Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Last week, Robert and I voted. Put the ballots in the mailbox Monday morning. I like being a permanent vote-by-mail voter. Puts an end to all of the voting nightmare a bit early, if I choose.

Since I'm done though, I'd REALLY love to hear a commercial that ISN'T related to the upcoming elections. I mean, REALLY, I'd give just about anything for a commercial about E.D, Always pads, Vagisil, false teeth, plastic surgery, the price of rice in China.....

Now I remember WHY watching live TV sucks!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Robert!

My BEST boys boogie boarding

Daddy kissing Hannah

Cow Racing on the Wii with his Mom

Catching snowflakes for the first time with the kids

SO Handsome!

Good friend, Stevo

Disney Dad

Yesterday was my Honey's birthday. We pulled off quite a coup! About 6 weeks ago, Robert's Mom, Doreene, asked if she could come visit for his birthday. OF COURSE! We decided to keep it a surprise though, and that was HARD to do! I enlisted the help of one of his co-workers, Mac, to help me. I asked for a lot: get us cleared to come visit, make the arrangements for us to visit, be our escort when we get to work, keep Robert busy/keep an eye on him so we can visit, get permission for us to "kidnap" Robert, and help me buy his present (some PS3 controllers). Mac didn't disappoint! And with as busy as things have been at work lately (5 new titles launching in the next 10 days), that was no small thing. Thanks Mac!

THAT was Friday, the day before his birthday. I'd been asking Robert what he wanted to do for his Birthday for more than a week. He just wanted to "spend time with the people he loved the most." DONE! Yesterday we just stayed home. We watched movies, chatted, and played video games for a little while. Robert got to sleep in late and got to eat anything he asked for (Chipotle for lunch and Marie Calender's Chocolate Silk pie for dessert). We were LOW-Key all day long. It was nice.

I'm a birthday maniac. I LOVE them! Not just mine, but all birthdays--it's your own personal holiday, the day you get to be king/queen. I've always loved birthdays, so having something special to do for Robert was so much fun! I'm so glad his Mom wanted to come visit!

I've known Robert now for a little more than 11 years. He's my bestest friend and the BEST Husband. I'd choose him all over again, if given the chance. He's incredibly smart, very generous, extrememly compassionate, and very hard-working. He's a great example to me and our children. Robert works hard at being a great Dad to our kids. He's the BEST. Since the day we got married, I've told him often, "You're my best husband." That hasn't changed at all. I'm so glad to have had these last 11 more, and I look forward to celebrating an infinity of birthdays together.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Scorching Santa Anas

So yesterday it was 77 here--according to weather.com. Nice, right? Nothing that nice lasts forever.

Enter a Santa Ana wind event. At noon today, it was 93--with only 8% humidity. In Robert's work zip code, it was 97--with only 5% humidity (and he works CLOSE to the ocean). This BIG fluctuation in temperature is a KILLER! The wind stirs up stuff that's bad for asthmatics and other allergy sufferers.

The low humidity causes us to get electrocuted every time we touch something. That particular pain was SO much worse in our temporary housing when we first moved here. We had NEW carpet and microfiber sofas--a bad combination if you don't want to get zapped.

We'll live--that's for sure. It's the price we pay to live in paradise. You know, the sky is a color here that doesn't exist elsewhere--GORGEOUS! And, although we roast all day, the nights are still pleasant. I've learned that if I keep ALL windows closed--and curtained--my house still is pretty comfortable (at least downstairs). When the sun starts to go down and the temperature outside drops, we open up the whole house and get a breath of fresh air. And do it all over again tomorrow.

And thank goodness that we don't usually suffer with Santa Anas more than 3 days at a time. If we could only do it without the 20-25 degree temperature differences!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vote YES on Prop. 8

I got this from my friend Katie's blog. It's a good one.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Language of Prayer......

Hannah is a constant source of amusement to us, as a faithful reader will know. In almost every facet of her life, she strives to amuse.... prayer is no different.

Being the independent soul that she is, Hannah hasn't allowed us to help her in quite some time. When she was little, she had to say almost every prayer--sometimes we'd have more than one person pray, so that all would get a chance.

Until about 2 weeks ago, Hannah was on a "welcome" kick. "Welcome to this day. Welcome we have such a beautiful planet. Welcome for our blessings....." She substituted "we thank thee" with "welcome." My baby sister said some of those same things when she was a girl, so it was like a deja vu thing for me.

Well, we finally are over the "welcome" and have moved on. Now her prayers begin with "Our Heaven in Father..." Once corrected, now she asks almost every time. For some reason, she can't/won't remember "Father in Heaven" or "Heavenly Father" and we get to snicker about this.

Toph, on the other hand, amuses us in his own way..... VERY often for the bedtime prayer, he starts off by asking for a blessing on the food--oops! Then he stops himself and starts over. In every prayer he offers, he prays (usually multiple times) to "help us have a good time/fun time together." Always the proper focus--let's have fun!

I love my kids. I love the way they enrich my life--even when it's through amusement. I love the things they teach me too (besides patience). They are deeper than we give them credit for. They understand far more than we think. They are in tune. We can learn a lot from them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Got Boo'd!

As I was sitting at the computer, typing the last post, my doorbell rang. I got Boo'd! This is something our Ward has done since we've lived here. The way this "Boo!" poem was written, I'm not sure if it's LDS or just in the neighborhood--somewhat frustrating!

Whoever Boo'd us left YUMMY cupcakes. They smell so very good! I'm sure I scared our Boo-er, because I opened the door almost immediately. If I'd wanted to, I could have seen who "hit" us.

Now I have to figure out who I'm going to Boo! If you haven't been "hit" yet, give a shout out!

Growing Pains

Well, it must be something in the air. Both kids have sprouted like weeds.

Someone told me last week that Hannah looked taller. She is! I'm glad she's finally getting her UP growth. She tends to grow out, and then up. We've been waiting for the up. This time her appetite hasn't gone buzonkers, but she's definitely been more tired. I think she grew an inch in a week. CRAZY! This means more new clothes! The kid is going to put us in the poor house! It's the shoes that are the worst! I buy all clothes as big as I can when I purchase them. This allows them to be worn AFTER washing, and hopefully longer than a month. Same with shoes. Well, we bought shoes when school started, and that was mid-August. With an "up" spurt, that means we'll be needing new shoes soon..... UGH!

Toph tried to put on his black Church shoes on Sunday. No can do. He looked taller to me too, but the shoes are proof. He's on the rise. With Toph it's VERY easy to tell. He grows a hollow leg. His other leg hurts all the time--growing pains. It comes on suddenly and lasts a couple of weeks (maybe a month) and then he's just bigger. He already looks so big to me. I can hardly believe this almost 8-year-old is my baby! I have been telling him "STOP GROWING!" for about 3 years now. He just flashes me that 100-carat smile and replies, "You know I can't." When he was littler, he'd look all confused when I'd say it. SO cute!

I've told Hannah to stop growing too. She is SO disobedient! (ha ha, like she could control it!) Last year, at her physical, the doctor said that she was the size of a 7-year-old (she was just 5). Now she's looking like an 8- or 9-year-old. CRAZY! It's hard, because she really IS just 5/6. She LIKES the little girl stuff--Dora, princesses, Hello Kitty, etc. It's so hard to find THAT stuff in the sizes she wears. Most of the clothes are mini-adult with an emphasis on hussy. Hannah does not need any hussy clothes to inspire her! :-)

I love my kids. The time just FLIES by so FAST! Where does it go? I've been scrapbooking lately, and I see pictures of them as little babies and toddlers, and I'm having growing pains too.....

Monday, October 13, 2008

LOVE Attack!

I think that I may have a stroke before my daughter becomes a teenager........

That would at least save me the stress of wondering how I'll live through her teen years......

Today Hannah had to move her "ray of sunshine" to the rain cloud. This is a big deal, people! That means she was naughty in class!

Apparently, my little love bug has a "Mother Hen" problem at school. She likes to mother everyone--ALL the time! She especially loves to love the BOYS she's IN LOVE with! As in....she can't keep her hands OFF of them! She holds their hands, fluffs their hair, generally touches them, and NOW she's so consumed with love that she can't listen to directions in class--and she has them doing their assignments wrong!

I really don't know what I'm going to do with her. Her latest "love victim" is moving in right next door! If only he'd just be mean to her or something--let the love dim a bit. But she's not even SIX years old! I'm doomed, I think!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


So, I'm making lunch for the monkeys after Church, and I smell smoke.

Just a year ago, on another Sunday, I smelled smoke. It was the horrible Witch fire that drove us from our home, not knowing if we'd still have a home to come home to. This is a little bit eerie. Unlike the Witch fire, when we stand outside to look around, there is no big plume of smoke. The skies are clear and blue--a shade only seen in San Diego.

Yet, as I sit here and type on the computer, the smell of smoke fills my home and makes my eyes burn. It's all too much like Deja Vu. It hasn't yet been a year.

I sure hope it's just some crazy person using the fireplace! It's windy again today, just like it was that Sunday a year ago. One spark, and we'd all be goners. With all of the dry brush and weeds around, it wouldn't take much to have an instant replay of last year. I'm not excited about that. It wasn't fun--I'm sure the people who actually lost houses would agree with me.

For the rest of my life, I think I will always have a panic-like reaction to unexpected smoke smells--my heart steps it up a few beats, and I have a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. Not again. Not here. Not this year (or any other). Please.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


So tonight, at 10 pm, I had to return a couple of movies and I needed cheese for tomorrow's dinner. Off to Vons I went.....

2 Kids walked in a few seconds before me. They were teens, one had red hair and the other was an Asian kid (with black hair--didn't need to say that, did I?). Well, I know teens here who have red hair and who are Asian, so I wanted to see if they were kids I knew--NOT. AND, not only were they strangers, but they were acting strange. They had a rotisserie chicken and looked like they were going to try to take off. When I came in the door, they stopped and acted like they were looking at the soup--only at 10 pm, the soup is EMPTY! Hmmmm..... a bit suspicious?

I couldn't decide if I wanted to make a scene and try to confront these punk kids myself or take the safer route and tell a store employee. I made a beeline for the employee and the kids got away.

It just makes me mad that there are kids out there who don't think that this is wrong. Or who know it's wrong and don't care. WHAT THE HECK? It also makes me mad that it didn't turn out different. I wonder what would have happened if I had loudly asked the kids what they were doing?

Oh, and by the way, the kids I know with red hair and that are Asian--they wouldn't have been pulling such a stunt. They'd probably have been headed for ice cream (or hot chocolate tonight) and they would have paid for it--they're good kids.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vote! Vote YES!

(Ok, from the beginning, let me be straight with my readers. I have "borrowed" a good portion of this post from my friend, Christin's blog--it's a private blog, so I can't give you the link. I also "borrowed" from www/protectmarriage.com.)

In 2000, 61% of Californians voted to pass a law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Recently four activist judges of the California Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional, paving the way for same-sex couples to marry in California. For the last several months California has become the second state in America to allow same-sex marriage and has performed hundreds of same-sex marriages. Proposition 8 will amend the California Constitution and define marriage as only between a man and a woman, overruling the California Supreme Court and preventing activist judges from overruling the will of the people.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage did not just overturn the will of California voters; it also redefined marriage for the rest of society, without ever asking the people themselves to accept this decision. This decision has far-reaching consequences. For example, because public schools are already required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum, schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergartners. By saying that a marriage is between “any two persons” rather than between a man and a woman, the Court decision has opened the door to any kind of “marriage.” This undermines the value of marriage altogether at a time when we should be restoring marriage, not undermining it.”

If you live in California please vote YES on Proposition 8.

If you live outside of California and want to help protect marriage and family please visit http://www.protectmarriage.com/ to make a donation or volunteer. If you don't think this will affect your state then you are wrong. The couples who marry in California can move to your state and sue to have their marriages recognized. In states and countries that have legalized gay marriage, religious institutions have lost their First Amendment rights. The Bible has been deemed as hate speech, a felony.

Massachusetts and California are only the beginning. Other states are also currently fighting this same battle. It is time to take a stand.

Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it’s not an attack on the gay lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn’t take away any rights or benefits of gay or lesbian domestic partnerships. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits” as married spouses. (Family Code § 297.5.) There are NO exceptions. Proposition 8 WILL NOT change this. Some will try to tell you that Proposition 8 takes away legal rights of gay domestic partnerships. That is false. Proposition 8 DOES NOT take away any of those rights and does not interfere with gays living the lifestyle they choose.

However, while gays have the right to their private lives, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

CALIFORNIANS HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. If gay activists want to legalize gay marriage, they should put it on the ballot. Instead, they have gone behind the backs of voters and convinced four activist judges in San Francisco to redefine marriage for the rest of society. That is the wrong approach.

Please vote in November. It's one of the most important elections we've had. This issue is even more important than who we choose to lead our country, because THIS decision has effects that we will feel in our homes, with our children. Don't let some activist judges decide HOW and WHAT you will teach your children!

I encourage you to take some time to read the following article that will help explain some of the major consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage.


Below are a couple of other good video links.

Interview with parents in Massachusetts

Proposition 8 DVD

Peddling Popcorn!

Well, in November Toph will join the ranks of the cub scouts. So he will attend his first cub scout day camp in July! Because of this, he got invited to sell popcorn to earn money for camp. Last night Toph called his Grandma D and Papa Bob to sell popcorn. We talked about what to say and I typed up a "script" so that he'd say the important stuff. Thank goodness for Grandparents! They both purchased some, sight unseen! He wanted to call all kinds of other folks, but it was bedtime. (If you have a burning desire to buy some popcorn, leave me a comment, and I'll have Toph call you.)

Now Daddy and Grandma D will be taking the peddling to their workplaces. We've made a poster with Toph's picture and his "speech." So cute! It kills me!


We've been trying to be better about reading the Book of Mormon together as a family in the evenings. It's a double blessing because the minutes spent count for Toph's homework, and Hannah is becoming a reading maniac!

We take turns reading aloud, helping the kiddos with the words they don't know. Tonight, Toph stumbled upon the word "whom" in the verse he was reading.

Toph: Whom? That's a funny word!

Out of the mouths of babes......

10 Things I Can't Live Without Tag

Diane tagged me. I'm not adding all of the photos I could right now, because that would take too long--look at the time! Here goes:
1. Nuclear Family--I couldn't live without my Rockin' Husband. Toph is the calming force and snuggle bunny. Hannah provides us with unlimited entertainment and lots of laughs.

2. Extended Family--they are my roots and heritage. They are support and people who love you--warts and all. It helps that we like each other too....

(And that's just PART of MY family!)

3. Church Family and Friends--Now that I don't live where my family does, I NEED the Church family and friends. I know that there are people I can call when I need a shoulder or a helping hand. They help me endure, support me, and challenge me. They provide entertainment (as in doing stuff together, not laughing at them) and pick up the pieces when I am lost.

(Sadly, no pictures of the actual people!)

4. Car--I'm no pioneer woman! Walking and walking and walking everywhere would mean NOT going lots of places! Besides, how would I get back to see my extended family?

5. Computer--my link to lots of people in the world and all kinds of information. Babysitter and teacher to my kids, when I need it! Extra DVD player too. Thanks Honey! That was a GREAT Christmas surprise--still LOVE it!

6. Grocery Stores--again, pioneer woman, I am NOT! I like being able to walk into Vons (they have a Jamba Juice conveniently located inside!) and pick up a package of flash frozen chicken breasts. No chasing down the chicken, killing it, and then having to pluck and clean it for me! And I can have corn on the cob without having to plant all of my TINY available land with corn (although fresh from the garden DOES taste better). LOVE the convenience!

7. Books--I know, some would be surprised that books are THIS far down on the list. If you've been to the house and seen the 4 bookcases that are 6-feet tall and packed, know that they don't even contain HALF of our book collection! The very SMELL of books makes me happy. I am always reading at least 1.

8. Doctors and Drugs--no, not the illegal kind! Good doctors and drugs have kept me alive this long, so I'd better love them! They keep the asthma and migraines and other aches and pains under control--so they're a necessary evil.

9. Testimony--also down on the list from where it probably belongs. Without my testimony, I couldn't endure the hard times. Knowing that there's a plan and that there's a Heavenly Father who KNOWS and LOVES me and wants to bless me makes the hard things easier--and makes the good things sweeter.

10. Chocolate--like I told Hannah last weekend, "If there's not chocolate in Heaven, I'm NOT going!" As a side note, and to show some of her entertainment value, Hannah was all worked into a frenzy (complete with tears) about how she didn't want to go to Heaven because there wasn't food there. Where did that come from? She felt better when I made the chocolate comment.

(My ABSOLUTE fave: See's Butterchews--dark chocolate-covered caremel--YUM!)

There are other things that enrich my life too, and would be on the list if there was more room: music, sunsets (not so much the sunrises--because I'd rather be asleep), flowers (home grown rose gardens and carnations), kid belly laughs, kid hugs and kisses, pictures, scrapbooking toys and times, Chevy's salsa (or Mexican food in general), indoor plumbing, and the list could go on and on and on......

Oh yeah, I tag: anyone who wants to. Leave me a comment so I can come look.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bi-Polar Weather Again

I know, I have ranted about the bi-polar weather before, and this time it's not so much a rant as just "getting it off my chest."

The weather is bi-polar again. Last week, our highs were in the high 90's (like 97 on Tuesday or Wednesday). Yesterday our high was in the mid-70's (like 74). On Tuesday, we will be back at 93.

The back and forth of 20 degrees different every 2-4 days KILLS me!!! I LIKE fall! I know, I live in the totally WRONG place if that's a season I enjoy, because we don't really have "fall." We live where it's mostly paradise all year long, and I don't have much cause to complain. I just HATE it when Mother Nature flip flops all the time! There's already enough flip flopping in our lives right now. Pick a season and STICK WITH IT!!!

The cooler temperatures allowed us to use a blanket and cuddle--so nice! I even thought about having hot chocolate and wearing socks to bed. We'll be back to dreaming of popsicles again very soon.....

General Conference Weekend

As Latter-Day Saints, we have the opportunity twice each year to attend or watch (via TV) our Church-wide General Conference. It's fantastic! There are 4 general sessions (2 hours long) spread over Saturday and Sunday.

It's a chance we have to listen to the Prophet of our Church and most of the 12 Apostles. We also get to hear talks from the other leaders of the Church. And, of course, no conference session would be complete without several hymns from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

It's a very spiritually uplifting weekend--if you can slow down and let it in. If you're watching from home (in jammies!) getting your kids to slow down and be quiet so that you can listen is sometimes a challenge too.

I find it amazing that none of the speakers confer with one another. None are given a topic. And yet, their talks all mesh together, and often we hear themes. This Conference weekend, I definitely heard some themes: BE GRATEFUL--nothing offends our Heavenly Father more than ingratitude (repeated by many speakers--think we need to re-evaluate our gratitude--or lack thereof?). OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS--if you're obeying the commandments, you will be prepared to meet your life's challenges. HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS EACH OF US--by name--strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. He's mindful of us at all times and is waiting to bless us. OUR SAVIOR LIVES. WORK HARD. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. And there were many other themes we heard in the talks.

Many times, it's the same themes over and over and over and over--but it MUST be important if its repeated. Perhaps we just need reassurance. Perhaps we haven't been listening and following the counsel. As Latter-Day Saints we have the privilege of HAVING a LIVING Prophet--just as in the days of the Old Testament. His "job" is to lead our Church and speak for the Father. We are SO blessed to live in circumstances where we CAN listen to a REAL Prophet of God.

I enjoyed most every talk I heard (this translates to I actually LISTENED). I had a few favorites though: I enjoyed the talk about being more Reverent in Sacrament Meeting (Saturday talk). It reminded me that the purpose of the meeting is to partake of the Sacrament (Duh! Don't we KNOW this?) and that we should arrive ON TIME (or early) and get our minds in the proper place to partake of the Sacrament. Great reminder! Another talk I enjoyed (although I don't remember the name of the speaker) was about a general authority who was in a meeting once where the Sunday School teacher was asking the class participants to relate a great moment in the development of their testimonies. And this speaker couldn't relate a "great and wonderful" moment. He hadn't had a vision or had a monumental thing happen--he just KNEW that the Church is true. I can relate to him, so I appreciated hearing that there was someone out there like me. I enjoyed the talk on the sanctity of marriage--especially the parts that stressed how important it is to be married in the right place, by the right authority, at the right time--and the encouragement the speaker gave to those who maybe didn't--he said that they could always "upgrade" to a Celestial marriage. Other talks I enjoyed were talks that gave testimony of the divinity of President Monson's calling. We got to enjoy sustaining him as a Prophet for the first time in April, and I enjoyed the perspective of others as they testified that they also knew that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God. I enjoyed hearing him speak too--each time. I can't remember what he said in each address, but the talks were filled with love. He's been on that stand as long as I can remember, and President Monson has always been a favorite of mine.

The other thing I just LOVE about Conference weekend is the stuff they play on the TV between sessions. Today they had a great program about President Monson-like a biography. I liked it because I learned so much about him and it made him seem like a "real" person. All of the General Authorities seem so much bigger than life, and I enjoy stories that help me remember that they're just human like me--same problems, joys, and sorrows.

All in all, my Spirit soaked it all up like a sponge. It was a WONDERFUL weekend, and it was great to have an excuse to sit and relax. This is a time when I don't have to feel guilty for sitting in front of the TV. LOVED IT!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

NOT Asthma?

So after thinking that the coughing calmed down, shortly after I published my last post, the coughing began again....great!

I woke the boy up enough to come downstairs and listened to him--he sounded like he was breathing, and it hasn't been close to the 4 hours they like us to wait between treatments. So he drank and drank and drank, and then I had a flash of genius!

Yes, we treated this cough with.... are you ready?...... vanilla pudding! I had a cold pudding cup and my theory was that if it was just a tickle, Toph needed something that would soothe and coat his throat--nothing says soothing throat coater like pudding. So he ate pudding. And guess what? The coughing mostly stopped!

Today we saw our doctor. I like him very much, but I didn't feel like he was totally listening today. He said that Toph's oxygen saturation was good (97%) and that he wasn't wheezing (this is the part where he wasn't listening, because TOPH DOESN'T WHEEZE!) and that Toph was moving air pretty good, so he didn't think it was asthma.

There's a virus going around that has BAD coughing and can lead to laryngitis, and based on Toph's symptoms and the absence of wheezing (in a kid that DOESN'T wheeze), he felt like Toph was suffering from the virus.

So instead of the steroids I thought we'd leave with, we left with some cough medicine. We'll see. Two more days is all I'll give this, and then we're going back to the doctor or going to a completely different one! Robert works with a guy who's married to an awesome Pediatrician. Her office isn't close to our home, but maybe we'll have to brave the drive. She understands asthma. Time will tell.

For now we'll give Dr. P the benefit of the doubt and go with the flow a little bit longer. I just HATE watching my kid suffer!