Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Time Re-visited

The holiday train is at full speed, and I am running along side as fast as I can, but I can't catch up! So here is my Thanksgiving rewind. Bear with me, there WILL be more installments!

Saroya's acting debut was this year at a very festive rendition of the highly popular (at her school) 2nd grade production of "Turkey Tango". Jaleigh was more than excited...
Saroya knew her lines and executed them with dramatic gusto. (And just what exactly is that kid behind her doing?)When Ethan's class preformed the same show years ago, he did whatever he could to NOT be photographed. He hid behind everyone. Saroya on the other hand is one for the spotlight, and took matters into her own hands when her view was obstucted.

OH she is a child after my own heart....

The next morning after watching the traditional Macy's Day Parade (I actually pulled Jaleigh out of the bathtub soaking wet so she wouldn't miss the Little Mermaid performance. I know... nerd.) we went to my parents house.

Look who surprised us....

And not only Hyrum, but Sunny & Derek too!! CRAZY! And the genius part of all of this, is that Sunny & Hyrum are staying until JANUARY 5TH!!!! Can I get a whoop whoop? Derek is going to go back to work, but will be back for Christmas and New Years. The Tangrens AGAIN bag the best Christmas present of the year, and it isn't even Christmas yet. I can't even speak to the pure gravity of what this means to me!! I know it is going to be tough for Derek and I want him to know how unbelievably thankful for his and their sacrifice. How do you give a better present than time?

After all the gorging and chatting, we got down to business. Or should I say the boys did...

And then another surprise...

My cousin Abby & her boyfriend showed up from Traverse City. FUN! Apparently her boyfriend is now her HUSBAND and they are going to have a baby in March! Congratulations!! I was glad they stopped by- we obviously don't see them enough!

After all the excitement, we headed home with a promise from Sunny & Derek that we would see them soon. Besides...3am was going to come early for me. (Yes I did shop, and yes I AM crazy....)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving MUST do...

Most amazing picture and idea from Stie.

So I just got done making 36 of these most adorable things for the kids school parties. No- I am not done yet, but I needed to share the greatness of them.

1. They are simple!!

2. The INVENTOR'S directions are hilarious and easy to follow.

3. They are delightful and everyone will think Martha came over for Thanksgiving prep.

4. They are DELICIOUS!!!

5. The kids love helping make them.
So go there now, and make them tonight...
Oh- and for the love of Pete and all of mankind, PLEASE remove the umbilical cords from the eggs you are cooking with. Thank you...


Tonight my kids were watching this...

Which is something I "make" them do at every holiday because it gave me so much pleasure as a child. :) After watching it today, I have a new reason to "make" them watch it. It is a history lesson!

The story comes to the part where Charlie's grandma takes them all to Thanksgiving Dinner. They all (like 8 or 9 of them) load in to the back of her station wagon that looks something like this...

Ethan says dreamily, "I wish they still made cars like that..." :) It made me laugh! Our Grandma had a monster station wagon like that, that probably could have fit 9 or 10 kids I bet! I loved that thing. I think we called it "The Limo". Did you ever have a station wagon? If you still have one today, you rock my entire world- and I want a ride (along with 8 of my friends).

Another funny...
Ethan was working on his homework tonight. Him sitting at the table, me on the computer right next to him. He says, "How do you spell 'written?'"

I open my mouth to speak and Saroya speaks up from the other room like he was talking to her. "W-R-I-T-T-E-N."

I start laughing. Ethan starts laughing. Saroya wonders what is wrong. "What? Did I spell it wrong?"

Ethan says, "No one needs to know about this..."
Then we all laugh.

(I did get his permission to blog it. :)

(Update on Ethan... We went to a specialist today and were started on a treatment that has an 80% chance of taking care of it FOR GOOD!! Here's hoping!!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Hunting Trip

Hunting season finally began here in Michigan this weekend. YA HOO!! For my mom, sister, aunt & I that meant going to the biggest outlet mall in the mid-west for our annual SHOPPING TRIP!! This place is HUGE! 150+ stores and even more savings because it was the 13th annual "Deer Hunter Widows Weekend". Watch out!

We decided to take our "Girls Day Out" Shopping trip to a new level. We figure we have been doing this tradition for 10 years and it was time to make it an overnighter!! :) Nikki came from New York and met My mom, Tami & I for the night. All of us forgot our swimming suits (NEXT TIME!!) so we walked over to Cracker Barrel to have a dessert instead.

Tami collected "peg board puzzles" from different tables so we could all try our luck. She got it to ONE peg TWO different times. Genius. Tami was on fire that night, because not only did she rock at playing the game, she got some shopping done at the gift shop there too!!

We got back to the room and talked, watched TV, surfed the Internet and slowly one by one, crashed. Nikki of course was the last one to drop. NST I tell ya...

Saturday morning started E A R L Y. We all jumped out of bed (ha- ha...) and made it to the outlet mall by 7:15 thanks to the shopping sergeant. (She is the one with the coat and purse on in the above picture. Ready to GO!) The stores opened at 8am, but the first 300 guests got special scratch off tickets redeemable for cash or prizes. Just look at the line ahead of us when we got there...
and the line behind us...
There was a van driving around with one of those target practice deers tied to the top of her van that cracked me up!! :) Bag um' Sista!!
While standing in line I was lucky (or loud) enough to get picked to do a game and won a $10.00 gift card to Nike!! :) I dutifully bought something for my husband with it.Once we got our little scratch off card Nikki & I were ready to take a nap. Ohh... it was going to be a long day! :)
We searched high and low to find the best deals.
Nikki's friend Angie joined us for a while, and even offered to stand in line while we shopped a few times! :) Great girl! She was really fun to have around... maybe she will come again the next time?

We fought off lunch for as long as we could, but finally decided that we needed to eat- and come up with a plan of action for the rest of the day.

The second half of the day was much like the first shopping, shopping, shopping...

By 8:30 we were getting so tired, we actually TRIED to look low for deals just so we could rest our legs and backs.
We closed up the shops at 9pm, and then went to Applebee's to eat, and laugh (ALWAYS) because we are so punch drunk.
By the time we left, we had packed mom's car just as packed as it could be. We said our goodbyes to Nikki and we started on the 2 hour journey home (for mom and Tami- 3 hours for me!!). It was so much fun!! I am SO glad that we haven't given up this tradition and thankful that I have the best girls in the world to have fun with! LOVE YOU!!

Next year's note to self.... Bathing suits, and a Friday afternoon arrival instead of Friday night, so we can scope out the sales first! :) Anyone else in?? :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Little Update...

GOOD NEWS!! Ethan & Jaleigh walked through our neighbors woods and found MY MAKEUP!!! Who knew it would make me so happy?? I will admit that the thing that makes me the happiest is that they couldn't find my little jar of Carmex and I have a monster cold sore on my lip! Maybe they decided to use it?? :) Hee Hee!

We went back to the Dr today and he was encouraged by how Ethan's knee looked. That is good. It is still a huge deep gaping hole with lots of infection still, but we are encouraged by any progress. It is about this time that I usually have a small freak-out because Ethan starts to get discouraged and I want it to be going away faster. I hate that he has to go through this.

Tonight when Jaleigh was saying her prayers she said, "Please bless Ethan's knee to get better soon. It has something green in the middle and it looks like lips on the outside." Actually it is a pretty good description! :)

I overheard Saroya telling Ethan that she said a prayer for him while he was at the hospital. He thanked her sweetly. I have such good kids.

I will keep you posted! And believe me... you DON'T want to see pictures.

Dodging Bullets

When I got in the car this morning I noticed every compartment open and papers strewn around. My first thought was, "What was Nathan looking for?" Then immediately realized if Nathan had really been looking for something, the van would have been cleaner than it was in the first place. I noticed even the video screen open. Our van had been broken into.

I guess "broken into" isn't really what happened because the door was unlocked. Then they wouldn't have to break the window, right? ;) I did a quick check and realized my makeup bag was gone. Who steals a makeup bag?? Seriously! Just someone trying to tick me off I am sure.

I spent the next 45 minutes on the phone trying to get an appointment with the Doctor because Ethan has a nasty skin infection on his knee. This is our 4th time dealing with this (probably) so we kind of know the drill. I finally got the appointment... 3:50p. Since it was only 9:45a I decided to take Ethan to school.

When I went to get him from school to take him to the appointment, he is limping like crazy. I chalk it up to being dramatic around his friends and we head off to his appointment.

We got to go to a "private" entrance because of the infection. Cool!! :) It is right in the back by the patient rooms so we got to watch the nurses (and listen to them mumble about patients and the doctor!! :) and doctor go from room to room. We found out he was running 1 hour behind schedule.

When the doctor finally got there he was concerned. I have never seen him this concerned. He is usually very low key. He was concerned that the infection was soo deep and fast moving, it had spread to his joint. He pushed and squeezed soo hard on Ethan's knee, globs of junk were coming out. Ethan was crying, but trying to be tough. I was loosing it and thought I was going to be sick. Finally he said he wanted us to go to the ER to get a second opinion. I was so embarrassed when the doctor shook my had at the end because my had was all sweaty!! And remember, I am still make-up free... BLAH!

We got a room at the ER pretty quickly and the Doctor was waiting for us. He said he didn't think the infection was in his joint, but because the infection was spreading soo quickly he wanted to do a dose of IV antibiotics.

Ethan wasn't happy to get the IV, but again was so tough. 10 minutes after he started getting the meds, he started itching.

Then it got more and more intense. His face was beet red and he was crying and itching and burning. I ran to get the doctor.

Of course he was having a reaction to the medication so they quickly stopped the meds and gave him 3 other meds to counter act the reaction. Seriously!

Finally, after a nap and some strict instruction from the ER doc that if his fever went up anymore he was to come back in and he was to see the pediatrician first thing in the morning to evaluate the progress, we came home.

After a day when you just want to scream "UNCLE!!" you realize that you end up feeling so thankful for the blessings we have.

Thankful for the reminder that I really should lock my van.
Thankful for the realization that my purse was in the van all along, but it was in the very back and untouched.
Thankful for caring doctors and nurses and medications that can help us when we really need it.
Thankful that this morning his knee is still disgusting, but looking better.
Thankful for the priesthood, my husband and the peace and that brings to us all.
Thankful for our bodies that heal quickly.
Thankful the neighbor dog found my makeup bag... but it was empty.

Realizing that all day today I haven't been being shot down, but dodging bullets....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hey Nikki....

It's your BIRTHDAY!!!!

I am going to try to describe you in just 37 words....
Super-hero-like :)
Thank you for being there for me ALWAYS. I wouldn't be sane without you. :) You ARE my happy pill. I can't wait to give you your present in person NEXT WEEK!! :)
Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted

I voted because my sister told me I would be a bad mom if I didn't.

I got to stand in line for 40 minutes with chain smoking people and listen to the drama of their lives.

I got to vote for people I know nothing about (every politician tells you what you want to hear).

I will now spend the rest of the day doing things that really matter and will make a difference.

by Mark Knoller

Great article I found....

You hear it from nearly everyone you meet on Election Day: "Hi. Did you vote?"

Answer no and you’re most likely in for an argument. "Why not?" "Don’t you know it’s your duty to vote?"

And my personal favorite: "If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to complain about the outcome!"

Without revealing whether I voted or not, I can certainly think of reasons a person could choose not to vote.

None of the candidates appeal to you – and you reject the notion of voting for the lesser of two, three or four evils.

You support a candidate – but not enough to wait in line for hours to cast a ballot.

You believe that it's your right to vote – not your duty – and you can exercise that right or not, as you choose.

On that last point: As Americans we have many rights. But just because we have the right to freely practice our religion, doesn’t mean we have to. We have the right to free speech; that doesn’t mean we’ve got to go out and give one.

Even on the news, we're admonished by reporters and anchors to go out and vote. Is that really any of their business? Don’t they risk influencing the outcome of the election by telling people to vote.

As Americans, don’t we have the right not to be chastised or even bullied about voting? It’s really no one’s business.

Some of the people who vote boast about it by wearing small stickers on their lapels – proclaiming to the world: "I voted!"

Well, good for them. It’s their right. But good for those who don’t vote. It’s their right too. And frankly, it’s no one else’s business.

And there’s nothing in the Constitution that says if you don’t vote, you forfeit your right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." That’s in the First Amendment – and it applies equally to voters and non-voters.

So let's ease up on those who don’t vote. Let's stop berating them or questioning their patriotism.

Now thankfully I am done discussing this.

And for the record... My kids didn't even ask if I voted...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Best Day of the YEAR!!


I have been looking sooo forward to this day and here are a few reasons...

1. Stayed up WAY too late talking and crafting with friends (and got a big jump on my "handmade christmas" goal) but still got enough sleep last night.

2. No trouble getting the kids up for church today, and if I hadn't backed into a tree, I would have been early to church! :)

3. At 5:30p after dinner the kids say, "If we brush our teeth right now and promise to go right to bed when you call, can we play downstairs for a little while longer?" uh... SURE! :)

4. 8pm, kids OUT!!! 10pm- I am tired and ready to go to sleep... And I know that we will ALL wake up rested in the morning.

AAAAAAAhhhhhh.... daylight savings!!! Fall Back BABY!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Going, Going, GONE!!!

Something wonderful happened today. Today, my kids sold their candy. They took out 2 or three pieces (except Jaleigh, who GORGED herself last night to get rid of it apparently...) and then took it to a local godsend dentist that paid them $1.00 a pound for it.
As soon as we got there, there were staff waiting at the door with goodie bags filled with stickers, light up toothbrushes and even a free TCBY ice cream coupon! Then they gave the girls (Ethan was at a hockey game so he couldn't come) a paper to fill out to be entered into a drawing for an X Box 360 (and a drawing for adults to win an electric toothbrush!). Then it was time to unload!

The whole office was making a big deal about how much candy they had (I'm sure they did that with everyone) and how glad they were that the girls brought it in.
SEVEN POUNDS!! Saroya was stunned! She was just hoping for ONE pound. The dentist made it even more exciting for the kids by giving them "golden coins" as Saroya calls them.

The coolest thing about this is that the dentist is working with a charity to send the candy (and some toothbrushes!!) to our troops in Iraq. They made a big card and had the kids sign it to go along with the delivery. Saroya wrote "I hope you like candy!!" :) Saroya is sure that our troops will share her candy with Iraqi children who "have never tasted candy before."

I have seen pictures and heard numerous stories of soldiers sharing candy with the Iraqi kids- just a small gesture that bring those kids that are enduring soo much, just a little bit of joy. I am glad (and my kids are excited!)that they can help, if even in a small minuscule way.

The whole way home, Saroya just kept repeating "I can't believe I have seven dollars!!"

Ethan was just as stunned when he found out about the money they had earned, and together they decided that we would use the money to see "High School Musical 3". I found a "twilight" showing that was only $4.50 a ticket, so they used what money they had, and we had a deal!

What a HIT! I wish I could have taken a picture of the kids faces while they were watching it. Perma-smiles all around. Clapping, singing and happiness... except this part... :)

I don't know what the best part of the experience of this day was, but I can't tell you what a big relief it is to not have that candy around. I don't have to hear "can I have a piece of candy" all day long for the next two months, I don't have to find Miss J huddled in the back of the closet in a mound of candy wrappers, and I won't be sneaking a treat as I walk by the stash. It is just a good feeling all around, and I encourage you to find out if a dentist in your area might offer this service next year. It is totally worth it!!