Friday, August 28, 2009

7 weeks...

I'm starting to get a little excited for this new little addition to our family. OK...maybe a lot excited! I've given most of my baby items away, I am finished. I still have a cradle, playpen, infant carseat (only because it can attach to the stroller I've been using), and stroller. We have already had friends give us a crib, let us borrow an infant swing and I think a bouncy seat. We are planning on attending "Just Between Friends" children's consignment sale in September. We are still looking for a highchair and a rocker/glider for upstairs.

Today McKinzie and I went to Target to sign her up for a registry. WE had fun! McKinzie asked questions like, "Why so many choices of bottles?" or wondered why so many pacifiers. I told her it is all a preference of what the mom wants. So, "Mom, what do you want?" She smiled and made some decisions. She decided to check out items at the consignment sale before she put them on her registry. I was impressed that she is very "OK" with used items for her first baby. Which I'm items are expensive.

I've been struggling with the thought of throwing her a party/shower. I just can't do it. I love her!! and I am now excited for this baby, but I still can't throw her a party. She needs one, the baby needs one, but I don't agree with the decision she made, over 7 months ago. Her amazing visiting teachers stepped up to help. They are going to give her a baby shower.

We all have learned many things about ourselves during all this, and I'm sure we will continue to learn. I just hope it's not too painful.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ground Zero

I believe this is the only event I haven't blogged about during our trip to NYC. We went to a Ground Zero Museum. The only photographer aloud was Gary Suson. He was there right along side the FDNY. His images were very touching. Everyone had a headset during the tour. We could punch in a number to hear the story that went along with the photo or item.

The cross and star of david were made out of the metal from the towers, then given to the family of the victim.

This was the time when the plane hit the tower.
This sphere was outside the towers. It had been placed at Battery Park with an eternal flame to remember the victims. They didn't make any repairs on it. This is how it looked when it was unburied. Inside the sphere was found papers from one of the towers, a bible, and human remains.

This is how the twin tower site looks today. A new tower is being constructed. The sphere will be returned back to these grounds with a memorial.
I was a little surprised at my emotions while I was listening to the stories. All of it was very touching. I am grateful that we went, but it was very depressing. I remember all the media coverage that went on for days. We finally had to turn off the TV so we could get a handle on life. I can't imagine living there at that time and not being a mess everyday! My heart broke again and again as I listened to the stories. It was a very touching museum. It was a good thing they had Kleenex's placed around the room.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

day late - school starts

Oops!! I'm a little slow. School started yesterday. Hooray!! It's all good. I have one in high school, middle school, elementary school, a mom group preschool, and come January (hopefully) one in college. I know my kids aren't close in age, but I didn't think they were that spread out. This year it is very obvious how far apart in age they are.
When the middle three came home from school yesterday, they were all smiles. Nothing comforts a worrying mom like a smile. I wasn't really worried for them, just concerned. They all were anxious with the changes of the new year. Life is good! Hopefully the whole year will be this great.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

summer fun

With the summer about over, the kids had to get in one last friend fun.

On Friday, these friends invited us to the park. They even brought party supplies!

The temperature was low 90's, but muggy. The kids were putting ice cubes on their heads to cool off. I think it helped.

I don't know it you can see all of them. There are 9 kids posing. See the three peeking through the slats?

Then we rushed back to our house to cool off for real.

We have all had such a fun summer! My kids even had fun drying off.

OK, maybe having a dog isn't soo bad. Mason loves to love on him.

Now for the fun that is ahead. I know that many of you have wondered, and now that McKinzie has made a decision, we have some news. McKinzie is going to have a baby. There's been lots of prayers, lots of talks, fasting, more prayers, and more talking. Now we are ready to get excited! She is due mid to late October. She is having a boy!! She will continue to stay living at home and we will be here to help. Not do, just help (remember that, McKinzie). To the family and friends that are finding out about this here I want to apologize. We didn't want to share too much info until McKinzie had made some decisions. I didn't expect to be a grandma so soon. Am I really that old? I'm sure McKinzie didn't expect to be a mom so young either. Now we do the best we can. Our family has already seen blessings in our lives since this news has come about. It won't be easy, especially for McKinzie. But I know that we will all be blessed!

On Board Tour

Last night, after a ward temple sealing assignment, we went out to eat with a few friends. (Which was soo much fun! We really needed to have a fun night after all that has been going on around here. Thanks friends!!) One of them asked what was my favorite part of NYC? That got me thinking...tough question. This tour was most likely my favorite. We have done tours in big cities before. They were the hop-on-hop-off kind. This one was 5 hours long and when we would get off the bus the tour guide would take us to a spot and tell us more information. It was great! Our guide was great. His name was Jonathon and a native New Yorker. I think he was from Brooklyn, no accent (darn :( ). He was rather short. So when we would get off the bus he would walk with his duck umbrella up so we could follow along. When none of us were around, he looked quite silly. I'm sure he gets many strange looks.
We didn't do the tour until later in the week, so there were many spots we had already seen. But we had no idea how cool this spot was. We are in Central Park at a spot called "Strawberry Fields". Through the trees is the "Dakota" building where John Lennon, his wife and son lived. Also, the place where he was shot. His wife, Yoko, put a memorial for John in that pave area where people are sitting. I believe that Yoko still lives in the same building. How cool is that, the memorial and her home are so close together.

This is the memorial for John Lennon, IMAGINE. Many people were taking pictures with it, and items are still being left.

This is the Saks department store. No we didn't go shopping. We didn't even go in. A surprise, I know.
Empire State Building. We didn't go to the top. We have been on many tall building over the past couple of years so we didn't feel the need.

Flatiron building. Been in many shows and movies.

I don't remember if this arch had a special name. The most recent movie I remember seeing this in is "August Rush". Great movie!

If you look really hard you can see three bridges in this picture. From front to back (bmw), Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and Williamsburg Bridge.

We didn't realize until the tour began that part of the tour was a ferry ride to Staten Island. So cool!

These two were soo tired of me taking pictures they wanted to make me mad. Well, I guess I got the last laugh. HA!

This is the Trinity Church in the movie "National Treasure". A family favorite.

We went to Wall Street and this is the New York Stock Exchange. Did you know that Wall Street only has foot traffic? We didn't.
George Washington's inauguration was in NYC. I'm sure I learned about this when I was learning about American History in school. Then I didn't care so much. Now it's kinda cool.
We also visited the sight of the Twin Towers. I'll share more about that later. We went to a museum about ground zero.
We learned all kinds of interesting facts during our tour. I learned why plays are called "On Broadway" or "Off Broadway". First, did you know they aren't on Broadway Street at all? Most if not all are in theaters on other streets. What makes a play "On Broadway" is the size of the venue they are playing in. "On Broadway" is over 499 seats. "Off Broadway" is less than 499 but more than 99. There was so much more trivia shared than I can remember. I guess these were the most memorable facts to me.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


We have changed our office yet again. Brian is now working from home. It is working better than I thought possible. He brought a desk home and rearranged everything. This use to be a food storage/play/computer room. Now it holds three computers, and a growing food storage. As you can see it is wall to wall desks, literally.

When he is on a conference call he puts them on speaker so we know when not to enter. So far he only comes out for a few breaks during the day, that way he's not underfoot while I do my thing. :o) With him being Bishop and being busy many evenings and Sundays, it has been nice to have him around during the day to chat. I'm actually surprised it has worked so well.

On Broadway

Summer is almost over, school starts Monday, and I am still sharing about our trip to NYC. I guess I need to focus. Before the trip we had planned on seeing only one Broadway production, The Phantom of the Opera. It was great, the music, the costumes, the experience. Fun, fun!
On McKinzie's birthday, we decided to surprise her with another show, Chicago! They were both so different from each other. Chicago had next to no wardrobe changes, no change of backdrop, but the difference from any other show we've seen was that the orchestra was on stage, part of the show. I loved it. The music was great and the play was interactive with the audience.

This was just before Chicago started. Brian was struggling with when to smile for the camera.
We took three for four pictures trying to get a good one, well....this one won.
We have been able to see many Broadway shows. Lion King in LA, Les Misérables in London, Wicked in Chicago, now Phantom of the Opera and Chicago in NYC. All have been great, and would recommend them to everyone. But I would have to say Wicked is my all time favorite. Maybe because our whole family was there. After the show Brian bought the CD and we sang the songs in the car back to our hotel. We had soo much fun. Carson even remembers what it was about. Which will be next? That is a tough choice.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Central Park

It was amazing to me that we could walk into a park and not hear the city around us. With the city being so congested, always, that there was all this serene space. It was so beautiful.

It was fun to try and think of movies/shows that have been filmed in Central Park.

We saw lots and lots of moms, I bet nannies, and their babies.

It was surprising to see this large reservoir in the park. We walked and walked, I'm sure we didn't even see a third of it. We were looking on a map of the park and noticed that there were horse trails. What a shock, in the middle of NYC! So cool!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

bargain shopper

I like to think I am a bargain shopper, but this is by far my best bargain yet. If you recall, we put a new fence in because a storm came through and blew it down. The fence was not enough to make a claim, because we wouldn't reach our deductible for the insurance company to pay us anything. So we paid it out of pocket. Well, come to find out, the same storm did enough damage to our roof that we get a new one....FREE! Well sort of. We have met out deductible with the fence so we won't need to pay anymore. We will also be getting new gutters from hail damage.

On the picture above you can actually see what is called zip lines, like a zipper. If strong enough wind came through, it could pull our singles off like a zipper. Not good! Thus a new roof.

There were 10 -12 men out working from 9ish until after 8. A long hot day!

We all wanted to swim, especially Peanut. No chance until after dark today. Better late than not at all.

Here is our beautiful roof. I didn't think I would ever say that about a roof. But it's true. I do love it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ellis Island

Ellis Island was the main entry for immigrants from 1892-1954. We had wanted to look up our ancestors while we were there. I checked with my parents and all of my ancestors came earlier than this. We knew there would be a good chance that Brian's Great Great(I think) Grandpa Shuldberg could of come through here. He checked with his Mom, but no he didn't. He had a sponsor so his Grandfather was able to go directly there, I think Montana is where he went.

Can you imagine, being on a ship for two or three weeks then arriving at a beautiful spacious building as this. I'm sure they felt is must of been built for royalty, at least that would of been the reason in the countries they came from.

This had to be very frightening to the immigrants. A large building, still crowded as the boat ride over. No one speaking your language. Police officers or officials asking questions and watching everything you did. If an official felt that someone had a mental problem then an "X" would be put on their coat and most likely sent back to their country. As frightening as this whole process was, it would be ten times worse if a family member had to be sent back. Most likely to never see again. What great courage these people had, to come to a new country. A free country.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Statue of Liberty

When I purchased our tickets online, there weren't any tickets left for the monument. The tickets were basically for the ferry ride over to the island. They have a set number available everyday for "first come first serve". That means we get up early and wait in line. Kinzie didn't really want to be early, but here she is with a smile on. And yes, we did get tickets to go in the statue. Just recently, I think June, they reopened up the crown. Crown tickets were sold out until October, oh well.

This picture was taken on the ferry ride over.

This is the original torch which had to be replace due to rain leaking in.

This is the actual size of Lady Liberty's foot. McKinzie could be squished like a bug.

Day 1 in NYC and she is all worn out. We still had Ellis Island to tour after this.

Can you see the people? They are so small! We could not of asked for a more beautiful day. We actually had a couple of days that were amazing. No humidity at all, unusual for this time of year.