It was really late for me by the time we hung up, but that was OK. It was worth it. It was nice to hear what he had to say about things and what he wanted to do in the future.

That is my family. All of us (except for Sean) have the same cell phone company, so we get free minutes to call each other. Which has really helped me to get to know them better since I was gone for so long. I'm hoping that things with Sean will get better. But I have no idea what is even going on right now. Even though I hated (and I mean really hated) having so many brothers and sisters, now it is pretty fun. I'm hoping it stays this way.......

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My high school french teacher

I have been out of high school for 11 years this month. When I was a freshman, I had the choice of two languages: Spanish or French. Living in Southern California, Spanish would have been a good choice. But, I had some friends that were already in high school and they told me that I should take French. The school had only one french teacher, and she was great. OK, I can take french. Way cooler than Spanish (at least in my head).

Well, turns out that I not only love French, but I am good at it! OK, she really was an amazing teacher, so part of it could have been her. She would tell us the craziest stories en français and would have crazy assignments that we had to do, but do them in French. one of my favorites was taking American songs and writing French words to them. She had me come back about 6 years later to teach them to her 7-8 class. We read things like Candide, by Voltaire (which the songs were about), stories from Petit Nikolas (I now own about 5 of those books. They still make me laugh), and many other things.

I have stayed in contact with her ever since. She has taught all but one of my siblings, has been to my house, I've been over to hers for dinner. While I was on my mission she took a train from St. Nazaire (which is on the west coast of France, but it is north of Bordeaux) all the way to Orléans just to spend P-day with me and my companion. She took us out for lunch, and we shopped and had the best time!! My mom had even given her stuff to bring to me.

My love of France and all things french started in that classroom. So, if you want someone to blame, there she is!! I love her and we still talk to this day. The last time I was in California, my brothers and my sister and I went to say hello. We spoke French, and the only one who didn't understand was my sister, who just stared at us when Kristina was asking her if "elle a conduit ou si elle a vollé" (if she had driven or flown).

I just talked to her tonight, and I just love it. Since I was 14 years old (I'm 29 now, yikes that's a long time) and hopefully for a lot longer we will be friends. And then maybe someday I'll get to go with her to her house on the coast of France.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Today and Tomorrow

Today was a fun day for the kids. We stayed at the park WAY too long, but it was nice for all because we met some new friends. Then tonight after we went to dinner at Sonic, we took the kids to the pool on post. It is free, and they have a great kiddie pool that only goes up to 2 feet. And the lifeguard is sitting right at the edge. The first time we went, Lucy was not too excited about it. Maybe about 10 minutes before we left she was finally walking around in the water. Today, she warmed up to it much faster, and was wanting us to help her jump in the water. Andrew still will not put his head under the water, even with goggles on. But we're working on it. I would take them to swim lessons, but its kind of expensive for only about two weeks time, and how would I do it with two kids? Just not possible. Anyway, they are good and sleepy tonight!!

Tomorrow is going to be interesting. We have noticed in the program at church, that alphabetically, people are being assigned to come to the church Saturday mornings and set up for Sunday and clean it up. I really don't have a problem with that, the actual cleaning up. It's how their doing it that is incredibly irritating. I don't think it is posted anywhere, but as far as I know, you only find out that it is your turn, the Sunday before that Saturday. And being a ward where there are many many military families, meaning that husbands could be gone on the weekends and/or deployed, they do not provide child care at all. I'm not saying for every Saturday. Only when it is needed, and whoever it is could have several people rotate through so you're not doing it every Saturday. So, it being our turn tomorrow, and knowing that there will not be child care, I'm a little irritated. I talked to my sister about it, and she suggested just taking them and having them see how little I can do while chasing after my kids. I don't know about your kids, but mine seem to never stop. There energy comes from a bottomless source. So I know tomorrow morning will be very interesting. I would talk to someone in charge, but there is a huge possibility that the ward will be splitting soon, and I'm pretty sure that there are not going to be any major anything that happens between now and then. I'm not the only family with this problem. I would even volunteer to watch someones kids so that they could go and do it. But I REFUSE to pay someone to watch my kids while I go and do something for church. There are a few exceptions to my rule, but the majority of the time, that rule stands.

The rest of tomorrow is a mystery. Usually we just stay at home and let the kids play. I have been taking them to the park everyday for at least two hours. This helps my son to get out a lot of his energy, which allows him to sleep better at night. It is helpful for Lucy because I have noticed that her motor skills have become better at climbing up stairs and running since we've gone to the park regularly. It is helpful for me because I can let the sun bathe my legs and I can also read a book, do my cross stitch, or chat with a friend. It has been great.

I promise that I will start posting more. I haven't been very good at managing my time recently. Can't seem to make things work. And as a side note, my father in law will be flying in on Sunday. He will be here for a business trip until Friday. Thank goodness that his employer will be providing him a hotel and a car for his stay. I actually like him more as a person than I do my mother in law. He just gets on my nerves because of the amount of talking he does!! Now, I talk a whole lot. But this man would beat me if we were in a contest. Anyway, I'm sure I'll have a few posts about him being here.