Monday, December 29, 2008

Cute Pictures

Various Cute Pictures

Cute Christmas Pictures

We are using the one of the three kids that we took while in line for our Christmas card. The older kids don't want to be in the picture this year. I am fine with that since I always write a letter and tell about them and how they are doing. Actually, I always get my cards out the week between Christmas and New Years so I just write "Happy Holidays" on them. I don't even feel guilty not getting them out before Christmas anymore. And with having my hand in a cast for a few weeks, I feel a little more behind than usual. The other picture is the one the photographer took of them with Santa. I think it turned out really well.

Santa Pictures

We had been waiting to visit Santa. I am not really sure what I was waiting for. Maybe for someone to call me and say that this year the line would be shorter and I would not be exhausted by the time we finally saw Santa. Well, no call came, so I asked my older two kids to go with me. I have no idea why they said yes. Well, my son said he didn't hear the visiting Santa part about going out...I am sure I did not stress that part. I really wanted their help. Everything was going fine until we got up to the very short line and saw that Santa was going on a dinner break in five minutes and wouldn't be back for an hour and ten minutes. WHAT???!!! Santa eats? So we had to find something to do for an hour and ten minutes with three little kids. We actually did fine for a half hour, though I wound up buying several things that I didn't want and now have to return. My older kids were great. My son finally went and stood in line again while we walked around with the kids. Unfortunately, there was a LONG line of people already there in front of us. You would have thought that the people who worked there would have told us that we could skip the line since we just missed Santa (and had three little ones) but they didn't. Anyway, I stood in the hot-line-of-people-who-were-standing-way-to-close-to-eachother while my kids walked around the mall. They finally came back when we got closer to the front and that is when I think time must have stopped. We waited for hours. Maybe it was days. All I know is that Brayden was sitting on the dirty mall floor at one point and my older son kept trying to get him to get up. I finally told him to let him do it. At that point I was so tired that I wanted to sit on that same dirty floor. I almost gave up. I think there were two families in front of us and I really wanted to go. We were all hungry, tired and worn out. I told Dakota that no matter how hard college ever got, it couldn't be harder than standing in line with three kids to see Santa. She completely agreed. Luckily, she and Colton seemed to have summoned new found energy and were really helping. Because, of course, Brayden, Brookelyn and Sasha weren't just calmly sitting there. Sasha was pulling at our hands, pointing away from the line and saying, "Go." Brookelyn was completely LAYING on the ground on her stomach. Brayden was quickly falling apart. We had been there waiting for TWO HOURS by the time we saw Santa. Luckily, Brayden and Brookleyn went right to him. He talked to them about what they wanted for a minute and then once they were on his lap I put Sasha on it too. I think the picture turned out pretty good. There should be pictures of the parents at the beginning of the line and again after they see Santa. This holiday ritual is not for the weak hearted. I took these pictures while in line waiting, just in case one of them (or all of them) cried while sitting on Santa. I told Brayden that Santa was going to ask him what he wanted for Christmas. (I don't ask my kids to make a list for Santa because they don't really watch much tv with commercials and don't really know what is out there. ) Brayden had asked me to tell Santa that he wanted a toy we had just seen at the Disney store while we were waiting. He wound up telling Santa himself and Brookleyn told Santa she wanted an elephant. I'm not sure where she came up with that. Both Brayden and Brookelyn smiled for pictures while on Santa's lap. Sasha didn't smile, but she didn't cry and did sit on his lap, which was amazing. She is a brave little girl. When we were finished with the pictures, Brayden looked at Dakota and asked her if Santa thought he was nice. Dakota said she thought he did. Then he said, "Did he see how I was acting in line?" He is always trying to figure out how close he can get to crossing the line. Even with Santa. As I look at the pictures I tok,I realize that they do not show the pain of that experience at all. I should have taken pictures of the the kids rolling on the ground. Next year I will. Of course, we laughed about it after we got something to eat.

Finding our tree

We went out to breakfast last weekend and then went and chose our Christmas tree. We actually chose the second tree we looked at and it was really pretty. Brayden, Brookleyn and Sasha found a bunch of pieces of twine on the ground and were enthralled with them the entire time. Brookleyn and Brayden even "helped" tie the tree to the top of my van, which I am thrilled to have back. I missed my van. (I am denying that the paint doesn't match exactly. My plan is to keep denying it for a couple of weeks and then have them redo it. I am not ready to have another rental car right now.) Ray put the tree up and we let the little kids put up the unbreakable ornaments. We left all breakable ones in the boxes this year. The kids had a fun time and I loved watching them.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Brookelyn's Holiday Show

Last week was Brookelyn's holiday show for her preschool class. They sang several songs and then we all stayed and had a little potluck party afterwards. I didn't have my camera, so my pictures are from my sister's camera and I cannot crop them. How did I not have my camera for such an important event? Well, I had it that morning because I had taken pictures of my kids in the hallway before school. I remembered taking it to my car, but I couldn't find it before the show. I even ran out and checked again after I dropped Brookelyn off with her teacher. Nope. I asked Brayden right before I ran out to the car and he said he didn't know. So I sat back and tried to enjoy the show without worrying about losing the memory forever. Ray videoed the show, which was great. Right before it started I looked over at Brookleyn and saw that she was playing with her dress. I had planned on having her wear one of the many holiday dresses we already own. She has six older girls cousins, which is great. Brookelyn has been wearing Christmas dresses for a couple of weeks. But at Brayden's holiday show I noticed that almost all of the girls were wearing fancier dresses than we had. So on the way to the program we stopped at a store and bought one that was perfect. Black velvet at the top and a soft, off-white material on the bottom. Brookelyn couldn't keep her hands off of it and kept pulling at it. I called out to her to leave her dress down and so, of course, she pulled it over her head. It was pretty funny since it was right as the program started so everyone has it on video. She happily sang every song and smiled sweetly the entire time. And kept her dress down the rest of the program. She is a very confident little girl, but I knew that she could easily just stand there and not sing a word, so I was happily surprised. We, of course, were very proud and thought she was the most adorable child we had ever seen. She loved the entire night-singing, playing with her friends, spending time with us, her cousins, and aunt, and then going home and watching the video. It was sweet watching the program with Brayden next to me. He would look over at me every now and then and smile this sweet older brother smile when she did something funny (like her dress over her head or when she and her friend decided to sit down for one of the songs). He can be such a sweet, big brother. Anyway, great night. On the way home I asked Brayden where he thought the camera could be and that time he quickly said,'Oh, it's under my carseat. I put it there this morning." Nice.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I just have to say that I would not have been very good on the wagon trail years ago. I definitely would not be good at living in the Midwest or East Coast now with little kids. I have a renewed respect for parents of little children who live in states that get rain and snow. It has been cold and raining here for two days here in Southern California and I am ready to break. No, really. It was just warm and balmy a couple of weeks ago and we all complained how hard we had it because it was so warm and we were ready for some fall weather. I think we should have been more specific and said fall-like weather that was cool, but not too cool and didn't last for very long. We didn't mean cold, I know I certainly didn't mean cold. We were warned by the weather forecasters that it would be winter cold this week, so I bought several turtlenecks and a down vest.
All of my kids have warm clothes, though we really don't have good winter jackets. I also heard it was going to rain, so I pulled out all of our raincoats (that we have for the very few days it usually rains around here). But I really didn't think we would have non stop rain, cold and week-before-Christmas-shopping to do. Here are some things I don't get about the cold and rain:
How can people let their kids get into the car with dirty, wet shoes? I love my kids, but I do like a clean car too.
Who runs out to the car again and again in the rain to collect the several load of lunch boxes, school work, bags, food wrappers...left in the car at the end of the day?
How can we wear our warm, cozy Uggs if it is raining and they will get wet and look bad later?
How do you fit your kids into the car seat with a ton of layers of clothes?
Is there any way we could move Christmas back a couple of days since we had two rained out days of shopping?
Is it really even natural for it to be so cold and how much water is up there to have it rain for so many hours without a break?
Should I be looking into moving to a warmer, balmier area?
All good questions in my opinion. I have to go take a shower and get to bed. I have done the last of my on-line shopping and written a list of things I still need to go out and get. My husband (who hasn't shopped at all) got very tired while I was making the shoppping list while doing laundry and cleaning up the house, so he went to bed. It actually has been a rough couple of days. Sasha must be teething because she is really cranky, clingy and a little inconsolable. She has woken up several times the last couple of nights. We bought Brookelyn a toddler bed and put it in her room last night. She has stayed in it, which is great. But she developed a love for singing lately and sings songs she makes up as she goes along for at least an hour every night. It's very cute, but sometimes her singing seems to keep her awake and we really NEED her to go to sleep. Brayden's preschool class put on their Holiday show tonight. It was great! Two years ago he put one of his fingers in his mouth (which he never did before or since) and kept it there for the entire show without singing a note. Last year he did a pretty good job, though he seemed as if he might change his mind and sit down at any minute. This year he was amazing. He did everything he was suppposed to do, while singing and smiling. He danced with a little girl, did a couple of dance moves on his own, acted out all of the songs...we were so proud of him! My sister and her kids came to the show, which was great. Brayden loves them. Two of my sister's girls were in his teacher's class when they were in preschool, which made it even more fun. Tomorrow Brookelyn's class is having their holiday show. She doesn't have a shy bone in her body, and she knows the words to all of the songs. But she is still pretty young, so who knows if she will sing. I don't really care, she will have fun being up there in front of the crowd. All she cares about is that she is wearing a pretty dress. I can only add one picture of Brayden because all of the others have his classmates in it. This one you can't tell who the kids next to him are since their faces are turned.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Recycling/Re-using Project

I just spent the last couple of hours rinsing out juice bags/pouches for a project we are doing at our school through an organization called Terracycle. They use juice bags to make things like lunch boxes, totes, folders...they are pretty cool. sells the bags for $9.99. I bought a lunch box made out of them from London years ago and love it. I have always gotten a ton of comments on it. Anyway, I signed my school up at Terracycle and they sent me out postage paid envelopes. I send 100 rinsed out juice bags at a time. I don't use juice bags for my kids, but I see that a lot of the kids at my school use them. I have been collecting them at school and from friends and family members for a couple of months. I finally decided I needed to send them off. Not really a good idea since my hand is still killing me, but I don't have many days that I am at home so I thought I would get it done. Oh, and having a box overflowing with juice bags didn't really look great sitting on my front porch. Anyway, you just cut a hole in the bottom of the juice bag, rinse it out, pull out the straw and set it aside. I just filled three bags-300 juice bags. If you go to you can see all about it. They also do the same type of things for energy bar wrappers, cork, yogurt containers, cookie bags, and a few other things. Terracycle donates a $.01 or $.02 per pouch, (depending on the brand of juice) to your school or organization or a school in need. I am having ours sent to a school in need. It is really obviously not about the money since it is so little. But it is a great way to keep them out of the landfills and it makes kids more aware. My suggestion is not to let them sit on your front porch for a couple of months before you clean them and send them off. My laundry room is a little stinky right now. I think I will get some kids at school to help me get them ready next time. And maybe not wait until I have collected 300.
I had to take some pain medicine since I have to pay some bills and in order to do the recycling thing. Doing things like folding laundry, dishes, typing... are all painful unless I take medicine. I rarely take medicine, but otherwise I can't get much done. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to get another x-ray. It is getting better though and I know it is only going to be fine soon. I have a new respect for disabled people. It takes so long to get even the simplest things done!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I have a rental car that I am driving while my minivan gets fixed from when I was hit a couple of weeks ago. For a few days I was driving something called a Ford Flex. It looked like a hearse to me, and I was not happy to have it instead of a minivan. But it was all they had for the weekend of Thanksgiving. After driving it for a couple of days I really started to like it. It was a nice one, with leather seats, a synch system for my cell phone, navigation, a cooler between the two middle was nice. I got so much attention from men driving that car! I seriously had men coming up to me again and again asking me about it. Anyway, I turned it in for a minivan and was immediately sorry. I got the cheapest minivan made. It's a Dodge Caravan, which I think are actually good cars, but this is the most basic model out there. I actually really didn't like it and felt a little nervous about driving it since it felt so cheap. Well, Tuesday afternoon I was dropping off a bunch of things at Salvation Army. I had been having trouble getting the sliding door to close all day. I had grabbed a basket of stuff I was dropping off with my left hand and reached in with my right hand to grab the handle and shut the door. I swung the door really, really hard so it would close. Unfortunately it shut on my right hand. I have had four c-sections and a car accident where I broke my nose and had to have 100 stitches in my face and more in my leg. But I have never in my life felt pain like slamming the door on my hand. I looked down at my hand and it was all bent and crushed. It was disgusting. The pain was so bad that I almost passed out. I had some guy at the Salvation Army drop off area get me some ice and I called Ray. I rarely get sick and almost never go to the doctor, but I knew I had broken something and had to go to the hospital. Luckily, Ray's office is only about 10 minutes away so he picked me up and drove me to the hospital, which is also close. Luckily, the emergency ward was pretty empty, so they took x-rays right away. It was awful, I just couldn't believe how painful it was. I think I have a pretty high pain level, but I couldn't handle it. They finally gave me vicaden after an hour and a half and it took 37 minutes to kind of work. I know how long it took because I could barely handle the wait. Ray had left after he dropped me off so he could pick up the kids from school. He had seen my hand so he knew it was bad. Anyway, after 37 minutes I could finally stop moaning and whimpering. I figured one pill would work because I am 98 pounds and medicine usually knocks me out. I could function after one, but it was still incredibly painful. All I could think while I was laying in the room in the e.r. was how I never wanted my kids to have to feel that kind of pain and how there people in that kind of pain everyday. Well, mostly I kept thinking, "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god..." I tried to tell the doctor and nurses that I am not usually so lame and pitiful, but again, I really could hardly talk. Mosly I just layed there and waited and tried not to cry. I would make a lousy soldier.
Anyway, it turns out I do have a hairline fracture and a lot of bruising and swelling. I called Ray when I found out I found out I was being released and he brought the kids to get me. He had already told them that I was hurt and couldn't pick them up. Brayden and Brookleyn were very sweet and quiet, but Sasha was a mess. Ray never drops her off or picks her up from school and she could clearly sense something was wrong. So she cried (screamed) until I held her. All the way home she needed me to hold her foot and talk to her. I had my right arm in a partial cast and sling, was feeling nauseous and dizzy, and had to lean back as far as I could and hold her foot with my left hand and look at her. If I let go or looked away she would start screaming again. I knew she was scared so I did it all the way home.
I stayed home yesterday because I couldn't drive and really couldn't do much. You wouldn't believe how much you do with your hands. Pretty much everything of any value. I hurt my right hand and I am right-handed. I am not someone who can relax and watch tv, so staying home really wasn't fun. And my hand really hurt. It's a little embarrassing that it hurt so much, but the doctor said our hands have a lot of nerves in them so whenever we injure them it is very painful. My hand just started feeling better about an hour ago. I am pretty sure it is because I took more vicaden. Before that I couldn't type, hold a pen, wash dishes...Actually, I think the swelling is going down. My entire hand is huge and is black and blue. It's still disgusting. I have been typing this with my left hand and there are mistakes everywhere. Thank goodness for spellcheck. Bedtime. Stay away from minivan doors.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Min Golf at amusement park

Amusement Park

Celebrating Brookelyn's birthday with family

Brookelyn's Birthday dinner

Fall Festival

Our school had a Fall Festival to celebrate its 20th anniverary. It was a really fun day with a lot of food, arts and crafts and fun games.