Tuesday, May 27, 2008

camp stuff...

I hope everyone had a nice long weekend. I stayed home Monday and cleaned house. I didn't get it all done, but I made a dent....in my house making a dent feels good. Mark went for a memorial ride, but cleaned a bathroom before he left so he wouldn't feel as bad for leaving. Plus he had some work that day. We also got Frankie back last night. He has lost so much weight and looks bad from being sick. I'm glad he's home and so is Scardy Butt. They've been playing together a lot.
Today I spent all day shopping for girls camp stuff. I got all my wood and paint for the main craft. The very nice dude at home depot didn't even charge me the .25 cents for each rip cut. That would have eaten into my craft budget. I really appreciated that. I have to drill holes and sand all those piles of wood. That will take me a few days. I can't start on that until Will and Chris get their dogs out of my back yard. It WILL be tomorrow. Then they have to clean up all the brand new messes the dogs have created. Plus we had lots of rain the other day, so they got good and muddy. Everything is so gross out there. All the back windows are covered with muddy paw prints too so you can bet those boys will be washing windows.
I have also spent loads of time ordering craft and decor stuff online. As soon as everything comes in I will make a sample of each project and take pictures to share. Camp is a month away and there is SO MUCH to do. I do feel much better because I can see that things are coming together, but my stomach hurts just thinking about the nights up at camp. I don't know how I'll make it through. So scared!
Bathroom question...while in a public restroom today they had those stupid toilets that flush automatically. What exactly is the purpose of those? It certainly isn't water conservation. They always spontaneously flush 4-6 times while sitting. Then you get up and nothing, so you have to push the button anyways. So dumb! I hate that and it wastes so much water. Such a terrible idea. I'd much rather push the lever ones with my foot. One flush saves water.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

pictures, peppers, puking, playing & preparing

Here are a few pictures from the photo shoot I did 2 Saturdays ago. They are such a beautiful family and I really had fun with them. The long haired blond one is Brittany's mother. Her sisters and parents all have a close relationship and it was a joy to see the bond they share. I'm not a professional photographer which is why I take them for free. When I learn more about my camera and gain more experience and knowledge I will charge , but for now, it's good practice.

I got a card from Vida. I had to share because it's beautiful. I LOVE how it turned out. It's full of pictures and journaling. She is an amazing photographer and has beautiful hand writing. Thank you so much Vida!

On Saturday night we had a ward "Fiesta" party. It was so much fun. We had Mexican food and everyone brought dessert to share. They had games like musical chairs, the limbo, a pinata and a pepper eating contest. Cole won a round of musical chairs, Mark lost a round when he was hip bumped by a woman clean out of his chair. Cody ran the rope for the pinata. It was a tough one. All the kids smacked the crap out of it. Finally they gave the stick to Cole. He broke the stick in just a few whacks. Chad and Will participated in the pepper eating competition. They started out with 3 milder chilies each. They were really juicy. The first one Chad ate, he had a bunch of the juice shoot right up his nose. It went down hill from there. He was in tears. Each level they were given hotter peppers. 4 out of 6 of them puked. Chad ran out of the room in the wrong direction of the bathroom. He ended up in the custodian closet. LOL! Poor guy. Funny thing is, he doesn't even like peppers or hot food. Will on the other hand won the competition. His "big prize" was a chili plant. LOL! It was such a fun night.

For family night, we (and the Bishop's family) went to dinner at the Crosby's house and they gave us a tour of the dairy. After dinner the kids played some football out front. They have grass...I miss grass...I want grass! Since I've share pictures of the dairy before I didn't think it was necessary. It was so interesting. Mark was like a kid sucking in as much information as he could. After the tour we all ate krispy creme doughnuts for dessert. What goes better with milk that doughnuts? So good! I appreciate the Crosby's hospitality. It was a great night.

I picked up Cole early from school today. He's has a lot of headaches. When he got home he fell asleep. When he woke up he felt sick to his stomach and ended up puking then fell asleep again on the bathroom floor. He had a fever and I gave him some Tylenol. Poor kid is back in bed. Looks like he'll be home from school tomorrow.

Today I made a big batch of salsa and put it into 72 little containers. We are making breakfast burritos in the morning (Wednesday) for the seminary students. They will have sausage, eggs, potatoes, and cheese in them. After we fill and roll them we grill them on our griddle. It adds a better texture and flavor than just leaving the tortilla uncooked. I'm going to roll them all in foil sheets to make it easy to keep warm and to serve.
I also cut up tons of fruit with help from Will. We put them in individual containers for each student. Don't they look pretty?! We are also having milk and juice. We have to have everything cooked and to the church by 7:00 a.m. As much as I hate early mornings, I think they will be happy with breakfast.
David Archuletta did awesome tonight. They are both amazing and will have wildly successful careers. Wednesday night will be exciting!

Friday, May 16, 2008

American Idol...

First off I want to thank you all for being so sweet and supportive with all the stress in my life currently. I really appreciate it. I keep saying...this too shall pass. Of course there is a whole lot that has to pass so I'll need to have patience. I just finished cleaning the kitchen. It's 11:00 on Friday night. This morning we went and set up the church then Me, Mark and Will worked ALL day cooking food for the honors dinner. We made 25 stuffed pork chops, 25 chicken cordon bleu, 30 pounds of garlic mashed potatoes, huge batches of mixed veggies, green beans and corn. Loaded the car, went to the church, unloaded, served dinner, enjoyed the program, tore down and cleaned up there, loaded my again car, then home to unload again and clean up more. I would have taken pictures but there was no room in my car to even fit my camera. It was packed full, but trust me, it looked really nice. It's been one really long day and I'm exhausted and very glad to be done. That's one more thing checked off my to-do list. Mark is taking me out to breakfast to Bill Johnson's Big Apple in the morning so I'm happy about that. It's my favorite place for breakfast. For dinner...not so much.
I love both David's and I'm really looking forward to seeing who wins American Idol.
Fantasia's performance truly puzzled me. I'm sorry if you like her and this offends you, but she was just terrible! (in my opinion) We fast forwarded through the last half because it was painful to watch and hear. I really think Syesha has so much more talent.Really trying not to be mean here, but the whole time she was on stage this is who I was thinking of. Good old Mr. Heat Miser. LOL! Do you see the resemblance?
I'm just saying! :o)

If you don't remember who he is check out this little video and it will refresh your memory of him and his brother Mr. Snow Miser....well unless your too young to even have a clue who they are.They even have their own back up singers/dancers. :o)

Have a great weekend whether you're relaxing or out having fun. Just enjoy yourselves!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the good, the bad and the ugly

Like my blog title states...Jolene's family life journal of living in her very own nut house.
The good...the bad...and the ugly!
We've got it all here folks!We will start out with the good. I know I was suppose to do the getting to know you card prize drawing on Mothers day but lets face it. I haven't really had a good mother's day for many many years and I was far too grouchy to blog. Wait...we're suppose to be talking about good right now. Crud!I had no boys around to pick a winner so I did it the only fair way that came to mind and laid out all the cards I've received on my desk and did the very mature, eanie meanie miney mo. Catch a tiger by the toe. If he hollers make him pay fifty dollars everyday. My mother told me to pick the very best one and YOU are it! That IT being Amy Gresens. I have no idea if those are even the correct words, but that's the version I remember from my childhood. Congratulations Amy! I will be sending you a very cute box kit of SEI cards. Those will be fun to make. A purse sized post it note book with a pen and a pedicure brush/sander/buffer thing with foot cream. I hope you enjoy! Thanks so much to everyone who sent me a card. I love them.

The bad....Chad and his two friends (who are brothers) Will and Chris went to town today on the motorcycles. Someone cut in between them on the freeway and hit their brakes causing Will who was in he back to crash the bike. He was riding Chad's green machine. Most of the damage was done to the tank. The center of the ring is dented in, but you can't tell in the picture. There is also damage to the foot peg, blinker and head light chrome hoodie. The stupid driver took off. I love that bike...so sad!

The ugly...here is the damage to poor Will. He is pretty scraped up and in pain, but it could have been much worse. I'm counting our blessings. See...even the ugly has some good in it. (Yes, this is the same Will who was almost arrested for the blind incident.) Also if I forgot to mention before, Chris and Will have been living here for a couple of weeks. Pretty much since Chad got home. My household grew from 5 to 8 instantly.

In other news and reasons why I haven't blogged in a week.

  • I made 2 more arrow of light awards for pack meeting. They turned out really nice, but I'm glad to be done with them.
  • Saturday we went on a long motorcycle ride to Tucson with 14 other bikes to the Star Touring and Riding headquarters. The put on a BBQ for all the local chapters. It was VERY hot that day and my body hurt so bad. By the time we finally got home I had about 20 minutes to lay down and try to cool off before we headed to North Phoenix to do a photo shoot of 5 sisters with their parents. They were all in town having a sisters weekend at a resort. So much fun! I'll share a couple of the 109 pictures I took later. It was a long day!
  • My mouth has been in major pain since last Thursday. Were talking the whole thing. tongue, gums, roof, underneath. Yet I could see no sores. Eating and drinking were a nightmare. Today is the first day it didn't hurt to eat.
  • I got a very spontaneous urinary tract infection in the middle of the night and had to send Mark to town for medicine at 3:30 in the morning because nothing stays open 24 hours in Maricopa. I have been miserable. It is such a horrible feeling to think you have to pee worse than anything and nothing comes out. Were talking like if we were on a long road trip with no rest stops in site, I would beg Mark to pull over and let me pee on the side of the road with no care for who saw me kind of urgency. Picture that kind of pain, but it NEVER goes away. Now try to sleep with that. Nice, huh?! You never know when it's the real thing or not. Lots of time spent trying.
  • I have 5 children plus the 2 temps totaling 7 who are all making poor choices and for some odd reason decide to do it all at once just to torture me. The stress associated with all of those things would add up to at least a dozen of these bullet points if I listed them individually. I will spare you the details. Trust when when I say that it's enough to make you want to curl up in a ball and stay in bed for days wondering why you signed up for this whole parenthood thing.
  • My cat Frankie has a major ear infection and as hard as I've tried I haven't been able to get his medicine down him. He is one stubborn strong cat. We had to take him back to his previous owner so she can medicate him. Apparently she has the ability to let him know who's boss. Me and Scardey butt sure miss him and can't wait until he retuns.
  • Chris and Will brought their dogs over here a few days ago and they have been residing in my back yard. I had to pull out the doggy door to keep them out of the house, but now Pappi isn't happy because he can't come and go as he pleases to do his business. The new dogs like to chew up everything and made a disaster of the back yard to which I honestly didn't think could get worse. I was wrong. I made them go clean it up today.
  • FLIES!!! I don't know if it is a coincidence but the very day the dogs arrived so did the largest population of flies that I have ever seen in my life. They are now in my back yard. It totally creeps me out. I hate flies! Every time I let Pappi in or out, I do it as fast as I can but little buggers keep getting in my house. I walk around with one of the paper chinet dinner plates constantly. My arm is getting sore from swinging at flies. I have a plate here on my desk because 2 flies are in here right now tormenting me. There were three. I got one of them. They give me such anxiety.

Tomorrow I have to buy groceries because I'm cooking a big fancy dinner for 45 people on Friday night. It's for the seminary honors students, their parents, the seminary teachers and the stake presidency. I'm making stuffed pork chops, chicken cordon bleu, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed mixed veggies, corn, green beans and punch. I did delegate out the salad, rolls and dessert. (that is progress in my book)

Saturday I have penciled in a small emotional break down because I don't have time before then....although I have cried numerous time over the past week. I have to keep sucking it up and trucking along. Too much to do.

Please don't think I'm looking for a pity party. I just need to vent sometimes and I do want a record of things in my life that are not always sunshine and smiles. It will make me appreciate the good things that much more and also when I look back and remember how cruddy things were, I'll be proud of the things I've survived. For now I've earned the right to be a bit grouchy.

Ooh! I'm down to one fly in my office. These flies are picking on the wrong woman. I go for the kill.

P.S. I do honestly love my boys and we pray everyday that they will make good choices. I can't help but want to run their lives when I see them make mistakes. If it weren't for that darn agency! I do tell them it's not "free agency" because while good choices bring blessings, bad choices have consequences. There's nothing free about it. When they make it hard on themselves it makes it extra hard on me. I hate that.

Well, it's officially 12:57 a.m. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

card cuteness...

Mark brought home the getting to know you cards tonight. I was so happy when I saw the envelopes. I sat up on my bed alone while I read all of them. Not only are they very cute, but so sweet as well. I have to admit as I read the most thoughtful written messages to me I got teary eyed and it filled my heart with joy. They were so touching and very much appreciated. These cards are from Amy, Tiara, Briana, and and Erica (who is from Australia) I received one other but she wishes to remain private and I absolutely respect that and I thank you for sending me a card. You will all be included in the prize drawing on Mothers Day.

Speaking of Mother's Day, tonight for young women's, I picked up 2 of the girls after school and brought them to my house. We made picnic lunches for everyone and put together the bags of chocolate for all the girls mom's labeled...
Mom's emergency stash!
If things get bad...pray for help,
have a chocolate and take a deep breath.
Now get back in there.
It's bound to get better.
I love you!
I also had the girls make cards for their mom's. I brought all my jars of prima flowers and brads.The cards had baskets and grass. Then they "filled" the baskets with the flowers. It also had a happy mother's day message. Even though they were all the same cards, each girls looked totally different because of the different color choices. They were adorable!
Cole was in the room while we were making them and I asked him out loud what do I ask for every year for mother's day, my birthday and Christmas? He says "A clean house and peace in our home" I asked him if I ever get it? He says NO! He would be right. I told the girls how important that is to me and I know it would be to their mom's and asked them to please make an effort to fulfill my dream with their mother's. I'll ask them on Sunday who actually did it. If I can't have it, somebody should. :o) I also told them breakfast in bed wouldn't hurt.
We are having a big family dinner for Mother's day after church. What are your plans?
P.S. I recorded Americal Idol and just finished watching it. All I can say is Jason's departure was long overdue. Brooke should have been in the final 4. Syesha is very talented and I really love both David's!

Monday, May 05, 2008

National Scrapbook Day

Saturday was national scrapbook day and for the first time in months I actually scrapbooked. I had my friend Stacie over with me. I loved having her over. It was so much fun! A couple of others were planning on coming, but things came up. I only got 2 -2 page payouts done because it takes time and effort trying to find your long lost creative mojo again. I'm surprised I ever found it because I had next to no sleep Friday night. This first layout I did for Stacey (one of the young women) I know how important sports are to her so I wanted her to see how amazing she is while doing what she loves. I gave it to her on Sunday and she was beaming with happiness. I'm so glad I did that for her. Since I have no daughters of my own, it has been really special gaining a relationship with all the girls on our ward. They are such terrific girls.

This layout is "US at forty" with the pictures from my 40th birthday in the mountains. The layout is a 1 page 12X12 kit from scrapbooks etc that I turned into a 2 page 8 1/2 X 11 layout using extra supplies.
Thursday we are getting together again and I'm working on pages for my boys.

I forgot to share my handouts from when I taught my lesson last week. It was on "extended family relationships" It went pretty well even though I still really hate teaching. I just don't think it's good that my stomach hurts that much from stress and worry. Then come Sunday morning, I am beyond grumpy so my family suffers as well. In my lesson we discussed the relationships of families in the scriptures as well as what we can do to strengthen the relationships of our own families. I gave them each packets of papers that gave suggestions as well as a cute pedigree chart to fill out. I had a jar of black jelly beans and discussed how boring it would be if we were all the same and had a jar full of colorful jelly beans to represent how wonderful it is that people are different and how they each bring something special. They passed the jars around and snacked during the lesson. I wasn't sure what to do for a handout. I was sitting here looking at my blog and realized I could use my blog title. It says..
"Give a family tree a shake and a few nuts fall out!
That's okay...nuts are good...
You love them all the same!
Make sure all of your family knows how much you love them."
I glued on a cute little wood tree and filled bags with nuts. Folded and stapled to the bags. I know every family isn't perfect and there are a few "nuts", but it is our responsibility to love EVERYONE in the family no matter what. It's not always easy to do, but a sincere effort needs to be made.
Monday is weigh in day on Angie's in shape blog. I've lost 2 pounds this week and 3 last week, so 5 pounds total. It's not enough to "see" yet, but it is enough to keep me motivated to get rid of more. I also realized I've been drinking way more water that I thought. My cup that I drink out of is semi big. Without ice it holds 4 cups, with ice it's 3 cups. (and you know I have to have it with my teeny sonic ice) I usually drink about 4 of those a day. I am LOVING water!!! who knew?! My kids have been drinking my pepsi that's in my mini fridge...which would normally make me mad, but I totally don't care. I don't need it anymore. I NEVER thought that would happen.
Mark called and said I have 4 more getting to know you cards in the mail. I can't wait to see them. I'll share them on my next post! So fun!
Lastly...to clear things up. No I'm not mad at ANYONE. I honestly don't try to offend people by not visiting their blogs. Please don't take it personally. I just don't have time to read and comment on 125ish blogs everyday. I wish that I could, but there are not enough hours in the day and I'm sleep deprived as it is. It's not that I don't care because I truly do care about all of you and what's going on in your lives. I do my best to get to several each day when I have spare minutes here and there. I am so grateful for every single comment left on my blog so I completely understand how you all feel. There is a lot going on in my life right now with family, obligations, and numerous other things that I don't bother people with, but trust me when I say it's not a stress free life. My plate runneth over. The other day I was listening to the radio and that song by Trace Adkins - "You're gonna miss this" was playing. It totally made me cry. Not just tears. We're talking full on sobbing. All I could think about was everything I'm missing out on. My family is growing up. My grand kids are growing up. I'm missing it! Service IS important to me and I will always serve, but after girls camp is over I'm re-evaluating just how much I can do. I don't want to be sitting alone in my house years from now as an empty nester with a heavy heart full of regret for all I missed with my family. It's okay to just say NO sometimes.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

fund raiser and gardening...

We did a big fund raiser for the young women to pay to go to girls camp this summer. They each had to sell a minimum of 5 name boards at $20.00 each to cover the cost of camp. They took orders for 2 weeks and did really well. They were all motivated because the first girl that sold 7 boards would get to have personalized vinyl lettering done in their bedroom. Every board was completely custom with the families last name and the established date of when they were married. They also got to choose the color their board was painted. Some people ordered custom quotes instead of names. Last Saturday we all got together to sand, paint, then sand the edges of the boards. That took 5 1/2 hours to do. Then today the leaders all got together to apply the vinyl. That took 6 hours.We made a total of almost 100 boards. Kim, who cut the vinyl worked her self ragged for 4 days preparing. I sure appreciate all of her hard work. I forgot to take my camera over there to take pictures of the piles of completed boards. They turned out so good. I ordered one for Brek and Brittany. I'm planning to give it to her for Mother's Day. I hope she likes it.
After Kim has a few weeks break from doing vinyl I'm totally going to order some stuff from her. You can check out her website. Cute stuff!
Last night ALL the girls in the Maricopa stake got together to do their first aid certification. It was really a lot of fun to be there with everyone who will be going to camp. We sang tons of camp songs then rotated classes to pass off their certification. We had the fire department there to teach some of the classes, but they didn't bring their practice dummies. Pretty funny how quickly teenage girls will volunteer themselves for a CPR demonstration. LOL!
I was practicing for camp last night. I put on a breathe right nose strip and asked Mark to tell me if it helps my snoring. My nose itched so much and you totally can't scratch it with that thing on. In the morning I took it off and my nose was sore for hours. Plus he said I still snored, just not as bad. Looks like I'll be sleeping in my car up there. :o/

Sunday we went to my in laws house to have a birthday dinner for my father in law. Every time I go over there I am totally sucked into their back yard. The WHOLE thing is garden. I love it...I appreciate it. Probably because I am not a good gardener. I tried it years ago and it was terrible. Our back yard is rocks, dirt and weeds. I hate it. When I go there and see how awesome it can be done, even in the Arizona heat it gives me hope that perhaps one day I can go this too just on a smaller scale. Mark's dad was a farmer and has some massive skills. His mom is awesome at canning. Great combination. I've done some canning, but there is more I can learn and plan to use the wealth of knowledge they have. I have a sincere desire to be good at gardening.
Get this...I finally had a pepsi the other night. It totally didn't taste great. How could that be? I love pepsi. I drank half of it then dumped it out and refilled my cup with water. I'm doing so good. Down 4 pounds so far!!! yay me!