Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! It's my absolute FAVORITE day of the year! Aagh! I am SO psyched! Unfortunately, the day is slightly marred by the fact that I have to go to the oncologist. But, whatever. What better day of the year to do a scary thing, right? LOL.

I will post pics of the costumes and activities later. Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2007

He's Back!

We picked up Mike from the airport last night. The kids were SO excited to see him! Adam ran halfway across the room, almonst knocking over several people in the process, to hug him. Grace was jumping and blowing kisses like crazy. I was just happy that I no longer had to deal with 2 busy kids in an airport by myself. :) Just kidding.

He had a lot of fun. He ate at The Roof, which is this nice restaurant at the top of the Church Office building (I think that's where it is). It has a really great view of the SLC Temple. He made some friends. Took a tour of Temple Square. And got some studying in, too. He definitely passed the written portion of the exam (yay!) but it will take 2-3 weeks before he finds out the results of his QWAR Interview and Skills Training (they videotape it and review it). And he found out that they are going to be making some adjustments to pay. Right now, the pay is based off of the cost of living in Utah. Ummm.... which is WAY different than Las Vegas. So, the executives were wondering why no one stays in the Job Coach position very long in Las Vegas... and kinda figured out that no one can live off of what they pay. LOL! So, they are adjusting it. Yay! They didn't say when, but hopefully it's soon.

And hopefully Mike still HAS the job, so we can enjoy it. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Total Nervousness!

Aagh! Tomorrow's the big test day for Mike! I am SOOOOO nervous! The test is divided into three parts. At 10:00, he has to do an interview/baseline review with an actress, whose playing the role of a DI emloyee with issues. Then he has lunch. Then at 2:00, he has a written exam. Then at 4:00 he has to train the same actress how to do a task at the local DI. He's SUCH a great manager and he's SO smart, but I'm still way nervous.

Why? Because Mike refused to set up a "just in case" plan. Just in case he fails, and loses his job (which I KNOW won't happen), I wanted to just have a tentative plan. But, everytime I mentioned it, he got a hurt look on his face, and asked, "You think I won't pass?" I KNOW he will pass. But, I'm a "Be Prepared" kinda girl (I would've made a great Boy Scout... if I were a boy), and I HATE not having a plan.

It doesn't matter I guess, because he's absolutley, positively going to pass, and NOT lose his job. Right?

Halloween Crafts Part I

My camera is working again, yay! So, here's the first part of the Halloween crafts we did/are doing this week. The pumpkin painting is something we always did in our dorms at NAU, and Adam really loved it. I just bought the .50 mini pumpkins, and then let them have at it with my paints. Adam had a blast. His pumpkin already has about 6 layers of paint, and once it dries again (if it ever does), he's going to add "just one more thing." Grace was more into finger painting than actually using the brush to put paint ON the pumpkin. LOL. She had fun anyway.
And these are the Tootsie Pop ghosts. You just take a Kleenex, wrap it around the sucker, and tie it with a bow. Adam drew the faces. Grace is terrified of all things Halloween, so Adam drew a "happy face" on one of the ghosts for her. So sweet! They are super-easy, and Adam loved getting to draw the faces. Grace pretty much just loves ripping them apart.

Today, we are going to brave making sugar cookie cut-outs and decorating them. Oh, boy! Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To Die or To Laugh...

A definite plus of Mike being out of town, is that I get the car. This afternoon, the kids and I went to the park for a couple of hours. Afterward on the way home, we passed by Target. I haven't been to Target in forever (not sure why), so I thought it would be fun to stop. I didn't really need to buy anything, but I thought it would be fun for Adam to get to look at the toys and Halloween decorations without having to rush anywhere.

On the way to the toys, we passed through the Lingerie section, and I stopped to browse through a clearance rack of bras. I really didn't think anything of it. Adam, anxious to get to the toy section, said (rather loudly), "Why do you always bring me to places where I am surrounded by pictures of women's chests?"

My first reaction was to bust up laughing, because it was such a ridiculous thing to say, and it was so weird for HIM to say it. I've never taken him bra shopping or ANYTHING like that. After a few seconds I stopped laughing, and started to die of embarrassment, as I realized other shoppers who overheard probably thought that I raised my son in a brothel or something, and were calling CPS at that very moment.

Sigh... if nothing else, 4-year-olds will keep you on your toes. That's for sure.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Updates: Cars, Clothes, Business Trips, and the Primay Program

I CAN'T believe it's been a week since my last post. Crazy! Where does the time go? We had a pretty good week. Our car hasn't been running since May. And the apartment complex finally figured it out and threatened to tow it, so we took it in this week to get it fixed. And... it's only going to be $600 to fix it! I know that sounds SO horrible, and it is. I mean, we're going to have to put it on the credit card and all. But, the initial report on it was that there was something loose in the engine, and we replaced the engine just a year ago (still owe my parents $3000 for that), and they estimated that it was going to be several thousand, so I didn't know what to do. But, we were very blessed, and it's only going to be $600. So, even though it's still completely ridiculously expensive, I'm happy. :)

Wow... those are some run-on sentences in that paragraph, but I'm too tired to try and edit them. Oh, well. :)

We finally sold Adam's old bed on And I used the money to get warm clothes for the kids (I was going to say winter, but I'm pretty sure Las Vegas doesn't have an actual winter :) ). I went to Savers (a friend in my ward told me when to go, because they have $1 deals on stuff on certain days). So, I got a jacket, 3 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of overalls, 5 long sleeved shirts, and a cardigan (all for Grace). And 2 new church shirts for Adam... all for under $20! Yay me! They didn't really have any jeans Adam's size, which I figure is because after a 4-year-old boy is done with his jeans, they probably aren't sell-able. :)

Mike is leaving tomorrow on business. He has to take this big test in Salt Lake, and he won't be back until Thursday. If he doesn't pass, he loses his job, so I'm REALLY hoping he passes. I'm really nervous with him leaving town. I hate being on my own with no family or close friends nearby. I just am hoping that the car doesn't break down or no one breaks a leg or something. It's going to be such a long week this week. Mike's "day off" is tomorrow, but he has to leave tomorrow morning for SLC, and then he won't get back until Thursday, and has to work on Friday and Saturday. I think that if he's traveling for work, he should be getting paid for work, or at least get another day off. I guess his company doesn't roll like that, though. :) Oh, well. After this test he can focus on studying to get into the Master's program. Because for some reason, we still believe that it pays to get your education. :) We are SO naive!

I have lots of fun stuff planned for this week. I saved all of the Halloween crafts and activities especially for this week, because I know it's going to be hard on the kids with Mike gone. We are going to decorate mini pumpkins, make Tootsie pop ghosts, make caramel apples, make egg carton witches, and make/decorate pumpkin cut-out cookies. I'm SO excited to do all the fun fall crafts with the kids. It's fun to have them at an age where they like that kinda stuff. I'll post some pictures of our crafts this week (if I can get my camera to work that is :) ).

Well, I'm off to make dinner. But, before I sign off, I have to mention the Primary Program. We had it today in our ward, and it was great! Adam did SO good! He memorized his part, and didn't get scared. Unfortunately, they had all of the Sunbeams behind the Sacrament table. They kept popping up and down behind it, like it was a Whack-a-Mole game, pulling off the cloth, etc. And, if all that wasn't enough... right before they sang the final song, Adam jumped up and yelled, "Mom, I have to go potty... and I can't hold it!"

There's always one, huh? :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Natural Cleaning and Basketball Sign-ups

I know that probably EVERYONE in the world knows this already (I'm usually the last person to hear about stuff and try it), but natural cleaners rock! I've been thinking for awhile about cleaning products. They are scary. I have a cupboard full of stuff that I use all of the time... and I got to reading all of the warnings on the back, and thought... how good is it for my kids to be breathing in all of this junk while I'm cleaning? So, I started researching more natural ways to clean, and I got to say, that it's great. I cleaned my stove today with baking soda, and I've never seen it so white. I cleaned my microwave by microwaving a 1/4 cup of vinegar in it for 3 minutes, and all of the gunk in there literally fell off! Using baking soda and vinegar works better than any other cleaners I've used... and it's SO much healthier and cheaper, too! I feel very proud of myself today for discovering this.

A few weeks ago while we were at the library, I found a pamphlet for the Parks and Rec center here in LV. Looking through it, I saw a "Basketball Skills" class for 4-year-olds. I have been wanting to put Adam in something for a while to get him around other kids. Sign-ups were today, and he got in! There was only 3 spots left, so I'm glad I signed up early today. He is SOOOOOOOOO excited! It starts on October 29th, and goes for 8 weeks, I think. It will be perfect, because it's just skills, no games or pressure, and he will make some friends, and get out of the house and exercise! He can't wait! I'm excited, too... but I can't believe that he's old enough to be in sports classes already. That's crazy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I have to go to a gynecological oncologist (say that 10 times fast) for more testing. Blegh! I am SO not psyched about this. Who wants to pay $50 to be poked and prodded?

On a happy note, Mike brought me home a brownie from work yesterday. And I'm pretty sure that a chocolate brownie can fix ANY ailment. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Backlash, Conference, and Projects

Okay, so I've gotten A LOT of backlash from my wanting to move to Connecticut. When I told my mom (or rather, my sister-in-law) told my mom, she was definitely NOT okay with it. Mike's not okay with it. Most everyone isn't okay with it. I still REALLY want to move to the New England area, but there are a lot of closer states with seasons and fun (like Oregon and Utah). But, it's not going to happen. We will probably be here for a while, and why would I get any say in my own life, anyways? :) And just for the record, I wasn't really testing Heavenly Father, I was just making a suggestion. :)

I really enjoyed Conference (as usual :) ). I think that my favorite talk was by President Eyring in the Sunday morning session. Our family has been thrown trial after trial this past year and a half, and I have started to have this "Why me?" attitude. His talk reminded me of the blessings that Heavenly Father has given us, and that I need to use these trials to STRENGTHEN my testimony, and not just wallow. :) I want to do what he did, and start a journal (I know, I should already have one), and write down the little ways that I have been blessed every day. I think it will really help me realize what I have been blessed with, and I will be happier.

During Conference, I always try to work on a project. For me, doing a project while listening, helps me to listen better. I'm not sure why. It's like, if I'm watching it, I get distracted, but if my hands are already busy, I'm listening better. It's hard to explain. I'm SO weird, I know. Anyway, from being in school and busy with kids, I've missed lots of craft days and Enrichments, etc. I have a closet full of projects. LOL. I chose to make this square wreath this time. It turned out pretty cute. I got it right before we moved to Las Vegas, I think. It has 3 squares, and I painted and sanded and stained each of them. Then applied a vinyl quote on each side. Then I sprayed it with matte spray. I then hung the Halloween one in the center of the wreath with twine, and wrapped some ribbon around it. I want to put some Halloween-ish garland around it as well, but I think I'll wait until it gets clearanced. The idea is to change out the ribbon and block for the different holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and 4th of July, or The Wilkins, the rest of the year). It's supposed so go on the outside of the door, but I'm pretty sure it would be stolen, so it's on the inside. I LOVE it! Looking at it makes me smile, so happy day! :)

I have to have my semi-annual tumor exam today (yay....). So, I'm off. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

"Boo-ing," Cute Shoes, a Decision, and Boys

Every year since we got married, Mike and I have had the tradition of "Boo-ing" members in our ward. We make up a ghost, a note, and a couple of plates of cookies, and bring them to ward members. These people pass on the note and ghost with a plate of treat to 2 more people, and so on. It's been SO much fun! Last year was the first year that Adam got to do the doorbell ditching, and he had a BLAST, so he's been begging for a year, to do it again. I have been dragging my feet on this. It's just been hard this year to get into the "Halloween mood" with the weather and all. ANYWAYS, yesterday, I finally got around to making the treats and the signs, and we're doing the ditching tonight after Priesthood Session. I tried a new recipe and they were SO easy and SO incredibly good. I had to share:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 box spice cake mix
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

Mix spice cake mix and pumpkin together. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop in rounded teaspoons on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

That's it. No eggs or oil or anything. SOOOOOOO easy and absolutely yummy. Love it.

Grace got these absolutely adorable shoes for her birthday from Mike. I love them because they can go with dresses and tights or jeans. Yesterday was the first time we've worn them "out" and they are super-adorable! I wish I had a pair! She wasn't so thrilled with them. She tried to get up and walk, and realized that her legs were a big heavier. So she threw a tantrum. She's a drama queen and it was naptime. She got used to 'em after a while.

I have officially decided where I want to live............... Connecticut. I have been researching this a lot. There is little crime. Good schools. Cute small towns. Beautiful older houses. Green trees. Great weather... 4 seasons, not horribly hot summers, and lots of snow. Plus, there are all of the little New England traditions that I've read about my whole life, and never got to do: like picking blueberries, going to apple orchards, having white Christmas-es, roasting chestnuts by the fire. I'm kidding about the last one (I think... do people really do that?). New England just sounds SO romantic and there's so much history and things to DO. Let's face it... growing up, my friends and I never went citrus picking or hiking the Grand Canyon or... what fun stuff IS there to do in Arizona?. No, instead we went "romping" in the desert and pathetically tried to ride blocks of ice down dirt hills and bundled up when the weather got in the 70s. Yeah... I am serious about this. I figure it won't really be too big of a deal, since we don't live by family now and only visit at Christmas anyways. And think of all of the MEMORIES we will make and how much FUN it will be! Mike's not exactly on board, but he will get over it. :) I have prayed and told Heavenly Father that I have listened to His will on the last 2 moves, and it would be NICE if I could have a little input about where we go next. We will see how that goes. :) For now, though, I'm keeping my hopes up.

And finally... why do boys feel the need to put things in their noses? I finally got Adam out of the "put everything in your mouth" stage, and now everything's in his nose. Good grief! He has stuck a marble, a pearl (had to got to the ER for that one), various food and toys... and he came up to me yesterday like this. Goodness!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sick Kids, Warm PJs, and Homemade Bread

Adam and Grace have had a cold for a few days now. Cough, runny nose, and fevers. Nothing too unusual. I've done this A LOT, so I knew how to take care of them. Two nights ago, however, Adam woke up at 1:00am unable to breathe. I heard a huge "thump" in his bedroom, and woke up and went in there. He was laying on the ground, struggling. I knew right away he had croup (barking cough), so I tried steaming him in the shower, etc. After 10 minutes, he wasn't getting better, and his lips were turning blue, so I drove him to the hospital (nice, because it's literally a block away). He had a high fever and a low oxygen level, so they took a chest xray, gave him 2 breathing treatments, and gave him some steroids. They thought he had pneumonia, but the xray showed it was a severe croup attack. A few hours later, he was MUCH better, and they let him go home. I got home just as it was time for Mike to go to work and Grace was waking up. Isn't that how it always goes? :) We've had to do a few more breathing treatments at night and continue the steroids, but he's on the mend.

There is nothing harder when your kids are sick. But, nothing really makes me love them more. I'm not sure what it is-their being totally dependent on me, their more complacent attitudes, the cuddling, being up all night with them, holding their hand in a hospital... I'm not sure. Maybe it's just that it makes me that much more grateful to Heavenly Father for them, and makes me realize how precious every day is.

So, even though it's still FREAKIN' hot, when Grace got sick, I totally took the opportunity to dress her in her cute warm PJs. I always try to keep my kids warm when they are sick... however, it might have been too much, because she woke up from her nap yesterday sweating. Oh, well. She's too cute anyways.

We have a very tight food budget, so I decided to start making my own bread. I've never been very good with breads (for some reason I always have the water too warm or too cold or don't knead it enough, and it never turns out). ANYWAYS, a few weeks ago, I got my bread machine out of storage (aka my grandma's shed). We got it as a Christmas gift right before we moved to Flagstaff, so we never really got to use it before it went into "storage" (at the 450 square feet that our dorm was, EVERY inch counted... lol!). So, I finally took it for a go yesterday, and IT IS AWESOME! Is there any other invention better than this? It was super easy, inexpensive, and TOTALLY YUMMY and healthy! I'm pretty psyched about it. If only I can find a way to make it calorie-free, then I'm set. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Is This Really Autumn?

I absolutely, positively, LOVE autumn! It's my favorite time of year. I love the sports, the holidays, the smells, the colors, the food, the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors...

Or I would love these things if Las Vegas HAD an autumn! Seriously, I have been SO spoiled living in Flagstaff. I loved that it was actually COOL when I decorated for Halloween. I loved going on walks with the kids and collecting the leaves. I loved watching football games bundled up. It was great.

It was 90 degrees today. It is October 3rd. And it was 90 degrees today. This is NOT autumn. This is some twisted mockery of the season. I should not have my AC on still! It's funny, I grew up in Phoenix, which much like Vegas, does not have a fall season. So, you'd think that I'd be okay with this. I'm not. I never realized how much I LOVED actually having autumn these past three years until now. I am having the hardest time "getting into" the fall holidays. I'm dragging my feet decorating for Halloween. We haven't done our annual "ghost treats" yet. I haven't made anything with pumpkin in it yet. Heck, I don't even feel like baking. I seriously am missing autumn.

And I can't even begin to THINK about what winter is going to be like without snow!

Being sad about the weather has made me come to a sad realization: I don't think that I can ever live in Phoenix again. I am going to put up with Las Vegas for this year. Mike needs his job experience. And then, I seriously want to move to somewhere cooler... like (and I NEVER thought I'd say this).... Utah.

See what not having fall is doing to me? I want to move to Utah. Crazy.