Friday, December 3, 2010

National Lampoons Thanksgiving Vacation!

The Girls Coreographed a dance for a little show they put on. All the girls are taking dance lessons right now with the exception of Hailey who's not quite 2. But she made up for it by stealing the show when the boys tried to do the "boys dance". Austin got mad and said "it's the boy's dance!" so when Alex tried to pull her away she started smacking her Dad in the face screaming "NO, NO, NO!" I think we have another little dancer girl not afraid of an audience.
The entire Clan at the Scenic overlook! You can tell by Dustin's closed eyes and Evan's crazy face what a fun time we had getting our kids to stand still. Jeremy, Duane's son got to come hang out with us too. What a treat getting to see him, Grandma Marie, and Aunt Dale.

The litte Men with a Knight after the Medievil Times show! They enjoyed swordfighting together the most. And we had fun watching them.

The Trailer Park! What a sight we were!

Motts and Tressler Kids ~ Great Friends and Neighbors! I don't know why the picture is teeny weeny!

Just got back this week from a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. We went to my Mom's house down in Annapolis. The only way we could all stay was to park two trailers in the driveway.There were 24 of us, and We looked like some crazy redneck family, or cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. We had 2 huge trailers and like 6 SUV's. Fun times! Amy, John and their kids drove out. So brave! Katie, Alex, Maya and Hailey came out; And James and Kayleen and their two adorable boys. I almost stole their baby Makai because he's just so stinkin' cute. I would only have kept him till he was 2, then I would have TOTALLY given him back. But then... I remembered that all my kids are potty trained and I wouldn't want to give up the enjoyment of watching my Baby Brother have to change all those messy diapers knowing I don't have to! HA! I was relishing that! Sorry James, you know I love ya! And Kayleen, just hand those babies right over to James and say it's Erica's paybacks from wayback! HA!!! Hahaha! But watching James change diapers was only ALMOST my favorite thing about the trip. We went to the Broadneck Ward on Sunday, and I got to walk around the building seeing all my old haunts and seeing all my former teachers. We went to the DC Temple Vistors center and saw "The Testaments", my personal fav. We went to the Air and Space museum in VA. We saw the Enterprise space shuttle, and I humored Dustin while he spent at least 30 min. discussing the inner workings of an engine with John. The next day we went to the Capital Building and took a tour. It was really neat to see the statue of Ronald Reagan and the pieces of the Berlin wall that they incorporated into it. I couldn't help but reach out and touch the small pieces of a wall that kept so many excluded from the rest of the world. We went to the National Archives and saw the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I TRIED to see the National Art Museum, but left in a huff after the boys tried to touch a naked statue and Dustin made jokes about the Degas. Next time I'll take MYSELF on a date to the art museum :) We went to Port discovery the next day in Baltimore where the kids got to play for hours, totally entertained. I'm pretty sure I gave some change to a drug addict as we left, but she looked so mournful and said all she wanted to do was make it home for Thanksgiving, and here I am leaving the cold to go home to a most amazing meal. I don't know why but that girl got to me and I don't think I'll ever forget her face. You could tell she was really beautifull...before the drugs took hold of her...Ugh!! It made me so very Thankfull for All that I have. A wonderful Family, Mother, the Savior, my testimony of him, the Commandments, and the Word of Wisdom that keep me free from those awful chains that are so difficult to break.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal prepared by my awesome cook Mother who makes everything so special. We got to visit with our old neigbors, the Mott family and talked and talked about old times and new. And then we ended our visit with a trip to Medievil Times. The little guys loved the sword fights and the pooper scooper guys! All the little guys got into a sword fight at the end, and we had a blast watching them. Then we said our last goodbyes and my Sister Amy and her sweet family Drove away in her Tahoe...Waaaaah!

It was great to see my Sister's and Brothers and their spouses and families. I was sad to see it end, but glad we finally had an opportunity for all of us to be together in one house again. Can't wait for the next time!

I forgot my camera battery, so there aren't many pictures to share. Any that I share are mostly from others. Thanks! HA!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stay in Designating Hiking Areas!

Sweet little Delaney! Right behind her is the cliff with a Yellow jacket Nest! YIKES!!!
Bee-fore the boys were terrorized they had a great time climbing the rocks.

The girls had a great time just wading in the pool!
No exploring for them! Girls are so much easier!

I'm not usually supersticious, but maybe Friday the 13th really is bad luck.

Yesterday I took my kids, + 3 of my nieces, my friend Nikki and her 3 kids...(what? that's like 10 kids? I'm nuts! :) up to Childs Park. It's a beautiful scenic area with waterfalls and hiking trails. There are signs that say "Stay in designated Hiking areas" .... Now I know why. :) We were just enjoying the day watching the kids wade in the pool below the falls when the older boys decided to do some exploring. Austin started following them up a cliff, and that made me nervous so I went after him. He made it up the cliff before I got to him so Nikki tells her son Kyler (8) to help Austin down. They started to come down a different way and the thought came to me "Have them go down the way they came!" ALWAYS LISTEN TO THAT LITTLE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD!!! AND LISTEN QUICK!!! But as I surveyed the area it seemed safer than the other way they got up which was abstructed by a large downed tree and very steep. I was really hoping I wouldn't have to go up after them that way. As I started to reach for Austin, the two boys stepped RIGHT in the middle of a yellow jacket nest. I was face level to the nest and they immediately started attacking my head and went after the boys. Austin got about 10 stings, Kyler ran the other direction and got about 18 stings. Ryland seems to have not been stung, and Evan got about 5 on his back. I don't know for sure how many bees got me but my head sure is a little sore today. All I kept thinking is that the boys were going to go over the other side of the cliff. Nikki, the other Mom saw Kyler in sheer terror on the other side. I couldn't see where he went. I don't know how she did it, but she leaped up that cliff so fast grabbed Kyler and got him down. We had to reach over the nest to get to the boys. Hearing your kids screaming when you can't get to them is the worst sound in the world. I never want to hear it again.

I was reminded by the kids Pediatrician though when I called her after we got the kids back to the car (thanks Dr. McCugh) that we can't always see the dangers or know what's around the bend. That made me feel better, but also reminded me that it's Just like keeping the commandments. It may look safe enough. But we've been asked to "stay in the designated hiking areas" following his council and staying in line with the gospel. I've had youth ask me what's wrong with getting more than one piercing? Or a tattoo? What's wrong with watching that rated R movie or playing those video games? What's wrong with a little alcohol? What's the big deal? You know what...I don't know! But Heavenly Father does!!! His perspective is bigger than mine. He can see what I can't see, so by golly I'm going to do what he asks! Nikki was so brave to jump up there, right into the middle of the nest to get Kyler.
She got at least half a dozen stings doing it.
Sometimes we see our friends doing things they shouldn't. Some of us stay where it's safe. Others go in and rescue even though they know it's going to be painfull. I'm so gratefull to those who are courageous to go in and do the rescuing and show the way out.
YAY NIKKI!! You Rock Sister!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trip to Utah and Idaho!

We're Just missing Katie!

Welcome Home! Time out for Austin on the side of the road!

This is what happens when you smack your sister!
Sunflower field close to our house. The picture doesn't do it justice!

Uncle James on the Waterslide!

Cousins! Lizzy and Kaitlynn

Lindsay, who took care of Amanda and I in UT!

One of my Young Women and Amanda's very first babysitter!

More Cousins! Amanda, Maya, and Hayley

Amanda's trip to Sundance

Amanda and I just got back from Utah and Idaho about a week ago. Amanda was there for a Dance Camp at BYU, and I went out to see my Siblings, a much needed visit. It had been over a year and a half. Way to long to go without seeing your Sisters and Brother. I got to see Kayleen before she and James have their baby. SO FUN!!! And Ezra's so stinkin' cute. After flying in, I spent the day driving up and down the Wasatch front visiting with some dear friends. Some long overdue. Friends we knew from our days in UT, The Willey's. Brother Willey showed me his semiautomatic rifle. WOW! IMPRESSIVE! :/ The Chuggs who used to live in Jersey and survived. And then a long overdue visit with one of my most favorite YW leaders, Sister Eckerdt and her daughters. Why I didn't get a picture of that I don't know. I knew I forgot something. I guess I'll just have to go back and get one some time.;) It was so neet to meet some of her grandbabies. SO PRICELESS! Then after watching Amanda's performance in Provo we shot up to Pocotello. Crawled is more like it. I felt like I was back in Jersey in the construction traffic from Brigham city all the way to Tremonton, and I had to pump my own gas! Gosh!... but After a great weekend visit with John, Amy, Kayleen and James, and all the kiddos, it was back down to UT to see Katie Alex, Maya, and Hayley. We all spent the day at Cherry Hill water park and had a blast. Fun to have all 4 of us together again. Now I'm homesick for UT, the mountains, James, Amy, and Katie again, but it's also good to be home.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Amanda and Ashley just had their Dance Recital over the weekend. One more year of dance at an end. I don't know why I get sad. All those costumes now have to put away, maybe to never be used again. I guess it's also a milestone for my girls. They are getting older. They are getting so tall and so beautiful. I guess you start to realize that this is such a temporary stage. Friends of mine who had kids my kids age just yesterday are now watching their children get married, go on missions, and to college. That's surreal to me. But it's just part of life. They tell us that this life is like a blink in all eternity. I wish I could just bottle those special moments. Like the joy you feel when your daughter smiles from ear to ear on stage and knowing that she's feeling complete joy as the audience cheers her on. Like watching a sleeping 3 year old snuggled in the crook of your arm so peacefully. (I don't care what the supernanny say's~parents who don't sleep with their kids are so missing out.) It's such a short time that they're with you, why not enjoy every second. Or, Like watching two little boys chasing each other throwing sand and listening to their infectious laughter. I'll miss it when they grow up and move away. I wish I could remember that during the moments of frustration when I'm picking up everyone's crap! lol

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I had a Fight with a Tick and the Tick Won!

A couple of weeks ago Dustin and I decided that it would be super fun to plant our Vegi garden for FHE. We had the whole family out there clearing it and getting it ready, and planting it. Evan did AWESOME. What a hard little worker...when he wants to be. I send Ashley in to clean up Austin who is just dirt from head to toe. Did someone try to plant him? I go check and Austin has no pants on, just a shirt, and he's sitting on the counter with his feet in the sink????(Yes, I know we have strange bathing rituals) She says to me all worried, Mom what is on Austin? I look and sure enough there are 4 little bugs smaller than the size of a pin tip attached in places to make any man cringe. I immediately call Dustin because, well...OH...MY...GOLSH! He comes in from outside just to say, "You're going to have to get them off." WIMP. Glad there's one of us that doesn't pass out at the sight of So I take care of the business and send everyone upstairs to the bathroom to check the rest of us. This is true meaning of family togetherness. Evan has 2 bites, and Dustin and Ashley have them crawling on them. Me? I find two biting but there were probably a dozen crawling on me...Shiver...I don't like bugs.

2 weeks later, after feeling a little crappy and achy in the strangest of places., (The end of my ring finger? My wrists? Thigh? Shoulder? ok thats normal for carrying kids around. Head, Neck, Back, naseated...for about 2 min. I thought I might be pregnant again...FRIGHT!!!... and my face keeps going numb?!?!?!that better go away!!!!) Then woke up sunday morning with the tell tale sign of the Bullseye rash on the back of my leg. CRAP!!!! That means, Dr...Blood test...Medication...YUCK!!!! They won't know for sure it's Lymes disease until after a blood test I can't take for 6 weeks, but heavy antibiotics will be on the menu for a while. Yay!!!!!

Ashley had it last year...I don't think I was as sympathetic as I should have been. Wierd stuff. Thank Heaven for the miracle of modern medicine.

It's crazy that something so tiny could clobber us like that...makes you wonder what the purpose of a tick is anyway... Just a nasty little parasite...but if something so small and insignificant can make you that sick, I will be so happy to be pain free again when I've gotten rid of it, that I will appreciate the laundry and neverending dishes and I will want to clean my house spotless?!?!?! can always hope, right? :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


You should have seen Evan yesterday! He did awesome as pitcher. He hustled, then he chucked that ball like I've never seen him throw before. When things got boring he jumped and leaped around the mound like a little frog. His coach said "Evan, this isn't Dancing with the Stars" Evan said, "I hate that show!" and then got down on his haunches and focused on the game. SO STINKIN' CUTE!

Happiness isn't happiness without a boy and a stick!

I don't know why I'm on the computer. I think I'm trying to escape the idea of making Spaghetti sauce for 120 people. How did I get roped into this one? Oh yeah...cause I'm a succer! HA! I think I have it written across my forhead. Just kidding. I'm sure once I'm done I'll be glad I did it. This weekend is a busy one. The girls have a competition. It's the Spaghetti dinner fundraiser for camp. Brother Wyssling, who I slugged in the arm for giving me a guilt trip, was trying to get Dustin and I to go to the Temple Friday night ( which I know I should do of course but worry I won't be able to get everything done if I add one more thing ) But I should probably make time for it. Then maybe the Lord will help me in my ability to wrap my mind around all the things I need to do and places I need to be. Maybe he will magically clone me. ;)
Some people have the ability to organize their time and accomplish everything without forgetting the details in the middle. Me...not so much...! In fact the more I have to do, the more scatterbrained I get, and the more I procrastinate things. It's quite sad. lol. But at least I can laugh at myself. Besides...I have some good excuses for distraction...

I can't forget how blessed I am. I have these awesome cute little kids that are so fun to play with and snuggle with. They make me smile. It's very distracting...

Then my handsome husband with those blue eyes that melt my heart. That's how I know I'm a succer. :o But he's so kind to me. This week he just blew through most of his airline points so I can go see my sisters and brother out in UT and ID in July. Yay! I need a UT fix and he just says, no problem...let's make it happen. I know! I'm totally spoiled!

So I'm posting a few pictures and getting off the computer and making Spaghetti Sauce ALL DAY! Woohoo! NOT!
And this is just random, but what is the deal with silly bands? I put some in some goody bags yesterday, and I thought the girls were going to jump out of their seats. Holy Smokes! And all morning Austin has been whining "Mom, you didn't get me a Silly Band!" They are a hit!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Testimony of the Book of Mormon

There were three really great videos that I found this month that just spoke to me. I'm so greatful for a living Prophet that gives us direction and guidance. I love Elder Holland. He speaks in the background of these 3 videos. Each of them bear a stong witness of the Savior, and what he has done for us.

My New Life

Another touching video that brings peace!

Broken, Christ Heals (Kenneth Cope)

I just love the voice of Elder Holland! Just hearing it brings rest to my soul!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Break 2010

The Gulf of Mexico BEFORE we carelessly decided to pour oil unceasingly into the Ocean! SO SAD! It was beautiful. Glad I got to see it before it was destroyed.

See what I mean.

Well it's been a week since we returned from Fort Walton Beach in Florida. We had a great time! We took Mom and Dad Townsend. (Dustin's parents) We all learned what the meaning of togetherness was as we all crammed in the Pilot. 8 of us in an 8 passenger car with a trailer on the back. Dustin said "pack light. Don't bring to much stuff. We need room for the scooters, bikes, boogy boards Dustin drove the whole way. I don't know how he does it but he does. He's my hero because I don't think I could drive that far with a trailer hooked to the back. We went to the beach, and played in the sand. My kids got a bit burned since they didn't have their summer base tan. A first for my kids. They never burn! So greatfull for that, but I guess we all learned to be greatful for sunblock, and learned the art of reapplication. We rented a pontoon boat one day and rode out to a little sand bar in Destin, FL. It was beautiful. We saw dolphins up close. They are such beautiful creatures.

Dustin bought the kids some blow pops for the ride home, and we all crammed back in the car. Austin waited as long as he could, about 5 min. and then started asking for them. Dustin said if you're really good for a long time then you can have them. Austin waited a few min. and then asked again. Dustin said that doesn't count. Austin said, 1,2,3,4,5,6, 17,40,10, 14,5,6,7,20...does that count Dad? We had to give in and give him the pop. That kid makes me smile.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Girl Thing!

So we're gearing up for Amanda and Ashley's dance competition this weekend. Sewing straps, organizing make up. It's just so girly. I love it. I don't know why but I just get so excited. It gives me so much joy to watch my girls dance. It must have something to do with the "if there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." thing, because it brings peace to my soul. Hopefully I can get the video of Amanda's solo dress rehearsal to upload so you can enjoy it too. I think she did AWESOME! Pictures will follow after the competition. Wish them good luck! The video must be too long or something. Anyone know any tricks?

I love the girl thing! We went to see sleeping beauty , the ballet at the college! We had a blast, just me and the girls.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fun at the Lodge! The Great WOLF Lodge!

Austin enjoying the fountains!

The Lodge from the top of a Tower!

Giant Bucket that dumps a ton of water every 10 minutes!

Girls getting Dumped On!

Daddy underwater!

Evan and Austin in the Wave pool!

Taking a breather from running through the hotel finding treasures!

A puckered Ashley enjoying her sweets of course.

Mommy and Austin! My favorite spot in the Hot Tub!

Interactive MagiQuest you can play through the halls of the Hotel. Very Cool.

Evan yelling from one of the climbing towers.

Ashley's so brave! She did it! All the slides!

Amanda and Evan racing down the body slides!

This is for you Uncle Mitch! For the Tressler family foot fetish!

All the family sitting on a floating otter in the middle of the swimming pool. Yes, we forced a screaming, terrified Austin on to the otter...I'm sure he will need therapy someday. The things we do to our children for a good photo opp.

Amanda coming out one of the huge Water slides. She has no fear. Ashley and Evan were brave this year as well. Mommy even likes the water slides...when Austin allows her to.

Evan and some random people under water!

Dustin won Rep of the year for his district last year and his prize was a 2 night stay in a hotel of his choice and 2 meals on the company dime. NICE! So we picked a place we could have a blast with the kids. We took them to the LODGE...The Great WOLF Lodge. It's this Huge Hotel in the Pocono Mountains with an indoor Water Park. Huge water slides, a wave pool and and climbing...whatsawhosits?...We have been there twice before and could only stay one night but this time got to take our time and just enjoy it. The last time we were there we spent so much time in the water park that we all came out hacking and coughing from being water logged. This time we just took it easy. They also have an interactive MagiQuest where you buy a wand and find treasures to save a fairy and kill a dragon. It's cool and we never let the kids do it before but this time we splurged. It was really nice. Thank you ACURA! We feel very lucky that Dustin works for such a good company.