Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting Better- In Style!

We will be finished with I-Dude's 6x/day nebulizer treatment by 12:30AM. And we start the 4x/day set of treatments for the next three days.

We haven't really done this intense therapy for him since he was about 3 years old. I, for one, forgot how truly exhausting it is. Both for us and him. It was heartbreaking to wake him up at 12:30 this morning and trying to get him to wake up long enough to breathe the Albuterol mist in.

So for his posterity, I share with all of you how he has found a way to take his treatments in style! Being seven and easily distracted, we want him to be able to sit still for about 5 minutes. Plus, the mist gets into his eyes sometimes and it quite bothers him; so... with his newly found Hot Wheels shades, and Fish mask, I give you...

I-Dude, the ever cool "Fish Face" Boy! ;-)

Look, it's not comfortable enough unless he's also got a great book to distract him. LOL
I can't stop myself from thinking, while I took these pictures, of how his own children someday would react to these pictures. I think they're gonna declare him "stylish in the face of inconvenience" as well. ;-)

Ok, I'm off to get ready for bed now. The last week of school awaits us and Summer's peeking around the corner. I need to get on the Summer mode so we can at least feel that we're on vacation. My patio needs to be readied and more herbs need to be planted. I miss my fresh basil!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cleaning and Cooking

We decided to stay in today, but we also went to the Library to renew our cards and pick up I-Dude's prescription at CVS. At home, we totally went OT mode on cleaning and reorganizing.

Just before we got crazy on the chores, we had our own version of "McMuffin". I toasted our English muffins and I added tomatoes for a healthier add-in. We powered up with OJ, water and vitamins.

I reorganized my dishes again to accomodate the ones we found in the storage. Yes, I have more in there... I also washed dishes and cooked our meals. Mr. Man was busy going through our MBd to pick out stuff he wants to bring with him to Chicago. We found a couple of his post-mission pictures from the Philippines. Let's just say I have a gorgeous hubby... (lucky me!) :-D

The kiddos, since L-Infinity also got sick today with a cough and congestion, got to have a free day. We played a round of Rummikub and watched a music video of the Crazy Frog as well as they played a detective game on the computer.

Out of 3.5lbs of thinly sliced ribeye steaks, I was able to make three dishes that yielded 6-9 meals for us in two to three days. How much was the meat? Only $6.85! I made our staple, Bistek, a Filipino beef steak with onion in soy sauce. You eat it with freshly steamed Jasmine rice. So good!

Mr. Man also craved Beef Stroganoff, so I made that but Rachel Ray's recipe fell flat for him. He had to call his mama (so cute) to ask her recipe and we discovered that the magic ingredient was ketchup for his pallet! ;-) I quickly rewrote the recipe and filed it away in the computer for future reference.

Then, to end the day, we also decided that some Rootbeer Floats would be a great dessert since we didn't have much of those this week. I topped each pilsner with Redi-whip and a blackberry. It was a nice tang to all that sweetness!

Of course, the day wouldn't be officially over unless we prayed for all of our needs, friends and loved ones.

We had a great day today; the sun was out, mildly breezy and we had minimal errands. I'm so grateful that I have a family that love to spend time with me, love my cooking and love to tell me their thoughts and feelings. That I have one of the greatest husbands in the world. I-Dude was able to get his treatments on time, J-Pony set the two alarms in their room to go off every four hours and Mr. Man's alarms also. L-Infinity even made sure that she took medication every six hours and drank lots of water.

Like I've mentioned in our family creed, "We don't have much money or the best of everything, but our kingdom is full of love, laughter and wonderful memories." We live this way, everyday...

How was your warm Saturday?

Test Results are IN!

And J-Pony and L-Infinity did a great job on their TAKS tests! It's equivalent to the Terra Nova and SAT-9.

J-Pony missed being COMMENDED (better than national average) by 1 point on one of the categories. But had a very impressive score all around! She's still in the 99th percentile. Last year, she got a perfect score! Great job, J!

L-Infinity got COMMENDED on all categories, putting her also on the 99th percentile and which qualified her to earn a FREE 100% grade on any major tests, except finals, on Math, English, Science and Social Studies next school year! That's 4 perfect tests she gets to earn! Woohoo! That is a big burden off her shoulders as it will be her Senior year and the stakes are higher. You know how right I am about that.

I-Dude and J-Pony earned themselves an A-B Honor roll both semesters; she forgot to turn in two-three homeworks each semester and he got sick too many times and missed graded classwork. We just don't know what happened to those homeworks.
They both got good grades in LEAP so we're happy. J got nominated and awarded "A Kid with Character", meaning she excelled in all six traits! She earned a spot on the Hall of Fame Wall! I-Dude had a near Perfect on both Math and Spelling and he is the Best Reader in class. If he didn't miss any tests from being sick, he would have been in the "A Honor Roll" on both semesters, a goal to work on next year...
Also, for reading 1000 minutes last summer, I-Dude and J-Pony pioneer the first ever, along with the other first set of students (only 31 out of hundreds), commemoration plaque of the very first Readers Hall of Fame program sponsored by the PTA for the school. You bet we're doing that again! They both earned a medal and certificate at the start of the year.
They also both earned their second round of Six Flags tickets for reading 6 hours during the Six Flags Reading challenge.

Oh, you didn't know, my children are bonafide bookworms! They would bypass a snack if there's a new book in the house! Love them for that!

Now, as J-Pony gets ready to wind down from 4th grade next week and enjoy summer to get ready for 5th grade... L-Infinity has to focus her natural talents to get an edge on the competition and start to pick a college. I personally, am biting my nails as to which one she'll choose! I'm hoping for BYU of course! ;-)

Enjoy your Saturday...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Of course something else happens...

What is a week without someone getting sick in our household during a hectic week?

I-Dude awoke to coughing fits and difficulty breathing. Gave him his breathing treatment of Albuterol and sent him to school. On the way there, I had this inspiration to write down both of our cell numbers and to have him hand it to the school nurse.

Mr. Man and I had errands and projects to do. We ran out of Bissell Steam Cleaning solution. Our cat hasn't been eating very well which meant new brand of cat food to try. Mr. Man's busy getting ready for his new work schedule and location, the patio still needs cleaning for the summer and clothes had to be sorted for donation.

But I knew somehow that I needed to write down our cell number to the nurse. And guess what, the moment we got in the car to start our day, the nurse calls and tells us I-Dude's oxygen is at 96% instead of 99-100%, temp of 99.2 deg F, and he's not breathing very well. We were able to pick him up in three minutes. We observed him first while we did our errands. Got home and gave him another dose of Albuterol. Let him rest and play a little on the Wii. Yet he still didn't get better...

So like most times that he gets sick, we found ourselves at another Urgent Care and he had to have another round of nebulizer treatment of Zopanex and Atrovent. His stats by the time he was checked, 94% oxygen and 99.3 fever. Zopanex and Atrovent combo worked within 10 minutes but only opened up his airway back to 96%, hence the round-the-clock, 6 times a day, nebulizer treatment routine again. This time, coughing is a good thing, a very good thing...

For now, he feels better but he's back to having these treatments every four hours for the next three days. But that's ok. He's better and in the next few days, he'll be much better. Until the next time... But we'll be just as inspired by then.

We thank thee, with all of our hearts, Heavenly Father for helping us keep our I-Dude cared for. We sure do love him!

Want Some Postcards?

Marie, thank you for hosting another great week of postcard peeks!

Need some postcards? Look at this collection! Wow!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Still Trying to Slow Down...

At least I still have my fingers crossed! LOL

This day was spent going to Marshall's looking at some dishes to get my fix. Then got some laundry done and more reorganizing / paring down of clothes while Mr. Man still has some time before he starts his new work schedule next week.

After the kiddos got home, there's the Ac Dec Banquet to get ready for and the B1G1FREE Year-End School Book Fair. We were served a free Hotdog dinner and I-Dude even won a $5 Polser Bucks Coupon and earned himself a FREE Book! Plus, I found myself volunteering for any At-Home PTA assignments. They're thinking Directory. I'm thinking... I did that for L-Infinity's 6th grade year, I can do it again for J-Pony's 5th grade year.

Now, we actually have some resting time and are watching the movie "RV". It's fun so far except I highly recommend watching with no subtitles on if with children.

Since Monday was spent with Memorial Day dinner, Tuesday was Awards night, Wednesday was school errands night, we decided to appoint tonight as FHE night, just being together... Something worth trying!

See you all tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No More Errands, Please!

It's only Wednesday and we're already tired of getting everything that our children needs and taking them to where they need to go. (At least IStock Photo dot com knows how we felt today...) *sigh*

L-Infinity had a Dentist appointment today to tighten her braces and change the bands from turquoise to silver. Then as tradition, she earned a trip to the nearest fast food joint. Then we she came home, reminded us about a little fact that she has a Math project that took us to Michael's for some canvas tote bag; Office Depot for Sharpies, colored of course, and Albertson's for some hairspray. Why did we have to get all of these for her, she had to be at Mutual since it's Wednesday!

J-Pony announces in Michael's that she needs a white pillowcase. Do we have a white pillowcase, of course not! Good thing, we have until next week to find one. Whew! ;-)

I-Dude needs to bring a board game to school tomorrow. Now the hunt for a small portable board game begins...

At least we were able to sneak in a short nap and a Smallville episode before laundry and the dishes screamed for our attention. LOL

If you didn't get tired if you had this day, then you are a super parent!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hawk Awards Night!

We spent the day, paying bills and having Mr. Man's tools refilled with his missing tools for work. I got to meet some of the other SWA employees he used to work with. I can honestly tell you that the friendly facade is not a facade. I have yet to meet a SWA employee not ready to greet you.

In the vein of having a full day, L-Infinity had her Hawk Awards Night tonight. She was recognized for her achievements in Academic Decathlon.

Gold: Top AC DEC Scholastic Team Scorer

Bronze: Super Quiz Team, 3rd Place Regional

The little one for Choir-Belle Chanson, Class 2 Superior Rating / 1 (Best) for Ensemble

At the start of the ceremonies...

Here's L-Infinity after she received her medals.

Next year, she'll move up to Honors AC DEC Team and as a Co-Captain.

Great job, L! Keep on flying higher towards your dreams!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Crack-up

We had a late start today, about 1pm late. ;-) But we made the best of it of course.

Got errands done after we did a quick rearrangement of the storage. We even managed to do a barbeque within two hours of dinner time with a matching tablescape!

But the highlight of the day is I-Dude's quick witted ways. We love his ability to come up with songs or sayings or stories even, on the fly. Like tonight, during dinner... One of our veggies was steamed broccoli. He loves the funny sound of the song "Barbie World" or something rather and starts to announce,

"Mommy, look at this broccoli." Then he started singing with the broccoli floret as his mike, I'm a broccoli boy, in a broccoli world. It's fantastic, being eaten! (The lyrics go, I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world. It's fantastic, being plastic.) We all, were just lucky enough to not have too much in our mouths when he sang. We laughed so hard that there was a 5-minute lapse in our eating time! LOL

If you laughed, have a cupcake, if you didn't have a cupcake anyway. It's a white cupcake with chocolate frosting and raspberries. I made too many. Ok, I only made 22, but my family's only allowed one so there are many left. Go on! I even put powdered sugar on yours. You know you want one! I won't tell anybody... ;-)

(Psst! That saucer, I mean, dessert plate, it's a Mikasa Intaglio Collection called, "Annette".
I got it at Goodwill for 59 cents each and I found 6! Perfect for today, huh?)

Bet you weren't counting on getting a song and a treat just for reading this post, huh? ;-)

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A New Baby, A New Hope for the World

No, I'm not having a baby!

But our dear friends Matt and Cori Adams did today at 8:23 am. Adalynne Ann (I think that's how it's spelled) made this beautiful and deserving couple, parents! Cori always wanted a baby so this cutie will always be a loving reminder of the answer to those fervent prayers.

We went over there right after church and though it was about 30 minutes away, it was worth the drive to and from after holding that sweet bundle of joy for almost 30 half an hour. (sigh...)

Despite all the horrors in this world, one cannot discount the calming nature of newly born children, the newest living gift, a physical tangible blessing, a true and pure miracle from a loving Heavenly Father. A truly powerful symbol of hope and purity. I love babies!

Went back to Nursery today and the Cutie Crew remembered me and welcomed with hugs and big smiles! One cried for about 5 minutes so we left him alone and once he saw snacks and all the activities, he came and joined in with no problem! Can't beat that result, huh?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday StaY-iN

TODAY was spent doing laundry, talking to a couple of friends, talking to Mr. Man about life and giving the kiddos some free time on the computer and TV. We wanted to clean out the patio, but the rains, yes multiple light showers "dampened" that idea. I guess we'll have to wait until Monday to clean up, clear out, set up, bbq and plan out how we want our patio to look like where we can live with it during the summer time...

I have two brothers that served in the Navy and the Army. My father in law was in the Army, we have a family friend who is policeman and I once dated a Marine. Whoever they are or were or will be, let this day be a reminder to all of us that FREEDOM is a team effort...

Have a wonderful Memorial's Day everyone! May your thoughts be focused on all the men and women, past, present and future, who laid their lives and set aside their own freedoms to guard ours...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Twisted Saguaros?

You know, after missing last week, I couldn't wait to grab some unusual postcards to share and see everyone's, but when life gets in the way, life gets in the way you know? ;-)
Anyway on way back here, I went to my favorite airport store inside the D gates in Phoenix, AZ and found several great postcards!
This one is about Saguaro Blooms, but look at that twisted one! That has to be at least 50 to 60 years old if it's blooming as it states on the back. (Hope you can see it) The blooms are beautiful!

State flower of Arizona: Saguaro Blossoms
"The extreme slow growing saguaro does not produce its first blossoms until it is seven to eight feet tall and fifty to sixty years old."
Photos by John Kamenchuk

Thank you Marie for hosting again!
Enjoy looking at all the postcards! I know I will!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mr. Man's Turn and a Broadway Treat

Mr. Man is done with his Apprenticeship Program in SWA. YaY!!! So, he also graduated! ;-)

His company and department treated them to a wonderful Italian luncheon and a brief but very warm graduation ceremony at the end.

This is just before the luncheon; the whole Maintenance Department dedicated a plane and purchased a bust of Charles E. Taylor, the first airplane engine inventor and mechanic. The descendants were in attendance, the grandson and great grandson.

Doesn't Mr. Man look great next to this plane?

This is at Bugatti's, right after lunch. Mr. Man was the last one to get his certificate, but then again... there are only three of them! ;-) On your left, in blue, is the VP of Maintenance and on their right, Don, his manager. On our table were all three graduates, me and Glen's wife and the Director of Maintenance (one in the cap).

It was quite an honor to be at that table. Even though it was a casual setting,

I felt underdressed with my black t-shirt and sandals.

With certificates- Gene, Mr. Man & Glen

They are all surrounded by all of their superiors.

I guess it must Italian Day rather than just for dinner since lunch and dinner was, well... Italian food!

Luncheon- Bugatti's Ristorante (Creamy Shrimp Scampi Sauce over Capellini & Salmon with Basil Alfredo Sauce)

Dinner- Palio's (Pizza & Garlic Breadsticks)

Followed by a school concert courtesy of L-Infinity's Choir. The theme, "Broadway". It was amazing! Her Belle Chanson group (all girls) performed songs from "Hairspray".

Just before the concert

The highlights of their performance.

They sang

"Good Morning Baltimore", "I Can hear the Bells" and "Welcome to the 60's"

Yes, "D-Boy" came again to support her. Isn't he just the best boyfriend for L?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mutual, Activity Days & Shopping

I don't know about your Wednesdays, but having two girls that have to be at the same place at the same time just a few hours after school is already not fun on its own, but throw in wrong Mutual location info, Choir Concert Rehearsal pick-up and last minute shopping needs make for fast food dinner on the run and late appointments.

I know, I know, pretty typical for most households, but that didn't stop me from having a throbbing headache and a not so great feeling in the stomach. ohhhh...

We are definitely back home... Thank goodness!

My Beloved Grandmother

(From BuyFlowers dot com)


(May 20, 1917 - 2005)

paternal grandmother
honored matriarch

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reconnecting with Mesa Friends!

Saturday was spent getting together with friends that were close to us when we lived in Mesa, Arizona. We were so glad that most were available to see us!

First stop was at the campus housing to see my old friend, Heidi. She was my wonderful neighbor and friend even though she had her own burden to deal with. She made things bearable for me while I was there especially when she moved closer. Our children played on this Loop a lot after school. It was great seeing them all again and our children never had any awkward moments, what a memory to cherish- our girls took off to hide from the cameras like they used to do! Her MIL was visiting them as well and she remembered us. How awesome was that?

From L to R- D-Band (her oldest), T-Gamer, my own J-Pony, H-Sweetie, my I-Dude in front of his sister L-Infinity, A-Tenderheart and Heidi. E-Cutie is inside sleeping in her crib.

Here's Heidi and I. Yes, it was that bright! I couldn't blame her for shading her eyes... We saw her baby E-Cutie as well but since I didn't quite get her permission, I opted not to show it. I will send her the copies though via email...
Then we're off to the Mesa LDS Temple to get some last minute photo ops with Shelby and Michelle. Here's L-Infinity with her BFF, Shelby in front of the Christus inside the Visitor's Center. She met us for lunch at Ono's Hawaiian BBQ place in Gilbert, Ross and then drove with L to the temple with us.
Here's another and closer shot of the two of them. They make a point to see each other when they can. She visited us before for L's 16th birthday party. They had a blast!
J-Pony and I-Dude with Michelle, my "adopted" daughter. We've known Michelle since 2003 and she calls as often as she can. She met us Thursday night for dinner and stayed with the kids, Friday night for dinner at IHOP and Saturday at the temple.
Michelle and I. I love that purple top on her, but then again I love purple on most things, lol. I think it really looked great on her with those glasses, too!
Here she is in one of the exhibit rooms. The Book of Mormon exhibit. I just love her smile.
Then we all went to the park, but since she had to eat lunch and got invited to dinner, the kiddos are tired and Mr. Man too, I ended up taking pictures of birds mostly at the Riverview Fishing Park. Then we went to Fosters for dinner. As it turned out, it was also D-Swing's birthday! He is now 9! R & M Foster have known us since they moved in to our old ward in Cali back in 1999 and moved three months before we did to AZ. They lived in Mesa, we lived in Gilbert. So it was great to see D-Swing be just a growing baby in M's tummy to a nine year old boy! I think almost two years was the longest we haven't seen each other. We invited each other for the holidays, birthdays and just because dinners. There's K-Lovely, their baby daughter, she is adorable and very friendly. She got attached to J-Pony right away and was quite sad when we left. So was J...

I am so grateful for these friends that made us feel better and welcome while we were there... We missed several other people, but I know that we will come back again so we'll just make sure that we have more time to spare to see more of them...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Grad Night & FHE: Value of Education

These are from last Friday night, the 15th. We found a hotel room in Scottsdale, but the graduation commencement is in Phoenix, AZ. The graduates were asked to show up at 5:30 to register, get ready and be briefed on how the ceremony was to be conducted. So... that meant we had to leave our hotel room at 4:30PM the latest. Good thing, we found a great parking space and the ceremony was more than I could have ever imagined. It was quite surreal for me the whole time...

First off, Thursday was wrought with bad events.
~ Due to storms, we almost didn't make the first flight to Austin.
~ We barely made the next flight to Phoenix, two minutes before boarding.
~ Southwest Air lost our luggage with my grad getup in it and all of our clothes and toiletries! Got them back to Phoenix @ almost midnight; they were in LAS VEGAS!
~ I couldn't get hold of my mom all day. I was a nervous wreck!
~ Hertz surprised us with an extra $200 Pre-Auth hold on our rental car, taking all of our spending money so no flowers for me for grad night!
~ Called the Fosters to cancel on a Friday lunch since we didn't know what to do if we don't find my outfit. I couldn't walk in my commencement without them.
~ I spent the rest of the day trying to stop crying...

Good Note: Michelle got to see us and stayed with us through a late dinner and even stayed with the kids while we picked up our luggage at the airport.
My kind SIL, Maggie, kept calling me to offer help and comfort. Randy & Midori Foster had genuine sympathy when we told them and asked to be updated. My ILs told us to keep them updated and call for anything. My mom comforted me on the phone. I opened my blog early Friday and many from my tablescaping blog as well as here offered their congratulations. All helped to stop my tears. (That's why my eyes look tired and puffy)

Friday: This is just before we left...
After I tried it on. Yes, I ironed it or rather steamed it according to how our family friend Michelle and my dh, Mr. Man, recommended it. Good thing, too as I didn't bother with my HS grad gown and I wanted to look like I prepped for it.
The Orpheum Theater in Phoenix was next to none other than the PHOENIX City Hall! It was quite a surprise; a nice one since they had a park like setting between them and the kiddos got to play in the fountains and enjoyed seeing flowers and pigeons. ;-)
Here's the other side of the city hall building we faced while waiting

Here's the outside and inside of the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. None of our pictures did it justice so I'm borrowing these two to show its real beauty. (I sat in the seventh or eight row of the middle seats while the fam sat on the first set, about 9th or 10th row. We walked in the aisle between these two sets of seats then exited on the other aisle.)
This is just before the ceremony with the kiddos, but I didn't realize that I pulled my tassel to the left. A little too anxious I guess. ;-) I felt more accomplished knowing that they were all there to celebrate the day with me.
Me and Mr. Man. I didn't know if I was nervous or what, but even my smiles weren't quite cooperating. ;-) He did look great though so it saved the shot. Ok there's a nice smile, but of course the shot had to blurry. Story of my "not so" photogenic life. LOL
This is after the actual ceremony. See the relief and sheer happiness in my face. Genuine, people. Couldn't have reacted any differently... It was hot with all that people waiting to grab their grads for gifts and photo-ops. I had to wait for my fam as they were waiting for me just inside and I had no choice but to watch out for them from the outside. Good thing, I only had to wait 5 minutes before I spotted them.
Here's Mr. Man and I again... And a better smile from my tired face.
Had to share the glory...
We had to stop at this hotel both to rest my aching feet crammed in 3-in heels for 5 hours and to have another picture with my darling children.
I'm so glad that despite the bad start on Thursday, my graduation turned out amazing! More pictures of our Saturday fun tomorrow... We got to see great friends!

FHE tonight was about the value of Education.
Since GOD knows everything and we want to be like Him someday, we, too, should learn about Him, ourselves, others and the world around us. Learning is not just about going to school for 12 or more years, it should be continuous and constantly applied in righteous manner.

D&C 93:36-37: "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one."