Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year. Wow! I can't believe it is almost 2009. We had a good Christmas with just the boys and us. It was quiet, but the boys seemed to enjoy it as it gave them lots of time to play with their toys. Santa treated them pretty darn good this year. Peter got a Nintendo DS, and Liam got a guitar. Liam was very excited about also having a stocking filled with lots of things.

Here's a few pics. Liam is very excited in the first one because he found some M&M's in his Christmas stocking.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A harrowing tale about a fun day in the desert

Yesterday we took Ben's brother Michael (who came for a visit from New Mexico) to the Anza-Borrego Desert. It was a really great day. The temp was in the mid 70's and it was sunny all around. We started out by driving up to an overlook and got an amazing view of the desert floor below us. Then we drove on to a desert oasis called 17 Palms. We walked around there for awhile and ate a picnic lunch that I packed us. Then we headed to a place called the "Pumpkin Patch" which was a bunch of small boulders that were strewn across the desert floor and they looked very much like a bunch of pumpkins in a pumpkin patch. The pumpkin patch was reached by going on a 4 Wheel drive only desert wash road. There were also hundreds of off road vehicles (dirt bikes, dune buggies, etc.) zooming in and around the area. After the pumpkin patch we went to see the gas domes which were domes filled with some sort of natural gas bubbling liquid out of the ground. Following that we continued down the 4 Wheel drive road hoping to get back to the highway.
We headed down the road bumping and turning along. At the bottom of the hill there was a Y intersection and after looking at the map Ben and his brother decided that we should go to the right to get back to the highway. So we started off down the road and it got progressively more bumpy and turny as we drove. Several of the off road vehicles went flying by us jumping over dirt hills and such. After driving for about 20 minutes and coming to an area where a bunch of the off road vehicles were stopped we decided to ask for directions to make sure we were headed the right way. Turns out it was good we asked because we weren't where we thought we were so we turned around and headed back to the Y intersection. This time after again consulting the map Ben decided that we should have in fact went to the left. So we headed off down the left side of the trail and were feeling pretty good that we were headed the right direction to the highway. luck would have it....about 10 minutess into our drive the road started getting narrower and twistier....and so, after just barely squeezing into one narrow turn Ben stopped and he and Michael got out to check out the road ahead. Michael climbed up the hill and Ben walked down farther on the path to see what was ahead. Meanwhile, a group of off road vehicles came up behind our Xterra and had to try to get around the Xterra by going part way up the dirt wall by our vehicle. Ben and Michael came back and decided it was going to be impossible to go forward so we would have to back our way out of this bumpy, turny desert wash. Michael stayed out of the car and directed Ben while he attempted to back out of the area. After backing a few feet Ben had to make a rather sharp turn and the Xterra tilted dangerously so he immediately stopped and after Michael assuring him it was okay to pull forward a little he got the Xterra back on 4 wheels and the boys and I decided that we were also getting out of the car. Then Ben backed around a few more tight curves and we found a place that he could turn around. He finally got the Xterra turned around and we all got back in and headed back to a road that we KNEW for certain would take us back to the highway.
I had certainly had MORE than enough excitement and adventure for one day.

Unfortunately, none of us had cameras so we didn't get any pictures of our adventures, but I'm sure that we will all remember yesterday for a long, long time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Giving Thanks

I am going to try something new today and give a list of things I am thankful for in my life. Hopefully, it will help me focus on the positives in my world.

1. I'm thankful I have a wonderful, caring husband who I've been married to for 13 years.
2. I'm thankful for Peter and Liam, I couldn't ask for two more inspiring children.
3. I'm thankful that I'm healthy.
4. I'm thankful that I have friends all over the U.S who like me for who I am.
5. I'm thankful for good teachers for my kids.
6. I'm thankful that I have a roof over my head and food on my table.
7. I'm thankful that I have enough money to pay my bills.
8. I'm thankful for my extended family who is always there for me.

That's what I came up with so far. I know I have been given other blessings that I have forgotten, but this list makes me feel a little bit better. The items above are in no particular order, or else I would have had to list them all on number one. And of course I'm thankful for my faith in God.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mean people

Today is one of those days where I'm trying to be happy despite all the chaos around me. I am a generally optimistic person and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But, I find that I am struggling lately with being optimistic and seeing the best in people. Just when I think that things are going pretty good, someone does something that throws me for a loop.
Last night a parent on my son's football team sent an email to the entire team giving vague references to problems he feels the team is having, and insinuating that Ben is putting the players in danger of emotional harm because of his coaching style. This same parent also gave a vague threat in this email saying that he is looking into legal action because of things he has recently learned about the team.
Ben is a VOLUNTEER head coach who stepped up to do the job when no one else would. He has been trying very hard to make it a good experience for all the kids on the team. I don't understand how people can be so darn mean! That's what it is, just mean. Whatever happened to do unto others as you would have them do unto you?????? Wouldn't life be better if we all tried harder to follow this rule?
I am far from perfect and I make my share of mistakes, but I do not ever remember a time where I was mean just for the sake of being mean.
It's just kinda been a rough couple of days...I'm sure I'll get my optimism back...I just have to realize that I can't control other people's behavior.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Music and Lyrics

Okay, this is a sort of unusual post for me, because it has absolutely NOTHING to do with my kids. But I have been listening to a new song for a few weeks and I really enjoy it. It is one of those songs that you just want to listen to over and over and over.... It is called "Eight Feet Tall" and is song by Gabriel Mann. I discovered the song because I heard it in the background of my favorite soap "Guiding Light", so I went online to figure out what the name of the song was and to hear the whole song. Here is the link to Gabriel Mann's website where you can listen to the song and also check out the lyrics.
I think the reason I like this song is that I have felt the need to live up to others' expectations and rules and I can relate to the feeling of needing to be "Eight Feet Tall". Haven't we all? It is just really one of those songs that I related to.
Hope you also enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nebraska trip

Well, I made it back to Nebraska again this summer and greatly enjoyed visiting with my friends Melanie and Becca. It was nice to be able to talk to them and to catch up on life. I also enjoyed spending time with my family. We took the boys to my uncle's farm while we were back and the boys had tons of fun there as well as learning a few things. Neither of my city boys realized that potatoes grew under ground and they were delighted to help my uncle dig some up. They were also surprised that carrots also grew underground and helped pull up a few of those. Liam was enthralled with corn fields. As we were driving to my uncle's house Liam kept telling grandpa "look there's a corn field" as you can imagine he repeated this few times!!! At my uncle's farm he got to go into the corn field with Aunt Judy and they walked to a pivot in the field. The boys also got to get eggs from the hens and Peter helped cousin Jackie feed the cows and cats (sorry about the mess Jackie!!!) Both boys said they want to come back to the farm again.

Now I am in full football mode. I am on the board of directors for Pop Warner and I am responsible for getting 17 team books organized and making sure that all 350 players have all required paperwork turned in before the start of practice August 1rst. Then once practice starts I will be going like mad for the month of August now that both boys are involved with Pop Warner. So I probably won't be blogging much if at all for the next couple months. I'll try to post some pictures of the farm/Nebraska trip soon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Broken bone and other stuff

Well, Peter another broken bone. It's his second one in two years. This time he did a pretty good job of it and is in a full arm cast. He's taking it pretty well, especially considering he cannot swim, play football, run, or roughouse with his brother. He fell off a slide when trying to climb up the slide part while his friend was sliding down. He put his arm out to catch himself and he cracked his elbow.

I took some pictures the night of the accident and then I took some more with his cast on. I think he is enjoying the attention he is getting from the cast.

Monday, June 30, 2008

a blog about nothing

I am blogging about nothing. I don't have any remarkable tales or amazing ideas to share. I'm just trying to keep in touch. Although I have been busy lately, life hasn't been extremely exciting. Peter finished his second camp of the summer and we are trying to figure out what to do for the 4th of July. I really enjoy the fourth. It is one of my favorite holidays, the food, the activities, the fireworks...what could be better???? It's a little different here in Poway. We cannot have our own fireworks, not even black cats, little black snakes, or smoke bombs...if we want to see fireworks we have to go to the local high school and hang out with thousands of other fireworks lovers. But we can still eat and there are lots of activities going on at the park down the street from where we live. They have an "Old Fashioned 4th of July celebration", complete with mock train robberies, gunfight demos, quilt show, and craft market. And then there is the food....burgers, dogs, snowcones, ice cream, etc...
Next week the boys will both have swimming lessons. Peter is a pretty good swimmer, but it is always good to have a refresher course. Liam is getting the hang of it. He has even started diving down to get rings off the bottom of the pool in the shallow end. But he will have to take a break from doing that for a couple of days because he has an ear infection. He can still swim, but the doctor said no diving. He wasn't too happy about that and was even more unhappy about the eardrops three times a day. He has to lay down for 10 minutes after getting them and he doesn't enjoy that in the least...he's much too busy.
I am including a couple of pictures from Peter's open house at school. His teacher is really creative and the masks on the wall are made from molding them on the kids' faces. The life size astronauts are sitting in a large "space shuttle" ready for their mission into space. The heads for the astronauts are paper mache that the kids did and then the heads are stapled onto a "body"made up of clothes stuffed with newspaper. Peter is the astronaut in the forefront of the picture.

Here's a cute pic I snapped of Liam "shaving" with daddy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pictures from Puerto Rico

Here are the promised pictures from our trip... Enjoy!!!! The first one is Liam with Gracie the dog. The second is Liam and Peter with the turtle that Peter accidentally caught when he was fishing. The third is Peter and Liam sleeping in the car...the looked so angelic!!! The fourth picture is Peter on the zipline at the kiddie pool. And the last picture is Liam sitting in the kiddie pool with his snorkel gear on.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


We just returned last night from a lovely trip to Puerto Rico. This is the third year in a row that we have gone there and I always enjoy the weather and the beautiful beaches. I will post pictures soon, but I am much too tired to do it right now.
On our second of two flights to Puerto Rico Liam wasn't feeling well and threw up. Luckily, he told me before he did it and I was able to get him a barf bag, so I didn't have puke all over me at least. He ended up throwing up about 6 times during the flight, so I had to keep borrowing bags from everyone sitting around me. Then when we got to Puerto Rico we had to drive about a half hour to Ben's parents house, and when we got there Liam got out of the car and puked in the grass. I felt so bad for the poor kid. By the next morning he was feeling mostly better though.

We were in Puerto Rico for a week and got to do a lot of swimming and relaxing. We also got to travel to the southern side of the island and go snorkeling in the Carribean. That was really an amazing experience. I had never been snorkeling before and I was very nervous about it. The guide was very helpful and did a great job of explaining how to put on the mask/snorkel and how to work the fins. Our first stop was in about 3 feet of water and we got to see lots of different fish. We even saw a barracuda...but it was moving so fast I couldn't get a picture. Then we went to another sight which was about 5 to 6 feet deep and got to see some beautiful blue fish and lots of other colored fish. There was a small coral reef that was also really neat to see. Ben found a Conch shell and we got to bring that home with us. We also got to tour a coffee plantation and the Bacardi factory as well as a fort in Old San Juan.

Overall it was a good trip, but it was nice to get home and sleep in my own bed. Now if I can just get my internal clock set back to California time I'll be in good shape.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

May update

Okay, it's been awhile since I blogged. I really don't have any big news to report. Peter just finished his first season of rugby. He really enjoyed playing and is anxious for the next season to start. We signed up both Peter and Liam for football this year. Liam will be playing flag football and Peter will be in his second year of tackle football. Ben got selected as a head coach for Peter's division in football. Peter is excited about the idea of having his dad as his coach. Liam will have the same coach Peter had when he was in flag football.
Today I signed Liam up for kindergarten. It really is hard to believe that my "baby" is going to kindergarten.
Last month my sister and her hubby and kids drove from Nebraska to California with my parents to have an enjoyable spring break. I got to visit with them for a few days and it was nice playing tour guide. Ben and the boys went to Kansas at the same time to celebrate Ben's grandma's 90th birthday. So, although I missed them at least I wasn't all alone.
At the end of May we are going to Puerto Rico to visit Ben's parents for a week. We are all looking forward to a little RandR.
Other than that, not much is going on other than the usual running errands and school things.

Friday, March 21, 2008

March Madness

March really has been full of madness for me and I'm not talking basketball frenzy either!!!!

Liam has been really sick this month and after 4 trips to the doctor, 2 strep tests and a blood test he was finally diagnosed with scarlet fever a week ago today. He is on antibiotics 3 times a day for ten days. I was relieved to finally have a diagnosis for him.
It all started fairly innocently when he complained that his neck hurt one night and I figured he was just sore from a hike earlier in the day. When he woke up the next morning and he wouldn't straighten his neck and I noticed that he had a big bump on his neck I decided I better take him to the doctor. When the doctor checked him out he told me the bump was a swollen lymph node. He told me that it could be strep or possibly mono. He took a strep culture and gave me a lab form to get blood taken. Both those tests came back negative, so the doctor said it must have just been a virus that ran it's course because the lymph gland was also down. That evening Liam started running a fever of 103 and had the fever for 4 days. I took him back to the doctor on the 3rd day of the fever and the doc gave him another strep test and looked him over and discovered the rash all over his stomach and back so he gave me a prescription for antibiotics. This time the strep test came back positive which meant that the doctor was correct that Liam has scarlet fever. He is feeling better though and we are thankful that it wasn't something more serious.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Yesterday Ben and Peter went on a whale watching trip. They didn't get to see any whales though. Liam and I went to Legoland for a fun, relaxing day. Liam doesn't like roller coasters, so he was really excited that he only had to ride the rides that he likes (ones that stay on the ground and go slow...) We only spent a couple of hours there, but it was a beautiful day. Since we have annual passes, I don't feel so bad only spending a short time there. Yesterday Legoland unveiled their new area/rides. Only pass members and media were allowed to ride yesterday. It was a lot of fun.
Then we came home and took a short nap to recharge. Not much else to report from this weekend.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Misc. posting

This rainbow was even prettier in person....
I was helping the boys look for fossils...
Our car next to one of the steep canyon walls. As we drove the path got narrower and narrower...

I really don't have much to say today, but thought I'd just update my blog again. My parents were here last week and I really enjoyed spending time with them. We didn't do much of anything, but spent a lot of time just playing board games and relaxing. We had planned to go to Yuma, Arizona for a visit, but didn't make it. Mom got food poisoning, and a couple days later dad came down with a 24 hour flu bug. So out of 5 days, two were not much fun. And all but one day it rained. The one day it didn't rain we went to watch Peter play rugby, which was fun...we all came home with a sunburn though!!! But even with all the bad stuff it was nice to have my parents around.

My sister asked for some more pics, so thought I'd add a couple of those too. Hope everyone is doing well.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

busy family

Well, the title of my blog is busy kids, but I think maybe I should have titled it busy family. Seems like we are all involved in activities that we enjoy, but that use a lot of our time.
Liam is probably the least affected of us and even his "schedule" could be considered full for a 5 year old. He attends preschool 3 times a week and on the other two days he has speech therapy. Friday he plays soccer which he absolutely loves!!! He has scored a goal in both of the games his has played so far. This is only his second time playing, but he really seems to understand the point of the game.
Peter is our busy boy. On Mondays he has cub scout meetings, Tuesday he has rugby practice, Wednesday is CCD day, Thursday is rugby again, and Saturday he has a rugby game.
Hubby is busy being a den leader for the cub scouts as well as the cubmaster for the entire pack. He is also involved in church choir. And he works full time as an engineer.
As for me...well I am not only the taxi driver for both Liam and Peter's activities, but also the chef, maid, and nanny. On top of these activities I am also on the Board of Directors for Poway Pop Warner Football. Although football is only from August through November the board meets year round. Right now we are gearing up for signups which start in March. And just to keep life interesting I volunteered to chair a committee to organize the cub scout blue and gold banquet. I am thankful that I have a great committee to help me organize this event.
So I guess maybe all of these activities are why I don't blog as often as I would like to. By the end of my day I just want to veg out, I don't have the brain capacity left to think of blog entries. I miss my friends and family and I will keep trying to blog for you!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Moody day

I am really feeling extra moody today. I'm not sure why exactly, but everything seems to be getting on my nerves. I worked this morning and one of the kids in the room wanted me to hold him the entire time. He felt warm and we took his temp, and he had a low fever but we weren't allowed to page the mom because the fever wasn't high enough. It was obvious that the kid felt horrible and I felt like he ought to go home.
Then I went to Liam's school to help out, and Liam decided that he didn't want to wear a jacket. It was about 68 degrees or so and I told him it was fine if he didn't wear a jacket. At recess time the teacher told all the kids they couldn't go outside without a jacket. So I walked up to the car and got a light jacket for Liam. After being outside for about two minutes Liam was begging to take the jacket off. I went ahead and took it off him and the teacher said "well, that's fine...I guess your mommy knows if you're warm enough". Coming from living in Nebraska for 30 years, I still can't get used to the idiots out here that think 68 is cold.
Anyway...I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Family desert outing.

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged for awhile. Mostly it is because my life is generally ho hum, not all that remarkable. I go through the day doing the things that stay at home moms do, and enjoying my time with my kids.

Yesterday, the whole family went to the desert to go explore some trails. We have an Xterra that we bought with 4wheel drive just for these sorts of occasions. :) The "trail" was through a desert wash and took us very near the side of some cliffs. We parked and got out to explore in the oyster shell wash. We found a lot of gypsum sticking out of the rocks. Then we walked a little further and found lots of really neat rocks. Liam filled up his back pack with rocks that he just couldn't live without. It reminded me of when my aunt used to take my sister and I fossil hunting in Nebraska. Even if we didn't find a fossil, we always managed to bring back a lot of rocks. I was always fnding interesting sister wasn't so interested in digging around in the dirt and grit. Yesterday I think I enjoyed our digging for neat rocks almost as much as the boys did. Geology is really fascinating for me, and I really enjoy sharing what I know with my boys.

After picking up rocks we got back in the car and drove to another spot that had a trail to some wind caves. We parked and hiked about a mile to the wind caves and it was a great spot that the boys enjoyed immensely.
Then we headed back to the main road, and we saw another side trail that caught our interest. It was called the Elephant Tree trail. It was an easy mile long loop trail hike through the desert shrubs.
All in all, it was a really fun and relaxing day. It was nice to get out of the house and spend time with my boys and husband.