Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Melodie in Paris

Mel sent me a few pictures over the weekend, showing all the fun stuff she's doing in Paris. She is having a very good time and has been safe, which is good cause this is her first time off on an adventure by herself. (They were instructed to not leave their rooms on Sunday after France won the World Cup, people in France were going crazy)
Joseph's trip to Chile for 3 weeks in 2015 was harder for him than he thought it would be, but looking back he says that was a great prep for serving a mission. He called Corey like everyday (with us in Brazil and him in Chile, we had a huge roaming bill on our cell phones that month!) Mel hasn't seemed to be desperate for contact with us.
Corey might have preempted it though, he's been checking in with her frequently.
So she is there for the Da Capo Alliance Flute class.
And then there's all the fun tourist-y things she gets to do on the side, fun!
I'll just post the pictures...
I'll let Mel update this later with who is who and what is what.
 Although I can tell that this one above is ice cream.
But I've never been to Paris, France, or Europe. Thanks for reppin' the Corey Wride clan, Mel!

We're excited to hear all about her trip when she gets home this weekend.

She flies back home on Saturday. Leaves Paris at 8:30 am, arrives in LA at 7:30, then here in SL at 11:35.
That'll be a long flight. It will be good to have her home. (I miss my extra drivers!)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Wesley in San Diego

This morning at 1:10 a.m., I was on the freeway driving in the car. I drove the Fiesta cause it has a working bluetooth stereo, unlike my poor worn out minivan. I still call the Fiesta "Joseph's car" sometimes, but I'm practicing on just calling it "The Fiesta". So, I was driving and blasting The Greatest Showman on my way to pick up Wesley. He arrived at 1:30 am at the Soundhouse, returning triumphantly from his band tour. He went to San Diego with the Caleb Chapman's Soundhouse group Little Big Band. I don't know if Wes took pictures, but here are a few that I got off of Caleb's facebook page - here by the USS Midway museum after their performance -
Cool picture, huh! Wesley is in the front with a trumpet, his tie not tucked in and is blowing in the ocean breeze. See him? To the right of the blue guitar. A picture of them performing -
Hope they didn't get too hot there in those big black zoot suits! Oh, he just said they were dying of heat. Wes is here with me, gonna give me a quick report. His roommates were other trumpet players - Zach, Mitchell, and Nick. They spent all day Wednesday on the bus driving down. On the first day/Thursday, they spent their time at Sea World. At 5pm they left and went to the beach. He got a little burnt, or rather "tan" cause he's already gotten his burn over with at Scofield. On Friday, they went to the zoo (and "that was really boring") and then performed at Balboa Park, and that was fun but they were really sweaty. On Saturday, they went to the USS Midway Museum and performed there. Sunday they spent all day driving home. At one stop for food, the bus went to get gas and got a flat tire and they had to wait an extra hour. That contributed to them not arriving until 1:30, but if my memory serves me right, every year they seem to arrive back home in the wee hours of the morning. Luckily, last night, I wasn't feeling that great, and Corey was over at his parent's house with all the kids, so I took a power nap from like 7 - 10 pm, so I was okay to do the 1 a.m. drive down. I was blasting Greatest Showman mostly for fun, not to keep myself awake. It was my one chance to sing at the top of my lungs without worrying about being seen. :) Songs I loved the most last night - The Greatest Show, Come Alive, and This Is Me! We listened to the Killers on the way home in between Wes telling me about tour and we arrived home safely at 2:11 (thanks for keeping stats for me, Life 360).

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Package to Joseph

I sent a package to Joseph today with the Mayan Xpress and I'm excited. I hope every mission has an express delivery service like this. I was telling Corey that we should do something like this - we could take family trips and subsidize them by taking packages for missionaries, ha! Might not pay the bills, but could still be a sweet deal for travelers. So, the main thing in his package was something that I hope will come in very handy to Joseph and something that I think every missionary and missionary mom should know about - may I introduce you to the AlphaSmart 3000. I bought a used one on Amazon and with a free trial of a Prime subscription I was able to get it in just a little over 24 hours and get it ready to send on Saturday. I put a little message on it for Joseph that will greet him when he turns in on.
So, from what I hear, the missionaries in the field have the same limited time to be online on their P-day (preparation day) as do the missionaries in the MTC - aka ONE HOUR. That is not a lot of time to read through emails from family and friends and respond to each one, much less give a detailed account of all the thoughts and events of the past week. But with this little baby, he can type up his journal or thoughts on here every day if he wants! Although he did take other journals and notebooks to write things out by hand too, so not sure what he'll do. But if he wants it all online for easy searching, typing and blogging it in the way to go. When I want to look up something in my mission journal, I have to rack my brain trying to remember something that will give me a time reference for dates to look through, and then I'm having to scan and search each hand written page. So my opinion is, and I told him, he should type it all up and send it to me and I'll get it all nicely arranged for him to be able to print it all up in a blog book at the end of his 2 years.

Joseph doesn't get packages at the MTC, but this will package will be delivered to the mission office for him next Wednesday, and when he does leave the MTC and start his adventure in the mission field, he'll be able to get this on day 1 (pretty sure) and can type things out. Great thing about this is that it saves all his typed up thoughts and letters he wants to send, and when the hour of internet time comes, he can move the cursor into the email body where he wants his Alphasmart file to appear, and he attaches the Alphasmart with a USB cord (which I provided) and then just press "send" and the text uploads in a minute (depending on how big the file is).  I learned that by trial and error as I hooked the thing to my computer to figure out how it worked. I opened up exlporer thinking I had to open, copy, and paste a file. And my cursor was in the google address bar, so when I pressed send, text all started appearing in the web address and it googled it and I thought my computer was spazzing out. I had googled it trying to figure out how it works, but had to figure it out through trial and error. Had I just looked at the second comment in the reviews, I would have learned how it worked  -

"The cord attaches to the computer by USB. Open a text document (like Word, Open Office, (or an new email message to compose) etc), put the mouse where you want it to type, and press "send". It types out everything in the file for you. To clear the file, press the clear file button and then press y for yes. It's pretty easy and straight forward. The directions are taped to the back.

If Joseph has a companion that uses the Alphasmart, he'll be able to show Joseph how to work it. I think this sounds to me like a must have. We'll be making sure each of our missionaries has one of these. ...that is, trusting Joseph uses it and it helps him write longer letters/emails! We'll know in a month (3 weeks until he gets it, then a week to actually write about his first week in the the field).

What else. So I was working on things to send to Joseph all morning - I had printed up pictures of his friends, from Senior Prom and Senior Trip. I put in brown shoelaces he requested, bought some chocolates (Kit Kats, Reeses, and Hershey's mix of Goodbars and Krackles etc), more batteries for the Alphasmart, and then I did a last minute print up of a lot of BYU speeches talks. I had sent him the text of Elder Christofferson's "Daily Bread" talk in my email to him after week 1. It was a talk that has helped me before to take a day at a time, something I always need to be reminded of. I knew it was too much for him to read while he was online, I asked if he's able to print his emails? He later said no, so I decided to send him a copy of it. Then I just got excited and was printing up tons of BYU speeches that I've listened to at just the right time that have helped me when I'm cast down with worries about my life's apparent problems. Of course the classic I go to whenever life gets scary - "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence" by Elder Holland. I also sent "What is Your Calling In Life", "The Truth of All Things", "The Power of Your Words", "When Life Gets One Degree Colder" "Fear Not", and "You Gotta Believe". I added a page of a few quotes and a post from my "spiritual blog" that I thought might help, then I had to head out to deliver the package - pick up time was at Ikea from 11:30-12:30.

When I left at 11:20 to take it to Ikea, I noticed a prediction I made last night had come to pass. The Pretty roses from laslovely roses I'd taken pictures of last night are all gone, so sad. Food for the deer.
Next time I'm gonna clip them and put them in vases inside so I can enjoy them for a few more days. Darn deer. I arrived in time at Ikea. There in the north east corner was a minivan receiving packages. $12 a pound. The package cost $58 plus a $5 service fee. And done, it will be delivered to the mission home next Wednesday! I took a pic as I left - the minivan is there being cut in half by the tree.
I remember it was always a delight to receive packages on my mission, I hope it makes Joseph smile.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Little Witch

On Natalie's birthday, a long awaited well visit took place for Lily. Corey had asked me two months ago to take Lily in and have her warts looked at. Our pediatrician is a busy guy, so it was a 2 month wait, but Tuesday was the day. She got checked out and she's all good, except for all those warts on her hands. She had a couple frozen off during a spring time well visit last year, but warts were back in the fall. I tried to take care of them in September last year with wart pads, and it worked for some of them, but man, another one was always showing up in it's place.

Today when she went in an attempt to get these guys gone for good. Lily had 8 warts on her hands - 6 on her right palm and 2 on the top of her left hand finger. Our doctor got the nitrogen oxide and the freezing began. He had to freeze each one 3 times, so that meant 24 times for this little girl. I'm assuming the sensitive nerves in the hands can tell when there's nitrogen oxide being pin pointed at them. I think it probably hurt, and Lily was showing that it hurt, which is why I was so impressed with how tough she was. She endured the freezing by gritting her teeth and taking deep breaths, but they obviously kept hurting afterwards. She shook her hands as if shaking off water. If she shook them they didn't hurt as bad.
Let's see those warts. Hands all pink from the freezer burn.
I hope we got 'em, Lil! Later that night, they blistered up a bit. I think the skin on the palms of the hand are a bit tough...
But that wart on the thin skin on the top of her hand, that one's a gonner for sure. Big big blister all around it, looked kinda nasty.
And the next day!! Yikes! It didn't hurt but that looks like something happened to you yesterday. That ones definitely detached, he's dead.
24 hours later - palm of the hand.
I hope these all go away. Here's how they looked today.
We love ya, Lil, "warts and all..." You're a tough little witch! (Pic below from Halloween 2016) :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Where Is Everybody?

The house is very quiet right now. I only have 5 kids here! Hyrum and Sophi through Daniel, aka SNOD, aka Sophi Natalie Owen Daniel. So where are my 11 kids? Well, let's go down the list... Joseph? He's is in Guatemala. That knowledge might become more settled as the months go by, but as for now we still have to state his name outloud when we're doing a head count to make sure we haven't missed anyone. Hooray today is Wednesday! That means we got to hear from him today, yippie! He wasn't able to send any recently taken photos but did send one that was forwarded to him from the MTC of some of the missionaries that arrived with him - they had to do two photos to get everyone, but here's the one with our handsome elder.
Two photos, Joseph is in the first picture, middle row, 3rd in on the left side - close up:
Good looking kid there. His companion Elder Mendez is same row, 2nd over on the right side. So, Joseph's gone, Mel is gone, she's in Paris for her flute thing. I was doing a video call with her on WhatsApp this evening until Daniel stole the phone and hogged the conversation...
Mel didn't mind - Daniel is cuter than the rest of us and also more entertaining to watch. Atleast until he accidentally hangs up on you. I broke the news to Mel that one of the guinea pigs is MIA. This is a first for us. They escaped their cage last night, which they do often, but usually they go hide behind the air conditioners or they go to the shed. But they weren't behind the AC and the shed door was closed... we couldn't find them. We opened the door as we searched in the dark. After 30 min or so, I found Vanilla in the shed. I think she came in as we were searching. Usually they stick together so we were hoping Carmel was close behind... we left the door open all night in hopes that Carmel would return. No sign of her today though. The kids set up traps all over the yard, which I thought was cute.
Totally ineffective, but cute. I explained to the kids who were pig hunting - the guinea pigs goal is to hide and stay hidden, so these traps in the middle of the grass aren't going to do anything. Like they set up a carrot and lettuce trap in the front yard, where she's never gone, and where she'd have to cross the open and exposed driveway to move to anyway, so I picked this up and moved the carrots to a new spot. Still, cute.
I picked up their boxes and bins and veggie piles and put piles of carrots around the fences and near bushes hoping they'd give a sign as to where she went, like if there are bite marks in the carrots or something. I texted the neighbors and they're keeping an eye out for her too. Lucky for Carmel, she eats grass, so seems like she should be able to make it on her own for a while? Good luck Carmel, we'll keep searching for you.

So, Mel in Paris, Ethan is at WORK! He is employed! He started a job yesterday at Costa Vida, he's very happy. They give him a free meal! I took him to work today. I left my cell phone and as soon as I got home, Hyrum was meeting me in the garage with it... Ethan was calling. He forgot to wear black pants, socks, and shoes and wanted me to bring him some. So I went down again. I gave him a bag of clothes. "Wait, let me take a picture!" "No." "Please!" I called as I tried to open my camera app... "No." as he continued to walk away into the restaurant. But I got him!
Hyrum's here. He's been doing very good at getting all his tasks completed each day, and rewards himself with an hour of Battlefront after dinner. Wesley left early this morning for Little Big Band Tour - he's on his way to San Diego... Wes is there walking with the blue duffle bag and trumpet case.
Abi and Lily are at a day camp for girls.
They left at 1:30 and will be back around 9. A few more pictures their leaders texted to us.
Lily in the red shorts, Abi in the black and white stripped shirt
Sophia and Natalie are here and busy playing with all the toys Natalie got yesterday. Owen and Daniel are doing their thing, Corey's working. But with just the 5 kiddos here it sure seemed quiet.
Tonight Natalie fell asleep with Daniel while they were watching the Little Mermaid.
Some good news regarding the tick today - this sent in a text from Corey to me, family, and our pediatrician: "I sent the tick that bit Natalie off to a lab in California that tested for three diseases, including lyme disease. The test were negative for all three." The kids were still bummed they couldn't torture it, but we're glad to have sent it in and have that verification.

When Ethan and Abi and Lily were all back home, we watched "Operation Toussaint" together. I watched it last night, Corey watched some of it today, and wanted the kids to see it. I've said it before and I'll say it again - Tim Ballard = Hero. Our scripture for the night was the verses in Alma that describe Captain Moroni, cause they describe Tim Ballard too. We shared Alma 48:11-17, but especially verse 17

Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.

I love Operation Underground Railroad. There are still 24 hours to sign up to watch the movie, go to ourfilm.org to get your free pass to watch this film. God help us destroy the business of human trafficking.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Natalie is 5!

Happy Birthday to Natalie! You get to start kindergarten this year! Yay for you, sad for me. I'm gonna miss this little girl and her cute little voice. The birthday started as most birthday have this summer: with the birthday kid getting breakfast in bed.
On this birthday she, like Lily, woke up much earlier that usual and was quarantined to her bedroom while we made the food. The kids didn't wake up early to make it though, so we were running a bit behind.
Wes made the pancakes, I cut watermelon into heart shapes, and Hyrum put the rainbow sprinkles over all of it.
Natalie went for the sprinkled watermelon first and seemed to enjoy it, but I thought they did not look yummy. After eating breakfast, downstairs to open presents! "Natalie is 5!"
She didn't want cake, she wanted donuts. But I went to the store with 6 kids after the park last night to find donuts and buy the ice cream, and they didn't have enough sprinkled donuts, so Natalie opted for the sprinkled pink cookies.
Sophi asked me last night "Can you buy me a present to give to Natalie?" No, sorry, you're on your own. She "gave" Natalie her pink unicorn, just like she had given it to Lily, and then taken it back. Natalie looks like she's not buying it that this is a real gift.
What else is in these bags - a Mulan Lego. Natalie picked that out over a month ago when I was dong early shopping for Lily.
She got a Rapunzel barbie from me and a Wonder Woman super girl barbie. She picked both of those out too when she came to the store with me on another trip. It's kinda dangerous taking her out. Corey took her tonight to buy the present from him. He left me a voice message: "I'm here with Natalie at Walmart. She thinks it's a shopping spree. She wants to get lots of toys." "I should have known there was trouble when she insisted on getting a cart..." and "I've never seen anyone so effectively use eenie meenie miney mo." Yes, shopping with Natalie can be dangerous if her birthday or Christmas is near. My personal opinion is that it's best to avoid shopping with kids at all costs. Shopping with kids turns what could/should be a serotonin producing experience for women into an adrenaline/cortisol one. Corey parent's came over and Natalie got more presents - a cute Calico Critter Ice Cream parlor -
And then at 2 the final gifts came when "the birthday lady" (my mom) arrived with a cake and a few more gifts. She had a automatic candle thing that kinda threw sparklers and played a birthday tune while the "flower" twirled in a circle on the cake, wow!
 And then it was playing "Happy Birthday" in a minor tune for the rest of the night in the garbage in the street. Until Corey threw a watermelon rind on it. More Cheetah Beanie Babies!
Natalie's Baby has more family members, aw!
She decided this will be the grandma, cause pink = female and gray = old?
Some small Disney Princess dolls (that was what Natalie played with the rest of the day) an Incredible lego set, and a Chelsea Barbie with a cute pony. You got lots of good toys, you lucky birthday girl!
I think she had a good day, so did her siblings, lots of processed junk. I wish there was a different way we culturally celebrate birthday traditions, food wise. Daniel after eating some birthday Pringles.
Sleeping at counters has happened many times at our house, but this is the first time with Daniel - we had so much partying going on that he missed his nap.
So, next birthday is Owen in 17 days, then Hyrum in Aug - . So 2 more to go before school starts, 3 after school starts, then we're done until Mel in December. Happy Birthday Natalie, we love you! But I mean it this time, it's time to stop growing up!
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