Friday, May 31, 2013

Blendtec, Baseball and Ballet slippers

Here are some random pictures and thoughts.

First, my blendtec jar broke again. It got a big huge crack in the side while I was blending a green smoothie with a bunch of large frozen strawberries. Notice my duct tape on the side :). That's because I had to have my green smoothie, even if it only took their customer service one day to mail it to me! Can't miss a day! :) This was the third time in the 2 1/2 years I've owned it that I've had to have Blendtec replace the jar. Thank goodness for the really long warranty!!! And their customer service is amazing! I literally called them one morning and told them about the leak from the crack and the next afternoon my new jar came in the mail with no extra cost to me.I love my blendtec and use it every single day, sometimes multiple times a day for smoothies, chopping up nuts (I make granola every week so I do this often), making ground flax, homemade salad dressings amongst other things.
Charles finished up his baseball season at the recreation center. Here is his team picture and his trophy which he has proudly displayed in his room.

These are Jane's ballet slippers. They used to be Annabelle's but they're Jane's size now. Jane likes to wear them at all times in all sorts of places. I try to enforce the rule of them being 'in-home' shoes but sometimes she slips past me and goes outside without me noticing. Just before Mother's Day, Scott took the kids to the store so they could each pick out something small to give to mom and it wasn't until they got in the store that he realized she was wearing her beloved ballet slippers. Oh well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Our first house

We put our house on the market Friday, May 17 and I want to have pictures of our house for us to look back and remember. So here we go:

The backyard. Our kids have spent countless hours out here on the swingset, playing soccer, playing catch, doing the firepit with the family, helping in the garden, playing int he sandbox, cartwheels in the grass etc.

I love our backyard and the room we have to run around and still feel like the kids are safe, all fenced in.

Having a house on the market is probably not an easy thing to do for just about anyone, and I would venture to say even more so when you have 5 pretty young kids who are usually at home and on top of that your hubby is MIA because he's already started work in another state :).

Your house has to look like no one uses it or lives in it, at all times. BUT, you know what gets me through and makes it so much more wonderful while I'm doing all the cleaning and home projects? "Conversations" on the Mormon Channel. Sheri Dew and Heidi Swinton take turns interviewing Mormons with an interesting perspective or story, and a lot of them are members of the quorum of the 12 apostles and quorum of the 70, along with their wives. They talk about growing up and life experiences and parenting and marriage and how they gained their testimony etc and I just absolutely love it and actually look forward to cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry or whatever so that I can listen to these wonderful, delightful people and learn things from their personal life experiences. I can plug in my ipod touch to my radio in the kitchen or just carry it around the house with me :). I love that I can have all this amazing information (scriptures, general conference talks, all of the media on lds channel) in the palm of my hand or tucked into my purse or pocket wherever I go! So cool!!!

We spent a couple of weeks getting the house ready before we put it on the market. Which means I got to listen to quite a few of the one-hour 'Conversations'!  During that time I decluttered the house and boxed up all sorts of things that had been stored in closets or on shelves. We put putty on many walls to fill in holes or scratches and then did lots of touch up painting. I painted our bedroom. Scott put a new door on the shed since that also should have been replaced 6 years ago. I painted the back door that was covered in dog scratch marks from the previous owner. Another project we should have done a long time ago :). Washing the windows inside and out took more time than I thought it would.
When your house is on the market you also have to be willing and able to leave your house several times a day, sometimes with very little notice, so that it can be shown. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have people who want to see it but I'm just saying that doing this while we have babies napping or kids who need to practice piano and get homework done and eat meals, presents a challenge.And then there was that time just last week when Annabelle broke her collar bone while we were out at the park waiting for our house to be shown to some potential buyers.

Nora's room

A couple of days before the house went up, I painted our master bed room. This is the before picture (it was light blue with dark blue sponge marks all over had been that way when we moved in 5 and 1/2 years ago and even though we never really loved it, we were too lazy to change it):

 AFTER WE PAINTED THE MASTER BED. After talking with my sister and two of my good friends I decided to go with a nice neutral color:
I love it and wish we did this years ago!

master bath

Charles Room
Here are the pictures of the rooms in the basement:

This is the unfinished storage/laundry/utility room.

This is Elisabeth's room:

And Annabelle and Jane's room:

We will be so sad to see this house go. We have a lot of fond memories here and a lot of great friends in the neighborhood . Oh and I don't think I mentioned before that Madison's mom finished up her finals in the end of April so we haven't been watching her since then. It only ended up being about 4 months that we served their family and we were happy to help. And it was good timing with all this stuff going on in our lives now with job change and moving states and Annabelle's broken collar bone; we continually notice the Lord's hand in our lives, in both the small and large ways.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mother's Day

 I've been waiting to post this because I wanted to take pictures with the children and we forgot on Mother's Day and then life got busy and Scott was in Minnesota all last week but we finally got to take some pictures yesterday after church which I'll post here at the end.

We had a wonderful Mother's Day this year, as always. Scott and the kids planned and prepared all the meals, cereal for breakfast, sauted veggies and avocado in pita bread for lunch, and pasta salad and a jam tart for dessert! Scott and I both were able to talk with our moms too which is always a highlight. We sure love our moms!
During church we had some young women in our ward and some men come into Primary and teach classes for us during the last hour of church so that all the women could attend Relief Society which is a grown up church class just for women. I love being in Primary but it was fun being in Relief Society again too...though maybe a little less exciting :). In Primary we get to sing lots of upbeat songs and play games!
Here is a mother's day 'hand' Elisabeth made for me in her church class that is supposed to have some of her favorite memories with me, but in actuality it's more things she likes about me. They say, "I love how you fold all my laundry", "I love how you make dinner for us", "I love when you take me on dates", "I love how you try to make us happy", and "You use your money on us" :), I think that last one came about because my birthday was last month and I got some birthday money and I bought something for each member of the family, plus a few things for myself :).
And here is a picture Annabelle drew for me of herself and me.I love our fancy dresses and hats (or tiaras?)
Pictures of Mom and kids and one with their daddy, my wonderful husband Scott :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Stories about showing our house

Showing our house and keeping it in a state of readiness at all times has been a bit of a challenge, especially with Scott being out of town so much for work. I thought I'd share a couple of stories about those challenges so that I can hopefully look back on it one day and either laugh or just learn something.

The day after we put our house on the market we had a couple agents call and want to show the house. Both showings were at or around dinner time so we decided to eat out at ihop since we didn't want to make a mess in the kitchen. After dinner we went over to a friends house who invited us over to play games which was fun. We got home and went to bed. About an hour and a half later, around midnight, both Scott and I woke up to the sound of a large amount of vomit hitting the hallway carpet just outside our bedroom door.  Charles had thrown up on our beige-ish colored carpet and it was red! I could not believe it! I had never seen red throw up before and low and behold here it was on our carpet during the time we were supposed to be keeping it sparkly clean. We scrubbed that floor 5 times that night(spray with stain remover, allow to stand, scrub, repeated 4 times) before it got looking pretty decent again.

Monday, a couple days later, Scott went to Minnesota for work. I kept the house looking pretty good and even went over to my good friend Elisa's house to borrow her carpet cleaning machine so that I could go over that spot one more time.  While I was out picking it up I got a couple of phone calls from agents asking to see the house that evening. One said sometime between 430-530, the other said between 530- 630. I called back and asked them both to call me 15 minutes before they got there because my kids needed to practice piano etc. They agreed which was nice.

Once the kids got home from school I had them immediately eat a quick snack and start right on piano and homework so we would be ready when the phone call came. Charles and Annabelle were outside playing when I got the phone call and Elisabeth was just finishing up piano so I asked her to quickly finish up and ask the kids to get in the van. I needed to get all the lights on and walk around with my big empty laundry basket and stick random stuff in there (dirty towels, laptop, camera). The kids didn't get in the van and instead were riding their bikes around the driveway with their friends. Then as I'm coming up the stairs I hear the kids yell, "mom they're here!" So I quickly run out of the house and send the neighbor children home and again ask the children to get in the van while I say a quick, 'sorry' to the agent for not being out in time. I get in my van and we pull away and I realize I left the laundry basket full of random things on the couch in the living room! Awesome. Well it was too late to go back and get it.

We ran to the library to return a few things and then we went over to our grocery store to get a couple things we needed and then we went back home. I had about 20 minutes until the next group was supposed to come over and I wasn't about to let the kids back in the house for anything because it was all clean and ready so I just told them to wait out in the van while I grabbed the laundry basket and made up some sandwiches and then we'd bring them to a park and have our dinner there. So that's what we did. While we were at the park we ran into Joy, my first counselor in the primary presidency, and so I visited with her and while we were visiting Annabelle fell off the merry go round and came over to us crying. I tried to pick her up and she cried out in pain.  I put her down and looked closely at her and noticed her faced looked very pale though everything else looked okay. She kept pointing to her collar just inside of her shoulder saying it hurt a lot and then she said she wanted to go home. Even though the fall really didn't look very bad, it was more of a tumble onto the wood chips, I felt something was wrong. So we got back in the car and I rolled down my window and quickly asked Joy if she was going to be around tonight since Scott was in Minnesota, just in case I needed to take Annabelle in to urgent care, and she said yes and that she could come over if I needed her. That she was there was a blessing.

When we pulled up to our house their were still two cars parked outside so I told the kids we would have to wait...Annabelle had been quiet during the car ride home but when she heard that she burst into tears.  I asked Annabelle to move her right arm and to reach for something but she wouldn't, she said it hurt too much. My gaze was directed toward my neighbor, April, who is an ER nurse and since we were already in the van we drove over there and I knocked on her door, and I silently prayed she'd be there. She answered and I asked her if she'd look at Annabelle. After a quick examination she said, "it looks like she broke her clavicle." Say what?! Her collar bone! Oh man, I could not believe it. She said I should take her into urgent care to get an xray and that they'd splint her. Charles stayed with April since her boys are friends with Char and I ran the other girls over to Joy while April swathed Annabelle. That April was there was another blessing.

I took Annabelle into the instacare and after waiting awhile and together watching lots of Mormon Ads on the lds channel on my ipod we were seen and had an xray taken and Annabelle indeed broke her clavicle. They put her in a splint and then did a swathing over that and told us she could have some pain meds (which she refused but I did get her to take some ibuprofen before bed)  and that it would probably take 4-6 weeks to heal and she'd most likely wear the sling for most of that.Here are some pictures of the xray and of Annabelle with her splint at the hospital and then at home this morning.This first one is of Annabelle and I while we were waiting to have the xray taken; she thought it'd be fun to play with my camera and I was totally willing to oblige with just about anything she asked :); this was her swathe by April.
 The xray showed a pretty bad break. You can see on the left in this picture (her right collar/shoulder area) that it's completely apart and a little below where it's supposed to be.

After her appointment she got a sucker which was definitely her highlight of the evening.

 On the way home I asked Annabelle if she'd like something special to eat and she said a hot dog, so we stopped off at the store on the way home and picked up a package of hot dogs. When we got home Jane and Nora were in bed and Joy was up with Charles and Elisabeth. They had all made Annabelle this sign:
 I called two priesthood holders in the neighborhood and they came right over and gave Annabelle a blessing of healing, and me one of comfort. I had talked with my neighbor Sheryl a few minutes before and she stopped by to see Annabelle and bring her a slushy. We have the best neighbors and friends. Even though this was a sad thing that happened, especially when Scott was away, I wept on several occasions because of the great love I felt from so many people around us and especially from a loving Heavenly Father who placed these individuals in our lives and who is always watching over us and who loves all of his children. Truly a blessing.
 Annabelle is still cheerful and happy and she can't wait until she can ride her bike again and play with friends, but until then she's pleased to be able to read so many books with mom on the couch and to be able to watch a movie every day which is unusual in our house :).

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Cinco de Mayo. We served enchiladas, black beans, corn and 6 layer dip for dinner(I think that dip is more of an americanized Mexican thing because I never had it growing up and my dad is from Mexico and an excellent chef. These enchiladas, though, are just like the ones he made for us).

I don't know if I've ever made a Mexican dessert, unless you count tortillas cut into wedges and cooked with butter and cinnamon and sugar on top. Anyway, I decided, that afternoon, that it would be fun to make a Mexican dessert and after reading through multiple recipes trying to mentally assess if I had the ingredients on-hand, I settled on sopapillas. It's kind of like a donut. I made a bread dough (half whole wheat) that I cut into small squares and then fried them in coconut oil. Frying anything is not healthy but if it's a rare occasion, I think it's okay :). And I felt a teensy bit better that we used coconut oil rather than some other oil.

After we fried them we let them drip dry onto a cloth napkin since we didn't have any paper products. We then separated them into three groups: First Group- we drizzled honey on these.  Second Group- we put in a gallon ziploc bag with some powdered sugar and shook it around. Third Group- we put in a gallon ziploc bag with cinnamon and sugar and shook it around. After we ate the honey drizzled ones we liked it so much that we put some honey out on the table so people could add it to any they ate. They were really yummy. And the kids would like to make these as a tradition for cinco de mayo every year.
We also took a couple of minutes to talk about our Mexican heritage. Mostly we talked about my dad, Grandpa Garnica, and where he came from and how things were different. And we ended with Uno, since 'uno' means 'one' in spanish :). Perhaps not a real Mexican game and a bit of a stretch, but it works :).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Utah "to do" list

We spoke to the children recently about things they want to do before we move and then we compiled a list, Scott and I adding a couple of things to the list.

1. Bee's baseball game
2. REAL soccer game
3. Temple Square (specifically the Children's Museum)
4. The Roof restaurant (just me and Scott because expensive)
5. Ferris Wheel at Scheels
6. BYU (take pictures of the apartment where Scott and I met and dated, pic of our first two places we lived in Provo and some of our favorite spots: creamery, Macey's, hospital Elisabeth was born)
7. Take pictures of all the places around here: home, school, church, our favorite local grocery store

Scott and I were able to cross off number four Saturday night. We got a babysitter and the two of us were able to eat at 'the roof' in temple square. It's in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building on the tenth floor, actually sort of the roof, and it was previously known as Hotel Utah. It has an AMAZING view of the city. The salt lake temple is right there, and you can see the conference center, tabernacle and the capitol building. It was such a nice, peaceful evening. There was a young man playing the piano beautifully, we had a gourmet buffet and it was just so nice.  It would be a great anniversary dinner location or for your daughters first 'real date' with her dad when she turns 16. The view of the temple provides great conversation for both of those types of dates.

*Bryce Canyon was something they wanted to put on the list but we'll have to do that another year because it's a bigger and longer trip.