Sunday, September 28, 2008

Christmas with Trent

Thursday we left for my Padres. Of course, we hit traffic leaving Denver. It was fun seeing Trent and playing with everyone. We had a family picture done. Our first one in 10 years. Really, it was 1998 last time we had a family portrait done.

The last family photo in 1998.

In our family we have a tradition that started with me. When someone comes home from their mission, we have "Christmas". Basically, we all sit around and see all the things that the missionary brought home and await our small tokens/gifts. Madre even puts up Christmas decorations for the occasion. We love it! It is so much fun.

Here's my Christmas.

Christmas from Lara.

Abby fell in love with Ryan and was content to sit on his lap during church until I stole her for Relief Society. Cresy has been teaching her sign language so when she wants a drink or food or a nap, she just makes the sign. It's really cute. Sunday was really fun. Lots of family came to her Trent speak. We got to see aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. Some I haven't seen in 4 or 5 years. We were sad to leave, but we both had a really good weekend. Ryan didn't take any allergy pills the whole weekend which meant he wasn't tired and napping all the time and his allergies didn't really bother him this time.

We got some good clothes swapping in. It was a really full house all weekend. All of kids were there, plus Alisa brought a roommate and Lara brought the boy. Sunday morning all of us girls were in Trent's room trying to do our hair and get ready for church. Trent was a bit overwhelmed with all of us invading his space, but in order for all 13 of us to shower, we had to plug in the blow dryers and straighteners somewhere other than the bathroom and he does have the biggest room plus he has two mirrors in his room. He kept telling us how much he missed us the past two years.

We also moved Ryan's birthday up 2 weeks this year. Mom made his birthday meal (roast and potatoes) and had a fruit pizza for his birthday cake. He only had to blow out 4 candles on his cake. A couple of months ago I secretly sent Trent some money to buy Ryan a chess set from Ecuador. So Trent brought it home and wrapped it up. It is a hand carved chess set out of tagua. He still goes in to look at it every night before bed. When we went back to Ecuador in 2001, Ryan found an amazing chess set. Although at the time we were poor students and he decided that he couldn't justify the expense. (It was like $20) And oh how he was regretted that decision. So glad Trent was able to help me out and even though it wasn't the same set, it was still from Ecuador.

Then I arranged with my sister to order him an edited movie he wanted to see.He was trying to have Erin just buy it for us, but I told him that we weren't sure if they had any available, and then I just had Erin order it for me. Ryan said he had a fantastic early birthday this year.

My sister Lara got engaged. She is getting married on December 12th. I don't even know what her last name will be. Hmmm, maybe I should find out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Endless pit of gravel

We spent some time in the yard a couple of days this week shoveling and raking gravel and scooping it into the wheelbarrow and dumping it up the designated spot. Realistically, this is going to take us decades to finish moving this rock.

Ryan was also very handy and moved some blinds up from the downstairs bedroom to our bedroom upstairs so we can move the curtains. Did we mention that we found out the curtains in our front room are basically sheer at night? I wonder what kind of show we have been providing the past few months. Well problem solved now since we moved the thicker curtains to that room.

Before we left for the ranch, we got some supplies at Home Depot. As you can see,we can fit a ton of stuff in the Geo. We are now the proud owners of a wheelbarrow and a ladder. We also bought boards to create a 2nd row of shelves in the closets.

When we got home Sunday night, a spider had spun some nice webs all over on my side of the closet. Only 3 days and it took over my clothes. So now daily I move around all the hangers to discourage any insects of spinning webs there.

I got to go on a field trip at work. I got to visit another facility and see how the Medical Records dept is set up there. I brought back lots of ideas to move us from the 80's into the 90's. We'll probably always be about 10 years behind in technology, but my goal is to get rid of the typewriter by December.

Monday Braden came and stuffed Ryan in the attic for a couple of hours, but we now have a light in the entry way. And he learned about wiring and electrical. Then Braden took us to dinner and it was sooooo good.

We had a very successful week with Craig's List and Amazon. We sold 2 more quilting books. We have now sold about $120 worth of books that we picked up for free :) (we've sold 5, we have 8 more listed). We also sold a dresser we got for free and the air conditioner that used to be in our dining room and a couple of other items for a total of $70. We put a few more things up for sale this weekend. We'll see what success we have this week.

I almost looking forward to winter. Then we can stop the yard work and I can have fun inside during the winter with all my sewing, crafting, scrapbooking, etc.

Ryan started organizing his room and I started sorting through and unpacking my room. (Ryan's room is the office/computer room and my room is the sewing/craft room). We also unpacked some of our games. I think we might start playing games for FHE. Maybe tonight we will play the marble game "Stay Alive".

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hamstring torture

This week Ryan and I had a serious sit down meeting at the kitchen table. We made a list of each room and what we need/want to do to fix or change that room. We also included the yard. Then we prioritized and made a schedule. We are focusing on the yard until it freezes and snows. And after dark, we work on house things. This plan has currently left us exhausted, but satisfied with the progress.

We picked up a few things this week. We got a free dresser, a free trampoline and about 20 free quilting books. The best part is, we put about 12 of the quilting books up for sale on Amazon and and in less than 24 hours we sold two books for a profit of $29.00 after all costs and commissions. We still have more up for sale and hopefully we will sell some more. Ryan laughed when I said I wanted to try and sell them. He didn't think anybody would want to buy quilting books. I got the last laugh when those 2 sold so quickly.

We have a air conditioning unit we are offering up for free to anyone who wants it. We have tried selling it, but nobody is taking it.

On Friday night after dark, I finally finished going through the last of our boxes. I found the last of things I was looking for (Work and the Glory Vol. 3, my hymn book, lid to my favorite pan, my temple picture, etc).

It rained on Wednesday and Thursday pretty good. It worked out well for our outdoor plan. By Friday after work, it had dried out enough that we went out and pulled some big weeds so that Ryan could mow the back lawn (what do you call it when no lawn exists, just weeds?) After that, we pulled weeds out of the garden area and the gravel area. We spent 1 hour stooped over pulling weeds. We should have stretched our leg muscles before going out. The next morning Ryan mowed the lawn/weeds. He had to dump the bag 5 times and our lawn is about the size of front area of the ranch yard. Not that big. Then we continued weeding. Our legs couldn't take much more stooping over, so we got out stools and buckets and sat down and weeded the rest of the yard. I got a blister on my hands from the inside of my gloves. We are feeling the pain today. Our leg muscles are so sore Sitting in church was slightly painful as the bench ends right in the middle of my hamstring and caused pain.



Work is getting better. I'm getting settled in and making friends. Apparently our department had a bad reputation and everybody was scared of them. I've just been friendly and it has helped a lot. I'm adjusting to eating lunch at 10:30 every day. In training for the ice cream pigout this weekend, I have been going up to the ice cream parlor for an afternoon treat. Got to love free ice cream at work!

We ripped up the carpet in the storage room yesterday. Not as easy as I thought it would. I didn't realize the tackboard things along the edges were so hard to get up. The tackboard was somehow nailed into concrete and not wood so that at least makes me feel better.

Ryan has been so amazing. He has dinner ready for me every day when I get home from work. I have been working lots of overtime to earn some extra money and he has more than picked up the slack at home.

We both got callings in our ward. Ryan is the 2nd counselor in the Sunday School presidency and I am a ward missionary. I also got another calling to play piano in Relief Society.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On Saturday we went to the Denver Art Museum. It is free the first Saturday of every month. They were having an impressionist exhibit that ended this week. I love the impressioninst paintings. Well, it was nice and all, but I realized I have been spoiled. I have gone to 2 of the greatest art musems in the world - The Louve and the British Museum, plus the Musee d'Orsay which had tons of impressionist paintings. The Monet paintings in Denver were.... well... neither of us really like them. Our favorite part was a little exhibit on restoration of paintings and what they do to touch up or remove extra layers of paint or grime to make it look better or to restore it to the original painting. We'll probably go back on another free day. Our favorite painting was called "Paradise in Arcaidia". It actually kind of looked like my parents ranch (which happens to be in Arcaida, Ut).

I've been working extra hours at work so Ryan has been so helpful at home. He has been doing the dishes and cleaning up the house before I get home from work. It's been nice to share the household responsibilities again since we are both working. On monday, since ryan had it off, he came into my work and helped me rearrange my desk/office. It works a lot better for me now.

Trent comes home on Tuesday night. Can't wait to talk to him.