Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Snow Day!

Oh how wonderful it is to wake up to a wonderful world of white!



You look out the window then switch on the TV to see if your school is out for the day. Sure enough: It's a Snow Day! Even Dad has to start work late. So we make some pancakes and have breakfast together, then run around the house trying to find all of our snow clothes. And when everyone is so bundled up that we can hardly move, we head outside to play in the white stuff!



It's just barely enough to cover the ground, but it's icy so we get out the sled and PLAY!!!



And even though it means more work for me, and less time to get things done, I just don't care. Why? Because even if it's just for a few hours the world stops and we all look around to appreciate nature's possibly dangerous and beautiful accomplishment. Or maybe it's because I'm still a kid at heart and I JUST LOVE SNOW!


11/23/10

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A teenager and a toddler



What great joys and blessings the month of November has brought! I can scarcely believe that my once "little critter" aka, Savannah is now a 13--an official teenager. Savannah, who at the wee age of two coined the phrases, "but I don't want to co-operate" and "I want to be frustrated". As precocious as she was cute, Savannah has always been a ray of sunshine in my life. In fact, when she was a toddler she would come into my room and wake me up with, "Mommy wake up! It's a sunny, sunny day!" Happy Birthday Sunshine-y Savannah!

Then there's Daphne, aka Daphzilla the Destoyer. I'm so happy she made it to the ripe age of two. Happy happy birthday! Daphne has definitely made my life more challenging, and rewarding at the same time. I like what Amy(the mom) says on Good Luck Charlie (our new favorite Disney show). When asked, "Why didn't you stop with 3 kids?" She replys, "Three was just too easy, three is for quitters!" Three was too easy and we needed to shake it up a little! Enter Daphne, result: life is not longer easy! But we still love and appreciate every minute of it. As President Monson recently counceled the Church: Count yout blessings! So we are counting our blessings every day and finding our lives richly blessed! Thanks be to God for these many blessings!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why I Love Autumntime:

Haymazes! The kids love to run around and hide in the sweet-smelling hay.
Pumkins! I love carving them, smelling them and most of all: EATING them! So far this fall I've made pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie!
Hayrides! Especially at Johnson's Farm, where you'll lose your lunch and everything else you came with if you don't HANG ON TIGHT!
Fall leaves! We love to play "Ding dong the witch is dead" in the freshly fallen leaves. They smell sooo good!
Costumes! We all love to dress up. I made Daph and I tutus so we could both be fairies. This is our school fall festival--Holtoberfest.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sick of being sick

Oh how I wish I could stop coughing and start feeling better.

I've been sick for 3 weeks. I just finished a course of antibiotics. Do I feel any better? No, well, maybe a little. But I think I've figured out my problem: There is no time to rest so I can GET better! I'm contstantly moving, constantly helping, constantly teaching, constantly needed for something. THERE IS NO TIME FOR REST! Even as we speak Daphne is whining at me to start a movie for her on the portable DVD player that has no charge and I have no idea where the cord is to plug it in. Now she found a pencil and is debating whether to draw on the wood floor or the wall. Oh, she found a book to draw in, well as long as it gives me some semblance of "alone time". If I try to tell her no it will only cause chaos and crying. Is it worth it? I think not! It's an old Calvin and Hobbes comic book, she's just adding more character to it's dull black and white pages.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. I should really be sleeping right now or at least resting on the couch. But clearly I'm not. I should really take better care of myself so there is enough to give back to the kids, but clearly I'm not. There's just too much laundry to fold, too much homework to help with, too many field trips to go on, too many dinners to prepare, too many piano and gymnastics and karate lessons, and not enough time to play with my kids, read to them, and to hug and teach them. So these are the things I choose instead of resting so I can get well. Maybe I will go take a nap, or should I do the dishes?

Now Daphne is playing hide-and-seek in my coat, I think I will go play with her instead.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Primary Changed Me

Once upon a time I used to care how clean my house was. And there was a time in my life that I really had to have everything organized. My kids only wore ensembles that I pre-approved. My floors were free of stains and debris at all times.

That was before. But about 29 months ago, the same week that I found out I was pregnant (again) I was asked to do something that I wasn't sure I was capable of. I was asked if I would be the Primary President in my ward. I figured this day would probably come at some point, but now?

I really wanted to have another baby, and had recently gone through 2 very painful miscarriages. Was I up to this challenge? I decided to make a deal with God. I told Him that I would do this if He let me have this baby. I know, I know, silly! Does God really make deals? But it my mind I was committed and so was He.

It was not easy. The pregnancy was difficult to say the least, and I ran a primary program one week before I gave birth. There were times that I wanted to quit, and many times that I cried. But I have been blessed in ways that I could not have imagined through serving in the church. Not only did I have this beautiful little girl, but my family has grown in strength and love. We have had troubles, but with each challenge came a blessing, a gift. Patience, to deal with problems. Hope to handle stress. And more strength than I thought I could possess.

So what have I lost? Well, for one thing, the urge to be perfect. I still wish my house was clean all the time, but now I know that it's okay if it's not. I've had to simplify my life to fit everything in. And in doing so I've learned to let go of some things that really don't matter.

But wait, there's more! This last Sunday I was substitute teaching in one of the Primary classes. In that class there is a girl that I've known for quite a while and wondered if she ever really wanted to be there. She never acted like she wanted to be there. I couldn't tell if she was listening, she rarely if ever participated. But after the lesson she said to me, "I feel really good right now. I didn't feel happy when I got here, but now I'm glad I came." I explained that by doing what is right and coming to church and listening to the council of the prophet, you are blessed, and that this feeling was the Holy Ghost telling her these things were true.

That one moment washed all my doubts away: whether she was listening, whether she cared. They are always listening. It may not seem like it, but they are absorbing something. It's the small moments like these that make it all worthwhile! If I could reach just one soul, then whatever the sacrifice, it's been worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Adrenaline Junkie

I think you all know that I'm a pretty crazy person. I say things I shouldn't say and do things I shouldn't do. I'm not always careful, even though I try to be, and I get distrated easily. (That happens when you have 4 kids vying for your attention, one of them at the top of her very large lungs.)
A couple weeks ago I was backing out of my garage and looking out the rearview mirror to see how I was going to get around all the constuction cars parked on my street. If I don't angle my Big Red Car just right I will smack one of those other cars so carelessly parked behind MY driveway. So I was backing out and didn't notice how close the side mirror was to the garage when I hear a sickening S-M-A-S-H. The side mirror was literaly RIPPED off the car! Oh that's just GREAT! Just what I needed. (Nausea, rage and frustration commence.)
Now what I need is a new distraction. Something to help assuage my surmounting guilt. That's when I go and do something like this:





I stood at the top of the lofty platform, turned around, and without a care in the world, fell backwards into the open abyss. It was AMAZING, EXHILERATING, and BREATHTAKINGLY WONDERFUL! But this was not my first experience like this. I would do this every day if I could. I LOVE the rush. Let's face it, I'm an adrenaline junkie. What's next for me? Skydiving. Anybody want to go with me?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Family Reunion

We took these pictures at our family reunion in July in Powell Butte, Oregon. We haven't been ALL together for a picture in 8 years!


Bustos Family


All 23 in the Hubbard Clan


The Original Seven. Lori, Jill, Eric, Ryan, Kristen, Rett, Kathy
We had a smashing time! Love you guys!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Blast From the Past

Kristen, my sweet sister and partner in childhood memories, was here last week with the rest of the family. We all had so much fun swimming, hiking, playing games and hanging out for our family reunion in Redmond, Or. (More details and pictures to come.)
So I was asking her if she remembered the most delectable taste I can think of from our growing up years: the elusive and delightful chocolate coconut muffin. She indeed remembers and cherishes the taste of the most exquistely wonderful muffin either of us have ever tasted. They used to sell these delicious confections at our junior high school in ol' Pleasant Hill years ago and neither one of us had consumed one, despite searching for them, these many long years. Well, a couple months back I was driving past this little bakery/cafe and decided to stop by and check for "THE BEST MUFFIN EVER" like I have done many a time at different places across the country in my search over the past 20-some years. And I found it!!!!!!!! It's called the Macroon Moon muffin and it's made at the Muffin Mill in Eugene, OR. When I informed Kristen that I had actually located the sought-after confectionary treat she was "over the moon" with joy and gladness!!!! We ran down to the Muffin Mill and cleaned them out! Then we indulged ourselves in lots and lots of scrumptious muffins. To share that long-lost taste with my wonderful childhood friend and sister can only be described in one way: It was complete and total BLISS!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Who is this ugly blue guy and what is he doing in my...



underwear? Yes, it's true! This "ugly blue doll" as we call it came into our lives about 2 years ago via Happy Meal. What was McDonald's thinking? This is the UGLIEST doll I have ever laid eyes on!! It actually frightens children. So we've decided to keep it all this time and make fun of it as much as possible. This hideous thing has been found in underwear, shoes, cupboards, closets, purses and bags, the freezer, and even staring down at me in the shower. CREEPY! I just had to chronicle this quirky little thing in my blog so I never forget the crazy things we do in the name of fun. Watch out, he may be headed for your underwear drawer next!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Ode to Daphne

Our baby is now 18 months old,
She’s sweet and loud, and cute and bold.

Her little quirks make us laugh and smile,
She holds our thumbs, and smells them a while!

She loves to watch us play Wii all day,
And gets upset when we put it away.

She nuzzles her face into ours a lot
And looks in our eyes, that cute little tot!

The loudest baby that we’ve ever known
Daphne can scream til the cows come home!

The trash, to her, is a great play ground
She hides lots of things that will never be found.

What a relief, she’s in nursery now,
They work it out when she has a cow!

Although she’s a handful we love her a ton
With her in our family we have so much fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Daphne is 18 months old!!!

To commemorate the occasion I took her to get her pictures taken. Normally I would do this at 12 months, but with Daphne being a holy terror and all, I've put it off until now. Judging from these pictures you would think I'm kidding about the holy terror thing, but I'm really not!





So here's the story. I took all these toys and snacks and music and tried my hardest to keep her in a good mood before the pictures were taken. But then we ended up waiting for 15 minutes before our turn. So by the time 15 minutes went by she was screaming, writhing and clawing at me(the usual when I take her out). She and I were both in tears when the photographer finally said it was our turn. I ALMOST just gave up and went home right then, but we decided to at least try. So as soon as we stepped in the studio she perked right up sitting and playing on the sheet backdrop. And we struck gold. It lasted for 10 whole minutes and then she was back to Little Miss Rotten. But what else can I ask for? With her, not much.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mess-maker, Mess-maker make me a mess...

These are just a few of the messes the kids have gotten into lately.


Why the garbage is soooo facinating alludes me!


Liam really enjoys his brownie batter.


Daphne found an open package of white cocoa mix and had to further investigate it's contents by pouring it out and playing in it! Yummy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm Out of My Mind!

I must be! What would posses a formerly lucid-minded, intelligent college graduate to take a job like this? My co-workers whine at me and fight with each other. My in-box is filled to overflowing with dirty laundry, poopy diapers and food that must be prepared according to strict guidelines so that the CEO's will actually consume it. And these CEO's are picky! Who would work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week and not get paid?!? There is no one to praise me and there is no one pining away for my job when I'm ready to quit. So why, you ask, do I keep doing it? There is only one reason someone would wade through this morass of frustrating work everyday: Love. Not from them but for them. I love my children so much it hurts! This is why we were meant to be parents: So that we could learn to love and know the kind of love our Heavenly Father has for us! To love and be loved is the greatest joy in life. So when I show my love through clean laundry, changed diapers, and healthy meals, or books read, crafts made or just through a listening ear, I am the one who makes the most, not in money, but in LOVE.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm Walking on Sunshine

I take 50,000 IU of vitamin D a week; my liquid sunshine. But I have to admit, I truely am ADDICTED to sunshine. So now that it's April, and we here in Oregon are seeing the sun more, I have to get out there! So I've decided to get outside and start running again. I used to run 5 miles a day. But now that I've had 2 c-sections and 4 kids, at 35 my body just doesn't respond the way it used to. ERRRGGG! But it's time to get out there and kick my owm butt! And believe me I am KICKING my butt hard! OUCH! Kristin and Chelsea have inspired me: I'm going to run the 5K on May 1st. Now that I've said it I have to do it. And now that the sun is on my side I CAN.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Here Comes Mommy-Cottontail







I thought I would post a few picture from our Easter Extravaganza! The kids had lots of fun coloring eggs, hunting for them and posing for pictures. Except for Liam of course, he was way too preoccupied to stop for a picture!

Monday, April 5, 2010

April Fool's Dinner...Fish Sticks?

I like holidays, even the often forgotten, obscure ones. I've even been known to make up holidays some being Fall Fairy Day and Dog Day. They all come with their own specific ways to celebrate. For St. Patrick's Day we always dance to Irish music and eat green eggs and ham and other green foods. We even celebrate half birthdays by making a half cake. For April Fool's Day I have to be careful because the kids are getting old enough to suspect that I am up to something. This year I made fish sticks out of wafer cookies and marshmallow creme(which was extraordinarily messy!) and corn flakes. To go with the fish sticks we had potatoes and gravy which was actually ice cream and caramel sauce.

When I announced that we were having fish sticks for dinner the complaining immediately commenced. But they slowly came over to the table and started to eat. Olivia, however, refused to try it. After Savannah and Liam tasted it they encouraged her to try it, she finally agreed. When they realized they were getting dessert for dinner they were pretty excited! Then for dessert a pizza was delivered to the door. (I wasn't about to make 2 dinners!)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

At The Lodge



We went to Great Wolf Lodge in Washington for Spring Break and had lots of fun. It is a huge resort and indoor swimpark with 3 pools, 2 hot tubs, 6 waterslides and a huge water play structure that dumps a gigantic bucket of water every 2 1/2 minutes.



They also have this interactive game called MagiQuest that the kids had a blast playing. The kids all got wands and instructions to find certain things around the hotel that come to life and speak to you. They ran around from floor to floor finding different enchanted objects and fighting interactive dragons and talking to pixies. It was fun for them and exhausting for me! There were about 500 other kids doing the same thing, and running from floor to floor was tiring, but good exercise, I guess. It's a great place for a family vacation, just avoid the crowds and don't go for spring break!


video

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Can-A-Rama!

This week Kristin and I got togther to can lots and lots of dry pack food. We canned 80 cans together on Monday and then today Chelsea and Christine joined us. After a couple of failed attempts (the can actually got sealed to the canner and we had to pry it off, breaking the can in the process) we got pretty good at it! Today we did about another 90 cans together! I walked away with 66 cans filled with spaghetti (a real pain in the butt to break all of that), penne pasta, sugar, powdered sugar, flour, pinto beans, and rice.



The fruit of our efforts!


Hot canning mamas!









Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Daphzilla

So Daphne has aquired some new nicknames lately; among them are little booger and Daphzilla. She now gets into everthing and destroys anything she can get her hands on. I recently made the mistake of leaving her clean laundry in her basket and on the floor. She tore through it like a tornado til all that was left was a pile of rumpled laundry. If the kids leave any lego buildings or lincoln log houses around she pulls them down like a little Godzilla and scatters the remains to the four winds. But worst of all are the screaming tantrums. She is very stubborn and wants what she wants. I took her into TJ Max yesterday and she did not like that store. She was shreaking the whole time! All these people were looking at me like, "What are you doing to your baby?" or "why don't you just take your screaming kid and get out of here!" At least that's how I felt. I went into the dressing room and she screamed even louder! That was realy fun tryingto hurry and try something on while she is screaming at the top of her lungs, and believe me, she has HUGE lungs for a 14 month old. I felt like I was running a 50 yard dash while trying on clothes on and holding a baby and singing lullablys to get her calm down. When I came out looking frustrated and deflated, the attendant lady said, " Don't worry, I think you are handling her very well." All the while I was thinking, "Really? I feel like slitting my wrists!" So when we left the store she immediatly stopped crying, like nothing happened and she was just fine!
I would like to dedicate a song to Daphzilla: "You're hot and you're cold, you're yes and you're no. You're in and you're out, you're up then you're down."~Katy Perry
Make that 2 songs: " She's all four seasons in one day!"~Sting