Happy Cinco de Mayo!

photo 1

For some reason my pictures won’t rotate. So you’ll have to turn your head for this post.

I’m currently all verklempt. Gryffindor has been wanting to throw a Cinco de Mayo party for a while, but didn’t invite people until the last minute. I was very worried that no one would come. I even sent out an email to the church ladies hoping to dredge up guests. A few people came, she danced and had fun, and she felt like it was a success.

And she was so happy!!!

OK, so it was attended by many of Ravenclaw’s friends, two kids from the neighborhood, one of Gryffindor’s friends came, plus we had the missionaries, my friend SB and her family, and our amazing friend M. It might not sound like much, but she was thrilled! (The Bonus Child was having some arm pain after getting his cast off, so he lurked around in the house while the party was outside. He and Hufflepuff spent some time together though, so it was all good.)

photo 2The Chosen One was awesome. I had planned to just play music through the Apple TV, but that would’ve been loud. Instead he set up speakers on our condemned deck, which is right by the back yard, and we played Latin dance music. The Chosen One is a great DJ. Especially since I suck at that and when it wasn’t working easily I was planning to give up.

The Chosen One also earned the title of Best Stepdad for trying to teach Gryffindor how to salsa. They were the only ones dancing, but they looked awesome! (the younger kids kept wanting to limbo with a little dancing here and there.)

Iphoto 3 want to emphasize that Gryffindor planned this party. I bought some decorations and made chili. Ravenclaw made the chili con queso. I helped set up the tables for food and drink, and then let Gryffindor run the show. Except that Ravenclaw is a born leader, and she got everyone going!

The missionaries seemed to enjoy themselves. They chatted with the adults and with Gryffindor. They heard my conversion story, they met The Chosen One, and they got to eat a bunch of food. Next time I sign up to feed them I’ll have a sit-down meal, though.

This party was so much fun for Gryffindor. She was glowing by the end, and never wanted it to end. She’s already trying to find another holiday she can co-opt into a party! It’s pretty awesome. She and her sister were also exhausted by the party, so they passed out about an hour earlier than usual. Which is a Good Thing.

Here’s to more fun, family, and friends in the new house! Next time with more lead-time for party invitations. 24 hours really isn’t enough time.


Celebrate!

This morning started quietly. Gryffindor and I were the only ones going to church, and because it’s Fast Sunday we didn’t have breakfast. The Chosen One was already working on an island that had come yesterday, so we skooched by him out the door.

There were some lovely testimonies shared (and one very long rambly one with a strong accent that made me wish there was music to play people off the stage like at the Oscars), but I got distracted by the Girls Camp form, which specifically said that the kitchen wouldn’t accommodate gluten-free campers. It made me frustrated and I felt hurt and like my kids were being excluded. I might have baggage about this, though. (note the Youth Conference trip last year when Hufflepuff was given hummus and chips for 3 days. Yes, that was it. Just hummus and chips.)

Then I overheard someone in Relief Society talking about gluten-free. It turns out they’re having a gf cooking class. Led by some random non-member. No one asked me. No one thought of me. I’m hurt. They said “oh, you can come”, but I don’t want to foist myself into someone else’s lesson. I should’ve been invited to participate. Seriously. It’s been 11 years, I make money from hosting a gf recipe blog. I’ve got this covered.

And then the Bishop wouldn’t sign Hufflepuff’s Girls Camp form without meeting with her.

And then I had to wait an hour for Gryffindor’s meeting to be over.

I was in a lousy mood when I got home! Thankfully I was able to turn it around.

I made lasagna (Hufflepuff’s favorite dinner) and sushi (Hufflepuff’s other favorite dinner) for her birthday dinner with the family. My parents came over (only 30 min late!) and we toured them through the house (many things have been improved since their last visit). Then we sat and ate for hours. We had sushi and edamame for appetizers (shrimp California rolls, avocado rolls, and cucumber rolls) while the AppleTV played pictures from our Florida trip from last April. Then we had a yummy lasagna dinner, opened gifts, and ate cake. It was lovely.

A little later, while Hufflepuff and Vovo were hanging her fairy lights, Nani and the younger girls started eating some fruit salad. Gryffindor picked up a piece of watermelon and said, “what’s on this?”

“It’s just a piece of rind”

“No, it’s not. I think it’s an inchworm.”

“It can’t be. Maybe it’s a leaf.”

“No, I think it’s an inchworm,” Gryffindor insisted, and handed me the watermelon. I poked it with my finger and picked it up.

“Yup, it’s an inchworm,” I agreed, and put the watermelon and inchworm into the disposal.

Gryffindor shrieked like crazy and flapped her arms. It was awesome. She refused to eat any more of the fruit salad, as did Ravenclaw. My mom said, “it’s just added protein,” and finished eating hers. I wish I had pics or a video of her reaction. It was fabulous.

And now, with homework done, girls in bed, The Bonus Child in his bed, and The Chosen One asleep next to me, it’s time for sleep.


Sometimes I need to see the Temple

I was in a grouchy and apathetic mood for most of the week. Bah. My migraine kept acting up. I was very tempted to not go to the Temple, and instead stay home and go to bed early. I’m glad I fought that feeling! Even though we were amazed at how long it took us to finish at the Temple!

After work and school we relaxed a bit, then I got ready for the Temple as The Chosen One got ready to go pack up some stuff at his house. Hufflepuff was home Skyping, and the younger 2 were watching TV. I left them there with a phone for when their dad called to say he was almost there.

I got to SB’s house at 4:45. We got to M’s work at 5. The Temple is about 40 minutes from her work. We got there at 6:20. We did the 5 Initiatories I had printed out, and then we went to the 7pm Endowment session. Each of us did a name we had just done the Initiatory for, which is always fun.

The 7pm session started at 7:20 because a young woman was going through for her mission, and getting her ready had run late. Then we had to pause the session because a man had a nosebleed. And then we got separated and it took SB forever to get to the Celestial Room. And then we had to wait to get our family name cards. As we were waiting an alarm started going off. At that point it was 9:45. I finally got home about 10:45. Phew!

Sweetest thing ever – coming home to find The Chosen One had fallen asleep watching Frozen. Awww! I woke him up so he wouldn’t sleep on the couch, though.

It was amazing how my mood changed by going to the Temple. I was incredibly grouchy, and then the grouchiness was gone. Everything is awesome!


Sundays are rest days

Once upon a time I was a single mom. I didn’t live with The Chosen One, I just lived with my girls. We went to church, I fed them lunch, and then I took a nap.

Now I feel like I’m supposed to be useful and productive after church. This doesn’t always work out. I love Sunday naps. They’re my favorite.

We did have a nice day at church, there were some good talks. The big shocker was that the Young Women’s presidency changed. Yikes! We weren’t expecting that!

I did talk to the YM president about having B here during the week, and asking if The Bonus Child could participate. This week wasn’t ideal (they were moving people up levels), but he is welcome any time. I hope he’ll go.

I started trying to think of a way to help him sleep better than on our couch, too. There has to be a way… Sleeping on a couch 5 days out of 7 through the end of school would suck.

As a total bonus one of the members of the Bishopric called and asked me to speak. Yippee! I’m talking on Mother’s Day! But, thankfully, not just about mothers. Phew! Talking and teaching on the same day, I just realized. Yay.


It’s the little things

I’m grateful for my kids. They make me smile.

I’m grateful for their friends, who keep them busy and happy.

I’m thankful for the parents of their friends who help me out when needed.

I’m thankful for my husband, who stayed home with the kids tonight while I went to an Enrichment meeting at church. He even watched animé with the girls.

I’m thankful for my church and the members in my ward. I’m thankful I came home from Enrichment tonight with three typed pages of book suggestions.

I’m thankful for books. And authors. And the time I can sneak off and read.

I’m thankful for friends who are supportive and give me rides and work together with me to carpool. New friends and old.

I’m thankful for a job that pays pretty well and keeps me busy.

I’m thankful that my middle daughter was able to be a good conversationalist with the enrollment guy at the private school. I’m thankful that it looks like we will be able to send her there. I hope.


I’m learning a lot

And that’s in a real way. Not the “another freaking growth opportunity” way.

Church was good, and the class I was teaching seemed to go well, despite me forgetting my handouts (including Jacob’s 12 sons’ names) on the breakfast bar. Oops! Gryffindor is the president of her class (the Beehives) for another couple months until she graduates out of the class, so every 2nd Sunday she’s in a meeting for an hour after church. Ugh. Ravenclaw and I had some fun, though chatting with other people who were also stuck there and then nomming on snacks that were there for Relief Society. Hufflepuff had gone with us to church but snagged a ride home from my friend S.

On our way home we picked up Ravenclaw’s friend K. They are auditioning for the “4th grade solos and duets recital” tomorrow. I loathe these concerts. But, I will say, they sounded quite good practicing today. Maybe their concert won’t be as bad as the ones Gryffindor was in (though she sounded really good practicing, too. It’s all the other people that make me cringe). I did learn a lot about the new Taylor Swift song “Eyes Open” from the Hunger Games. I also learned that all of my kids can read music, and they think I’m an idiot for not understanding it. They don’t understand how I could have graduated and passed music classes not knowing this. I’m very grateful for the music program in our schools.

Later, while helping with homework, I learned far more than I ever thought I’d need to know about Bighorn Sheep. Ravenclaw is making a book about them. They’re not all that exciting (unlike the pikas that Gryffindor researched that year), but they are cooler than regular sheep. Gryffindor was doing homework on the computer, too, but hers was a powerpoint about Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis player. The Chosen One knew all about him. Gryffindor was impressed, as she knows little to nothing about anything sporty.

In other news The Chosen One and I figured out how to set up the pantries, and they’re all there ready for drawers and doors. I’m so excited! I’ll be able to actually put away all our food! Yay!!

My friend S, her daughter M, and her husband T came to visit us, and we had a nice little visit. They even brought us cookies! :) We had a nice little chat and we talked about a parable regarding anchors for boats, and things in life that anchor you that are good things (and things that weigh you down that aren’t good things, too). It was a nice chat.

And now it’s time for sleep again. Yay!


Kindness and irritation

General Conference – irritably parenting while listening to messages of peace and kindness twice a year. For 8 hours each time.

Yesterday’s highlights (since I have my notepad upstairs):

  • Defending your faith requires courage and courtesy
  • The road leading to the promised land is rough
  • We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth (so do service)
  • May we all find joy in bearing one another’s burdens
  • You are infinitely more precious to Heavenly Father than a tree
  • Spiritual whirlwinds will try to uproot you. The worst whirlwinds are the temptations of the adversary.
  • Families are the treasures of heaven
  • Everyone deserves our kindness and compassion
  • Let the Lord be the leader of your family

Great messages today. We watched the Saturday afternoon session recording, then watched the Sunday morning session somewhat live (we were about 20 minutes behind reality), and finally watched the Sunday afternoon session as it was being broadcast. Note to self – playing it as Airplay from the BYUtv app on the iPad works *beautifully*! So much better than the session we watched on the computer while working on the girls’ rooms.

Great quotes I have in my notes:

  • 50 Million People Can Be Wrong
  • Loving people is a powerful influence (and if Elder Scott can become an Apostle with a non-member father and a less-active mother, then we all have opportunities available to us)
  • Be careful who you follow
  • We must be compassionate even when we disagree
  • Don’t wait for the rainbow to be grateful for the rain
  • There are no true endings, but everlasting beginnings
  • Our mortal life is like the 4 minutes of an Olympic performance – we worked towards it before and will have eternity afterwards. Steer your course
  • It’s never too late for repentance.
  • Share your burdens and they will be made light
  • Blame keeps wounds open, only forgiveness heals
  • Parenting is a sacred blessing
  • Live true to the faith
  • Heaven is being surrounded by family
  • Obedience is a choice between our limited knowledge and God’s unlimited omniscience
  • The family is the pattern of heaven
  • Where your treasure is, your heart is
  • Faith gives you hope in tragedy and calamity
  • One should not roam through garbage

The prophet left us with the thought “May our homes be filled with love and courtesy”. He also reminded us to be kind to others who do not share our faith, and to put our faith and trust in the Lord.

After that the kids went nuts a little, I made dinner (Taco Sunday doesn’t have the same ring to it as Taco Tuesday), and then we all watched Frozen. I think The Chosen One really liked it! We loved it. Hufflepuff and then Gryffindor ditched us after “Let it go”, but Ravenclaw and I loved watching it again. I’m glad we bought it.

The Chosen One really accomplished a lot in organizing the mudroom until we can get the pantries set up. I put up a skinny bookshelf in the family room and put the DVDs on it. It looks good. Hufflepuff put up her bookshelf. I hung curtains in both girls’ rooms. I tried to hang the other shelves, but we need help for that. We did put up the giant My Little Pony decals, though, and they look great! So fun!


It’s General Conference Time Again!

Which means stress and arguments, plus the very real joy and inspiration of the words from our Prophet and his counselors.

Today started with sleeping in (yay!) and The Chosen One and I working on our mudroom furniture. We got a lot accomplished, and there was much rejoicing. The FedEx truck came with the feet for the pantries right at the right time, too!

I had to run out to get Hufflepuff and her friend P from the stable where they had been mucking out stalls and riding horses. It’s about an hour each way, which meant podcasts on the way there and conversation on the way back. Plus it’s My Little Pony Happy Meal Toy time, so I went in and bought just the toy for the two younger girls, plus buying shakes for the teens in the car.

The Chosen One and I got more done in the mudroom upon my return, and then we realized that one thing wasn’t possible. We need more strong bodies. I suggested the missionaries, so we’ll see if they can come soon, after General Conference.

When the girls got home from their dad’s house we had dinner (polenta & marinara, with meatballs or tofu, depending on your preference) and watched the Saturday morning session of General Conference. I had set the TiVo up to record it, but didn’t realize that we don’t get BYUtv. Grrrr… But, we can Airplay the BYUtv app to the Apple TV, which worked really well. I was totally anxious and stressed while trying to figure out how to make it work, but I calmed down a little after getting git to Airplay. And after “having words” with Hufflepuff about my expectations of her.

It was a good session. A lot of words for bingo, and some good talks for me to take notes on. Some great quotes, too, though my notes are downstairs so I can’t type them up right now. And a good time for Gryffindor to draw characters from Fairy Tail.

Hufflepuff only wigged out on one talk, which is good. The Chosen One retreated to the bedroom to play poker, which only amuses me a lot. We all have our ways to relax. Or he was relaxing while I vacillated between relaxing and stressing. Hufflepuff is a lovely girl, but she freaks out when something she disagrees with is said, which causes me anxiety while watching with her. Plus she had an attitude problem the whole time, which stresses me out. Bah. It’ll, honestly, be nice to watch with her sisters and without her tomorrow morning while she’s at her other church (we’re watching the Saturday afternoon session early Sunday, then going on through the Sunday sessions).

I feel so refreshed after showering, now to finish refreshing myself with sleep before getting up and starting a whole new day.


Tuesdays are long

That’s just about it.

It was a beautiful day, and I was so happy to have the windows open and the screen door giving us a nice fresh breeze! I even sent Ravenclaw outside to play with her friend. It was Good.

However, we left the house at 4:45 and didn’t get home until 9:15. Tuesdays are long. Gryffindor had a sore gum as a result of her orthodontia, so we had to run her to the Ortho for an appointment. Then we picked up J, one of the Young Men from church, and gave him a ride to the activity.

The older girls had to be there early to set up for a dinner they had with some of the adults in the ward who don’t have kids in the Young Men/Young Women age range. It was a nice activity, and after I brought the gluten-free pasta they did serve it. Unfortunately they had a meat sauce, so it was good that I brought a small container of pasta sauce for our resident vegetarian. More unfortunately it was a moose meat sauce, so Hufflepuff wouldn’t try it, either. The salad was fine, and they skipped the garlic bread, of course.

The ice cream was a big hit, though. They had a toppings bar, which is always beloved.

Ravenclaw and I ran over to Sonic for dinner while the big girls were setting up, and then her age group had an Opening Day baseball game since the Red Sox Opening Day was yesterday. I thought Ravenclaw would complain, as she isn’t a huge baseball fan, but she had fun. Thank goodness.

When it was all over I yanked my kids and J and we left before the cleanup was done. I figured that we were there early (we were literally the first ones there), so the people who came later could do the clean up. I refuse to feel guilty for that. Especially since Gryffindor still had homework to finish. Ugh.

On a much lighter note, I loved the Think Geek April Fool’s Day jokes, but the best thing ever was the Google Pokemon Challenge! Gryffindor and I have been trying to catch them all. They say you have until 2pm Pacific tomorrow (that’s 5pm Eastern) to catch them all, then you can be entered to try to become a paid Pokemon Master at Google. And Gryffindor has a half day. You know what she’ll be doing! (btw – even if you don’t love Pokemon, watch the video. It’s awesome.)

And now to try to sleep. It’s time. There’s much to do tomorrow, too.


An historic evening

First, there was the non-historic day. I got to sleep in (yay!), then we started putting together the pantry. Only to find out, once it was almost completely put together, that we didn’t have the feet for it. Grr. So, either someone messed up in shipping it to us, or someone messed up when placing our order. Because we needed the feet.

This might require another trip to Ikea. Which wasn’t really in the plan.

On the other hand, this could get Hufflepuff her nightstand and bookcase without spending 3x the price by getting it elsewhere. Which is good.

So, after we couldn’t complete the pantry, The Chosen One and I went to The Container Store. For 2 hours. We were successful in finding several solutions to problems we had already defined (yay!), but then we found more solutions for problems that had not been defiled. Which is less yay, because that’s just spending more money. :)

The historic evening was at church. I brought all 3 girls to the General Women’s Broadcast. We had a ward get-together where we brought desserts (peanut butter balls and chocolate chip peanut butter cookies) and chatted before the broadcast. It was the first time the 8-adult females have gathered around the world to listen together. We heard some lovely talks, mainly about keeping the covenants from baptism through the temple. The temple was mentioned a lot. It was a very nice meeting. Hufflepuff ditched me to sit with her friends, and so did Gryffindor. Ravenclaw stayed with me because I had the colored pencils.

And, because I’m the most awesome parent ever, we went to Sonic for dinner after having had dessert. Brilliant.

Tomorrow is Fast Sunday, and we’re praying for my brother & sister-in-law’s baby to grow strong and healthy.

But now we sleep.