Prepping for another SU party up in Kearny! I'm loving the hostess club...everyone up there is excited too. This month's theme is Christmas themed with chipboard as our focus.
We're making this card:
And this mini-album:
And Christmas tags too:
Finally, for all of you locally, I'm planning an Stampin' Up! Open House (with Make and Take cards) event for all my friends on October 7th (Wed.) It will be my first big event in QC...so any of you local readers, consider this a formal invitation, and plan on coming over at 6:30pm that night!
This afternoon, I hit the garage door as I was backing into the garage.
(In my defense, it was only about an inch from all the way up, we just don't have much clearance over the van right at the door. Once the van is inside the garage, there is lots of overhead room.)
It was knocked clear off the track...and all of my McGyvering didn't fix it.
I made the call to Precision Garage Door (great customer service, by the way!) and waited for the garage door man to show up and hand me a nasty bill after 5 minutes of work.
I have a category for things like this in my budget--titled "stupid tax". And yes, I'm 100% serious--that's what we call it.
We got the term from Dave Ramsey when we started our own "Total Money Makeover".
The Precision service guy quoted us a couple of prices and cushioned the OUCH prices with "we take credit cards".
Sorry, we don't use credit cards.
The nicest part was that the service guy didn't either.
Times, they are a changing...it used to be that very few people wanted to be debt free...or they didn't care if they slapped something on their credit card.
So, just so you know, even on days like today, I love Dave Ramsey.
On top of paying off tons of debt in the past few years ($30,000+ on one income, coupled with a house sale), we actually had a teeny tiny part of an emergency fund to draw from!
(Never mind the fact that I reduced it by a large chunk in one afternoon...$200 is WAY too much to spend on stupid tax.)
Pat did stay out and watch what the service guy did so that he could fix it if there is a next time.
Hopefully there won't be another time...but if any of you are struggling financially and would love some ideas or pointers or even just to swap been there, done that stories, I would love to give you a copy of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and see if it can make a difference in your life.
Even if it's just so you put a little money in an emergency fund for a day when you incur a stupid tax of your own...trust me, I'll be there at your pity party too.
Saturday afternoon, Pat needed to head into work due to heavy rainfall.
(He has to monitor how the rain impacts the mine, etc. within a certain number of hours of the actual rainfall).
Since we knew the drive up and back was an hour each way, and the monitoring of the job site would be another hour or two, we decided to head up to a family, making it feel less like an afternoon that Daddy had to go to work, and more like a famiy outing.
We planned a family picnic, and while Pat was on the job site, I drove into town to pick up the rest of the essentials for our cookout.
Right after we had loaded the groceries into the car, Pat called and said he was finishing up at his work and to head back to pick him up.
We did just that, and headed into Haunted Canyon below both mines in that area.
After driving down into Haunted Canyon, we pulled off and found a peaceful area, perfect for a cookout and fun.
The first order of business was to build a fire. Twigs were gathered for the fire, and then the kids lined up to spend time on the swing.
Give a boy a stick (or two) and it becomes any number of imaginary items.
Nathan quickly had two sticks on his person and used them in many different ways. Oh, yes...give a boy a lighter, and he has a toy forever as well.
As long as it's not treated as a toy, I can understand the fascination it holds.
I love staring into a fire...it looks like Stephen does too. Again, just fire and sticks...entertainment for the whole evening!
Thomas thinks this picture looks like there is a ghost (the smoke)..."because it's Haunted Canyon!"
This boy LOVED running around and getting dirty. I couldn't resist a couple of nature shots.
I love the outdoors.
I did find that I need to keep my short lens on when taking the nature shots though...the telephoto lens did not focus up close...
Our hike/walk took us down the creekbed.
We were hoping for a little water, but didn't see any at all. Another nature shot...I was surprised to see the leaves starting to change.
It doesn't feel like fall here yet.
Emily was so excited to climb this tree!
She'd live in one if I let her.
It was rather disappointing to find this trunk covered with ants.
She quickly headed down and told her siblings not to climb up.
Sam actually posed and didn't make funny faces for a couple of minutes...I was happy to catch a shot of him outside. The swing quickly became our focus after returning to the picnic site.
Thomas took the log seat off and used the ropes as individual foot holders.
All of the kids ended up in this position after their spin/swing. Bekah's fingers got pinched in the ropes as she was swinging.
Once the seat was replaced we had a few less tears.
These pictures make my heart happy.
There is nothing quite like a swing in a secluded, shade-covered valley.
I had to have Pat take at least one picture to document that I was there too.
Sam is loving sitting on our laps again, and I'm working very hard to be patient and enjoy that rather than get frustrated because I have other expectations of what I want to get done.
I just remind myself that holding him when he wants held is one of the most important jobs I have, hands down (and sometimes it is just as important to hold him even when he doesn't want held).
And finally, our "silly" family picture.
We have another one that turned out a little nicer, but this one was fun...
As time passes, I'm amazed at how much these kids are changing.
Stephen's first day of high school was July 29th.
Seriously? School starting in July? Crazy.
Emily started middle school here on the 3rd of August.And the younger 3 started school on the 10th.
I actually enjoyed the staggered start dates.
It was nice to ease into the schedule.
Nathan is in 4th grade, and not really sad at all. I think he just wanted an expression that was different for this picture.
Whew...that's the least cheesy/fake of Thomas' expressions. Is 8 the hardest stage to photograph? I think it ranks right up there with 5 year old cheeser grins.
This girl, Rebekah, loves school. She has been asking to have her hair cut since we moved here...it only took me 8 months to get that done!
This is after school their first day...along with some friends that they have known their entire lives!My first son to start preschool. He's loving it!
And, how can you resist that smile? He's got all of us wrapped around his little finger.
Yesterday, we had 5 baby blessings at church.
It took up a good half hour...when the kids were supposed to be quiet and reverent.
So, a few minutes later, as I was passing the sacrament to my 4 year old (Sam), and prompting him yet again to be quiet, he said,
"Mom, is the baby show over?"
I had to work so hard not to laugh out loud!
I been counting my blessings the past few days and thought I would share them here:
1) The weather has been surprisingly beautiful for the Valley of the Sun in May. I expected it to be much hotter already...and have been pleasantly surprised that there is still a slight chill in the air in the evenings.
2) I love being closer to my sister and my parents in-law. I see my children benefitting from those strengthened relationships already.
3) I cherish the fact that we live only 45 minutes from the temple. That is a blessing I hope I will never take for granted again. Living 5 hours from the temple really helped me understand what a blessing it is to live closer to "The House of the Lord".
4) Although I only go once a month, I now can take advantage of Costco and all of it's goodness.
5) I love my calling. I'm the Wolf Den Leader for Cub Scouts (my first time as a Den mother), and I love that when I see the Wolf scouts their faces light up and they are happy to see me. My co-leader, Jana Chapman, is awesome too, and I still get to attend Relief Society!
6) I was asked to be the hostess for the May/June book club night. While I'm nervous a little to have people come to my home (the first big event is always the hardest for me), book club is a great way to do it because I LOVE book club and I'm very comfortable hostessing that portion of the night....now the food, etc...I'll just stress about that later.
7)We have a new little neighbor in our tree right out front. We'll be watching this sweet hummingbird and her nest to see what happens. What a FUN discovery.
8) My little boys who are home all day with me make me SMILE. Isaac has learned to jump and hop. It is very cute to watch him grow and change. Samuel is slowly (with my consistent prodding) becoming less "wired" to the TV and/or video games, and is delightful to have a conversation with. (I'm sad he's spent so much time with "something in front of his eyes"...as he says. I know I needed to get things accomplished without having to worry about what he was getting into, but I definitely saw the effects of the excess televison on him.)
So, are you surprised at what the Lord has done for you?
Have you counted your blessings lately?