Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Remember when I said....

Remember when I said and thought that people who went gluten free were absolutely ridiculous? Yes you hear of people having allergies to gluten (wheat) but never really truly believed it.   Yep!! I remember saying some negative things on occasion, and even told James I thought it was wrong to stay away from wheat products because it was "essential" and "a very important grain".

Well this girl is eating her words......  because this girl has a ......


ALLERGY to WHEAT.   Blood test don't lie, dang nabit.

and  then I found out another dreaded fact..

This girl is also....

ALLERGIC to CASEIN (milk protein, (nerd alert) which has similar molecular structure to wheat). Which means dairy is out, since practically all dairy has casein in it.

The long and short of this dramatic post is that I have spent a week now trying to figure out how to change my diet and not feel all I can eat is fruit, veggies and meat.

So how did this all start.....

I have had off and on headaches for years.  It use to be I'd get them 1 time a week.  Within the last year I have had mass debilitating migraine headaches almost every other day.  It was getting to the point were I would drive into work nauseous and about ready to puke.  Then I would spend the whole day just trying to get through work, smiling, and then go home and be absolutely drained all night.  It was almost like my body had to recover from having such a mass headache.  I was also feeling like I had a constant brain fog.  The bought of my stomach hurting (you get my point) was also concerning.  I am not one to start thinking to stress about medical issues but I was starting to worry there was something very wrong with me.

So I decided to go to the doctor. 12 vials of blood later and low and behold I find out I have a wheat and casein allergy.   Not only that but I am have some serious vitamin D deficiency (welcome to the North West!!).   Only a words and my life has changed forever.

The first day I mourned (ask everyone at work).    Why would I mourn for something so trivial?  I just mourned for the fact that I could no longer do what other people do.  I can't eat that yummy monthly cake that sits at our work counter, I can't eat the delicious chocolate cake from costco, and I can't have thai food (which is my favorite).  It going to take some getting use to as I not particle to the taste of gluten free foods.

Over the weekend, I did find out things I can and can't have.  Headaches (and feeling awful) are my trial and error now in regards to food.  Everything out there has wheat and milk in it.  Even the gluten free products say "made in a factory that also produces wheat and milk etc etc.   It was fun looking through Fred Meyers, trying to figure out what i could eat. I also found a whole gluten free store in Kirkland.  I will venture out there this weekend.   I did find some soy and almond milk yogurt.  I also found a goats milk yogurt.  I am not sure about that one as I dislike the taste of goats milk  but I will try it too.

I await more of my test to come back to rule out celiac disease and 100+ food allergies.  I can see it happen, I am allergic to more of the food I love.  :)  Won't surprise me at all.

On another note, the family is doing good, my work is going good, and James company, Ottemo, is doing well.     We are 3 months away from EJ leaving on his mission, TJ is now in the process of hiking Mt Olympic with his church group, Rae is at girls camp, EJ and AJ are hanging out with us old folks.  All good.   Life is good.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

Where does the time fly. A year ehh.

First off I am so excited to announce that EJ received his mission assignment to Fresno, California, spanish speaking.  He leaves for the Mexico City, Mexico Mission training center on November 19th.  He will be in Mexico for 8-10 weeks in which he will learn the spanish language in more detail.  EJ did take 3 years of spanish in High school so it shouldn't be to hard for him.  We are all so excited.   He is going to be a great missionary for the LDS church. He has worked hard to get there.

video


EJ -  

While we are talking about EJ, we might as well mention that he also graduated from High School a few weeks back.   We have an adult in the house :)  He has been accepted to Brigham Young University Idaho and will go there when he gets back from his mission in 2 years.   



TJ - 

TJ has been traveling all summer with Seattle Starz playing lacrosse.  He has been to Denver Colorado and the east coast in which his team has done really well.   His Starz team won the championship at the the Denver University this past month.   TJ will be a senior this fall.  I see senioritis in the stars at our house.  :)  Here is the picture of TJ's team winning the tournament.  TJ will be spending a week at BYU Elite Lacrosse recruiting camp and at the BYU Lacrosse tryouts in September along with going on a mad hiking trip with his youth group.  



Rae -  

Rae is now 15 yrs old.  She is doing great.  Rae did really well in school and received a 3.6 GPA.  She has doing gardening projects (the tomatoes look great!!) and going to church dances.   She is moving up to the High School this fall now that she is going into 10th grade.   I am so impressed by how well she is doing in all her subjects at school.  She puts her big brothers to shame when it comes to study habits and grades.  This summer she will be attending EFY in Rexburg, Idaho and will be going to girls camp with our ward at church.  

CJ -

CJ just finish 7th grade with a bang.  He did so well this year.   This summer he is planning on programming a computer game and spending time with the family.  The end of this year CJ will be 14 years and will start attending the Youth LDS dances.  I can't wait to see him blush, as he is a shy guy.  :)   He will be spending his summer at scout camp and taking some weekend scout trips with his Scout troop.   He has found a passion for his gas power remote control car.  He has tinkered around trying to fix it up with James and loves it.   He is doing so well.

CJ, AJ and EJ at Newport Beach, OR.

AJ - 

AJ is Mr. Minecraft man.  That boy knows how to creates worlds with the best of him.  He has some plans up his sleeve to start programing a 1st person shooter game this summer with his brother CJ.  How can I say no to such creativity even if it is a 1st person shooter game?  I can't.  This year AJ had some changes.   We found out he was blind with 20/200 vision.   So this boy is sporting new RayBan glasses (that he picked out all on his own mind you).  

Rae and AJ (with his glasses)


James - 

James new company Ottemo, Inc is going well.   They are ready to launch their first Ecommerce software this fall.   He is so excited. James has worked so hard to finally have a business of his own (with partners of course) as he has been talking about it for years and years.  We will see what the future holds in terms of it's success.  James also also had a passion for getting that darn gas powered remote control car working with CJ.  It's been a project of having to buy new parts every few days.  Fun Fun.   He loves the challenge for sure.   He has also been tinkering with all our cars that seem to have died on us this year.   My BMW Z3 died in february and has been sitting in the garage waiting for a new head gasket.   He has been my dad's sidekick while the engine is pulled apart and parts ordered.  Hopefully I will have my car back in the next few weeks.  Back in April our Tundra had engine problems too but it seems to have fixed itself.  When my dad went to go check the compression on the cylinders we found that we did not have engine problems like previously thought and the truck is running smoothly.  A total miracle in and of itself as we thought we had 2 cars with damaged head gaskets.  James has been a champ at fixing all our broken down parts on the cars from alternators, manifolds, to change head gaskets out.  Fun!


Me - 

Well the year for me has been learning how to manage my time, which I am not doing a very good job of now that I am working almost full time.   I do love my job at St Francis Hospital.   I have learned soooo much over the year as I learn how to be a good recovery, surgery RN.   It is been a fun but stressful year, hence why I have not written a blog spot in over year.   Working full time is no fun when you have 5 kids that need to you.  Nonetheless, I have had a good year.   I am now preceptoring (training) new staff nurses and was elected to the Unit Based Council at work.  Last week I also became the secretary of that UBC.   I love teaching and being a leader.  It fits me well.   I will be finally going down to a 0.8 FTE which means I will only work 4 days a week instead of 5 so hopefully that eases my stress a little.  My commute has been crazy this last year and hope to remedy that soon.  With my BMW Z3 out, we went ahead and bought a new car because we were down to only 1 car.   Here is our new VW Passat TDI SEL.   It gets awesome gas mileage (diesels tend to do that) and it is a smooth ride.  



Anyways... That is all for our family.   Thanks for taking the time to check out our blog.  I will edit this post for grammar later.   

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Job Alert!!

Yes this is my new badge, terrible picture but what can you expect :)

Yes this girl is changing jobs!!  

 It was almost like clockwork...

... as soon as I got that bachelor degree I got tons of interviews for nursing jobs all over the area.  I had a few offers, but I finally pick the job that would interfere the least with home life and NOT keep me gone at night and weekend.  I will be working at a pre/post op day surgery unit on the day shift.   I will be home before the kids get home from school each day and they won't even know I am gone.  I am nervous and excited.  The only down part is I will be commuting 40 minutes each way but it will be worth it to be home with the kiddos and not have them realized I've been gone for work.  I will be still subbing at the school district here and there to keep my options open in the future but for now it is best I work in a hospital setting to gain that experience I really need as a RN.    YAY!!


Monday, April 08, 2013

Who's the Bachelor degree nurse in the house!!.. ME!! :)

Yes it is official, I am done, I am finished, I am finally have a Bachelor Degree in Nursing!! What can I say.  This semester has been a rough semester for me, working 3 days a week and going to school full time.  My house is a mess, my weight is up but I now ready to get life going.    It has been an exciting but stressful 4 1/2 years since I first started nursing school...   Do you remember this post.... Acceptance letter.  It's has been a little over 4 years ago since I wrote that small post.

So what am I going to do now in no particular order ....

  •  Spend time with the family
  •  Gut the house
  •  Relax
  •  Get my kids back into good graces with their schools grades wise
  •  Exercise 
  • Get this weight off once and for all!!
  • Sign up for a 1/2 marathon or 2
  • Start back up my weight loss challenge
  • Go travel this summer all over the country with the boys for their lacrosse tournaments
  • Catch up on all my favorite shows and things to do
  • Take a BREAK!!!

YAY!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yes, it's my LAST semester!! and update

Me.....

I am in my 3rd week of school and can't even believe it's my last semester before I finish my degree in Nursing.   This time though I will be getting a Bachelor's Degree!!..  Just saying those words are surreal.  It's been a long road.   I have been going to school since January 2008, either full time or part time.  These last 3 semesters my full time status has helped me to finish faster.  I am going from a Associated Degree in Nursing to a Bachelor Degree in one years time!!   I will be the first in my ADN graduating class with a Bachelor Degree!!!

This semester I am taking my Critical Care Nursing class, Nursing Leadership, and a religion class called Family Foundations, which focuses on the importance of the family unit and preserving it.  The class is based of the principles found in the  Family Proclamation.  It's been very insightful thus far and has made me thing about how little I know the true nature and character of God and his plan for us.

These last few weeks I have also been working full time for the school district covering for one of the nurses who has been out.  Spending all my days working and all my nights doing schoolwork and trying to be a mom has been no fun.   It has been stressful!  I don't know how anyone, especially mom's can work full time.   My sub assignment is done on Friday so I am relieved... It's been a very long 4 weeks!!!   I've made lots of money but LONG....  Now I can go back to working 1 or 2 days a week for the district.

The Hubby....

Well everything is going well with James.  He has been working for Julep for 6 month now and has made some huge strides with web development.  They are still working out the bugs with the site but overall it has been a mass improvement from the very limited old site.  There will be more things to come on the site in the next few months.  Much more functionality... Geez look at me, I am talking geek stuff.  :)   Sadly I hear stuff like "functionality" "web development" all the time in my home!! It's rubbing off. :)   James likes his job, he is happier since switching from Zumiez!!

The Kids....

Well we have had a eventful few month,  EJ and TJ made the Elite Seattle Starz team and have been traveling all over the country competing in lacrosse tournaments with their team.  They took silver at the Las Vegas Adrenaline tournament and went 4 our of 6 at the San diego Adrenaline Tournament.  The San diego tournament was amazing!! There were TONS of recruiters there, and they even got approached by someone asking them to come to their recruiting camp this summer, plus many more email invites.   It's been both and EXPENSIVE and a EXCITING few months!!  They both are trying out for the West Coast Starz team  in two weekends, which is a team covering the whole West coast.  They plan to play for Seattle Starz again this summer once their HS season is over.  They will be going to Idaho in regular session as part of their games, which should be fun.  Besides lacrosse, our house has become the teenage hangout location.  We have lots and lots of their friends over every break and weekend.  It's like one continuous party at our house!!  At least I can monitor them and they can have a drug and alcohol free, safe place to hang out at, which is extremely important to me.  I swear this past weekend we had 10+ extra teenagers in our house all weekend at one point or another.   The younger 2,  James and I,  have been kicked out of our downstairs part of the house, but that's ok because I would not have it any other way!

Rae decided to do girl lacrosse this year and is taking a beginner class for the next 6 weeks.  This class will help her prepares for the upcoming spring season.  She will be on the Eastside Eagles Team with her mom as an assistant coach!! 0_0.  Yes, ME!!  They asked me to become a assistant and I was stupid enough to say yes even with my busy schedule.  I better learn the girls game because it is completely different then the boys game of lacrosse!!  Her season starts in March.   Besides lacrosse, Rae is doing well in school, is taller then me now by an inch, loves to shop, loves to cook, and loves being with her friends.  A typical teenage girl!

CJ and AJ are hanging out with James and I a lot now that our teenagers are hanging out with their friends.   They both LOVE playing Minecraft and end up spending most weekend with us up in our room watching movies or going out with us.   They both will be starting lacrosse in a month or so and have been practicing wall ball on our lacrosse rebounder to get them up to speed.   James stepped down as the JV coach for Woodinville so he could help coach CJ's 5/6 team this year.  CJ needed some daddy TLC and lacrosse TLC, so James thought it was best.  TJ will be assistant coach this year helping Dad out.  AJ's 4th session will be on a  3/4 travel team instead of the home team, meaning he will have games all over the area instead of our community.  It is going to be an interesting season with 5 games a week possibly 6 with our teenagers being on the varsity team.

Anyways, I better run.  It's late, I'm tired, and CRANKY... :)    so off to bed I go.  I will proofread tomorrow for errors!!.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

My thoughts on last week school massacre...

     First off I want to say my prayers go out to the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Shooting which occurred on December 14th 2012.   It pains me to see such young children (6 and 7 year olds) killed plus 6 staff members at this school.   Prayers and loves goes out to the families.

      Why did this happen we all say.  Many say the 20 year old young man (Adam Lanza) was evil and deranged.  Maybe he was deranged but I do not think he was evil.   He was a child himself, barely 20.   What made him snap like this to kill his own mom, then turn to 26 other people and then kill himself?  I have been reflecting on it to try to make sense on why someone would just shoot up a school and kill innocent children.   People usually do not do these things because they are evil, especially with the state of mind he was in.

      The more I think about it, I feel this young man was failed by our society.   Yes, he had his own free agency, but if you know young kids you will realized this young man was not mature, had Aspergers Syndrome (a form of autism) and OCD.   Society failed him because he was again put in a situation were he was in a broken home, sad, depressed and mentally ill.  Society tells us that it's ok to get divorce when things are "just not working out".  BUT do we know the ramifications for breaking up the family?  DO we really think about it when adults make the decision to split a family up because of own person needs, wants or happiness?   
I, myself, come from a broken home.  I watched my little siblings suffer after my parents split up.  My family is still suffering because of it, with insecurities, addictions, mental illnesses, drug use, and much more.  Life changed dramatically because of poor decisions of my parents.   I love them to death, but reality is reality, and facts are facts.  Our family changed forever because of it.  Having said that, I do believe in free agency and regardless of what happened in my family, people still are to blame for their own actions, so I am not discounting one's own will.  

    Why do I bring this up?  Because I want to show how broken families can wreck havoc in a young child's life changing them forever.  We are failing our youth in this society because we have taken value away from families and placed them on other things of this world.

     I have been receiving emails from Grassfire.com (Steve Elliott) for the past few years.  Usually I get the emails and just don't even look at it, deleting it right away.  This last week I decided to read his email about the Sandy Hook shootings and couldn't believe he was saying what I was thinking about were our society is and had headed.   Here is the email:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I will make no attempt to "make sense" of the horrific tragedy that devastated the community of Newtown, Connecticut, and has shaken our nation.

How can we make sense of the senseless murder of twenty children and seven adults? How can we make sense of one deranged individual who was in such a dark place that he shot his own mother, murdered children and then killed himself?

Yesterday, my church -- like I'm sure countless places of worship -- paused to pray for the families, their community and our nation. Our president spoke, on our behalf, words of comfort and support.

Now, as we move forward, efforts will be made to prevent this from happening again -- or at least to minimize the risk. It will be a difficult task.

+ + A Societal Cancer

What we face is more like a cancer than a virus. Our society has turned on itself, and these mass murders are the shocking fruit. The perpetrators of these crimes now typically turn their weapons on themselves and have essentially become societal suicide bombers. As the military knows, there is no real defense against a suicide bomber who has reached such a point of desperation and delusion that his own life doesn't matter.

Responding to this specific crisis with legislation would be a mistake that politicians will likely make.

Responding to the root cause of the crisis would be a better way to go.

And what is that root cause?

The destruction of the family.

I'm not discounting any other factors, but to address problems with our mental health institutions or virtual reality gaming or the drugging of our children or our gun laws or the media culture's glorification of such violence and not deal with the root cause of our societal decay are vain attempts to mask symptoms.

The statistics back me up on the destruction of the family being at the center of our national crises, including violence.

Before I cite the statistics, please do not take these numbers as a condemnation of single moms or dads. There is no condemnation. Many single parents are doing double duty and raising wonderful children.

But the numbers are hard to overlook.

+ + Our Family Crisis

Consider what our family brokenness has done to society:

* 3 in 10 children grow up in broken homes.

* In the African-American community, it's far worse: two-thirds of black children grow up with one parent.

* More than half of all babies are conceived out of wedlock.

* Of those conceived out of wedlock, 4 in 10 are aborted. And so, the cycle of violence begins.

* Of the survivors of abortion, half the children born out of wedlock end up in poverty.

Children from broken homes account for:
--63% of teen suicides.
--71% of teen pregnancies.
--90% of homeless and runaways.
--71% of high school dropouts.
--75% of all drug users.
--85% of behavioral disorders.
--70% of those in juvenile detention.
--57% of all prison inmates.
+ + Building Families in Tough Times

As you know, for the past few weeks, I've been on a journey of discovering and sharing lessons from a 2,500-year-old letter written by the prophet Jeremiah to Jewish exiles.

In light of the national discussion that will take place in the coming weeks, as we seek to heal and strengthen our land, I find it interesting that at the very center of Jeremiah's instructions to exiles is an explicit endorsement of family:
"Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease" (Jeremiah 29:6, NASB).
In the midst of tough times, getting married and thinking about the future do not instinctively come to mind. Marriage is expensive. Children are expensive. Yet in Jeremiah's letter to exiles, marriage and child bearing are central to the instruction. Perhaps this is because in tough times -- at any time, for that matter -- the marriage bond is the stabilizing force for individuals, for families, for communities and even for a nation. Marriage and strong families are vital to thriving in exile.

What if our government policies unashamedly focused on the goal of reducing the fatherless and divorce rates? What if our laws profoundly preferred those who get married and stay married?

More importantly, what about you and me? After all, our laws only reflect our culture.

What are we actually doing in our families and communities to strengthen marriages? Is it clear in our social circles that sex out of wedlock is wrong? Are we holding young men accountable for their actions, demanding they take their responsibility as fathers seriously? Do men face any negative societal pressure for putting children and mothers at risk for the sake of fulfilling their own sexual exploits outside the marriage bond? (and women to now a days)

Many traditional wedding ceremonies include an open acknowledgment by all in attendance of their responsibility to do whatever it takes to help this new couple in their marriage. We should take that commitment much more seriously.

Every marriage faces profound times of crisis. Perhaps your prayer, phone call or offer to babysit could ultimately help save a marriage, keep a child from facing long odds and, dare I say, spare a community from another unspeakable horror.

Steve Elliott, Grassfire
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then yesterday, I received a second email from grassfire which clarified his first email which even more complete is inline with what I was feeling about society and with what happened to this young man who felt he had no hope or care about himself or others.  The dark place he was in is sad and we really need to take notice of the mental illness, family situation of our youth.  Here it is:


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I want to thank everyone who shared their thoughts and comments on my reflections on the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

Many agreed with my thesis that the breakdown of the family is the prime cause of the cultural chaos we see so prevalent around us. (I've included a link to that post at the end of this message.)

Some thought I was partly right. And a few thought I was actually far off base.

+ + "I Disagree Mightily With You"

"Gonna have to disagree mightily with you here," wrote Carl. "The disintegration of the nuclear family unit is a symptom, not the cause."

Linda echoed Carl's concerns: I think 'strong families' are good things, but to have that as a primary goal misses the root cause of our national dysfunction and brokenness."

So, what do Carl and Linda (and a few others who responded) think is the primary cause of our dysfunction and brokenness?

In Carl's words:


"In our current society, we have abolished God from everywhere except the church itself. Without His hand over every part of our lives, how can it possibly be a surprise that these things not only happen, but spread like wildfire?"

From Linda:

"I think the big problem is that, as a nation, we have gotten away from God, Christianity and the personal accountability that goes with it."

One of the leaders in my church, Frank, almost re-stated the views of Carl and Linda:

"We miss the glaring pink elephant in the living room that the majority of our mainstream media and political leaders refuse to see or address. WE HAVE REMOVED AND UNINVITED THE FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT, GOD'S WORD AND BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES from our schools and our culture!" (emphasis in original)

So, who is right?

Am I correct that the destruction of the husband-wife family unit is the prime cause of our moral chaos? Or are Carl, Linda and Frank correct in saying that we've stripped God from our public lives, and therefore, moral chaos ensues?

+ + The Correct Answer Is ...

Carl, Linda and Frank make a very vital point, but their conclusion begs an important question. Allow me to explain.

The secularization of our society -- what Richard John Neuhaus called the "Naked Public Square" -- has had profound ramifications on our lives.

President Obama's response to the Newtown tragedy clearly exposes that the emperor (meaning, our society in general and not just the president) has no clothes. We saw Mr. Obama openly quote scripture and appropriately attempt to put this tragedy in some eternal context. Yet, this same president leads a party that stripped every reference to "God" from its 2012 platform (before putting back one reference after some public outcry).

This stripping of a basic God-awareness can be felt in our schools, in our businesses, at almost any public event and certainly on television. In fact, the purge is so complete that we're startled when we hear God mentioned anywhere today. We celebrate a public school holiday program that features sacred songs. We make special note of a TV show that appropriately mentions God.

So yes, I agree with Carl, Linda and Frank -- the stripping of a fundamental awareness and acknowledgement of God in society has made a profound impact on our lives.

+ + How Do We Restore God-Awareness?

But here's the question that begs to be answered:


How do we restore a basic God-awareness to our lives, our communities and our nation?

And is restoring a God-awareness in society fundamentally the responsibility of the government? Our schools? Our businesses? Or our churches?

Here's where I circle back to my original thesis of the destruction of the family.

I would argue that the family unit is, by divine design and practical reality, the primary means by which a God-awareness is established in any society. The family is the prime means for communicating and passing on the fundamental values and beliefs held by a society.

Faith flows through families, and families form the foundation of personal and community prosperity. As the prophet Jeremiah instructed the Jewish exiles:


"Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease" (Jeremiah 29:6, NASB).

Building families is of fundamental importance, especially during tough times.

+ + It's Almost Politically Incorrect to Say It, But ...

My children attend a Christian school. But don't be mistaken -- it is the responsibility of my wife and me to transmit our values and beliefs to our children, not the school's.

I would add that our churches are powerless to restore a basic God-awareness in our communities without countering the tsunami of family destruction.

Yes, it's time to end the antagonism toward faith that's now so prevalent in the public square. It's outrageous that a teacher in a public school should have any concern for his or her job over praying in class or reading the Bible. This is nonsensical and a violation of our fundamental rights. We do not surrender our religious liberties once we step into a public space, and there is no constitutional mandate for a secular state.

But we need to move this discussion beyond the general call to "put God back in our schools" and ask ourselves how this God-awareness can be restored in our society.

It will not happen primarily by legislation (nor should it). It will not happen primarily by an awareness campaign (although those do help).

It will happen primarily in families. A basic God-awareness in our society will happen in and through families.
I know it's almost politically incorrect to say it, but we must restore the family. We must make it our number-one national and community goal to build and support strong, two-parent families. With no apologies.
~~~~~~~~

SO WHY ARE WE NOT DOING EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO STRENGTHEN FAMILIES?   Why is ok for our children to have a broken home?  It has bothered me so much that society has abandoned the philosophy that whole families builds a thriving community.  

 I hope with this tragedy, we take the time to truly evaluated what really is important in our lives and were we want to see our families.  I hope we take the time to really be the examples to our children and show them that they MEAN something.   

Thought I would share.... Thanks for listening...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Almost there almost done...

I really have nothing to say really.  I was going to launch into what's been happening at school but it's the same old same old stuff that goes on.  Kids school, my school, sports, life and more.   Everyone is doing great.   We are just living life.   

Then I thought about big changes happening....

And I realized there will be and have been major changes happen in not only our family but with what will happen in the next 2 years.   If you have not already heard, the missionary age was recently reduced from 19 to 18 years old for boys and 21 to 19 for the girls.   That means instead of EJ waiting around for a year, getting bad grades in college, etc, he can now go on his mission as soon as he finishes high school.  This is MAJOR and I LOVE it.  It means he will have a nice 2 year break from school, grow up on a mission and get back to life sooner then expected.  It also means that Rae will have the chance to go on a mission sooner also which is awesome.   

Another major change... church membership in the Seattle area is growing so fast the congregations can't keep up.    Three weeks ago, a reorganization was announced in our Stake with the addition of 2 new wards for a total of 8 wards.   The congregation boundaries changed and we were moved to a new congregation.   Today was our first week in the new ward.  We went from a ward of 1000 people to a ward of 400.   It was SO easy to go under the radar in a ward as huge as 1000 but I am grateful for the opportunity to be in a smaller ward and giving more of my time to this congregation.    

As you are aware in a previous post, EJ and TJ made the Seattle Starz Elite Team.   They have flown back with James to Maryland (Baltimore) this weekend to participate in the Navy Nationals Lacrosse Tournament and the Crab Feast.  The house has been quiet, but miss them.

Not much happening more...except this semester will be done in 3 weeks and I start on my last semester at BYU Idaho.   It's already gone by fast!!  

Anyways good night!!...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What's a girl to do....

I haven't been around much to post so I am sorry.   My schedule has been super duper crazy with kids sports.  A lot has happened in the last month.   School starts and a new job for James.

Kids School:

First of all the kids are back in school.  I am not sure if I want to cry with excitement or cry because life is way busy now.   Probably both!! :)   EJ is in 11th, TJ in 10th,  Rae in 8th, CJ in 6th and AJ in 3rd.   The kids are growing up fast.    EJ and TJ have been driving to not only school each day but church seminary in the wee early mornings.  That definitely takes pressure off my schedule.  They complain and  think they have it rough, but what child gets a nice Toyota Tundra to call his very own at 16.   I know my beat up, rusty baby blue ford tempo did not even compare.   :)

Sports:

Lets see, we are pretty busy with that one.   AJ and CJ started soccer a few weeks ago and likes it a lot.  Rae is cheerleading for the Junior team,  EJ is doing cross country, and TJ just joined the HS football team.  He is still in the 12 practice requirement phase so he has not played in a game yet.    EJ and TJ are also doing indoor box lacrosse field lacrosse on Saturdays.  They both will be trying out for Seattle Starz Team again for fall this next weekend.  If they make it, we will be traveling all over the country this fall (san diego, maryland or pennsylvania, Las Vegas, and some local tournaments).  THEY BOTH MADE IT!!!! UPDATE REPORT :)

My school:

My school started 2 weeks ago.  I am taking 3 classes: advanced physical assessments,  community nursing, and a capstone ethics class.   I am doing some preceptorships at a low income health clinic and also a surgical center which should be interesting.   My ethics class is pretty cool.

Jame's New Job:

Yes the biggest news of all is James switched jobs.   While in NY doing the Hill Cumorah Pageant he realized Zumiez way overworked him, he was missing out on family life, and they were never going to allow him breath let alone have a family life.    He now works for a company called Julep.   Check out the website.  Julep is well known if you have not figured out who they are... go look.   He is the new Director of e Commerce (website director) there.   On top of a nice raise, his life is less chaotic and he actually has family time.   He has spent the last few weeks hiring his team and will have a few more job openings in January.

Anyways that about it for now.  I have to run to the HS to take kids some clothes and do homework when I get back.  :)   Have a good day!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

20 Day Journal Challenge ... Day 10... Hill Cumorah Pageant

It has been a breath taking few weeks for our family, full of spiritual things, family time, and self reflection.   It just so happens that Day 10 of the 20 day challenge corresponds with our experiences at the Hill Cumorah Pageant.   What a great experience we had.

Another one of my costume Headpieces!!  We were Alma Greeters!!
Greeting people when they first walked in!!  A pageant guest Julie from !
Day 10:

Tell about your last trully spiritual experience and how it affected you.  

To begin with, our trip out to New York was very exhausting.   I made the error of booking airline tickets out the the east from Los Angeles instead of San Francisco (see my last post on why),   The 17 hour trip down to Los Angeles was very long and tiring.   We left at 4 am in the morning on July 4th and got into Los Angeles around 1 A.M. the next day.   The whole family was so exhausted that we all just laid down on the airport floor with our bags and fell asleep.  James, EJ and TJ's flight took off at noon while Rae, CJ, AJ and I  took off at 5:40 am.  James flew right into Rochester and I flew into Cleveland, rented a car (a white VW passat, see picture), and droves 5 hours to Rochester.  Can I just say,  I felt like I was in a sauna coming off the plane in Cleveland.   98 degree weather with 100% humidity is no fun!!!

Side note,  Can I just mentions out of the blue that my costume was HOT!!  Wearing 2 layers of carpet in 100 degree 100% humidity weather was not FUN!!  James was also wearing a carpet on him while our kids got to sport out in a much cooler costume.  

Ok so fast forward... we are now in Rochester.  The next day we have a great family reunion and my niece B.M.  graduation party at Seneca Lake Park.   We had tons of fun playing in the water, fishing and just hanging out with all of the Vastbinder family.     

On Friday, July 6th, all my kids went with Grandpa and Grandma V, and all the aunts/uncles and cousins to Seabreeze amusement park in Rochester for the day.  James and I had meetings for the Hill Cumorah Pageant because we were asked to be Assistant Cast Team Leaders for the "Y0" group (incoming seniors).   We spent the day at the Hill preparing for the cast team to arrive.  

On Saturday, we had a morning devotional, and then proceeded to be casted for our roles in the Pageant.   James, EJ and TJ were casted as Alma converts (scene 6),  Rae and CJ were casted as the Destruction Victims (scene 7),  AJ was casted as a New world Multitude little child in the Jesus scene (scene 8), I was casted as a Lehi mob (scene 1), Samuel the Lamanite Rabble (scene 7).   We all were casted as a New World Multitude crowd for scene 8 when Jesus comes down.   I personally played all the wicked mobs lol.  WOOT.   

We then went into a daily schedule of rehearsals, devotionals, practice run throughs, dress rehearsals, and Cast Team time.  I was asked to speak in front of the whole 750 person cast on Monday July 9th on the topic of being a good missionary and having the spirit with you always.  I realized while I was preparing to give this talk, that keeping the spirit with you at all times, knowing what you believe and were you stand and having a firm testimony is an important part of sharing the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.   Without a person really knowing it is true how can a person really teach others with a full heart.   I am glad I was able to learn from this experience.

My stud sons!! :) 
TJ doing service!
As a young teenager growing up in the Rochester area, we use to go to the pageant each year.  I would walk by the anti-Mormons as they would hand out pampthlets to everyone.  20 years later they are relentless, using bull horns to spout hatred and venom, infiltrating the audience, going against all the older youth and young adults as they hand out scriptures, and even now have a big yellow truck that say "whatmormonsdon'ttell.com" on it.   It was trully amazing how they are working overkill to stop this.   If you go to the site its all about why they don't believe in us and how they follow Mormons all over the country trying to "bring them back to Christ".  It made me sad to be honest because what they were doing was so unchristlike.   They were yelling and screaming, "You are all going to hell" and other such things.  It was pretty sad!!

yep this truck was going up and down the streets of palymra while our kids and our own cast team
was taking church history tours and before and after the pageant itself.  
Overall the Hill Cumorah Pageant was the most spiritual experience my family. The whole message of the Hill Cumorah Pageant was to come unto Christ.  In the process of showing people the gospel my family learned there own lesson of coming unto Christ and living a christlike way.

BTW Because it was the 75th anniversary of the Hill Cumorah Pageant, there was media EVERYWHERE!!  New York Times, PBS, Discovery Channel (there is a documentary coming out on this channel about us), All the major local news channels, AFP, International News media, and many others where there just to see what is up.  We even had a surprise mystery cast member!  Not going to get into that one! :)  I was interviewed in the dressing room the second week by a German Newspaper.  Guess what the first thing they asked me?   What I thought about Mitt Romney!! lol  I pleasantly declined to answer of course.  :)   A few of us are also in a AFP clip about the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  Check it out and see if you can recognize some of us:

http://youtu.be/9kjFbErDpgQ

We will be applying for next year!  The application opens on September 1st 2012.  Last year alone they had 2000+ family applications and only accepted 750 total people, so if you are interested apply early!!

Here are some pictures from pageant.

My handsome boys!!
Here is my 2nd headpiece for the same costume!! lol.  The costume designers kept having me switch!! :)  Can I tell you this costume was extremely HOT!!  I'm not talking my looks ;)  I am talking full on sweating hot!!  It was 100 degrees most the days and I was wearing 2 layers of carpet!!
My 3rd headpiece.  I had 3 different ones during the pageant!!.  
Rae and her new found friends!
Mormon Helping Hands Service Project with Rae and her cast team
EJ's sporting his costume
AJ having funning the HCP Primary!
And then there where Cast teams.........

Y0 cast team.  Yes we were assistant cast team leaders of a awesome bunch of incoming seniors.
TJ's Cast Team
EJ's Y6 Cast Team

CJ's B1 Cast Team
Rae's G3 Cast Team
AJ's Primary Cast team!! All these kids were in the Jesus scene where he descended down from Heaven.  :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

20 Day journal Challenge... Day 9 ... wee little babe

Yes I know, it's been almost 2 weeks since I posted last.  I have been just way to busy with school, work, family, sports, you name it.   So on to day 9.

The challenge:

Tell a story your mom or dad has told you about when you where a baby....

Lets see.  I don't really remember my parents telling me stories of when I was a baby.  All I remember was my parents telling me I had the most bluest eyes they had ever seen.   They also insist that I was a sweet little girl UNTIL my sister Amy was born.  :)  I turned into a little devil after that.   My mom would tell me before she was born I would say, "Yes mom", but after I was a little stinker saying "No" to every little thing she asked or said.  The jealousy ran high I guess.  My mom also said I use to carry my baby doll around all day and night when I was a little toddler and had a name for it.  I think her name was Melanie.   I don't really know what else, because my mom never said anything about my babyhood.

Not much to say on this topic.

A little update for the family.

We leave on a plane headed for the Hill Cumorah Pageant on July 4th.  We are driving down to Los Angeles and I and 3 of the kids are flying into Cleveland and James, EJ, and TJ are flying into Rochester.   The reason we are taking separate flights is because I messed up on the tickets and also bought one way tickets for James, EJ and TJ.   Wanna know how I messed up?  Well just plain stupidity and not looking at an email.

This leads us into the reason why we are flying to and from California instead of Seattle.   EJ made Seattle Starz Elite Lacrosse Tournament team.   He will be going to the Sonoma Shootout with his team.  Sadly TJ did not make the 9th grade team (which really surprised us to be honest, but there were 90 freshman that tried out).   TJ will be joining the Maniacs tournament team and going down to the same tournament as EJ.  The trip will be interesting with 2 boys on 2 different teams.  :)

Ok now lets go back and explain why I booked tickets from Los Angeles.  If you open the link to the sonoma tournament you will see the tournament is is sonoma which is located in the San Fransisco area.  Do you think I looked at this small detail. NO I DID NOT.   And yes I did try to change tickets but $800.00 to change seemed so steep considering Los Angeles is only 350 miles away from San Francisco.  So long story short, James will be flying back to california 2 days before I do and he will be flying into San Francisco with EJ and TJ for this tournament.  The other 3 kids and I will be still in NY finishing up pageant and then flying back to Los Angeles along with a drive up to S.F.  No fun.  Oh well!  It teaches me to actually pay attention to details rather then just assume.

Anyways we are going to have a fun filled summer for sure!!

Oh and BTW EJ got his drivers license yesterday YAY!! It's already been nice having a 3rd driver in the home and he has taken over the tundra as "his own car".  I asked him if he would like to pay for half of it and really call it "his own car" to take to college and he nonchalantly said, "No, you can have it back before I go to college".   Hmmmmmm. Smart kid, I guess.