Friday, August 6, 2010

My little brother received his mission call last night. He'll be going to the North Carolina Raleigh Mission, reporting to the MTC in November 2010! We're so excited. It was fun to have everyone in the family make guesses about where he would go and post it on a world map. We were there with him just a few weeks ago and hoped he would get his call while we were there. We missed it by a week and a half. We're grateful for modern technology. We were able to be there via webcam. Such a fun experience.

I'm so proud of him. He'll be a great missionary and it will be a wonderful two years of his life!

This is my family (my family, sisters families, brother and parents) right after my brother was ordained as an Elder (received the Melchizedek priesthood) , this summer.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Still Alive...

I'm still alive here. I just have been busy. Busy having summer fun with kids, siblings, parents, cousins, friends, grandparents, etc. It's been a great summer. Lots I need to post about. I have taken so many pictures. But for now, since my husband has most of our pictures on his laptop (which is 1500 miles away) and I have the camera but can't easily upload the pictures, I thought just a few words would be fine.

Before I forget, I wanted to jot down a list of yummy foods that we have eaten while we've been visiting family, most of which were made at home.

  • Spring Rolls with peanut dipping sauce - homemade by my sister, but we got to assemble them so we'd know how to make them later.

  • Pad Thai - homemade by my lovely sister

  • Clean-out-the-fridge-and-pantry veggie quesadillas

  • Crab cakes - from scratch, made by my awesome cousin

  • Build your own burger at "The Counter" restaurant in Seattle with many choices for everything, including 5 different choices of meats. We ate there right after our 1/2 marathon and marathon!

  • EASY creamy chicken enchiladas

  • S'mores bars

  • Sandwiches with all the fixings on whole wheat sandwhich thins, the ones that look like thin hamburger buns

  • Banana oat bars - made from food storage foods

  • Cafe Rio-like foods at my cousin's house, and we did also go to Cafe Rio once! - YUM!

  • Dick's drive-in in Seattle - I remember liking the burgers a lot more in the past. The shakes are super delicious and the fries are greasy, but still yummy. But I actually like In 'n' Out burgers a ton more than Dick's. The choices, or lack of, seemed similar to In 'n' Out's.

  • Ivar's - best fish and chips and clam chowder! Although, I was disappointed that one time when I was there, I ordered Smoked Salmon Chowder and I didn't realize it until I was on the freeway, that they had given me Clam Chowder.

  • Green Curry - made by my talented sister

  • Bubble Tea - I thought it was yummy, but Grant and some of my kids thought it was weird with the tapioca pearls in it.

  • Super yummy Corn on the Cob. It was so easy to just soak it in water with everything still on it, cook it on the grill over the fire (camping), and then peel it (schuck?) and eat it! Oh so yummy. And EASY! That's the way to go! I'm doing that from now on!
  • Homemade BBQ chicken pizza that my sweet cousin made. Loved the crust!
  • Grilled Cheese Tuna Sandwich. YUM! It doesn't sound like much, but... Man it was good! We had Tuna and pepper jack cheese with avocado and lettuce. It was mouth watering. I think I'll make this again and also add thinly sliced tomatoes and onions. Maybe even substitute alfalfa sprouts for the lettuce. Really, the possibilities are endless. I just am mad that I never tried any of those things before. You could also do chicken, turkey, or salmon instead of tuna. Oh yum!!
  • Fresh Crab caught by my wonderful uncle!
  • S'mores with butterfinger bars (thin), s'mores with carmel/chocolate bar, and s'mores with some other type of chocolate bar that I can't seem to remember right now. :-)
  • Mango Salsa - the most wonderful ever! My amazing aunt made it. We had a delicious meal at her house! We always do!
I wish I had pictures of these amazing foods! I feel like I'm forgetting many great meals people have provided along the way. I'll try to add them later, as I think of them. I am so grateful for the friends and family that have fed us and provided a place to stay. We are so blessed and loved spending time with everyone we have been able to see on this trip.

Hopefully I'll get around to posting recipes of some of these soon! Let me know if there's one that is listed that you would like a recipe for.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It could have been MUCH worse...

Last Saturday afternoon, my 2-year-old baby fell off the ladder to her brother's bunk beds. She fell onto a plastic tape dispenser (that was already in half, so the middle part was sticking up farther than the outside) and broke it. It made a perfect little circle on the crown of her head.

As I was quickly comforting her, I was feeling her head and suddenly my hand felt wet. I looked at it and saw blood. My husband looked at her head and said, right away, "Eww. That's deep. She's going to need stitches."

We rushed everyone into the car and headed for help. We stopped at the nearest prompt care to see if they could do stitches on a head of a baby. Nope. Because it was a fall and she was so young, they sent us to the hospital because they thought she would need a CT scan and they obviously can't do that at prompt care. (The hospital ended up not doing one anyway. Still glad I went to the ER, though.)

We didn't go to the ER in the first place because it is so dang expensive. We had an ER visit from when Owen was about 2 years-old and it was ridiculous how much it cost. So we wanted to avoid that if we could.

Anyway, we got to the hospital and luckily they got us right in. Poor Grant didn't get to go with us. He stayed in the lobby with the kids (and walked around the outside of the hospital and treated the kids to Dairy Queen, across the street).

It took about two and a half hours in the ER to get her all fixed up (there's always so much waiting in hospitals. It's likely only going to get worse, right?)...

They originally said they would do stitches (which I expected), in which case they would have to shave a portion of her hair. They also said it would be likely to scar and the hair not likely to grow out of where it would scar. Then, a doctor came in and suggested staples. Brilliant, right? (I was thinking, "What? Are you crazy?? Staples on a two-year-old?") Well, whatever. But then when they said they wouldn't have to shave her hair at all and it shouldn't scar like the stitches, I was sold! Get 'er done.

She was wonderful in the hospital. When a nurse or doctor would come in and have her do something for them, she would and she held still and quite for everything. She didn't cry the entire time. She didn't even flinch when they were putting the staples in. Youch!

All of the nurses loved her. They kept coming in saying she was the best patient they've ever had! Better than most adults. One young guy nurse even asked her if he could keep her. He kept saying, "You have no idea how wonderful she is!" Um, yep, I know how wonderful she is. I love that girl! It was a pretty good ER visit, because it was her and not any of my other kids. Enough said.

These photos aren't very good because they were taken on my dinky phone camera while in the ER.

In pretty good spirits.

She got her head wrapped to hold in the anesthetic gel, for twenty minutes.

Ouch! Before staples.

Hopefully everything goes well in the next few days with healing and she'll be staple free by next Monday. We feel blessed that she didn't need a CT scan and that it wasn't something harder or more oddly shaped, that she fell on. It was nice that it was on a Saturday when Grant could take care of the kids and we didn't actually have much plans except Saturday errands. It could have been a lot worse. I'm happy that it wasn't.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wow! A Beautiful Birth Story

(My baby Girl, born at home 2002)

(My baby Boy, born at home 2005)

(My baby Girl, born at home 2008)

Okay, by now, most of you know that I have home births, right? (And most of you think I'm crazy. I'm okay with that. As long as you're still my friend anyway.) :-)

Well a few nights ago, I was trying to catch up with some of the blogs I follow in my Google Reader and I saw CJane's blog and remembered that the last time I read her blog, she was pregnant and due any day. I immediately clicked on her blog to see all about her new one! I guess she had her a few weeks ago. And, I really didn't know that she was planning a home birth! Okay maybe I had read that once before on her blog, but with a brain like mine, I probably just forgot.

I was so excited to read her birth story. I laughed and cried. Happy cries as well as sad. Such a beautiful birth story. All births are miracles, but natural births really are indescribably amazing.

So, if you're interested, here's her story in four parts. Enjoy!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

*Just making sure you caught the fact that those cute baby pictures are three of my four kids (moments after they were born), not CJane's cute baby. You'll have to head on over to her blog to see her gorgeous baby.
P.S. I feel bad not posting a picture of my first-born. But, I just couldn't easily find a newborn baby picture of him, it was just too long ago... plus, he wasn't born at home, so in a way, I feel it doesn't fit in in this post. (Though I love him just as much!!!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Have you ever wanted to...

Have you ever wanted to:

  • Be a fly on a wall in someone's house (or life) that you think has a really great family, because you want to find out how to do the great things they do?
  • Home school your kids just to have the freedom to go and explore the world like a child again (and for so many, many other reasons), but you have a hard time wanting to take your kids out of a pretty darn good public school (as far as public schools go)(and you also lack the confidence in teaching your own kids)?
  • Throw almost everything out of your house and start all over again, with a more simplistic approach?
  • Paint almost every room in your house and add a back-splash and a chair rail, all in a six month period while pregnant?
  • Take a month long road trip with four kids, not including your husband?
  • Completely get rid of your TV? (No more movies again... unless you watch them on the computer)
  • Get rid of your Wii after only 4 1/2 months of owning it?
  • Rent a big motor-home and tour the country with your kids?
  • Completely change your family's way of eating? (go from eating out occasionally to cooking only from scratch and go from occasional junk food to no sugar, no processed junk, etc... you get the idea)
  • Work really hard at living frugally so you can pay off your house in a few short years?
  • Run a marathon while pregnant but you are so tired all of the time, so it is hard to find the time to run when you should?
  • Take a spontaneous, fun trip with just your husband? Maybe a cruise? Maybe surprising your spouse with it?
  • Throw away almost all of your kids toys while they weren't around? (Ya, I'm crazy. And a mean mom.)
  • To be in four or more places at once?
  • Pack up and move, to have a new adventure in a new place?
  • Have a lot of money, so you could secretly help a bunch of people in need?
  • Live out in the country with a lot of land for you and your kids to explore and have a mini farm? (But still close enough to a decent sized city, so you don't go insane).
  • Be way more organized but don't know where to begin?
  • Spend hours and hours uninterrupted, blogging, sewing, photo organizing, etc., etc., ??
  • Go on a sisters trip without any kids? (That may happen someday - if I EVER stop having kids - ha!)
Well, I have. I've wanted to do all of those at one time or another (or maybe all right now... kidding - sorta). Some of them are more thoughts or dreams, some of them can become a reality. I just wanted to share some of my random thoughts from my head lately. There are many more that I just can't think of right now, because I have a pregnancy brain right now. (I love that excuse. And I really, really believe it! It is so true, especially this fifth time.)

What are some things you have "wanted to do"?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Disneyland 2010

*This picture was not taken at Disneyland. It was taken by my 7-year-old daughter, at a park in San Diego, the day before we went to Disneyland. I just thought it was a fun picture of me and my kids. And I was also so impressed with my daughter's photography skills. We'll be sending her out to make her own money soon. ;-)

I really do need to get better at posting more often. I used to blog a few times a week. I don't know what happened. Oh wait, yes. Yes I do. I got pregnant. I got tired. Oh, so tired! When I used to blog at night after the kids went to bed, now I zonk out. So here I find myself spending the morning hours blogging, instead of doing laundry and dishes or playing with my kids!!

Oh well. Let the guilt go, right? Maybe I will be less tired soon... in the 2nd trimester. Or, when I stop training for a half marathon. Or... no longer have little kids. Well, since I can't wait for the last one, I'll just have to do the best I can for now.

So here's some pictures from our Disneyland trip on April 2nd: (They are in no particular order, and with no captions, because I am too lazy... or tired.... But, I figure if you really want an explanation about something, you can just ask and I'll respond. Sound good? Thanks.)

We really did have a blast at Disneyland. It was everyone's first time, except for me. It was fun though, because I hadn't been for about 13 years. Many things have changed. We managed to only spend $135 for admission (total for a family of 6), $14 for parking, and $0 in the park for food! I really loved that we could bring in our own food! And since I never take my kids to McDonalds, we told them if they didn't ask for any souvenirs or food from the food stands, etc... the whole day, that we would take them to McDonalds for happy meals on the way home from Disneyland. It totally worked! Except the kids were all asleep before we left the parking garage at 11pm. We ended up going to McD's on our drive home to AZ two days later. That was good enough for them! :-)

P.S. I also thought I should mention that the reason why I look really frumpy in all these pictures is because I was trying to hide the fact that I was pregnant, so I could go on all the big rides. I was approved by my midwife, to go on the big rides, if I was feeling okay. Since I don't usually get sick during my pregnancies (yeah, I know, lucky me.) I was good to go. I wanted to wear something that would hide my growing belly a bit better. The shirt I wore did the trick. I felt bad a few times, when I'd see the signs that said, "Expectant mothers should not ride this ride." But then I reminded myself that I was only about 10 weeks along. If I was more than about 15 weeks, I would not be riding them. Right?

Has anyone else been on roller coasters when they were pregnant?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Easter Surprise!

We were visiting my grandma, in California, for Easter. Easter morning my kids found some surprises in their baskets.

The first surprise was that there were five baskets out (we have four kids).

Then they found the shirts and figured out the surprise!

Yep. The Andersons are adding a version 5.0 to the mix. :-)

Another surprise we had on Easter was to be there, sitting at my grandma's table, when we felt an earthquake that lasted about 40 seconds. It was a 7.2. It was centered near Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. About 120 miles away from us. It was the first time anyone in my family had ever felt an earthquake (except for my family that lives there, of course). My kids were all hyper and excited. Made for a very exciting Easter.

We also had another "first" over the weekend. We went to Disneyland for the first time. I have been many times in my life, though not for about 15 years. But my kids and husband had never been. It was sooooo fun!! I will have to share more about that later!