"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Taxidermy for Dummies

The other day I was driving in the car with McKaylie and Noah. We were listening to the radio and the DJ was talking about how she saw a stuffed beaver in the back of one of her neighbor's cars. She was talking about a real, mounted beaver, not stuffed as in stuffed animal, stuffed. As soon as I heard McKaylie say, "mom?", I knew we were in for an interesting conversation. This is pretty much how it went:

Mc: "Mom, what does she mean, stuffed?"
Me: Trying to decide quickly whether I could explain taxidermy to her without her thinking it's horrible and creepy and so that she could understand, I only got out a "welllllll"
Mc: "Is it just a stuffed animal?"
Me: I decided to give it a shot, "well, it's not exactly like a stuffed animal, because the beaver is real and a stuffed animal isn't"
Mc: "Then it's alive?"
Me: "No, it's not alive, it was a real beaver, but now it's not alive anymore. Do you remember at Grandpa's house? And he had the deer on his wall? (trying to give her something to relate this to......)
Mc: "Yes"
Me: "Well, it's like that deer. It used to be alive, but after it died, they fixed it's skin and fur and basicallly stuffed it so that it looks like a deer"
Mc: "Does it still have blood in it?"
Me: I knew I didn't want to get into this conversation..................."No, McKaylie, all the blood and stuff from inside the beaver and the deer is gone. It would be like Grandpa's deer."
Mc: "Is it just the beaver's head?"
Me: "No, it's probably the beaver's whole body"
Mc: "But is it alive then?"
Me: "No, McKaylie, it's not alive anymore. Grandpa's deer isn't alive, is it?"
Mc: very exasperated, "NO, it only has it's head, you can't live without your head!"
Me: "That's true, but the beaver still isn't alive even though it still has it's head."
Mc: "I don't get it"
Me: grumble, grumble, giving it one last shot, "It used to be alive and after it died, someone took out all it's blood and insides and fixed it's skin and fur and stuffed it so that it looks like a real beaver again."
Mc: "So, it's like a stuffed animal?"
Me: "In a way, yes"
Mc: "Why didn't you just say that?"
Me: "I don't know"

Monday, October 30, 2006


I've been informed by several people to update my blog! I've finally found a few extra seconds......it's been a very busy week at our house! (FYI: There are 7, yes, 7 posts from today!)

Pumpkin Carving............

We always carve pumpkins for Halloween. Chad and I even carved pumpkins before we had kids. It's something we look forward to every year. Myshel's not carving one this year, though. She did help Noah get his started, but she didn't carve her own pumpkin. We had all our pumpkins sitting outside for several weeks, there was 6, 4 big ones for the kids and 2 little ones that McKaylie and Noah got at the pumpkin patch on a school field trip. Friday night someone smashed one of the little ones and Saturday afternoon 3 little kids smashed the other little one and a big one! Can you believe that! I'm still trying to catch the parents at home to let them know! That is so bold and unbelievable to me. They did that in the middle of the day, right from the front of our house!!!! The big pumpkin that they smashed was Vance's, but Myshel offered him her pumpkin to carve, which is why she didn't have a pumpkin of her own to carve. I was very proud of her for thinking of him.

Halloween Boo at the Zoo

We went to Halloween Boo at the Zoo on Noah's birthday. They have tables set up throughout the zoo that the kids can trick-or-treat at and lots of other activies they can do. It was fun, but the birthday boy was, of course, was not completely into it. (do you notice a pattern here) I loved these pictures. It was like an archeology dig. The kids had to chip away at the rock and try and find animals or fossils. They had to wear safety glasses while they did it. They looked so cute. Vance and McKaylie both found dinosaurs.
Being a little silly....................once again, no Noah
McKaylie modeling her tatoos that she got at the zoo.

Woof, woof

Here's McKaylie's costume, minus the paws, remember, they're lost......................
She makes a cute puppy!

Happy Birthday, Noah!

Saturday was Noah 4th birthday! I think he had a great day and really liked his presents. He even got a phone call from his Daddy. Noah is my sweetheart. He loves giving me hugs and kisses and he's so much my buddy. We're so blessed to have him in our family and so grateful that he was sent to us! When I talked to Chad that morning, he asked how his little birthday boy was, I told him he was as stubborn as ever. I also reminded him that four years ago we were trying to convince Noah to do something he apparently didn't want to do (be born......) and now we're still trying to convince him to do what we want and he's still fighting us about it! I can't imagine Noah any other way, though. He is so loved by all his family and we all had fun celebrating with him! Happy Birthday, Noah He woke up at 6:30 and the first words out of his mouth were, "can I open my presnets now?" He opened them throughout the day, a couple here, a couple there.

This was one of his favorite presents, Lightening McQueen, from the movie Cars

The movie, Curious George, another favorite

This I think was his absolute favorite, though. He definitely loves the Pirates of the Caribbean. He had a pirates theme to his birthday and his halloween costume was obviously, a pirate. He was so excited when he opend this present (it's not wonder, he loves Miss Candy!)

His birthday cake


Friday night was our trunk-or-treat at the church. It rained, no, it poured, so, we had to move it inside to the gym. They had games and a parade and then the kids went around to the different parents trick-or-treating. It was chaotic in the gym, but kind of fun. I'm sure they'll remember trick-or-treating through the gym.Here's the kids before we left, Myshel's very grumpy and Noah refused to be in the picture at all. Another note: This is the only picture of McKaylie with her little paws on, because she lost them later that night! McKaylie and her buddy, Miss Candy, aka Miss Florida

Noah, with almost all of his costume on
This is in the parade. Doesn't Vance look thrilled to be walking with the little kids!

Children's Museum

We had some family pictures taken on Tuesday. I mostly just wanted the kids pictures, since Chad's gone it wouldn't really be a "family" picture. I won't have them for awhile, but as soon as I get them, I'll post them.

On Wednesday, Housing had a costume party at the Children's Museum in Portsmouth. Of course, everything in the museum is ment for children, so it was a lot of fun. We didn't even have enough time to see all that we wanted to see. Here's just a few of our pictures (Just a note, This is the only time last week that Noah had on the majority of his costume and was willing to have his picture taken)

This is one of my favorites. I loved this big chair!
It took a lot to get Noah to sit on the motorcycle, but then when he finally did, we could hardly get him off!

The kids loved the bubble room, especially this bubble maker. If they could do it just right they could raise the bubble up all around them.

Finally, Vance gets a chance to shoot his sister.........no, that's not nice! If you tap on the end, it blows a puff of air onto the person sitting there.

It was hard dragging them off this sea creature! They were having a lot of fun on him.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

All Work and No Play.......................

Chad sandboarding in Dubai

And wading???? He said they told them this was a swimming hole. Interesting...........

Monday, October 23, 2006


Today I got into a conversation with a certain someone that just made me want to scream! I think that it might be because I'm on my last nerve with this deployment any way, but she sure wasn't helping that little nerve last longer! I won't get into the details of the conversation. It was more the attitude behind it anyway. She's one of those people that thinks she is never wrong, but in reality is rarely right on about much. She complains a lot and likes the attention it gets her. I could just go on and on. Now, I'm not writing about this to bash on her, really I'm not, because really the problem is mine. The conversation was of no importance to me. It wasn't a life changing topic. It wasn't even something that involved me directly. And to be down right honest, it wasn't even something that I really cared that much about. It was just a conversation. An irritating, frustrating, stupid conversation. Normally I can just put those kinds of conversations aside and not let them get to me, but today I let her get to me. I let her irritate and aggrevate and basically manipulate my whole afternoon. I let this one stupid conversation fester in my little head for a good part of the day! And not so much what the conversation was about, but more that she was wrong and she didn't know what she was talking about and she makes me crazy, kind of thing. When I finally sat down and told myself that enough was enough, I realized that I was only punished myself by hashing over this conversation all afternoon. I doubt that she thought twice about it. I let a nothing conversation affect my day. It's crazy how we let other people have so much control over us. And when it came right down to it, I knew right when that conversation started that I'd be irritated by the time it was over, so basically, I allowed it to happen and that's just stupid. So, you can all learn from my mistake.........................Don't talk to irritating people----no, that wasn't it...........................Run the other way when you see___________coming-----no, that's really not very nice..........................Pretend you don't notice them----still not the nicest thing, when you're the only 2 in the hall............................. Ok, ok, I got it, don't let other people control my thoughts/moods/attitude. It's so not worth wasting my time over............................. I'm done rambling now..........................carry on!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Colonial Williamsburg

This was so much fun. The kids and I went to Colonial Williamsburg on Thursday. Yes, I took my kids out of school for the day to go. They were showing their appreciation for the military and allowing active duty and their families in for free. We got free passes to all the buildings and tours and shuttles there. It was wonderful! There are actually doing this for 4 days and our passes are good for all 4 days, but Thrusday was the only day we could go. We would have loved to go back again. There was just so much to see. You're walking a lot, too, so the kids got tired quickly, especially Noah. he fell asleep the last hour we were there and I had to carry him. I had lots of people commenting on how cute he was while he was sleeping. He might have looked cute, but it was like carrying around a 40 pound rock! People dancing in the town square.
This path is in the gardens at the governor's palace. It was very cool!

Just relaxing and visiting

Myshel and Vance were our camera persons. And they did a great job, maybe too good. They took 143 pictures while we were there! Yikes! I figured I'd go through them and sort out the ones I didn't want, but I really want all of them! That'll be some serious scrapbooking right there! I obviously won't post all 143, but I will post some of my favorites.

Vance got this picture when we were eating lunch by the parking lot........These men were walking into town and Vance asked them for a picture!

Looking down one of the streets in town

I don't know how much all of you know about Colonial Williamsburg. It's a living museum. It's basically Williamsburg in the 1700's. Some of the actual buildings are still there, Some have been rebuilt exactly like they would have been. There were people there dress in Colonial dress. Some were working there, some were just walking around enjoying the town. They even talk to you like it's the 1700's. It is very awesome. It's amazing to see some of the building that are hundreds of years old, the way they cooked and dined and worked and dressed. Just fantastic.

This is the back of the governor's palace, taken from the gardens

The captial building


Some of the tours that we went on were the Governor's Palace, where Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson both lived, the Wythe House, and the Capitol building. We saw weavers, and basketmakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, gunsmiths, silversmiths, bakers, tailors, to name just a few. There was really just so much to see. We needed another day or two to take it all in. There were some places that we didn't get to see at all, just not enough time or energy for that matter. If you ever have the chance to go and see Colonial Williamsburg, do it!! Whether you're a history buff or not, it is so worth the experience, even my kids loved it and want to go back.
This was a parade during a reenactment of the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in Williamsburg

The doorman at the courthouse

A lady on tour with us in the Wythe House


I was also asked to post a picture of this. It's our "chart" for Family Home Evening. I thought it turned out pretty cute.

Fall Decorations

These are two of my fall decorations that I put together this year. I was asked to take pictures of them and post them, so here they are.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sooner Rather than Later..........

DoctorWe didn't get quite so lucky scheduling Noah's 2nd surgery, or actually, it will be his first, because it's set for November 6. That means, daddy won't be here to help out. I was really hoping they'd let us wait until he was back. That doesn't make me a happy camper. Thinking about taking him to the hospital for surgery was bad enough when I thought Chad would be there, doing it without him seems soooo much harder. It's good for Noah, though, to get it done soon and be healthier and he should be done recouperating by the time daddy does come home.


Vance picked this shirt out for Myshel. We bought it for her as a joke and she acted very insulted. But as you can see, she wears the shirt! You know what they say, "if the shoe fits................." Or, in this case, "if the shirt fits....................."


Vance went on a camp-out with his boy scout troop Friday night. He convinced me that he just had to have a tent, as if no on else there would share there tent..............yeah right! I am a sucker! This is his tent. The scouts have a camp-out every month of the year, so it will get used, a lot. Vance sent it up here in our backyard to show it to me and of course it stayed up for awhile so that everyone could play in it.

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