27 September 2011

Farewell to a Faithfull Steed

We were t-boned by Mr. McGoo's grandpa on the morning of September 15th, 2011. I was driving our 2003 Dodge Caravan to the bank (almost made it). We had just dropped off Elizabeth at school. Jeb and Amelia were with me. Christie almost came with (Amelia insisted that we be "in our family") but at the last second decided to work inher garden and enjoy some alone time.

Injuries: Amelia bit her tongue. We were hit so hard that the latch system on Jeb's carseat popped loose and his seat was sideways (one latch held). Amelia's carseat was knocked at a 45 degree angle. My right elbow got banged up and I have some tendonitis. Overall we were lucky on the injury side.... just shows the power of morning prayer!

I took a photo of Amelia's tongue with my cell phone, so it probably doesn't show she was bleeding.

One week later I took photos of the damage to the van.

15 December 2010

The Apprentices, Part II

Never underestimate the faith of a 4 year old girl.

We visited my parents for Thanksgiving, and the kids ate up all the extra attention they could get. On the way home, Elizabeth kept saying "I want Grandma and Pocker (my dad, we don't know why she calls him that) to come visit us." We told her it would probably be a while before we saw them again, and we'd probably go see them.

Never underestimate the faith of a 4 year old.

My parents came down to visit this weekend. It was a last minute thing; they arrived Saturday night and had to leave Monday morning. But why the 6 hour drive? Our stake recently formed 2 new wards (a YSA ward and another Spanish ward) and had to do some shuffling to fill the gaps. They released 7 stake high councilors as part of this process, and needed to get new ones. Somewhere along the way, Elizabeth's prayers for a visit from Grandma and Pocker got in the mix, and I was called as one of the new stake high councilors (responsible for Aaronic Priesthood and Scouting). Not a high priest yet? No problem, we'll get that fixed. A late night call to my dad after that interview/calling extension last Wednesday night, some schedule shuffling on their part, and they would be on their way. We told the girls when they woke up Thursday morning, and the kids crazy with excitement all of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday while they were waiting. In between the excitement, Elizabeth had this look that she knew this would happen.

And yes, I already have a speaking assignment this Sunday.

So what does this have to do with graham cracker houses? Patience, young padawan.

My dad is known, among other nicknames, as Master Yoda. If he can't fix it, it ain't broken. My friend Matt and I once spent an entire day trying to change his brake pads. We knew what we were doing. We'd done this job before, and it shouldn't have been hard, but the danged things just weren't cooperating. We were getting sunburned pretty bad working out there, and after spending the entire day not getting anywhere, we were ready to give up.

Then my dad pulled up in the driveway.

He gets out of his truck, takes a look at what we're doing, gives it a nudge, and the durned things come right off! "I don't believe it!" "That is why you fail."

His skillz0rz aren't just limited to mechanics. He can build graham cracker houses. Sunday night, while I was dealing with grades and prepping for finals, my dad worked with each of the kids and they made their masterpieces. A total of 4 were made: one for each and an extra one to deliver to our friends the MacIntosh's (great FHE the next night).

Ok, ok, the pictures are below.

Now, these houses just aren't good looking, they're good eating too. Amelia ate most of hers last night while we watched The Santa Clause.

Jeb enjoyed his too, but mostly by smashing it before he ate it.

06 December 2010

The Apprentices

One of the traditions from my family is making graham cracker houses. For FHE tonight, the girls started their apprenticeship. Jeb started out by eating some of the building materials, but was so tired and fussy he went to bed before the construction really began.

He does like frosting, though.

So on to the houses. These are pretty good for a first attempt. They're not all the way complete yet, the pictures are that fresh! (Yet another special bonus for our elite subscribers and sponsors).

Elizabeth and her creation (yes, that is some of the candy in her mouth):

She is especially proud of Santa on his sled.

She also loves the heart-door made with candy canes.

Amelia was right there learning as well. She had some help from Mommy, but she's just as proud of her house as Elizabeth is of hers.

Next week we'll try to make a few bigger houses and give them to friends (another part of the tradition). For now, the girls are back improving their houses already with sprinkles and more jelly beans.

20 November 2010

Christmas Cards

My favorite Christmas cards have always been the ones where we've been in our Halloween costumes. It all started when Amelia was a baby and we got a great shot of all of us dressed as clowns. I was looking on Shutterfly and found the perfect card layout that matched our costumes in both color and mood. Last year we used a picture of us all dressed as monkeys. The year in between? Honestly I've been racking my brain to remember, and I think we just did some lame cards from the portrait studio where we took our family picture.
Seeing as I can't even remember that one, and the others bring an automatic smile to my face, I think I need to go with the Shutterfly holiday cards again. But we didn't do a group costume for Halloween this year, so what to do? Never fear! After just a few minutes in Shutterfly I found the PERFECT card and I just LOVE what we're going to send out this year.
And, to make it even better, I'm participating in Shutterfly's Bloggers Get 50 Free Holiday Cards promotion, and you can too!

10 November 2010

What I really wanted to blog about

I finally got around to reading a book I've been aware of since I was in elementary school, but never read, Across Five Aprils. And it reminded me so much of a family in my mom's ancestry. They lived in Illinois, and one of the sons went back to the area his father's family was from to fight for the South.
But I tried to look for the details and couldn't find them. I'm so sad. It was information I'd just found in the last couple of years and is trapped on the dead (presumably virus-laden) computer. Why, oh, why hadn't I backed up my family history data in so long? Oh, because the CD writing drive had been dead for a long time, and most of the USB drives, too, and I could never find a flash drive anyway since James was always taking them to work...and a million other excuses. But, honestly, I could have emailed myself the file at any time. Instead, I just "backed it up" on the hard drive.
And so many, many hours of work are likely lost, for the failure to take a few minutes. Hitting my head on the desk now.

The one condolence in this is that the most vital information, needed for temple ordinances, is mostly intact on NewFamilySearch. But that's the bare bones. The meat of it was in my notes.

Random things

A bunny outside the window by the computer desk. First time we've seen one here. One small Swiss Chard plant disappeared the same day. Fortunately that was the full extent of the garden damage.

James' department had a bowling night. The girls practiced in anticipation. They didn't quite seem to grasp the fact that square blocks do not roll.

Amelia got into James' birthday cake.

We ate it anyway.

Especially Jeb.