Friday, December 12, 2008

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

My next door neighbor is the sweetest lady. She gives me lemons from her trees and lets me use her phone when I've locked myself out of my house. She's let me know that I can call her anytime I need anything. She really is very kind.

Yesterday I realized that I should be more like her. On Wednesday afternoon she came to my house to let me know that she had thrown a ball over to our yard thinking it was ours. That ball, a pool table ball, had broken her dining room window. After she threw the ball into our yard she realized it couldn't be ours because her dining room is on the opposite side of our yard so our boys couldn't have thrown it. I assured her that it wasn't our ball, after verifying with the boys, and told her I felt bad that her window got broken. I told her I'd send Dan over to see if he could help her cover up the window while she got it replaced. She said she would be fine.

OK..this is the part where I need to be like her. Yesterday, less than 24 hours after the incident, she had a glass company there replacing her window! Less than 24 hours!! We have had a broken window in our house since May and it's still covered with cardboard!!!! Jacob threw a baseball and broke one of the panels of our kitchen garden window. Dan did what anyone, besides our neighbor, would do....cover it with cardboard and duct tape.

What makes this even funnier to me is that since that incident in May I have reminded Jacob to not throw the ball close to the window because we don't want it to break.

His response? "Yes, we don't want it to break because we don't have any more cardboard."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Who can Hula?

Not me. But Jacob, our 5 year old, beat us all in hula-hooping. We did it for FHE last night and then he wanted to do it again tonight.

His time to beat?
10 minutes, 39 seconds!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Grateful for....

We had a great Thanksgiving. It was so nice to feel well enough to cook and bake and eat! We ate at about 1:30 and by 3 we were all taking naps. It was a great day!

It's so nice to have this time of year to reflect on our blessings. During our dinner we each took a turn to tell three things about each family member that we are grateful for. I love my boys! They were all very kind to me and even said I make the best dinners.

We enjoyed having Dan home for a few days and we used the time to catch up on some projects. We finished some touchup painting and finally got around to hanging family pictures on the wall. We have been in this house for 5 years and I've had 3 packages of frames up against my bedroom wall for almost a year and we finally got around to hanging them up. We also put up our Christmas tree and our decorations.

Of all the things we did the highlight of the weekend was:

The Hull Stratego Tournament of Champions.

I know you're thinking, "I wish we had gone over to their house!" Dan brought home this game a few weeks ago and it is all the boys want to play. Luckily for me I was able to advance to the semifinal round. I felt very pleased with myself when I beat Jacob. I'm sure this will become a tradition for years to come.

Monday, November 24, 2008

To Buy or Not to Buy??...Well....It depends...


Is it wrong that a pregnant 33 year old is considering buying Depends? Luckily I haven't thrown up as much this pregnancy but it is sad that each time I go to the store I consider whether or not I have the nerve to put them in my cart.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mother of the Year....again

I missed parent/teacher conference. It was last Friday and I just realized I missed it last night.

Here's what happened. I sent my request to have conferences for all 4 teachers (Blake goes to 5th grade for Math and Language so that added a 4th conference) for Friday the 14th. Three of the four teachers were full on Friday so they scheduled me for today, Wednesday. Then I received an email from the 5th grade teacher letting me know that I had conference on the 14th at 2pm. I replied and said, "I'll be there!" That was it. I never went. I never showed up. I never called to let him know why I didn't go. I just assumed all of my conferences were for today and never really bothered to check.

Then last evening I decided to look up my schedule for conferences for today. Imagine my surprise when I saw that I had one of Friday!!!! I quickly emailed the teacher and apologized. He said it was fine to go today.

So there you have it....the mother of the year strikes again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election 2008

I must say that I've been super emotional these last several weeks. Being called a bigot for supporting Prop 8 doesn't sit well with me. So with all of this happening I have shed many a tear. The election coverage last night made me almost more nauseated than I've been. (hint, hint ;) As of this morning Prop 8 has been declared as passing. However, it's not over. There is much to be said in the upcoming weeks and months. Ok...enough of Prop 8 and let's move on to the next President.

I must say that it was emotional to me (again, I've been too emotional anyways) to see Obama give his acceptance speech. I explained to the boys the significance of the moment, regardless of the fact that he wasn't who we voted for. (I could have voted for McCain 1 million times and I still don't think he would have won California.)

But I'm optimistic, I'm hopeful, and I'm worried, too. One of the issues that concerns me alot is immigration. I had really thought that this issue was going to define this election but it was not to be, the economy trumped it. Both candidates supported a worker-program type program. Being in a Spanish branch at church with amazing hard working people, I've been hoping that the way would open up for them to be able to work legally and support their families. It has been our experience that the majority of the people who we know who are in this country illegally are incredibly amazing. Their stories of survival are humbling and it makes me so grateful that my parents immigrated to the United States and that I was born here. I can't imagine what it would have been like living in another country. So I hope with Obama as president we can have laws that would help those who are already here, send back the ones who are in prison, and find a way to facilitate the process/paperwork/runaround of those who may want to come here. you know more of my politics than perhaps you wanted to know. I really hope we can move on and that our elected officials will not entirely bring this country down the toilet. But if they do we can always call Joe the Plumber. (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's the Little Things

It's the little things in life that make me smile. After several months of non functioning electrical outlets in all three of our bathrooms, I am happy to report that they all work!!!!!!

This makes me SO happy. It all started when I asked Dan to change out the downstairs bathroom plug cover (I'm sure that's not the correct term) from cream to white. He switched it to the white one and then the outlets in all the bathrooms never worked again.

Again, in the grand scheme of things I shouldn't have been bothered about tripping over extension chords each time I had to blow dry my hair, flat iron my hair, or iron. (We iron in our bathroom). I was grateful that I had electrical current in my house and it shouldn't have mattered that it didn't come out of my bathrooms, right? Right.

Last night I came home from a scout meeting and Dan told me very matter-of-factly that he fixed the outlets. What!!!!??!! I was so happy. Again, it's the little things that make me smile.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Picture Tag Four You

My sister Edna did this on her blog (she got the idea from her sister-in-law): You post the 4th picture in your 4th folder in your Picture Folder.

So as I was talking to her I opened up my file and we started laughing because my file in my 4th folder only has 3 pictures!

So what's the 4th picture in your 4th folder??

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Calgon, Take Me Away!

Thanks to my sister, Dan and I were able to have a few days to ourselves this past week. It was so fun!!

My sisters and I decided we would take turns and take each other's children throughout the year so that we could spend a few days with our husbands. I spent a few days earlier this year in Yuma watching Ericka's children while she and Paul went to Hawaii so Ericka came this week and stayed with our boys. THANKS!!!!!

We stayed in Orange County for 3 days!! Do you know how nice it was to not have any deadlines?!? Do you know how nice it was to sleep in and not have to wake up to an alarm clock?!! Do you know how nice it was to go to a restaurant and actually sit and not just "drive thru"? Let me tell was sooooo nice!

I went to Southcoast Plaza and felt completely out of place but, nonetheless, bought a fabulous purse. (Thanks to a gift certificate Dan's company had given me in FEBRUARY!) I got a pedicure and a facial and it was just so nice to relax.

We also got tickets to go see Wicked. Dan hadn't seen it so I'm glad we got to go. We also did the "Behind the Emerald Curtain" tour and was really neat to get some backstage info. After the show, we waited outside and the performers signed my Playbill. (I gave it to Ericka as a sign of my gratitution :). Again, it was an amazing performance and an amazing evening.

We dined at Flemings and El Torito Grill (not to be confused with El Torito.) My absolute favorite was the desert at El Torito Grill.....a creme brulee cheesecake! It was really good.

But what we enjoyed the most was going to the San Diego Temple. Dan and I were married there 12 years ago. We did an endowment session and then sealed several families from my mom's side. Then after we finished the sealings we went and sat in the room where we got married and sealed. Let me just say that I'm so grateful for the blessings of the temple and for the knowledge that families are eternal.

We had a great time but we were missing our boys. Brandon had his first overnight Scout trip while we were gone and I kept calling my sister to make sure he had made it OK. It was hard not to be there. (It didn't help that it was a Shooting Campout!!) But we made it home in time to pick him up and he had a safe time.

So, hopefully my sisters will still want to trade babysitting so we can do this more often. We had a great time but it is so nice to be back at home and back into our routine of normal family life.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Lesson I Learned

The other day was Brandon's turn to help in the kitchen. Brandon, as I have posted before, is such a polite and sweet boy. He is always aware of what's going on and he steps in like a big brother to make things right.

So on Monday, he and I were getting dinner ready when he innocently said to me, "Mom, do you still need my help or do you think you can take it from here?" I said, "Excuse me?". He then repeated himself.

I walked over to him and I picked him up and sat him up on the island. (He's eleven so I stopped doing this a long time ago.) He kept looking at me wondering what he was doing on the island. I then put my arms around him and smiled and said very clearly (think Bill Cosby), "Brandon, let me tell you something. I can always take it from here. In fact, I can do this by myself and having you boys in the kitchen sometimes slows things down. But the reason why you are in the kitchen is so that you will learn how to cook so that when you are an adult you will be responsible. So remember, when you boys are in the kitchen, I'm actually helping you. " He smiled and I told him how much I loved him and he jumped off the island and went back to work.

When Dan came home I told him what happened and we laughed at my "clever" response. I thought I did good. Then the more I thought about it the more I realized that my son had actually taught me a lesson.

I came to the realization that Heavenly Father must say the same thing. In fact, 2 Nephi 27:20 says, ".....I am able to do mine own work."

I'm sure there are times when He looks at me and thinks, "I can always take it from here. The reason why I have allowed my children to be sent to you is so that you will learn to be like me. Sometimes you slow things down. Remember, I'm actually helping you."

I have thought about this all week and I've realized that I need to be more humble and understand that these experiences are for my growth and progression. I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father who has sent me these sweet children to teach me this lesson.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eat Your Leafy Greens

We found this cute bug outside our door yesterday afternoon. I haven't Googled it so I'm not sure what it is. (Perhaps a leafy bug?)

Humanitarian Home Evening

Say that three times fast! We had a great Family Night this past Monday. We put together some hygiene kits to donate to the Church's Humanitarian Center. The boys did a great job making sure each package had exactly what was needed. Good job, Boys!!


Let's hear it for the Hard Breads! So this post is a little late but after posting about Dan's family I had to give a shout-out to my crazy yet equally spectacular family.

We got together for Labor Day weekend. It was fun to be together. Thanks, Paul and Ericka!

Company Picnic

Last month we attended a company picnic at the Irvine Regional Park. We had such a great time. The boys enjoyed all of the activities!
~Thanks, Sares-Regis~

It's fun to stay at the.....

We stayed at a great lodge with great views
No reunion is complete with a parade. This year it was a costume parade!

There was also a hike to Bear Lake.
Jacob, Joshua, and I didn't go to the hike.
No reunion is ever complete without a medical mishap. This year we were the fortunate ones. Jacob had a nosebleed that wouldn't stop. After 10 minutes or so of constant pourage (sp?), Rachel and Sherrie took us to the Urgent Care. (Thanks again, ladies!) It finally stopped but we took it easy the rest of the time.

Family pictures are always in order....

Our cute little cousins
The Boys!
They all shared a room with lots of bunk beds.
The first night I wasn't sure where it was but I followed the smell of the stinky shoes and I found it just fine!

It got cloudy the morning we left but it was still just so beautiful.

We saw some elk. This bull elk was huge!!

We even got some snow on the drive home.

This is the longest tunnel I've ever been in.

We had a great time. We look forward to the next reunion!

South Carolina, here we come!!

But, not by car...:)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Colorado Trip: Part 1

Every year we have a family reunion for Dan's family. On the even years we have a WVB reunion. This is for all of the extended family on my mother-in-law's side. On the odd years we have a Hull reunion. This is for Dan's immediate family. Let me just say once again that I married into the most amazing family!!! I love Dan's aunts and uncles, cousins, in-laws, everyone! Every reunion we attend is like a preview of what the Celestial Kingdom will be like. I can honestly say that I would live in some family compound if it were ever necessary. It's always hard to say goodbye.

A few weeks ago we met at Estes Park, CO for a WVB reunion. We drove there and had such a fun time. We stopped in Grand Junction for a few days, then headed to the Glenwood Hot Springs, and then up to Estes Park. OK...Colorado is so beautiful!!! Simply breathtaking. I had never been to Colorado (unless you count the Denver airport, which is on the top of my list for favorite airports, by the way). Here are a few pictures of our trip:

This picture was taken on the top of the Grand Mesa Plateau. We took the Land's End road. Let me just say that I had never been so scared in my life. I was literally in tears by the time we got to the top. FYI, whenever a road on a map is printed in brown and is squiggly it means that it is not a paved road. It also means that it will wind up the several thousand feet you are ascending. It also means that even though your husband is going only 5mph it is indeed 5 mph too fast. The road kept getting narrower as we went along and the side of the cliff kept getting closer to us. Scary!!! But we made it to the top and the views were just breathtaking. I'm sure there is in analogy in there somewhere. (We took the black road on the way back)

The boys wanted to do some rock climbing so we pulled over and let them climb up the rocks.

This is what we saw when we got on our way after making a pit stop at the Glenwood Hot Springs. (Thanks Geoff and Sherrie!)

This is one of the tunnels we drove through. Thanks to Geoff we now know that when you drive in a tunnel you should honk the horn. It was fun!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dan!

Today is Dan's birthday. Can I just say that he's the best?!

34 Reasons why we love our husband/father:

1. He

2. is

3. always

4. making

5. sure

6. that

7. our

8. family

9. does

10. the

11. things

12. that

13. we

14. are

15. supposed

16. to

17. be

18. doing.

19. His

20. actions

21. make

22. it

23. clear

24. that

25. we

26. are

27. his

28. top

29. priority.

30. He

31. is

32. forgiving

33. when

34. his wife doesn't make him an amazing birthday gift/card.

Happy Birthday, Dan! We love you!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'll update later.....

We are back from an amazing trip to Colorado. We were there for a family reunion. We had a great time while we were there but it will take me until tomorrow to feel caught up. So, I'm off to put away 3 laundry baskets of clothes, clean the kitchen, do a few more loads of laundry, and clean the kitchen again, all while whistling, of course.

ps. I don't know how to whistle. Can I hum instead?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Deep Thoughts

This post has nothing to do with how our family is doing. But this post is a glimpse into the workings of my brain. Sometimes Dan asks what it is I'm thinking and I reply, "Do you really want to know?" Or out of nowhere I say something and he'll wonder where that came from. So I will recount the 5 seconds before and how one thing led to another and how I eventually came to my comment. He always says I think too much. So here goes....

This is always a story that I remember from Jr. High. Whenever I think of this it makes me smile and I have to laugh. The other day I was telling the boys that we need to sync our clocks to the school's clocks because it seems that every clock in our house is different and I need to make sure they are getting to school on time. So thinking of this made me remember my Fourth Avenue Jr. High memory. I had Mrs. Shaw for 3rd period Literature. She didn't have a clock in her room because she didn't want the students staring at the clock during class. She believed that students should work right up until the bell. Well, Julio Vega, a friend since Kindergarten, had a watch that he set to beep at 3 minutes before the class ended. After a while the class caught on that the bell would ring a few minutes after Julio's watch beeped. This made Mrs. Shaw mad. Her entire plan of keeping students working until the bell was failing. One morning Julio told me that he set his watch to beep around 30 minutes into the class. That meant we would still have around 20 minutes or so before the end of class. When his watch beeped the entire class started to put their books away and they started getting ready to leave. Julio started laughing and Mrs. Shaw angrily told the class we still had 20 minutes. Julio was smiling and I still smile when I think of this.

Whenever my phone rings I always think that it will be a friend from 6th grade. I am convinced that Tiffany Gore will call me and she will ask if I still remember her and I will say, "Of course. You gave me a gold necklace for Christmas" and she will be so amazed at my excellent memory.
And if Tiffany Gore from 6th grade will call me, maybe Rebekah Gentry will call me. Or Kimmy Jaquin. These are just a few of the names that have popped into my head at random moments throughout the last 22 years.

My locker number in 7th grade was 117. My locker combination was 12-37-15. This is the only locker combination I remember. Scott Shelley had his locker next to mine and he had to teach me how to open a lock. I hadn't used one before.

The 4th graders at OC Johnson School always went roller skating for their end of the year party. (Debra Etlin didn't go skating because she got her tonsils out.) Theresa Montoya let me borrow 75 cents to buy a soda. I didn't pay her back until I was in high school.

There you have it....a very random sample of my brain.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

California Marriage Amendment

Those of you in states not named California may be interested in what we are doing out here! Besides that, I've been itching to post on this item... (I apologize ahead of time for the length!)

Proposition 8 is up for a vote this November. A 'yes' vote amends the state constitution to define marriage as legal only between one man and one woman. A 'no' vote allows same marriage. I am part of the local leadership organizing efforts to pass this amendment. For the past two Saturdays we have gone door to door passing out information and specifically surveying the registered voters on how they plan to vote. This effort will continue well into September with the goal of reaching all registered voters in the state. In late Sept and throughout October we will return again to all the 'undecideds' in an effort to try to win them over. We will have further activities in the days leading up to voting day centered around ensuring that all the 'yes' voters DON'T stay home on voting day! 50.1% of the vote passes the amendment.

Members of the LDS church are heavily involved. In June of this year, the LDS Church's First Presidency sent a letter that was read to all wards and branches in California asking them to donate of their time and means to help pass this proposition. In it they stated that "our BEST efforts are required..."

The proponents of same marriage are doing their best to confuse people about the issue. Just last week they started sending out bumper stickers that say "Save Marriage - Vote No on Prop 8" (a no vote will allow same marriage). Any ballot proposition has a title. The attorney general changed the title of our amendment from "An Amendment to define marriage as legal only between one man and one woman" to "An amendment to eliminate the rights of same couples to marry." Two appeals to the courts to have the original title language restored were unsuccessful. The judge did not agree with our argument that the attorney general had illegally prejudiced the proposition. Go figure. The language of the proposed amendment however cannot be touched by any government official and will be listed on the ballot as it appeared on the public petitions.

Church members are taking the lead on all volunteer efforts across the state. No other group comes close to providing the help that church members are giving. As well as we are doing in comparison to other organizations, I still get a little concerned as I see a percentage of members complaining about why the church is getting involved. There is also a percentage who have been duped into believing that this issue infringes on the freedom of others and that we should "butt-out." To which I say:

1- As President Hinckley has repeatedly stated that the church does not direct anyone on who to vote for, nor do they typically comment on the many and varied ballot initiatives. However, the church has always taken a stand, and encouraged the members to do the same, when moral issues are at stake.

2- Do we believe in prophets and apostles or not? When a prophet gives us specific direction, what is our response? Do we respond as we should, or are we like those to whom the prophet Samuel the Lamanite spoke to who revered those as prophets that only told them what they wanted to hear? Because we don't recognize the danger that the prophets and apostles do, does that mean the danger does not exist? Are we like those to whom Ezekial spoke? -

33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.

32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

33 And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

3- Tolerance means love and service, not condoning and allowing the sinful behavior to continue (or in this case allowing it to become public policy). Christ did not accuse the woman taken in adultery. He helped and encouraged her, but did not condone the sin.

4- I believe that too many LDS misunderstand the doctrine of agency. Agency and freedom are NOT synonymous. Freedom is part of agency. Knowledge of the laws of heaven is also a part. Agency is the power to follow Christ. When we obey Him, our agency is increased. When we disobey Him our agency is decreased. Therefore, we are not helping our brothers and sisters by supporting them in sinful behavior (by allowing the passing of enabling legislation).

5- It is a gross misjudgment to think that this current legislation will have no effect on society. In a conference call with all stake presidents in California, Elder Clayton of the Seventy and Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve stated that in the continuing battle for morality and family values in this country, "this amendment battle in California is the 'Gettysburg' of our day." If you recall, during the Civil War, had the armies of the north lost at Gettysburg, the armies of the south would have had a clear path to Washington D.C, and could have forced a cessation of the war, leaving the states split. Our leaders see this current battle as equally as critical in this moral war - in part because of this scripture, which was also cited in the conference call: Mosiah 29:26-27
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of
the people.

27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.

What is at stake is not the rights of same couples to marry, but freedom of religion (passing the amendment does not change the privileges and protections homosexual couples already have). By winning this November, homosexual couples are essentially granted 'civil right status', the same as race or gender. When a segment of society is granted civil right status, then the court and executive systems are given power to enforce laws supporting that behavior. What happens to churches when their doctrines run opposite of the laws of the land?

A further treatment that is well done is at:

One other thought I had this week: One of Joseph Smith's more widely repeated prophecies is that "the time will come when the constitution will hang, as it were, by a single thread, and at that time, this people (meaning the members of the church) will step forward and save it from the threatened destruction."

Currently in California, the overwhelming majority of the grass roots volunteer efforts are being done by members of the LDS church. The majority of the local, regional, and area organizational leadership are LDS priesthood holders volunteering their time to get the work organized and done. When all the donations are in, the biggest single donor group will be the church and its members. Although the full realization of the prophecy is yet to take place, as I witness what is happening here I cannot help but conclude that this is a beginning of the fulfillment of that prophecy.

It may be that the final fulfillment may take place in some place other than in the nation's capital (perhaps wherever just men and women are gathered?). But as one observes what is happening in this amendment battle, it is evident that whenever and however the continued battles over moral constitutional issues take place, church members will play a lead role.

If you want to help with donations, go to


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Triathlon update

Some have asked for some specifics...
The triathlon I participated in was of the "sprint" format. The swim was 500 yards, but it was an open ocean swim. It was brutal!!! The waves were crashing at 4-6 feet. It took me twice as long as the same distance in the pool. The bike portion was about 19 miles and the run was 3.2 miles. And yes, I am up for doing this again!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dan The Tri-Man

Maybe Dan the Sprint Triathlon Man. Several guys from work signed up several months ago to participate in this triathlon in Camp Pendelton. About 3 weeks before the race Dan decided that he better start training in some way. So one week he ran during lunch, another week he swam, and finally he biked. He had fun and hopes to continue doing some type of organized events in the future.

The Wizard and I

I finally saw Wicked and I loved it! Everyone performed so beautifully..... I had to wipe a few tears every once in a while.

Growing up my dream was to be on Broadway and seeing the show made me realize that somewhere down in the corner of some part of me, hidden behind the desire to change diapers, speak in monosyllabic words, drive a minivan, and break up disagreements, I still have a love for performing. But for now my only stage is in my living room and my only audience is made up of little boys who run around the house playing with their lightsabers. And in all seriousness, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Home Alone

Well, I still have Joshua but it's pretty lonely if you ask him. The boys went back to school yesterday. Jacob went for the first time. He did pretty good. Brandon and Blake told him that he broke the record in the family for not crying on the first day of Kindergarten.

The boys are going to a new school this year. We are excited for this change. It's a charter school and they get out of school at 1pm. Everyday! (Yes, that means I have to manage my Costco trips a little better.)