Paul, Kristen. Brayden, Kaiden, Akoy, Kove and Baby Lainie

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Valentines Day

On Thursday night, after the wax museum, Kaiden and I (once again) rushed around looking for supplies. We needed to get Valentines for his class and come up with a Valentines box. I really don't like doing things at the last minute, even though this is what usually happens at our house. We made Kaiden a cool "colored chicken" valentines box (as the cute little neighbor girl calls it) in record time and got all his class valentine's labeled before it was time for bed. Whew!!! we did it!!

For Valentines day, Paul and I stayed up in Park City at this great Westgate condo, FOR FREE!! The BIG catch was that we had to sit through over 2 hours !!!! of this pressure-filled sales presentation for a Westgate timeshare. I can't believe that we got out of there without buying the stupid timeshare. I think they make it so unbearable that people buy them just so they can go home. I had actually been to one before so I kind of knew what to expect. Paul had NO idea, so he was ticked off by the time we got out of there. It was really nice to be able to check into our room right after instead of driving all the way home. Paul said that the stupid presentation was worth it because the room was soooo nice and we were able to have dinner at this fancy little restaurant right there in the complex. It was a great Valentines getaway (and I had the hottest Valentine's date!! ;)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Neil Armstrong and the Wax Museum

SORRY, REALLY LONG POST*****The fifth graders (and the sixth graders in Kaiden's class) did the coolest thing two weeks ago. They had a "live" Wax Museum at the school on the 12th. (I know, I should have posted sooner but I am still being a slacker) They had to choose an American hero, do a written and oral report on them, then bring a display and dress up like that hero for the Wax Museum that was presented to students and parents. Kaiden chose to do his report on Neil Armstrong so I had been searching the internet and different stores for ideas on things we could use to make a neat astronaut costume.

At the last minute, Kaiden told me that he had his oral report in 2 days and needed the costume then. The timing wasn't the greatest because I was having Bunko at our house that same day. I needed to make and frost cookies, make this punch that took more than just dumping in a packet and sugar, figure out an appetizer, shop for plates napkins, etc., clean the house REALLY good, set up tables, have one of Kaiden's friends over, help him finish his written report, find Neil Armstrong pictures on the internet, write up cards for his oral report, plus figure out something for his Valentine box and valentines. I might have been able to pull it all off but I still had to go to work and try to fit it all in.......I was frantically trying to figure something out for the costume but nothing was coming together.

My mom is the GREATEST at coming up with neat ideas at the last minute, so I called her (she works really well under pressure, this is where I get my strategy of putting things off until the last minute and being able to pull it off quite nicely-but this time it wasn't working for me) I LOVE helping Kaiden with his big school projects and I don't like doing them half way, we have to do them differently than everyone else'. That's how my mom did things when we were growing up, the more creative the better, so that's what I try to do with Kaiden. (I love it more than he does but maybe one day he will look back and appreciate the "cool" things we came up with)

Just like I thought, my mom had the best ideas.....Paint Suit Space Suit anf Paper mache helmet. I thought this was going to be the best astronaut helmet ever. I had the whole thing figured out in my head and it was going to look like the real thing. So, on Monday night we rushed out to the store and picked up our supplies. I'm pretty sure that Paul thought I was making things more complicated. He didn't think it would matter if Kaiden had a helmet or not because he probably wouldn't even wear it (Kaiden didn't care either)He gave me some great (easy) suggestions like just spray painting half of a basketball but I was set on the paper mache helmet.

While everyone else watched the Jazz game, Kaiden and I slapped gluey strips of newspaper all over this huge punch balloon. I wish I would have had my camera because Kaiden and I were a HUGE MESS by the end of the night.) Kaiden wasn't too thrilled with the whole thing and wandered off a bunch of times to watch the Jazz game but I was determined to get this thing done. At one point in our messy activity, I told Kaiden that he would be so excited when it was done, that he would be glad that we took the extra time to do this and one day he would have great memories of doing things like this. He just laughed at me but I'm pretty sure it isn't something he will forget (because it took us FOREVER and was a HUGE, FUNNY mess) Paul was great to help us smooth out the bumps (and there were tons, until I figured out how to make a smooth gooey glue paste) By the time we were on our fourth layer we were just slapping the strips on to get it done. We got the whole balloon covered and it looked pretty good.

The next day before work, I went in search of a white paint suit. (This is NOT the technical term, as I was reminded several times at each store I went to.) Come to find out, there aren't a lot of tiny painters out there. I had to run all over Utah County, in the huge snow storm that fell that Tuesday, searching for a size Medium or Small suit. I figured that my life wasn't worth losing over a paint suit, so I bought a large suit and decided to alter it with my scissors.

Tuesday night was CRAZY!!! I was trying to clean, bake and frost cookies, altar a space suit, make dinner, help Kaiden write his oral report and dry out a huge, wet paper mache balloon. Paul tried to help but he has a hard time when I run from one thing to the next, before I finish with anything. He thought it would be fine if I bought the sugar cookies at the store and was sure that no one would care if I just mixed up a packet of Kool Aid. I had my plan and I wanted to follow it... He volunteered to pick some things up at the store for me, so I sent him off while I continued to run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Sorry this is getting TOOOOO long. So to make my long story short..... I was in such a hurry to dry the wet paper mache that I brought a space heater home from work and locked them in the bathroom together. I was doing good running back and forth from baking, altering the "spacesuit" and gluing patches on, writing a report, mopping the kitchen and checking on the progress of the helmet. Except, I waited a little too long between check-ins of the bathroom, that the last time I went to check on the balloon, it had expanded into this HUGE balloon and cracked the drying plaster stuff. OOPS

Needless to say, I tried everything I could to fix that stupid helmet but I just kept making it worse. Kaiden was so cute and told me that he wouldn't have worn it anyway so we bagged the helmet (oh it would have been so great, IF it would have turned out like the idea in my head)

Kaiden gave a great oral report on Wednesday. I was told this by several of my neighbors, since I wasn't able to go. This was the VERY first time I hadn't gone to ANY of Kaiden's school functions (I even made it to the monthly assembly where Kaiden's third grade class sang ONE Christmas song) I was sooo sad but I had taken off earlier the day before so Kaiden's friend could come home from school with him and had to go in a little late because of chasing around for the paint suit. Once again my cute little boy made it ok for me. He told me that he would probably be too nervous with me there that it was probably better that I didn't come (I don't know if that's a good thing or not) He got great reviews from his friends and told me that he knew that he did good. I wasn't surprised, he blew me away when he was reading to me off his index cards, the night before. I thought I would have to have him read them and reread them but he did it like a pro. I forget what a great reader he is and how grown up he has become. I almost started crying when he was "giving me his oral report." I know it's silly but he is just getting so big.

The Wax Museum on Thursday was AMAZING. I didn't know it was going to be as great as it turned out or I wouldn't have sent Kaiden with some dinky table clothe we had lying around. (All of the kids had to have a table cloth to put on their desk to display all their props) They had all of the lights dimmed in the library and each kid had their own little lamp lighting their desk. (luckily, Brayden came through with a cool lamp that looked great) I couldn't believe how life-like yet waxish the kids looked. It was just like going through a real wax museum. Or how I would imagine it, if I had ever been to one. Kaiden started laughing when Paul, my mom and I walked by him, and couldn't stop. It was pretty funny

All in all, everything turned out really great!!! I think Bunko turned out good too. It was fun to have most of my friends together and meet new ones too. I think my "Special" punch went over well. (thanks to Jen) I even whipped up a spinache dip at the last minute because I couldnt find a store that carried it. We had a fun busy week but I was glad to have it over with.

Stay tuned for our great Valentines box and Valentines fun.....

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Even though it's over a month late, I'm going to do a Christmas post. I got so busy and never got back to it, so here are all the fun things we did for the holidays.....My mom has had a tradition the last two years, this will be the third year, that she takes all the grandkids to Build-A-Bear. Each of them get to make a new stuffed animal for that year. They are always so excited and look forward to making a new stuffed animal. A week before Christmas Brayden, Kaiden, Mandi, Maci, Mckay, Avery, my mom, and I headed up to Salt Lake to eat at the restaurant above the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (not the Roof) see the temple lights and go to Build-A-Bear at the Gateway.

Mixed Feelings...

In my ward today, all of us in the Relief Society Presidency were released. We have been in for over 2 1/2 years and I think everyone was relieved, except for me. I am happy in a way but also a little sad. I am happy because I have the opportunity to serve somewhere else, get to know other people a little better, and have a little break. I am sad because I have learned to love my calling and the sisters I served and have served with.

When I first got called to be the RS secretary I had only been in the ward for less than 3 months. The bishop came to my house and said that the Relief Society and Young Women were going to be reorganizing and my name had come up for several different callings. (I really had no idea how anyone knew me, since I hadn't been there that long but was excited to be getting a calling) When he told me that he would like to extend a calling to me to be the new RS Secretary I said, "Are you sure?"

I didn't doubt that the Bishop or new President knew what they were doing, but the RS Secretary? Me? First of all, I barely knew one or two people and that's only because they were my neighbors or someone that my parents knew. Second, I really hadn't been that involved in RS very much before. I might have gone here and there when I was in between a Primary or YW calling but I really didn't have a lot of experience in Relief Society. Third, I was a single mom. I didn't know if they REALLY wanted ME in the Presidency, I was different than everyone else. Of course I told the Bishop I would accept the calling, even though I was really nervous.

Everyone in the ward was so great after they heard that I was the new Secretary. A few people came up to me and said that there wasn't any better calling for me, especially so I would get to know more people in the ward and all the sisters.
We had a great Presidency. I have heard crazy stories about other RS presidencies but ours was nothing like that. We didn't have a lot of gossip going on, we were different in our own ways, all of us had something unique to offer to the Presidency, and all of us worked really well together. The sisters in our ward were always so willing to serve each other that it just made our callings that much easier.

There weren't very many times that I didn't look forward to our meetings (even when we were meeting for 2 hours every week that first year) I grew to love and admire the sisters in the presidency and look up to them as great examples of strong, faithful members of the church. My testimony of Relief Society and service has grown so much over the last few years. I love the sisters in our ward and am so grateful that I was able to serve in the RS and that they accepted and loved me too.

Even though I am sad for this change, I know that I am where I am suppose to be. I know that I have gone through different things so that I can learn and grow and strengthen my testimony, and this was one of them. I am so glad that I have had the chance to work with some great women and now I will just wait for what comes next...