Monday, May 26, 2008

Weekend Fun

Oh, what a wonderful weekend. It all started off with a fun date on Friday night. Two YW came over to babysit for two hours while Adam and I went out to P.F. Chang's in LoDo (we had a BOGO free coupon). We were sat at an ordinary table and Adam sent the hostess back to see if we could have a booth. She returned and sat us at a huge booth where we could sit real close and watch all the other dinners. Soon a mother and two young children were seated at the ordinary table next to us. It didn't take long for us to whisper to one another how grateful we were that our kids were at home. This poor mom was so stressed by her noisy, energetic children. At one point, one kid tipped over in his chair, causing stressed mom to shout very loud and attract the attention of the entire restaurant. Moments later the other kid spilled her drink. I overheard the poor mom explaining to the waiter that her husband was home sick and he wanted P.F. Chang's so she was feeding the kids then taking some home to him. I'm sure she was so frazzled by the time she got home she probably opened up the take out box and dumped it on said husband's head.

After our date, Adam took the girls in the back yard to roast marshmallows and sleep on the trampoline. It was cold, I was amazed that they stayed out there all night. The girls had a great time. Adam said it wasn't the best night's sleep he's ever had.
Saturday was a mix of relaxing and organizing. Then we took a family bike ride to the grocery store (my parent's had a bike trailer in their garage that they are letting us borrow. It's no chariot, but it'll do and I'm grateful). Adam told me that his sister, Meagan, has set a goal to not drive anywhere that she can bike to (she has 4 kids and plans on pulling them and/or having them ride along side her to the grocery store, ect). Since I want to be just like Meagan I decided I'll join in. We bought a very euro dinner (bread, Camembert cheese and fruit) then rode to a nearby park. The park was over run with tweens (8-12 year old children) who were very interesting to observe. We overheard one kid saying "The way they drive their car so much you would think that they enjoy global warming." Adam and I couldn't help but laugh. Just for the record, I'm not biking my kids around town because of global warming, rather for exercise and to save money on gas.
We rushed home from the park to meet up with the Laws and the Purcells and catch a few movies at the drive-in. We saw Indiana Jones and Iron Man. Adam put the inflatable mattress in the back of the truck with a lot of sleeping bags and blankets. I can't even begin to describe how absolutely comfortable it was. Kaia and Tristan fell asleep during the first movie. I really wanted to be asleep for the second show, but I'm glad I watched Iron Man, it is a good flick. Sierra fell asleep a few minutes into it and when it was all over and I was putting her into her car seat she was so upset. She said, "Stop, we are staying here for the second movie!" I told her we did, she fell asleep and now it is over. "I did not fall asleep!" she screamed. At that point I decided to stop arguing with the insane.

Today we met up with the Laws, Purcells, Magaleis, and Dimigs for a Memorial Day brunch. We ate at the park and let the kids run amuck (11 in all) while the temperature steadily plummeted.
And here is one of my favorite family traditions. Pop's birthday is May 31st and we always have a family softball game/party this time of year. It drizzled on us, so we only played a few innings, but it was a blast.
Tristan was happy with Aunt Jane until he saw me, then quickly left me when he saw Pop.

We sang to Pop and Jay, who turned 9 last Friday. I couldn't get the perfect birthday picture, but maybe my mom did. Gram made the most wonderful German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting, she really out-did herself this year. I love these family traditions.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Go to this link - Nordstrom bought out this company and they’re selling everything really cheap (most stuff is only $1) because they need to repackage. At check out type in CAROLINA for the coupon code and get 7.50 off!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Treasure Wednesday

Dum spiro, spero.While I breathe, I hope.

Latin proverb

Gram brought out the sewing machine and created a tent out of two sheets she bought at Goodwill. The girls loved it. Notice Kaia's hair is done. It lasted until nap time and then I remembered why I stopped doing her hair. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the post-style hair. Crazy things happen when you pull out six little rubber bands. She called herself Cody, from "Surf's Up".

Tristan is looking pretty tough these days. He took a header into the drive way and is now sporting a beautiful green bruise above his right eye. Then last night at Jay's baseball game he tripped and cut his eye on the bleachers. He must have had his guardian angels around him because he only got a slight nick in his left eyebrow.

We've been looking for a place to live, with no avail. We looked at two houses in our neighborhood last night. One is on half and acre and I was imagining the wonderful childhood my children could have in such a yard, but it was pretty trashed. The next house was even worse, causing Adam to say, "What were we thinking when we bought our house?" Meaning: our house needed a lot of work when we bought it and somehow 6.5 years ago we had that kind of energy and drive. Whereas now, we don't.

I've always wanted to live in Boulder. So I figured as long as we are looking I might as well do some searches there. I found this place on craigslist yesterday. Half acre, beautiful house in the Boulder foothills listed for $220K. I emailed Adam who called the realtor and found out they left off a "0". Oh, $2,200,000 that little "0" makes quite a difference. Maybe we can take a look if they decide to drop 2 million of the price. For 2.2 Mill you think they could get a picture without a bare tree blocking the view of the house. I should write them a letter.

I'm not worried, it'll all work out. Plus, I'm deeply in love with "Ladies of Liberty" by Cokie Roberts, and it is a wonderful distraction from my real life. And real life is really a good place to be right now. I'm thinking instead of dropping off my kids at joy school and rushing home to do something useful like vacuum, I'll just drop 'em off and sit in the truck and read. What I'm saying is that if you are looking for a book recommendation, I highly recommend this one:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Here is the mini Bennett Band. Playing away on Gram and Pop's deck. I wish I could get these pictures bigger, but this is how they came from Gram's email.
Gram helped the girls make pizza from scratch. Delicioso.
My first iris has bloomed!!! It has been a huge ordeal to finally get iris' in our yard. A few years ago I talked myself into the financial commitment of planting bulbs in the fall. I think I spent about $20 at Costco only to have the infamous Mr. Squirrel dig them up and eat 90% of them that night. The next year my Grandma Judy gave me some of her excess iris plants and now they have finally bloomed. There is a lady up the street with a giant iris tattooed on her calf. She has the best iris garden in the 'hood.
Adam was helping fix a broken pipe at my sister's house last night until about 8. The kids and I played outside until dusk then came in for baths. Sierra had a list of "gospel-centered traditions" she received in Primary. We went through that and set a few goals for our lesson. Adam let the girls roast marshmallows over the gas stove and made smores for the treat.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend Fun

Well, we have to move out of our house in August, so we decided to move here. Ha. This is the 11,000 sq. ft. house that the Winter's daughter, Jami, was married in on Friday. The home belongs to a friend of a friend's sister or something like that, and it has a basketball court inside. See below.

The food was fabulous. Sierra must have eaten more than her share of cream puffs and brownies.

Saturday was a blizzard of activity. Adam cleaned the garage and took care of his bees. I went through all the kids clothes and the storage tupperwares (found a coat I thought I lost last year (Adam already bought me an equally nice coat to replace it), found out that Adam's bike helmet fell out of my truck along with the chariot...I don't know how he puts up with me, really). This is Kaia taking a break from all the hard work, relaxing on the bike.

Here we are at the Erie Town Fair. It was so much fun to stand right next to these hot air balloons. Then there was a fun fireworks show, along with a live band. All the elements of a really fun weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Casa Bonita

Yesterday was my sister Janelle's 17th birthday. She wanted to go to Casa Bonita and I was all for it. Sweet Gram said she would come along also, even though she figured out long ago that the food is awful. I don't know why I can't remember that. It must be the lure of cliff divers, bad actors, Black Bart's Cave and free sopaipillas.
Here we are at the front entrance. Sierra was pretty excited that we had a coupon. So was I when I found out it saved us $9.

This is Kaia hiding under the table. She did not care for the man dressed in a giant gorilla suit running all around. It was all part of the Black Bart show. My uncle calls these Casa Bonita actors "The Thespians Who Made It".

Here is Tristan, happy as can be.

Who wouldn't love a restaurant with a Treasure Room? Two big signs say that you are only allowed one treasure. Sierra tried to escape with a whole hand full of Tootsie rolls. When I was a kid they had a lot more treasure to choose from. Now it is just Tootsie rolls. What is this world coming too?

Gram the Spoiler bought the flashing, spinning, give you and instant migraine toy for the girls to share. It broke the instant we got into the parking lot. How do they design these cheep toys to break in a prescribed number of minutes? It is amazing.
Janelle, Tristan, Sierra and Kaia. It was quite a feat to get all these kids together for a group shot.
This tour bus full of people arrived moments before we did and we had to stand behind them while waiting for our food. When we left we realized that this is the same charter bus company that Pop works for. Gram called him and he said he had in fact driven this very bus. I told Gram to go stand by it and do something silly so I could get a photo. I think we woke the poor driver who was in there taking a nap. Whoops!

Here's our friend the Cliff Diver. He is a master at the art of suspense. There are a plethora of other youtube videos of Casa Bonita Divers if you are starved for entertainment.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Medical Professionals

I don't know why I've been thinking about Medical Professionals lately. Not that I want to be one. I don't think someone who faints at the sight of blood would last one day in medical school. I'm just thinking that they see a part of the human mind on a day-to-day basis that the rest of us don't really see. It must be so shocking to see how different people cope with their loved one's going through cancer treatment, or being treated after a car accident, or any of the billions of things that can go wrong with our bodies. In "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" by Chieko Okazaki (which is fast becoming my favorite book) there is the following story:
"Dr. Larry Dossey was doing his medical residency in Dallas when he treated his first cancer patient, a man with a malignancy that had spread through both his lungs. He had few treatment options and decided to have none, yet every time Dr. Dossey stopped by his room, the man was surrounded by visitors from his church, singing and praying. A year later when Dr. Dossey was working at another hospital, a colleague casually told Dr. Dossey that his former patient was still alive and asked if he wanted to see the man's chest X rays. They were completely clear. There was not sign of cancer. But he had received no treatment--unless you count prayer.
Many years later, Dr. Dossey came across a rigid, double-blind study that had been done by a cardiologist at San Francisco General Hospital. Half of a group of cardiac patients were prayed for and half were not. Those who were prayed for did significantly better. But neither the patients, nurses, nor doctors knew which group the patients were in . It stunned Dr. Dossey. He said, "If the technique being studied had been a new drug or a surgical procedure instead of prayer, it would have been heralded as some sort of breakthrough."
He began looking for other studies and found more than 100 experiments that met scientific standards. Now he researches the connection between prayer and health full time. He has come to five conclusions:
1. The power of prayer does not diminish with distance and exists outside of time. It is just as effective to pray from someone thousands of miles away as it is to pray for someone at their bedside.
2. Prayer can be continuous. To a prayerful person, an attitude of prayerfulness can continue even when doing other activities or even while he or she is asleep. Dr. Dossey quoted a spiritual leader known as Isaac the Syrian who said, "When the Spirit has come to reside in someone, that person cannot stop praying; for the Spirit prays without ceasing in him."
3. There is no right or wrong way to address God. you can say a memorized prayer or pray spontaneously, although apparently those who offer personalized prayers don't give up as quickly.
4. The best kind of prayer is not a specific list of instructions to God but a plea that leaves the method of providing the miracle up to God. Dr. Dossey pointed out that it can be quite bewildering, in dealing with a specific health problem, to know whether you should prayer for an increase or decrease of blood flow to a specific organ, for an increase or a decrease in a specific type of blood cell. Prayers of relinquishment, such as "thy will be done" may seem like giving up to some people, but they actually seem to work best.
5. Love increases the power of prayer. He told about the tangible power of this love. One survey of 10,000 men with heart disease found a 50 percent reduction in frequency of chest pain among married men who perceived their wives as supportive and loving."

I think it would be so difficult to be a nurse or a doctor. But the most challenging thing of all would seem to be seeing people who do not have a relationship with their Savior, those that have never felt the healing power of prayer.
Our favorite Medical Professional graduated last weekend, Tony Smith. Check out the wonderful photos here

Monday, May 12, 2008


For some reason our FHE just turned out to be a Sugar Fest. We tried to go bowling, but it would have cost us $30 for the family. Ha, we'll show them, we'll go to the grocery store and spend our money on sugar instead. We had Bryer's Fried Ice Cream (I highly recommend it), pie and whipped cream. And somehow we fit in a lesson about Alma the Younger while we drove from place to place.

We were going to eat these cookies, but leftover pie was easier. Apparently the sugar monsters within us couldn't wait 9 minutes for cookies to bake.

Tristan experiences his first whip-it.

And he likes it.

Kaia was beside her self with joy during the consuption of massive amounts of sugar. In case you were wondering, this is a rare occurance in our household.

Sierra was really upset. She did not want her pie on top of her ice cream. Later she locked herself in the bathroom, sobbing, because I wouldn't let her have a second slice of pie. Oh, my.


I really, really, really hate to lose things. If there already is a mental illness called lossaphobia, I have it. I often said that if I could chose one super-human power it would be "The Power to Find Lost Things". This power would also really come in handy while treasure hunting in the Caribbean waters (high on my "Things I Want To Do Someday" list). So last Tuesday I forgot to close the tail gate on my truck and our beloved Chariot stroller fell out. A kind woman followed me and alerted me of the problem, but when I got back to the intersection it was gone. For a more detailed description of this horrible incident, see my post on the Beech Tree blog. I'm finally starting to feel better. The person who picked it up probably really needed a really, really, really ridiculously nice bike stroller that converted into a sled for cross country skiing or snowshoeing.
Our friends Pearl & David stopped by for a visit. While they were here a Queen Bee arrived in the mail in this little box Sierra is holding. One of our bee hives is doing really well, but the other is struggling so Adam decided to replace the Queen. And just like magic, she was delivered to the door by our mailman.
Here is Tristan touching the old, unproductive Queen. It was exciting for all the kids to get a chance to hold her.
Here is Uncle Steve at the grill. We had a great time on Saturday night at Joe's birthday party.
Tristan entertained himself by sticking small rocks into the holes of his new crock knock-offs. It was hilarious when he tried to get up and walk, wondering why his feet were so uncomfortable.
Here is Aunt Amanda holding Kaia and Sierra, Gram's trying to keep Tristan from opening Joe's gifts, and there is Joe in the hat.

Amanda makes the most wonderful "incredible sinking chocolate cake". I look forward to this party all year, and a big part of that is the cake. Poor Adam got very sick on Friday night and was in bed all weekend. He missed this party, but Amanda sent me home with some leftover food and cake. Adam ate it all, but then mumbled "Ohhh, I shouldn't have eaten that cake." In the morning the first thing Sierra said was, "Where's the cake." When I told her daddy ate it she was sorely disappointed and protested that he was sick and should have left the cake for the rest of us. I couldn't have agreed with her more.

Sunday was a wonderful Mother's Day. Adam was still sick, so I took the kids to Church alone. The kids were fairly well behaved, it is always a hoot to see the girls get up with the Primary kids and sing to mom. They didn't know all the words so Sierra just pretended she did and Kaia stood there scowling at the congregation. Then we had a great family party out at my parent's house. I wish I would have taken more pictures because the weather was perfect. I love Mother's Day, I love being a Mom.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Week of Color comes to an end

Today should be blue, but I'm bending the rules and going with white.

Yesterday morning we woke up to this:

Happy May Day, Colorado.

This is a slight hint at the current condition of my home. We bought hundreds and hundreds of diapers at Costco and Kaia entertained herself by opening the packages and scattering them about. And believe you me, that is not the only thing that needs to get cleaned up. So I'm grounding myself from the blog until things are looking a little better around here. Color week really wore me out. I need to spend a little more time catching up on reading. I have to finish "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" for book club. I checked out "Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation" by Cokie Roberts this week. Plus, "Alexander Hamilton" has been on my nightstand since February and he's offended that I'm only 29 pages into his very interesting biography (no sarcasm there, really). My grandpa had me read a Time article about Stephanie Meyer (the author of Twilight) and it almost has me motivated to read the books. The article compared to her J.K. Rowling (I haven't read any Harry Potter, well, just the epilogue of the last book. he he) and said how these two authors have changed the reading patterns of America. Now children will happily read 500 page books and adults will read books written for children (or young adults). Plus, I didn't know Meyer was LDS. So I'm just waiting for my vivid dreams to reveal a plot to me so that I can start writing some books that might actually get published (still waiting to hear from the publishers in China, its been three months, I think the answer is "NO"--but in Chinese).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

RED/PINK Thursday

Kaia and her fashionable red purse full of toys and small rocks.

Sierra was taking pictures of me so I told her to go around and take pictures of anything around the house that was red or pink.

Here is Sierra enjoying some Nerds (the candy Pop bought her yesterday when he took her shopping).

Here are the girls making a really, really big mess with glitter. I apologize in advance if you get one of these birthday cards. They are messy.

I'm just kicking myself for forgetting my camera this evening. I signed the girls up for a free karate lesson and it was hilarious. Kaia jumped up and down the whole time and made up her own moves, but she was the only one who consistently knew her right hand from her left. Sierra was really into the lesson, but couldn't remember right and left to save her life. Adam met us there then we had a delightful family dinner at Costco. BIG NEWS, Costco has a new item on the menu! It is a delicious wrap with turkey and Havarti cheese. The tortilla seemed to be whole wheat! Heavenly.