Monday, December 27, 2010

and December is coming to a close....

I can hardly believe that 2010 is coming to a close. It seems the older I get, not only am I sprouting jowls, gray hair and raisin wrinkles, but time is speeding up!

The week preceding Christmas wasn't going so well for me. Issues with bank, getting a speeding ticket for doing 8 over (stupid cop) and trying to find my typical holiday purchases in a new city proved a difficult few days for me. However, somehow I survived.

On a more positive note. We got to see the full lunar eclipse, a first for Cooper who stayed up to watch.

We also got to spend Christmas with my family from my mom's side, something we haven't been able to do in years. It was wonderful to see everyone again, to catch up and celebrate Christmas.

Cooper performed "The First Noel" and "White Christmas" at his piano recital on Christmas Adam. He did very well and continues to surprise us with his talent.

On Christmas Eve, my brother Dan and his family came up and we had a nice Prime Rib dinner. My mom was here as well and it was nice to just kick it with family. The six boy cousins together gets a little crazy, but they sure do have fun!

Christmas day was enjoyed by all. It was stormy and rainy. We were very lazy and I sat back in contentment as the living room exploded. The house still isn't back to normal, but I think everyone understands how that goes!

We feel very blessed at the closing of this year. So much has gone down and we must give credit to our Heavenly Father. His hand is ever-apparent in our lives and we hope to fill the coming year with more consecrated lives, more thoughts of others and more thankfulness.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

wailings of the flakey Christmas mom

Sitting here munching on Moose Munch, I cant believethat it's been almost a month since my last post! We really haven't done much.

The boys are enjoying school. We had parent teacher conferences. It seems that Sean's aloofness is still an issue, however both boys are doing wonderful and getting high marks.

Cooper is still playing the piano, but I'm having some trouble getting him to practice lately. Hopefully he's ready for his recital in a few weeks! He's also LOVES scouts and is working hard on all his achievements.

Sean is still as curious as he can be. He informs me daily of the happenings at school. Here is an example of a recent conversation, SEAN: mom, I joined a club today.
MOM: oh really, what kind of club?
SEAN: the hippy club
MOM: Wow, what does the "hippy club" do?
SEAN: We play secret games, like "hippy tag." Its just regular tag, we just call it "hippy tag."
MOM: Sound like fun.
SEAN: Yeah, they made me the master of the club. So if I dont like someone, I cross their names off the hippy list. Since I'm the master I carry the hippy list.
MOM: But you don't do that right? You let everyone join your club.
SEAN: NO WAY!!! I only let the cool kids in!
and so on..... You can see that we'll have our hands full with this guy.

Mason enjoys his time home alone with mom. He loves smoothies from Costco and having the Xbox to himself. Mason is still brimming with energy and attitude. I would love to get him into a swimming program or something. Here he is giving Santa some attitude.

Nick is VERY happy that finals are over. He can now rest and try to kick the cold that he's had for 2 weeks now. He feels hammered by school and sickness. However, considering those two things, he did remarkably well in his classes and I'm VERY proud of him. He's worked hard! He's also been called to serve at church in a more demanding role. The early morning meetings are not his favorite thing, but he's doing it cheerfully and working hard to learn the ropes.

I am busy. And yet, not sooo busy. Busy putting up the tree, ginger-breading and baking endlessly for the season. Wrapping gifts and getting ready for Christmas and the New Year. Our house has termites in the foundation. (Can I just say there are some MAJOR benefits to renting?) But we LOVE our little house, we LOVE where we live and are just so very grateful for all that we have been blessed with this past year.

I was asked to make a gingerbread house for a centerpiece for the ward Christmas party. I've only made one "real" gingerbread house and it wasn't a Christmas one and didn't turn out so well. This one turned out much better. I learned a lot about ginger-breading. I wont be making any gingerbread towns or anything soon, but at least now it's more doable to me.

so for now, my ramblings are complete. I'm looking forward to Christmas. I'm looking forward to the New Year. I'm looking forward to living my life a little more fully and with a little more direction pointed toward what matters most.

Merry Christmas!!!

PS. I posted this last year, but I just LOVE it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Can I do November like this?

November is wearing a mask of early summer and bringing an unusual warmth. The kitchen floor is sticky with canning residue and I'm glad to say that I'm done with the apples!!!

"I looked out the window and what did I see? No more apples staring at me!"

I did applesauce, pie filling (apple and apple cranberry), apple butter, and fruit leather. Hopefully, by this time next year the stock will need replenishing because I'll have another slew of apples again.

I'm excited for Thanksgiving! Canning the leftover turkey meat and turkey barley soup that I make from the carcass has become a tradition.

I love canning. Originally, my desire to learn food preservation stemmed from a drive to be prepared. I want to know how to cook and preserve from the barest of essentials, in case there is ever a time of emergency. Not only am I trying to gather all the knowledge I can, but I see the accumulation of supplies as an emergency preparedness investment.

Whatever, I'm done justifying this last week! Kids are on half days this week because of Parent/Teacher conferences. Next week, they're out ALL WEEK! heaven help me? How am I supposed to sew the boys' Christmas quilts with them home all day?

I'm definitely ready to welcome in the Christmas season. Although, I believe I will miss the white Christmases of Utah.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tidepools @ HMB

Nick's mother and brother's family came to visit us this month! We had so much fun! The boys loved playing with their cousins and seeing their grandma. Among lots of other outings, we took the kids one day after school to the tide pools in Half Moon Bay. They're HUGE! Other than stepping on a few too many living things and getting a little too cold, we saw some cool stuff; eels, seals, anemones, crabs, octopus, fish, etc, etc. Oh yeah, and Cooper and I got yelled at for getting too close to the seals. Whoops! We love living here. There is always something to do.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Missiles and more

We headed up to marin county to the nike missile site.

Then we hit chinatown for some shopping and good food. So proud of myself for not buying anything, unless you count the food.

This is my first blog attempt from my phone, so we'll see how it goes. This app will only let me add one photo! That may not cut it for this photo-happy girl!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

this family is eating healthier!

so this past week, i've resolved myself to cook healthier for the family. i thought i was doing fairly well at cooking with more whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies, less meat, sugar and complex carbs.

all was lost today

when i passed a Krispy Kreme donuts and remembered we'd seen burgers on TV that were made out of Krispy Kremes. i think it was on Man vs. Food.

when Nick, the kids and I saw it on TV, I thought to myself, that doesn't look hard, i could totally do that! so i pulled into the drive-thru and bought a dozen donuts, came home and pulled some hamburger and bacon out of the freezer.

and here is our dinner....

the verdict?

i thought it was yummy!! and i'm not a burger person. the one we saw on TV had a fried egg. i
skipped that part.

guess i need to go back to my healthy cooking tomorrow.

okay, tomorrow afternoon.

after we eat the rest of the Krispy Kremes for breakfast.

Friday, October 22, 2010

snails and puppy dog tails?

in a sea of boys, i sometimes wonder what my life has become. the pitter patter of little feet has gradually escalated to the rumble and crashing of three rapidly growing boys. ours lives are engulfed with scouts, video games, wrestling matches... as us, as parents, try to trickle in scripture study, family home evening and meaningful family time. sometimes it feels like the quiet messages we try to teach them, don't penetrate. sometimes the messages seem to get lost in fidgety, noisy, dirty boy-isms.

then, they surprise us, with a maturity well beyond their years and we cant help but smile and cherish the moment because you blink and it's gone.

while bored at home, the boys invent games complete with maps of where the enemies lie in wait and homemade paper shotguns. watching their minds work in such a tangible way makes me happy. memories are being made and young men of character are being formed.

and now Cooper cries next to me because some kid hurt his feelings at scouts, i cave in and let him play my scribblenauts game. it breaks my heart to see them hurting. they haven't figured it out yet, but that's when mom is weak, she'll actually give in when they've been hurt. they act so tough, like they're already grown men. then the smallest thing will pierce the fierce exterior and expose the child.

it's not really blog worthy, but i just love it

so. i really decided that i need to broaden my horizons of motherhood and homemaking. and my sewing skills are quite lacking. so last night i went to sewing club at church. and made this....

it's kinda silly that i want to blog my new little reversible apron, but i just think it's so cute. makes me want to bake and be all domestic.

it motivated me to plunge into the boys' Christmas quilts.

but before that, the boys and i are making caramel apples rolled in toffee bits. yes all because of one little apron.

i love fall!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

i think he had fun, he's 7 afterall!

Sean ordered shrimp, sushi, spiderman.
so that's what he got.

oh yeah, and he wanted to decorate cookies.
fun day for Sean!

Happy birthday little guy! You were such a cute baby! And haven't changed a bit!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

another "I love where I live and I'm a stay home mom" post

we invested in a boogie board for the boys and took them out yesterday to teach them.

Cooper loved it. he was hesitant after the first mouthful of salt water. but he bucked up and went back.

Mason was in heaven. the first wave took him, tumbled him over, (he's in there somewhere) but that didn't stop him, he just went back in for more....

the entire time, Sean is begging to try, and i'm dreading it. i know my child. i know he hates his face being wet. he may spout bravery and love for sharks and the ocean at all times, but in reality, this 2nd child of mine is the kind to just sit back and observe ... i always loose sight of him, turning around in a panic. he walks to the beat of his own drum. we eventually give in and let him have a turn. look at that face, you think he liked it? um. no.

and i'm thinking about taking them again today after school. but i have so much to do; birthday plans, government paperwork, apples to can, errands to Costco and the grocery store ... followed by so much i want to do; read my book, play Super Scribblenauts, take a nap because i stayed up too late and there's a nice fluffy comforter on my bed that i insist is calling for me. by the way, the house is a mess. oh, and by the way, i'm feeling lazy which is why i'm blogging instead of getting things done.

i began the day with a mountain dew, but it didn't help.

and this is sitting here bothering me because she wants me to go back to bed and be her heater.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

it's fine with me

mom said, "I really shouldn't."

but she did.

mom says, "I really shouldn't" a lot these days.

but she does it anyway.

and it's fine with me.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From the Life and Times of The Gibbons: Introduction

I've decided that since this blog has in some form become a historical record that I would start posting memories from before the blogging all began. Has anyone ever said, "now when did that happen, I can't remember" and then you logged on to your blog to find out the answer? Well I've done it several times.

Like everyone else, I have a plethora of memories that I don't want to forget. They come to me at the most random of times and I find myself saying, "I'd almost forgotten about that." So in remedy, I thought it fitting to do memory posts.

Since this endeavor is more for our history and in order to keep them in the correct chronological order, I will add them as a link to the side bar and post them with the most correct date that I can.

So here we go! We'll see what comes to my brain first :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

tidbits, thoughts and nerf darts

Eight, yes EIGHT hours of conference.

When you add it all up, it sure is a LONG time for 3 boys to actually watch.

I've given up. I let them run amok, having nerf gun fights and wrestling wars. We called them in to hear the prophet speak. And during the afternoon session they heard, "I am a Child of God" and ran in to sing with the TV. I couldn't sing, however, with a huge lump in my throat and tears welling uncontrollably. I guess they get it, in small doses, but they get it.

It seems that in this conference as well as in church lessons and talks, we are reminded to follow the prophets, both current and deceased. Whether it's President Kimball's "Do It" motto, President Hinckley's "B's" or President Monson's "Attitude of Gratitude."

I love how President Monson spoke about gratitude. I thought it fitting to myself, since I've felt an outpouring of gratitude lately in my own life. However, I felt impressed to not hold onto the happiness and peace but to let it flow outside of me more abundantly by sharing my happiness, blessings and testimony with those around me.

I've been pondering lately about the gospel in my life. Not questioning it, but just logistically thinking about it how it works, how it infiltrates everything I do and all that I am. I mean, how can you NOT be happy when you have a testimony of Jesus Christ? How can you ever be despondent? It's one thing to believe in his teachings and to follow in his ways. But, it's another thing entirely to learn to believe him when he tells us that he loves us, that he forgives us and that he's coming again. Today while the choir sang, "Now Let Us Rejoice!" a sweet peace came over me and reminded me that he is coming again. I thought of the members of the church in the Book of Mormon, right before the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem. How their trials were great because they were faithful that the Savior was coming. I see the hard times that we are in and the worse times that are coming. Subsequently I am reassured in my testimony of the Savior returning! How wondrous and awesome will that time be and make all our little worries and frustrations seem so small and minute. I love being a member of His church and I don't care how others feel about that. It's who I am. It's what brings me daily peace and keeps me smiling.

"Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation.
No longer as strangers on earth need we roam.
Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation,
And shortly the hour of redemption will come,
When all that was promised the Saints will be given,
And none will molest them from morn until ev'n,
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden,
And Jesus will say to all Israel, "Come home."

We'll love one another and never dissemble
But cease to do evil and ever be one.
And when the ungodly are fearing and tremble,
We'll watch for the day when the Savior will come,
When all that was promised the Saints will be given,
And none will molest them from morn until ev'n,
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden,
And Jesus will say to all Israel, "Come home."

In faith we'll rely on the arm of Jehovah
To guide thru these last days of trouble and gloom,
And after the scourges and harvest are over,
We'll rise with the just when the Savior doth come.
Then all that was promised the Saints will be given,
And they will be crown'd with the angels of heav'n,
And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden,
And Christ and his people will ever be one."

Text: William W. Phelps

Hope everyone enjoyed conference as much as I did! :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

why do they call it butter?

i've heard it's praises. i remember it being on the counter here and there as a child. i have two apple trees, so i thought i'd make some. honestly don't remember what the stuff tastes like, if it's even good or not.

i found a recipe in one of my books and set to work.

first by picking apples and washing them.

boiling them,

grinding the apples to a pulp,

adding sugar and spices,

no butter, no dairy of any kind?

cooking and canning

well, now i can say i've made it. as for the taste? it tastes like fall. makes me want to wear hoodies, sip hot chocolate, go for a walk to crunch on leaves and sit by the fire while being thankful.

and i'm sure there'll be more apple posts to come since i barely made a dent in the tree. and i just love my 50mm lens :)