Sunday, July 31, 2011

Despain Family Reunion

I had a prolonged moment of insanity and decided to drive to Provo alone with my kids.  Rinar did a brothers trip and since he was going to be gone for the week, I thought, "oh, why not?"

Did you know it takes over 8 hours to get there?


But we still had fun. We stayed the first night in Wendover and I pulled in to the hotel registry Thursday night at about 10pm. I was tired and I just wanted to get my kids to bed.  First, I couldn't find the room and thought I was going to go crazy. Then, I go to open the door. It is three floors up, Eli is asleep in my arms and my older ones have to go to the bathroom. The key did not work! I got so mad and frantic I decided to take it out on the door so I kicked it as hard as I could. I had on my sandals, so I only managed to stub my big toes pretty bad.

After a trying ordeal of trying to get the babies to go to sleep, they finally succumbed to their eyelids and I fell asleep, sort of.   But I had this really achy big toe. It felt like it was broken.  What an idiot!

We spent Friday with my good friend Melanie and her crew. It was a blast. Except, because of sleep deprivation, Harry and Julia were horrible. So I strapped them into their car seats, turned on a movie, turned on the car and left it idling for about 1.5 hours. I say it is cheaper than a babysitter and can you really put a price on sanity?

 Isn't this the most scrumptious little baby? This is Melanie and Jared's latest girl, Taryn. She is a good little baby.

On Saturday I went the the Despain Family Reunion in Provo. Despain is my grandmother's grandmother's family and her posterity. There were a lot of people there. They have quite the posterity.  Here is my Grandma N. and my uncles Barry and Dave.

They just had a little moment here.  Brotherly love, you know?

My sister Catye is getting married in October and here is her man, Mike. My kids LOVE him.  Hence, I love him. He will make a great addition to the family.

My Great-Grandmother May was one of 12 children. She was number 5. The church sent her parents to Lovell, Wyoming in 1905 on a mission to settle the area. It was one of the last wagon trains.  The guy standing up in this picture is Gordon. He is one of two surviving kids and my Grandma's uncle. I am not sure who the other two are, but I bet they are important.

We belong to the May faction.

On the drive back, Raef wanted to touch the salt. This is the famous salt flats. This is where they break land speed records and where the unfortunate Donner party planted the seeds of a horrible demise in the Sierra Nevadas.

We limped to the finish, but we made it all in one piece. The more I see Nevada, the more I realize that it is an incredible beautiful state. Elko and Winnemucca are beautiful country and I look forward to going back that way again.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bargain Bin Sideboard

I picked up this beauty at the Goodwill Bargain Bin for $5.  I was so excited. I wanted something narrow that I could put in one of my hallways.  This fit the bill perfectly.

A little bit of paint, a little bit of fabric, a little bit of stenciling and here you go.

My latest creation. The paint is from Walmart. It is a Glidden color. It matched some fabric I had on hand. I decoupaged the fabric onto the front, to create an interesting front detail. After carefully measuring and cutting, I immersed each panel in the glue and then laid it onto each cupboard front.

I still haven't done anything with the pulls, but I just need some spray paint and it will be done in a jiffy. I just couldn't wait to put this on my blog.  It was a fun way to spend an afternoon while the babies were napping.

I printed a stencil pattern off of the internet. Then I cut it out by using wax paper, which I layered in blue painters tape.  I then glued the pattern on top. I rearranged it a bit to get the look I wanted, then I cut and cut while I watched reruns of Project Runway. It was kind of a pain, but I wanted to challenge myself and try something new.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ophir Creek Trail

I have discovered the joy of hiking with my three oldest. It is a lot of fun. We don't ever get very far, but it is a nice, free activity to do.  Now, we are fortunate enough to live where there are ample hiking trails very close to our house.  They have breath-taking views and I want to experience it all while I have the chance.

On Saturday, we did a trail at the top of Mt. Rose summit. Just on the other side of the summit is Lake Tahoe. This trail was on the Tahoe Rim Trail system.  There were still lots of patches of snow on the trail and the boys had a lot of fun shoeing down each little hill.

Zach scolded Eli and so Eli was upset. But he still looked adorable holding a daffodil. You can get an idea of how cold it has been up here since the daffodils just bloomed.

But Eli was a trooper and he kept on plodding along the trail. I am just whipping this boy into shape so that we will be able to do longer hikes over the next while.

This is one of my new favorite activities to do with the kids and it sure beats them playing the Wii all Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thoughts on Grocery Shopping

Drive to the grocery store. Walk down every aisle.  Put items in the cart. Take it out of the cart. Pay for it. Put it back in the cart. Take it out of the cart. Put it in the car. Take it out of the car. Put it in the kitchen. Put it away.

There is no food in this house. 

Let's go out to to eat!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Commandments Are a Blessing

 Cease to be aidle; cease to be bunclean; cease to cfind fault one with another; cease to dsleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be einvigorated. (Doctrine & Covenants 88:124)

For many years I have pondered this commandment,"retire to thy bed early..."  It has never been easy for me. I love to stay up late and sleep in.  It is just my thing, the way I have programmed my body after many years of living this way. Yet, it is not what is best for me.

Well, for the last few weeks or so, I have been going to bed early and waking up in the 6 o'clock hour. It has been a blessing. I have been able to get the most important things done immediately.  I exercise, say my prayers, read the scriptures, and greet my waking children with a smile on my face.  I have been ready to go.

And it has served me well.  Some days were tough this week, but not insurmountable. I invited Christ to be a part of my day, and He did not let me down.

I hope that I can reprogram my body to a new lifestyle that is more in line with the scriptures. I feel that it is important to my eternal progression.

I have also struggled with the daily grind of taking care three toddlers. It can be overwhelming to the point of mental asylum.  I came up with a very simple solution to my "Trial and Tribulation". When I feel the weight of the world pressing down upon me (I would define this as crying-induced deafness), I hide away in my bathroom, lock myself in, and pour out my heart to my Heavenly Father. I don't want to be the mother that screams and yells and has no emotional control. I was turning into THAT woman.  I knew I had to make a course correction.  Prayer is my anchor and my salvation.  These words reverberate...

And if men come unto me I will show unto them theiraweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them. (Ether 12:27)

I will have to constantly correct my course on a daily basis so that I can have heavenly peace with me, and the Spirit to guide me and comfort me.  Heavenly Father has definitely exposed a major weakness I possess. But I believe His promise. He has given me a weakness to keep me humble.  I know this weakness will become my biggest strength when the time is right.

I am awed by the fact that when I keep the commandments, my joy and peace are immeasurable.  I am learning to love the commandments. They set me free.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Slurp It All Up

I was busy making dinner today when I heard, "slurp, slurp, slurp..."

This is what I found.

Sometimes, it is just so good, you can't let even a drop go to waste.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Out On the Meadow

Look at me! I shot a deer!!!

With my camera, people. Relax.

I was standing on my back porch step to get this picture.  It's Bambi and his dad out on the meadow.  Him and about 5 of his friends. They were hanging out, eating some grub, catching up on the latest water cooler gossip. You know, who made it through on America's Got Talent, what dresses Princess Kate wore on her tour of North America, and the shockingly low approval numbers for President Obama.

It was a busy day out on the meadow.

Tomorrow we will be checking in with Thumper, at the hedge.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lazy 5 Water Park

It was a blistering 80 degrees today, so we went to the water park. It was in Spanish Springs and they actually charge you a small fee to use the facility. It is kind of hilarious to me, because in Las Vegas there are water features at about every park in the city. But then again, it was only 80 degrees today, right?

I met my friend Yvonne there with her little ones.  Raef and Eli played in the water, Zach played on the regular playground, and the babies whined at my feet the whole time, pretty much. It was about what I expected.  Julia didn't want to have anything to do with the water.  When I was able to get her mildly interested in it, she ran away in fun and fell down and smacked her head.  Sheesh.  Harry had fun in the end, running on the outskirts of the water.  

Yvonne doctored up Julia and she loved all of the special attention she was getting.  Yvonne's daughter Alyssa is in nursery with Julia and loves to baby her and take care of her. It is really cute.  Yvonne's kids didn't want to get in the water either.  Then the wind changed right before we left and the water was misting our way.  Julia was really unhappy then.

It was still nice to be able to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful day.  I took the boys directly from the park to their violin/viola lessons. They did really well. I took the little ones to Costco and they did a lot better than the last time we went. Then Harry and Julia fell asleep in the car.  

Now, it looks like Julia is a little bit sick, so I guess her crankiness at the water park was justified. Who knew?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reconnecting on Spicer's Reservoir

It is one of those wonderful blessings when you have the opportunity to reconnect with family, where there has not been that much connection in the past. One of the incredible benefits of moving to Reno is that I was able to reconnect with a part of my family that I don't know very well. My Dad has a brother named Ron and his family always has a family reunion every year at Spicer's Reservoir, high in the Sierra Nevada's. Amazingly enough, the campsite was only about 2.5 hours from my house.

So I had to go.  Unfortunately, Rinar had to work, so I braved it alone.  I spent one night there and it was great to see everyone. However, it was not great sleeping in a tent with my kids. Julia had a hard night, therefore so did I. She fell asleep at dawn right when the birds started to sing. Hence, I got about 1 complete hour of sleep. It was a very long night.  What can I say? She is my sleeping beauty.

Here is my Uncle Ron, cousin Sue, and her daughter Cassie. I think you know those little tikes.

Uncle Ron is on the right, with Dino, my other cousin Debbie's boyfriend.  The lady on the left is a family friend.

This is another family friend, Jeff, holding a distraught Harry. Everyone was so welcoming and inviting and they all were very happy to help  my with my kids.

Cassie is standing, then her dad Chris (Sue's husband) is sitting behind  his oldest son C.J., and next to my other cousin Debbie.  Sue's family owns a restaurant in the Monterrey area called New Awakenings. It was actually featured on an episode of "$40 a Day" with Rachael Ray.

Let's get dirty, oh yeah! My Dirty Harry. Don't worry, it got much worse.

Dino was so good with the kids.

There you and my cousins, Debbie and Sue.

Debbie and Cassie

This is Peggy, my Aunt Vicki's sister. Vicki passed away almost a year ago from cancer. I first met Peggy when we went to Ron's house to pay our respects.

Chris and C.J.  C.J. was so cute with the kids.  Harry and Julia loved playing with him.

On the way home, we drove on hwy 4 through Ebbett's Pass. It is an incredibly beautiful and  harrowing road.  My pictures do not do it justice.  It must be one of the beautiful places on the entire earth...truly God's country.

I actually think I have been on this road before. I have a childhood memory of driving with my dad and sister's up a really windy road. There was snow everywhere and then we had to stop because at this point, there was a huge avalanche of snow piled right here and we had to turn around. If it wasn't at this specific spot, then it was at a place that looked exactly like this.  Weird.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Getting To Know You

Rinar and I have devised a strategy for getting to know people in our ward.  We have been inviting people over for dinner!  Every Sunday we have had a different family over and it is great.  We get to know them in a more relaxed setting, our kids play together, we eat, we talk. I love it. So, for the next while we will be busy entertaining. There are a lot of families in our ward!

We are also getting to know Reno better, and the more I see, the more I love it. Yesterday, I went for a 4 mile run.  At our house, it is a bit daunting. We are on the side of a mountain and the hills are brutal.  It is hard to do a long run under such circumstances. Instead of trying that, I drove down to the valley 2 miles away and parked at a Bower's Mansion Park.  I then did my run. It was just beautiful. The weather was perfect as it was about 7pm and was nice and cool. I was in the shade and it was a rural area. There were lots of horses and cattle, a ranching community. I enjoyed it immensely and I am glad that I have found an area close by where I can get a reprieve from the hills and just run.

Our family is also getting to know the house better and we seem to be getting into a rhythm around here. I spent the day yesterday cleaning and organizing our school room. I made good progress and we should be able to really get some good learnin' in this coming week.

But not tomorrow.  I am going to do something completely insane tomorrow. I am taking my kids, by myself, to a family reunion in California. It is in the high Sierra's, at Spicer's Reservoir. I hope I can find the group as it is a branch of the family I don't know that well. Since it is 3.5 hours away, I am probably going to just camp. If I don't think I can hack it on my own, I guess I will just drive home late.  But regardless, I think it will be a fun adventure.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oh, What a Fourth!

Yesterday was a really nice day. We started out by attending a kid's parade at our church.  Kid's parade really means you go on a walk with your kids.  We put the babies in the wagon, Raef and Zach rode their bicycles, and Eli drove his tricycle.  Did I ever mention that Reno is quite hilly? It just so happened that this particular parade involved ascending two rather large hills.  Eli insisted on riding himself. He did NOT want to be pushed.  I don't think I could even ride a tricycle uphill unassisted.  Needless to say, it did not take long before the parade left us far behind. I would sneak push him and he would keep yelling at me. We finally came to a complete standstill halfway up the second hill, in front of neighbors who were sitting out on their front lawns. Believe me, they got quite a show.

I was miraculously able to coax him up the hill somehow, and after a little shortcut, we were back in the game. Whew. What an ordeal. But I kept my cool.

After this little festivity, we headed to our neighborhood for another kid's parade. It was great. NO HILLS!  We ended at someone's house and were able to meet lots of new neighbors. I found someone to run with, the kids found some new friends, and I even have a name of another babysitter.  It was a pretty darn fruitful expedition, I must say.

Rinar and I decided to brave the crowds and cranky children and go see the fireworks.  It worked out perfectly. We went to Carson City and camped out in the church parking lot. The fireworks were right next door.  We waited for about an hour. The babies had lots of fun. They ran around us in circles. They were non-stop until the first firework ignited.  Then the fun really began.

I didn't know how they would react, but it was so perfect. Julia giggled and laughed. Harry oohed and aahed. Eli jumped for joy and did his little eagle scream.  Raef and Zach were enraptured.  They were great. It was a little long, so right before the finale, we loaded the little ones in the car. Then as soon as the finale was over, we hit the road and stayed ahead of all the traffic. We were home in 15 minutes.

It was a perfect 4th.

Happy birthday, America.  We really love this country. The best country in the world. I am so grateful that I can call myself an American.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Weekend Pictures

This is what we had for dinner Friday night. Isn't it beautiful?  Pizza is so easy to make. Why do I ever order it from a restaurant?

They just looked so cute today, as we were getting ready for church.

I laid down to get a better picture and so they laid down as well. Harry kind of looks like a politician in this picture.  It reminds me of Richard Nixon.

Eli had very strong feelings about blue corduroy pants.

We had to do Julia's hair. She likes to get pretty.

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