Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

This is our new Christmas Tradition.  Scuba Santa. How cool is this... Thank you Sports Chalet Santa.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween in Vegas

So come to find out my Aunt is famous.  I thought she was famous in LDS circles or old singer "where are they now" kind of way, but I was mistaken.  This is Marie Osmond, and she has been continually famous for five decades, and had a #1 song in 2011.  I never realized what a big deal Donny and Marie are.  

My mother-in-law knew differently.  She is a huge fan and taught her kids Osmond brothers dance moves when they were little.  So to surprise her for her birthday, we kidnapped her to Vegas for a Concert and VIP treatment with the stars.  She was thrilled. Scott and I had a great time too.  The Donny and Marie show was very entertaining and fun to watch.  I will never forget this Halloween. Thanks Aunt Marie.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Posts for the Grandparents

The kids are alive and well despite the living conditions.  They even look happy. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Another big day

           My little boy is five.  This makes me feel really old. Because we have no kitchen or means to make a cake, my sweet husband got up before dawn and got us breakfast at Mcd's.  We put candles in the egg mcmuffin and sang to him.  Five candles doesn't quite have the same effect as 35, but its still fun. The crown at the bottom was from school.  He wore it all day, 10 hours and still king for the day.  We played his video game, went swimming, and had noodles with red sauce (his favorite dinner).  "It was the best day ever" - he said.  

Life Goes On

Life goes on despite living conditions or lack their of.  Here is the start of birthday season at our home.  We started if off with a birthday dance party. This picture does not do it justice.  

This facial expression is saying "I hope all these candles don't start a house fire."  We had a big waxy mess. I've decided its really fun to put the total number of candles on a cake.  The first one melts by the time the last one is lit.  Next year I'm going to have to come up with a new lighting strategy.   

The boys picked out a lego set for "Dad" for his birthday.  After it was opened and put together they went into their room and shut the door, not caring about opening the other presents.  Aren't they thoughtful children?  Getting dad the exact toy they have been pining away for.  

Happy Birthday Sweetheart. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

No Money Tree

So its been 3 weeks and nothing has been changed or built, not one nail.  I had to send blueprints back to the engineer to correct a mistake not caught by the contractor, which took 2 weeks, Now I am waiting for a new bid to finish the job, I'm going to keep this short, because if I start on my soap box I may never get off.  Lets just say this,  THERE IS NO MONEY TREE.  I not sure why my contractor thinks I have some secret money source when the original budget was going to stretch my very limited resources.  Now the contractor needs way more money to do the same job he already started.  This is so frustrating.  If someone has a money tree please send me a seed.    

Framing Progress/Impass

So Framing started 3 days after cement dried. Yea, I thought now we are finally moving....

Then I got the news.... the contractor came up to me and asked for the last payment.  (which isn't supposed to be given until the end of the job). Does this look like they are almost finished?  No way.  Now we are at an impasse.  Stay tuned to find out more.  

Cement Progress

Progress:  The boys had a great time watching the cement truck, it was a little boys dream, noisy, messy, giant trucks.  It is nice to see some progress. 

Before and After #1

This is the backyard when we moved in,  Green pool, nice big yard, with citrus trees.



Demolition Day
Nice blue pool and huge pile of trash all over the yard. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What was I thinking.

So I haven't posted in a while because my life has been the most stressful and frustrating time of my life.  Now don't get worried, all the children are fine and my hubby and I are getting along great. The priorities in life are stable.  We have been in the process of buying a home and a short sale home at that.  This would not be a reality for our family financially because of our looming student loan debt, however a related financial benefactor wanted to make an investment and we have now joined the money sucking club of home owners.    So far along the way, lots of painful learning experiences have occurred. 
      #1 Never buy a short-sale (7 months of our life we will never get back).
      #2 Never assume a contractor has the proper experience he claims too.
      #3 Never ask an under-experienced contractor to estimate repairs to determining if the house can be fixed for a certain budget.  This is impossible to do without architect plans and city guide lines, an experienced contractor would have told me this and we never would have bought this house.   

     #4 Never hire an under-experienced contractor to be in charge of major home renovations. Especially one who won't give a written contract of budget projections.
    #5 Never hire friends who say "give and take" when talking about money. 
    #6 Never hire the cheapest architect you can find, you get what u pay for and i got problems.
    #7 Never scratch big chunks of budget before a project starts. 

That is enough learning experiences for today, If I really start to ponder I get depressed.  So here are some pictures so you get a feel for whats been happening.  

This picture demonstrates the quality that this house was in.  This is a fully grown weed growing out of the rain gutter.

 This is the back "sun-room"  with a ceiling lower that the other ceilings and a lower cement floor than the rest of the house.  Imagine that room on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory that is shrinking from one side to the other.  That would be a good picture of this room.
 This is the inside of said room.

Here is a before picture of the back of the house

And the most laughable feature, an Outhouse.  Yes this is an outdoor toilet for pool guests. There is toilet and sink in there along with old pool equipment and spiders.  

The rest of the house is rather ordinary, 4 bedrooms, 1600 square feet, weird giant archway from the 70s, shell shaped sinks from the 70s, asbestos popcorn ceilings, and brown carpet that smells like old dog with a potty problem.  

During our honeymoon phase of home buying, you would have heard phrases like, "this house has a lot of potential", "great bones", "great big yard for the kids to play", and most important "this house fits the budget".  Well now the honeymoon phase is over and reality has set in.  I will be posting more regularly to update with progress reports or lack of progress as the case is currently.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Girls are more spiritual

Look at this cute little girl. She started folding her arms during family prayer with no hints from us.  She just naturally noticed what everyone else was doing and followed suit.  She even has a spiritual facial expression. She must get that from her father.  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Genesis 34

     There is a story in the Old Testament, (Genesis 34) where a daughter of Jacob's has been defiled.  The offending party wants to marry the girl so he being an outsider, goes to the family to offer a huge dowry.  The brothers of the girl are angry and suggest to the outsider that if he and all the men of his tribe be circumcised (like Jacob's sons are) the outsider tribe can have any women they wish and live happily ever after.  This was a trick.  Genesis 34: 25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that the two sons of Jacob (the angry brothers) took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.... and spoiled the city... took all their wealth, wives took they captive."  

     I had always wondered why those men didn't fight back?  Now I have a complete understanding of the trauma related to circumcision.  My two sweet boys were both circumcised this month and it was not pretty. And it was a much longer recovery than the 1-2 days the doctor suggested.  Here are the boys pre-surgery. Not exactly oblivious but not really sure what to expect.   

     This was after.  After the tears, after the screaming, and after lots of children's Codeine. They sat like this and didn't move for 5 days.  I even felt so bad i would carry them to the potty the first day.  They could have easily been slain like the men of the old testament.  Poor sad boys. 

      If you are wondering why we didn't do this when they were babies, here is the brief explanation.  We were not planning on having them circumcised at all initially because the only reason to do so now is for aesthetics.  We figured spare them extra pain. There is no biological reason to circumcise boys.  So we didn't.  However, come to find out that there is a genetic condition (thank you craig or harrison side) called phimosis where the foreskin never fully retracts from the head of the penis.  This is not a problem in childhood but can have complications for the adult male.  We didn't know about this condition until recently because foreskins retract anytime from the ages of 3-6.  Sometimes as late as 12.  Now that Carson is past 6 and nothing has happened in that area, we had the boys checked out.  The options were to wait until they turned 12 and maybe they would retract or circumcise them now or later.  
     Could you imagine how traumatic it would be to circumcise a 12 year old boy who is already self conscious about being in puberty. No thank you.  So we had it done.  I'm hoping the boys are still young enough to not really remember this traumatic event.  The best line of the whole week was when Cooper told Grandma that' "my penis is rotten".  Well thank goodness this event is over.  On the bright side of things, I do have a renewed understanding of an old testament story.    

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter.  We needed some new updated pictures.  This is MJ. Her first hunt was a success and her smile matched her bright egg treasures. 

 All the boys after the hunt, complete with the Easter Bunny to boot.

I had great intentions of getting rid of all the candy from past birthday parties and primary activities, so I put all  of my candy collection into eggs for the family hunt, thinking I could out smart the system. However I still ended up with more candy coming home with me than I brought.  Holidays are a never ending candy pit. See that huge basket on the table, its all chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Apt living

We are living in an apt complex for the next few month and here are some of the interesting things I'm learning.

1.  The boys think we are living in a Hotel because there is a pool and hot tub
2.   Very own playground
3.  No yard work
4.  Interesting neighbors
5.  Lots of cultural variety
6.  Cheaper rent
7.  All the kids call me maam' ( because I am the only adult watching the kids at the park)
8.  Lots of opportunity to do missionary work.  Humble souls everywhere.
9.  Kids get lots of attention. They are the only blue eyed kids here.
10.  Learned to hang a fleece blanket over my windows at night to block out the security lights and extra noise.  how white trash is that. When in rome...

1.  Smoking habits. Everyone smokes a ton.  Cigarettes or marijuana or pipes or flavored cigarettes.  If people would stop smoking they might have more money to get out of these apartments.  Did you know that smoke can seep through walls, ceilings and air ducts?  It can.
2.  Spitting.  Post pubescent men feeling the need to spit into the bushes. (I do not let my kids near the bushes)
3.  Alcohol.  Why would adults drink beers in the middle of the day and all afternoon.  Its not a holiday or any celebration what so ever.  If people would stop drinking they might have more money to get out of these apts.  Or maybe get a job...
4.  Cat fights.  I am not a yeller.  I do not understand why 2 adults would need to scream out their issues at 2 am in front of the complex.  I did feel like I was watching a jerry springer episode out my window.
5.  15 or so unsupervised kids all afternoon.  The parents kick them out of their apts after school so they hang out by the playground.  they are 3-13 years old.  I'm just waiting for someone to get hurt or stolen.
6.  Parking my Expedition in a garage meant for a Honda Accord.  I've already scratched the car twice.  Stupid garage.
7.  Old windows.  On our first night Scott said, "aren't you going to close the windows?" I replied. "They are."
8.  Walking miles with groceries from parking to my corner apts.  It is helping me buy less items because I know I will have to carry them.
9.  Walking miles to take out the trash.  Let be honest. Scott does this one.
10. The people in my ward are very hesitant to come visit because of the interesting environment.