Friday, November 20, 2009

The Rock

I wanted to write this down before I forgot it :D

Last Fri, we picked Damond up from school around eight (usually it's nine, but it's getting colder and darker, so I told Damond it needed to change... we'd still come home, put the kids to bed and then he could finish studying. Well, this time he got in the car and said, "let's get some ice cream." What? "You don't need to study?" I was flabbergasted :D unfortunately, there aren't any really close places by our house so I suggested just stopping at the store for ice cream and root beer :)
then he said, "how bout we get a movie and watch it as a family?" again, mouth hanging open :O the boys were SOOOOO EXCITED!
Anyways, we served up the floats and the movie began. We had decided on Race to Witch Mountain with Dwayne Johnson. As it starts, Thomas says, "hey, look it's dad." It was the first shot of Dwayne Johnson! :)
My son thinks I married The Rock :) I had a good laugh :D I am sure Damond's head got a little bigger :D j/k
Personally, I think he kind of looks like Channing Tatum :) (shape of his head)
Either way, Damond's got both of them beat!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Anderson's Apple Orchard

Alex picking/ squishing raspberries :)

Thomas with his bag o' apples

What a great group of friends!

Trying hard to pull off the apples!

Thomas had his first Field Trip to the Apple Orchard...

For some reason, I got terribly lost and we were an hour late! Luckily our friends and his teachers waited for us. The boys loved picking the apples. It was fun to see them figure out where some of our food comes from. A lady we were with had the bright idea to see if there were still raspberries. It's been a long time since I've picked berries... it's so fun! Thomas liked eating unripe berries and Alex just liked picking them. The thorns didn't bother him at all! It was so cute to have him hand me a handful of squished berries. :)
I made jam and pies! YUMMM :)

At this point, I was still have a hard time adjusting to Student Parenting, but after this outing I talked to my SIL and I was able to buck up! Indiana is definitely growing on us. The fall weather and activities are so fun for the kids!

Never Ending Fun that is the Fall!

Back in September, Damond continued his studying like crazy and the boys and I started to live life as we know it in Indy. Thomas' first field trip was to Anderson's Apple Orchard. We had so much fun, we convinced Damond to go with us for a quick hour of fun :) (That's pretty much how we spend our family time... an hour or two here and there - we take it :) )
It was kind of foggy that day, but it's a beautiful spot with the orchard and then behind us was this creek and then across the creek more trees! By this time, we could tell that it was starting to cool down! (it's the beg. of Sept!!!! no more 115 degree weather for us :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thomas goes to Pre-School!

Thomas started Pre-School at the beginning of September. I was a little worried for him.

His first day, he kept telling me he didn't want to go to school, so I arranged for my friend Marty to watch Alex, so I could help Thomas transition. Well, we got there he saw his friends, they got out a toy and he had no problem staying! :) So far, he really likes it and it's so fun to have him come home and show me the things he's made or learned :)

Where did Sept. go?

This month has been a blur... Damond for the most part studies 14-16 hr days. He's gone from 7:30 to nine at night. Get's up early and goes to bed late studying! It is quite the load that is expected of them. We sometimes wonder if it would be easier had he been a science major? oh, well. Luckily, he doesn't study on Sundays, so we get to enjoy his full attention on Sundays and then we usually spend a little time together for FHE. We are all looking forward to his winter break! (But knowing Damond... he will still find something to study) :)

The boys and I continue to try and figure out our routine. Most of the time we find fun things to do, whether it's go to the park, zoo, or play in our "backyard" with the Manchester families. Thomas loves to have his neighbor friend Paige come over (even though they spend a majority of their time competing with one another- it drives me crazy :) )

We are continually thankful that we were led to these apartments. I am grateful for the friends and community that have welcomed us.

It was pretty hard getting used to Damond's schedule, (it made me really miss family and home), but I try to do the things Heavenly Father would have me do and pray that He will bless me on the "harder days". (and He has) :D
It has started to get cold here. We wear pants and long sleeves, sometimes even sweaters. It's kind of nice, (high 60's) though I would prefer it not get any colder :D We are exited to see what new experiences Fall in Indiana brings us :D
(& I am so excited, because my mom comes in 1 WEEK!) :D

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our New Home!

I was physically and emotionally exhausted by the time we boarded. Luckily, I had brought quite a few diversions for the boys and Barbara brought her computer that the boys were quite good on the flight. Alex was a bit restless, but come- on, He’s two! Thomas had been eagerly anticipating the “lady” that would come around and serve drinks (aka soda) and hand out snacks. Well, the lady/stewardess finally came and he was in heaven! So much that he fell asleep and slept the rest of the flight. Alex, was only restless due to the fact that something reminded him of his cars/ bestfriends. (Speed, King, and Chick) He had not missed them for the last two days, but all of sudden he NEEDED them and he was on a plane and they were in a moving truck! So I’d pull something out of my bag, it would appease him… I would start to fall asleep and then he would start to ask for them again. So I would pull something else out of my bag and the process would repeat itself for the next three hours :) But he did good :D No screaming!
My dad and Damond actually made it to Indy an hour ahead of us so they were able to check into the hotel and meet us at the airport. I was so relieved to know that they hadn’t come across any problems while driving. I am so thankful that my dad was willing to help us out with the drive. I know Damond really admires him and I love to see them grow closer. They said it was a VERY long trip, but uneventful. I think my dad kept Damond entertained with many of his stories :D He has a lot of them!
The next day we decided we all deserved to sleep in and then we went downtown to show Barbara and my dad IUPUI and a war monument.

Thomas with Grandper in front of War Monument
It was actually quite cool with the breeze. They say it's been a very cool summer. We then headed to our new place so Damond and I could sign the lease. Barbara and my dad took the boys back to the hotel to swim. Apparently they tried to drown Barbara, just kidding, but I don’t think she realized how much they love to swim and JUMP in :D Can I tell you how much of a blast the boys were having with my dad? They were in heaven to be in a hotel with Grandper. He plays with them and makes them laugh. I would have to say he's the best Grandper ever :)
After signing the lease, we went back to the hotel to eat and pick up the truck. It was around then that I started to realize that unpacking the truck was a going to take a LONG time with only my dad and Damond, since Barbara and I are not that strong. :) I kept debating calling the people we had met in April. I felt bad knowing it was so last minute and it was Mon evening, but I also knew help would be so nice. So I called them to find out they were still in Idaho, but they gave us the number of another family in the complex. It was very awkward calling up people I had never met to ask for their help, but I knew that if I was ever on the other end, I would want to be called. Thankfully, the Harker’s were so nice and quickly said they’d be there and he would gather up some other men. Sure enough, I think we had at least 6 men from our new ward come over and lend their muscles :) One of them was our next door neighbor! I was able to meet his nice wife and cute son. (Their daughter was already sleeping) What a blessing to move so far from home and have so many kind people to lend a helping hand! That’s how it’s been since our arrival. So many people are constantly looking out for us, helping, giving good advice or just befriending us! Mainly our neighbor, the Ereksons. They have been so welcoming and have shared their knowledge and many of their tools as well. :) Thomas loves their daughter. They are constantly playing together, it’s very cute! Alex also loves her. I think he hugged her the other night for two minutes straight! :D I think Alex will really like playing with their son, he’s a little younger, but quickly getting more active!
Here’s our new place… it’s definitely not a place we want to be forever, but it works for the next four years :D

This is looking out our front door (mirror image :)
This is the living room taken from the stairs

This is the kitchen/dining area? Can you tell what appliance is missing?
No dishwasher! I look forward to the day, I no longer have to wash dishes :D
but on the plus side, we no longer have to have the table pushed against the wall, there is room for all four chairs :D

This is our backyard, very green, but not much bigger than what you see :(

but the flip side is this is what's behind our backyard :D

Nice, huh? The boys love playing out there :D It's nice not having to drive to a park :D
The next day, we woke up to RAIN! The storm even made it onto CNN. It just poured all morning long. You got soaked even with an umbrella. (I think I need to look into an anorak, it rains a lot) :D We decided that since my dad and Barbara were going to be here till Thurs, we would all work hard Tues unpacking and then we’d spend Wed having fun. Thanks to them we were able to accomplish so much on Tues. Thanks to Barbara, I got most of my kitchen unpacked and cleaned that first day. My dad worked on all the jobs that involved tools :) It was very cute to see Alex be his shadow and imitate him with his plastic tools. So on Wed, we traveled up to the Amish country about two hours away. It was a fun day, but I think we were a little disappointed. Barbara and I really wanted to see their quilts and maybe find some Amish toys, but they we were unable to find either :( but we did find AMAZING Fudge! :) but mostly it was just fun to spend one more day with Barbara and my dad without having to be distracted by work.
On the way home we stopped at this Old Jet and Aircraft Museum. It was closed, but you could still get a good view of some of the airplanes. Thomas LOVED IT!
The next day we took them to the airport and it was awful. The time had finally come for me to let go and do it on my own. I was sad for myself, but I was so sad for the boys who wouldn’t understand how far away we were, and especially for my family, as they love the boy’s soooo much! Barbara has been such a help with the boys these years and the boys love her soooo much! Needless to say, I need my sister as well :( As for Grandper, it was awful. My dad has always been the first person I call in a crisis. (even when I got married :) so I know that this will be good for Damond and I to learn to stand on our own). I love seeing how much the boys adore Grandper as I never really had a grandpa relationship. I will miss having my dad call us to go to lunch or have him take one of the boys to "work" with him. It broke my heart to see how much pain my parents were in over this move! It's still mending and might not heal completely till we are back in phx :)

At the time, I thought it was possible that we wouldn’t see them until at least next summer. What a long time! When we got back to our new house it felt so lonely. Part of me just wanted to go to bed and cry, but the other part knew there was still so much work to be done before Damond started school. Press forward… keep moving, keep working.
I am not a fan of moving! There is so much you can’t plan for and it’s hard when you need to buy furniture, but don’t have a truck! We spent the first week touring all of the Goodwill stores and let me tell you, there are A LOT!
Some of them are expensive ($150 for a used desk that’s not very fancy?!) crazy Goodwill! and then we went to a Goodwill Outlet and there they have desks for $2 J unfortunately, nothing we really felt would serve our needs.
They also have some Goodwill’s that receive clearance items from nearby Targets. So they have brand-new Target items at Goodwill prices. We were able to buy two Target bookcases at a Goodwill. So of course I have been all over the city trying to find more deals like that, but have still not found a desk!...

Thanks for the birthday wishes! :) Damond and I missed family and friends, but we were able to eat with our new friends, the Ereksons. With four children under four, it was crazy, mostly or entirely due to ours :D but the food was yummy and it's nice celebrating with others :D

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Stress continued...

So after getting the tenants checked in, I was finally able to take a shower. :DI was more than gross and smelly :D I desperately wanted to spend as much time as I could with my family before I left, but my good friend Josie had been trying to set up a farewell for about a month and I thought I’d have everything under control by Fri evening, but obviously that didn’t happen. Anyways, I knew I had to see her, even if it was only a ten-twenty min goodbye. It was fun, but I am anxious to get back to Phoenix to see (well, my family), but also the many friends that I wasn’t able to say good-bye to before I left.
I raced back home, but the boys had already fallen asleep and my poor mother was also exhausted. So I hung out with Barbara for awhile when we remembered that we needed to check in for our flight. I logged in and a screen came up that said I couldn’t check in 24hrs before or after the flight. Huh? And it was like a light bulb went off in both of our heads. For some reason we had been talking about dates and she was convinced that it was a day later than it actually was… well, we both looked at each other realizing that there was a BIG mistake with our tickets. I quickly looked at our reservations again and sure enough, the boys and I were scheduled to fly out on Mon Aug 3rd at 6:10 and not Sun Aug 2nd at 6:10. We then looked at her ticket reservation and she was scheduled to fly out on the Sun Aug 2nd 6:10 flight. She had helped me get the tickets while we were in Idaho and apparently she had gone of the flight number not realizing ( I didn’t know this either), but they have the same flight number for flights going to the same destination and time. Complete honest mistake! But she was feeling awful and I felt bad that she was feeling bad. So, of course, we were both starting to freak out, because I needed to be there by Mon afternoon to sign the lease. We called Southwest and they said they would have to charge us over $700 to change our tickets to Sunday. What?!?! Major stressing out now… so Barbara continued to try to work with their representative while I started asking Diego’s girlfriend Britt if she knew of anything that could be done (her dad is a pilot for Southwest) My first thought had been that we would just campout at the airport all day trying to get on stand-by, but they told us that the on-line tickets we had didn’t make us eligible for standby. Again…?!? So Barbara is trying to explain to them that I am a mom, traveling with two small children… and in the meantime, Britt called her mom ( and woke up the very nice woman). Her mom had to Buddy passes, but that would only help me with one boy and they are only stand-by so it wasn’t guaranteed that we would get on the flight. So the Southwest Rep was telling Barbara to cancel the three tickets and use that credit to buy the one ticket for Thomas. But luckily Britt’s mom heard that and said, “don’t cancel your tickets. If anything happens, at least you know you’ll have a flight no matter what!” So she started to fill out the paperwork for our Buddy passes, mind you by now it’s 12:30 at night, when a Southwest Manager came on, and said they we’re going to waive the 14 day prior period and get the boys and I on the Sunday flight for only $200. Pheww! Still not great, but WAY better than $700! And no stand-by J
Let me tell you that Heavenly Father has been there for us throughout this whole process! I am grateful for the many blessings we have received!!!!!
Luckily, the next day was without stress, but it was quite bittersweet.
I was wanting to get on with life, but I also knew that it would come with a price… family, friends, phoenix, the west, the desert... I had been working so hard that I had been able to put off thinking about the changes and all that I would miss. But as the time grew nearer, I was overcome with sadness knowing how much I would miss it all, but especially my mom, for we had grown so close and she has been such great help these past years. I know I am not the first to have to leave behind her mother, but the pain is the same. I knew I would miss Diego, but he is at such an fun time in his life that I know he won’t miss us that much. As for my dad and Barbara, well I didn’t have to think about that yet J

Alex was so excited to have a backpack :)

Saying bye to Mimi :( Trying hard not to cry!

Alex did not want to let go of Uncle Diego, it was very cute, but sad :(

All I know is that time does fly! (and I hope it continues to)

Our Agui!

Time continues to fly, so I am going to proceed in past/present segments and hopefully catch up soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to Damond :)

I love you, Damond!

I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday from me and the boys!

We're grateful for all that you do for us and how hard you work at all that you do! :D

Thanks for always making us laugh and smile with your goofiness :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Left AZ and have arrived in Indiana...

ok, so it's been two weeks now since we left Phoenix. It was crazy at the end... as much as I thought I had prepared and gotten so much work done, I still worked 16-18 hour days at the end. (I kept telling Damond there would be alot of work to do at the end, but he didn't believe me and worked up and until the day we moved!) But I am so grateful for all the help we got from family and friends. Thankfully Damond's brothers helped us paint one night. The next day, Damond and my dad were supposed to leave after he got off work, but when they went to go pick up the trailer for the car, they found out we were overweight! So Barbara, Julio and I met them down there and thankfully we were able to get ahold of Dennis and he brought Cade and Ethan. So there in the hot parking lot, we had to switch all our belongings from one truck to another!
My mom watched the boys for three days straight it seemed and my sister was either helping with the boys or helping me. My dad, brother (and his girlfriend) also helped paint into the late hours of the night and then my dad helped Damond drive the truck to Indiana! Thankfully, their trip was uneventful, as it was not so on my end. What was supposed to be just a quick touch-up by the painter ended up taking him nine hours... all the while I had to finish prepping for the renters, clean up from the paint, and continue to prepare for my flight.I had been working at the house since five am, so when the painter showed upat eight I told him what my dad wanted him to do and that it was just a quick job. I left to go to ACE, pick up my brother and eat breakfast, but by the time we got back it was close to noon. I thought for sure the painter is done and has probably left... NOPE! We walk in and he's still painting and he tells us, so I should be done in a couple of hours and then tomorrow I'll come back and hang the doors... umm no, the renters are moving in this afternoon! (He's a very good painter, and so he's very meticulous!) (not sure why my dad thought it would be a quick job) so he said he would hurry and hopefully be done by then. So Diego and I finished up the bathroom, cleaned it and he managed to break the bathtub curtain rod. :D Trip to target! So while I waited for the painter to finish I went to pick up my ring in East Mesa only to be told it wasn't ready... ( I had left it over a week before for a three hour cleaning/polishing) but they told me if I waited (something I didn't really have time to do) they'd have it ready or they could drop it off on Tues :) I laughed, "um, I am moving to Indiana, TOMORROW!) oh, well then I just had to wait. They were very nice and did it for free. :) By the time we got back to the house it was four and I was just waiting for the renters to call and say they were here :( Fortunately, the painter was finished and we finished cleaning up.. and half an hour later the renters called! :D So I met them back at the house to do the walk through. I hope they enjoy it as much as we did! They seem nice. You would think that would be the end... but no, the stress and excitement were not over! :D

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Flew By!

It started out with a my nephew's birthday party. What a sweet boy! He is Thomas' "one and only friend" When I tell him that so and so is his friend and he needs to be nice, he replies by saying. "no, Danny is my friend!" Just can't seem to catch on that you can have more than one :) I love Danny and his siblings. We will miss them greatly when we move. The kids had tons of fun dancing.
We then went to Yuma for Damond's sister graduation. It was fun, family choas all weekend long. Thomas and Alex love to visit their grandparents and spend time with cousins. Alex kept saying, "Allison" all weekend long. She's his new bestfriend! :) Very cute!

I was very impressed by Thomas' older cousins. I am grateful that he has them for examples. They were so helpful and just so cute as they played with my younger boys!

And of course, we cannot forget Lauren and Kylee Sue! They are such cute sweeties. I always miss watching them grow up!

Thanks to Damond's cousin Bobby we were able to have a fun time swimming! It was quite warm in Yuma, so the boys wouldn't go outside and play :( Swimming was a much needed outside activity :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Children's Museum

I have a wonderful sister in law that finds about all of these cool things that are happening in Phoenix, yet she lives in Yuma! Anyways she told me about this Culture Pass that you can get through your library. It admits up to four people to different cultural places for example, museums. There are alot of places that I would love to take the boys, but I can't because they cost too much.
Anyways, I had been dying to take them to the Phoenix Children's Museum, because I had heard such good reviews for little ones. We lucked out one morning and Damond got the last culture pass for the Children's Museum! :) Yeah!!!!! It was so much fun. Unfortunately, Damond had a scouting event that morning so we didn't get there til noon, otherwise the boys and I could have stayed there all day!
The activities were perfect for young children (even for dads:) ) I had so much fun just watching them :) If we weren't moving I would probably invest in the annual pass. I would do that over the zoo.

I loved that they made this out of things you can find at home!

Alex loves to help me cook, so of course, he loved the Kitchen area :)

They loved racing through the carwash!

But their all time favorite activity was, nothing other than racing cars
(pvc pipe cars that were really cool!)

They were in heaven!!!!!!

And Damond was sleeping :)

We were lucky to have Mimi's with us! The boys love her so much!!!!
and it's always helpful to have one more set of hands and eyes ;)
It's impossible to get both of these boys to sit long enough for a good picture,
especially if there are race cars nearby!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Funny Boy!

Funny Boy- Story I
On Sat we went to the zoo (hopefully I'll post about that later) As we were pulling into the parking lot, I hear Thomas say, " Heavenly Father and Jesus created the earth." It's not the first time he has said that. He usually says it if we are pointing out "earthy" things to him. I think I have really drilled that into the Sunbeam class :) Anyways, again he says, "Heavenly Father and Jesus created the earth " but with more excitement. "Back there. There it is. Heavenly Father and Jesus created the earth!" I look up to where he is pointing and sure enough there is a huge EARTH statue in front of the zoo. :D He was so excited to finally "See" the earth that Heavenly Father and Jesus created!

Funny Boy- Story II
We went to the water park today. On the way home I hear Thomas say, "I found Heavenly Father. He was standing back there by the flower place."
We were driving past a cemetary (hence the flower place" and Heavenly Father was either a statue of Jesus or some saint. (I think it's a catholic cemetary. :)

Funny Boy- Story III

A friend reminded me of another story. A long time ago, I was in Costco with Thomas (this may have been before alex) he was sitting up front when I see him point to the person behind us and say, "Mom, it's Jesus." I turned around and there was a middle eastern man behind us. I think he was far enough behind us that he may not have heard. (I'm not sure if he was Christian, he just had a beard and wore that loose linen outfits) Kind of embarrassing, but just one of those very innocent moments :)

I think Thomas must be at an age where he really wants to "see" everything to know that it's true :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Damond is AWESOME!!!!!

(always working hard) :)
Can I just tell you how PROUD of Damond I am right now?!!!!!
I can't get ahold of him, but I just read in his email that he has been awarded a partial scholarship to IU Med School. I think he's felt kinda bad that U of A waitlisted him, but this validates all of his hard work, experience, and just all around good qualities. The WildCats can... well, I can't completely write them off, since I hope we get to come back for residency :)
but, let's just say it's their loss COMPLETELY!

Damond, way to go!!!!!!

PS. I don't mean to brag, but I can't get ahold of him or any of my family and needed to tell somebody!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


It's hot!!!!!!!!!
We have been trying to save money and so we decided to try to live without the AC. I have also been a bit of a murmurer on this (poor Damond, he's been living with quite a grouch lately)
and although, I like to make it seem like it's Damond, I don't want to pay more on our electricity bill either! :(

So it's very hot, 91degrees, most likely even more since the thermostat is in the coolest part of the house! :)
Don't worry, if you come visit, I won't make you suffer :)
Visitors = AC on, so..... PLEASE COME VISIT :D

Time is Flying!!!

Well, since it's been SOOOOOOOO long since I last posted, I thought I better catch up :) at least with the important stuff :)

Still not sure where exactly, but we are hoping to know by the end of the week :) and it better be in INDIANAPOLIS!
July 31st!!!!!!! I can't believe it either :)
Well, that's a funny question :) Moving is expensive :( so we have decided to sell all the furniture (minus the bunk beds) and hopefully fit everything else into a large pick-up, then that pick-up will pull a trailer with our car
I have been having a very hard time with this :( but then I tell myself to stop being like Laman and Lemual, to think about the pioneers, or to pretend we are being called on a mission overseas and so forth.... how would you deal with this situation?
Well, in case, I haven't talked to you in awhile, Damond has been accepted into Med school :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Human Experience!

I went and watched the most amazing movie with my sister last night. (which was also really fun to spend some time with my sister w/o children :) )

It was documentary, done by young guys from Brooklyn. They created such a beautiful message, mainly having to deal with the importance of family and God. I encourage you to watch the trailer and go see it. They are still just do special screenings and I am hoping that they'll be able to put it in theatres. otherwise BUY it when it comes to DVD. It's so worth it! If you click on the link below, you can watch the trailer.
It should win an Oscar!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sleeping and Cooking :)

This was taken in Nov/Dec. I have always loved to see them sleeping on Damond's chest. That is also one of Damond's favorite things. Unfortunately for him, Alex was never really a cuddler so he hardly ever slept on his chest. This is one of those rare opportunities ( I think he was sick).
Alex is a night owl like me. If we ever let Thomas stay up late, he would usually fall asleep, but Alex will not. He goes and goes and goes till we put him to bed! :)

Thomas (and Alex) love to cook! For Christmas, we took some friends of ours to the Temple lights. I thought it would be fun to make sugar cookies so Thomas could help make and decorate them. hmmm, I hadn't realized that I had never made sugar cookies. I know what you are thinking, (how can you mess up sugar cookies?) :) I didn't really, they just didn't turn out as well as I wanted. And I thought you just use cake frosting for the frosting... nope! That tasted kinda weird. But the kids loved them. and the adults were gracious :)