The Trials of a Busy Mom

Month: November 2010 (Page 2 of 2)

Cars. You can’t afford them, yet you can’t live without them.

Car Registration. Can we just all give a shout of frustration here? Our cars also need to be registered during November and December, which is RIGHT when you really really want to go out and spend money on your cars, right? And just what you want for Christmas is….a new windshied, right? Or better yet, TWO NEW WINDSHIELDS! (insert transylvanian accent laughing, here)

Our Suburban has been running rough lately, and the check engine light keeps coming on and then it will go off for a day, then it will come back on. We’ve tried some engine cleaners and other stuff, but it wasn’t getting better, so we took it into our local mechanics to see what the problem was. Hopefully it’s just something easy like spark plugs. Crossing finger, crossing fingers. Ryan wanted to drop it off in the am, which put me VERY close to being late for my 9:30 appointment, but I made it by the skin of my teeth.

At about 2, I wondered if the car was ready. Because I was scheduled to pick up 7 squirrely junior high kids in about 45 minutes. Ryan made the call to see if it was done, and came back to break the bad news that A-the car was NOT ready, and B- it wasn’t something simple like a spark plug. It was something involving the engine and some kind of seal on the engine that was letting in too much air, blah, blah, blah….$500.

Oh, goody.

But it is done. The car runs great, but it’s still not inspected. Before we do that we need to get a new windshield (big old crack running through it right now) and then we can start the process over NEXT month for the truck.

Joy, Joy, Joy.

Halloween Happenings

Before the holiday is Completely past and we are halfway to Christmas, I must post some pictures of our Halloweening.

I had bought a pair of scrubs at a garage sale earlier this year. I think I paid 50 cents or something great like that. I was so excited. Instant costume! And it’s comfy!

So when the kids and I went to our ward Halloween party on Tuesday night, I was set. Instant costume! John decided to be a parrot and Jenna is all sweet in her Hershey bar costume.

On Thursday evening we took our exchange student, Kazuki, to Gardner Village to see the witches, and to have dinner.

So, now Halloween is over and I need to pack everything away. I’ve discovered I either need to get ride of some of those costumes, or I need more boxes!

In one shop, all the Halloween stuff was 50% off. I saw the Medusa hat that I had coveted when I saw it in Cedar City.
But this time it was ON SALE!! I had to have it. I had wanted that hat, but didn’t want to plunk down $30 for it, so when I could get it for $14, I jumped at the chance!
See, it looks good on everyone!

When we came home, we had to do some finishing touches on Megan’s costume. She designed her own digs this year, and wanted to be a Control 4 remote control. Check it out. Here’s her design for the costume.
She made all the buttons.

I sewed the costume part, after we figured out the details of the top and all that. Here she is trying it on.

Well, Friday was the day of celebrations at school. I woke up and put on my scrubs, then drove my carpool of Japanese boys to BYU. But when I got home, I realized I couldn’t just NOT wear that awesome Medusa hat to John’s school party. So I threw together a costume.

John had decided to be Harry Potter for his school celebrations. (This is the problem with having a great big box of costumes. The kids tend to change their minds at the last minute)

Blonde Harry Potter? Sure. Whatever.

Jenna stuck with her original Hershey Bar costume, and Natalie was a french maid.

After school, we went to dad’s work to trick-or-treat through the cubicles. This is one of our favorite activities. The kids like it because they can get a lot of candy in a short amount of time. I like it because we don’t have to deal with the weather, and I usually end up seeing my friend Kimberly, whose husband works with Ryan (and decided to be Rick Astley).

John decided for this event he was going to be a dolphin.

Megan was the big hit of the event, there at Contol 4. She had many people want to take her picture in her remote costume.

The actual trick-or-treating at night was a little bit of a let down. It was cold and POURING rain when we were all set to go out. I mean SHEETS of rain. But we braved it and made our way around the neighborhood for a little while at least. Notice that John wore yet another costume, his ninja outfit that I thought he was planning on wearing all along. Kazuki was a good sport and threw on a cape and came with us. Cole did not don a single costume this year. He went to a party. Costumeless. He’s such a disappointment to his costume loving mother. Sigh. I guess he takes after his dad.

We may have been dressed like this, but in reality, we looked more like this.

Toy Story 3

If you are planning on buying Toy Story 3 on DVD eventually, or for Christmas, don’t wait. Especially on Disney movies, the first week is when they are on sale, plus they often give freebies.

I just went to Smith’s and picked up Toy Story 3 on sale for $16.99. Right there by the movie is the display that shows you that you can get a free box of Capri Sun ($2.11) and a free 5 pack of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ($5.39)when you purchase Toy Story.

So, that’s $7.50 worth of free stuff when you buy the DVD.

If you look in Sunday’s coupons, there’s a $5.00 coupon when you buy Rayovac batteries with the Toy Story DVD. Now Rayovac Batteries were a little hard to find, but I did find them over in the Home Improvement section, right by the flashlights. They had a pack of 48 batteries on sale for $11.99.

And, if you are buying batteries, you can submit the receipts for a $5 rebate HERE.

So, when all is said and done, I got the DVD for
-$5.00 coupon
-$5.00 rebate
$6.99 but you get $7.50 in free groceries, so it’s like getting the movie for free!

And if you don’t have a Smith’s near you, you can read HERE for all kinds of different deals at other stores.

Goodbye. Or shall we say Sayonara?

Hosting an exchange student for a week is a whirlwind experience. On the one hand, you only have a week to show him or her all that you can of your home town. On the other hand, it’s only a week.

This is our second time hosting a Japanese student, and it’s been a good experience both times. Although last year our student ended up getting sick with the swine flu right after he left us. The poor kid was sick for their Disneyland trip, and our family had a few people down from sickness as well. Out of 240 boys, I think 70 of them got sick. This year we didn’t have those annoying swine flu issues, which was nice.

Kazuki came on a Tuesday, which was also the night of our ward Halloween party, so Ryan ended up picking him up alone. By the time everyone got home, it was bedtime, so we basically said hello, here’s your room, welcome to our home. The next day we sent him off to BYU. Even though it had snowed that night, they took the kids to a farm for some farm type activities. He said he rode a horse, but that’ about all I know about that day. I had to take John to a basketball game and then go to rehearsal myself, so the rest of the family had dinner with him, and then played that great ice breaker, the Wii. He started to warm up to the kids and had a good time.

Thursday he was done with school earlier, since he didn’t have to go all the way to BYU. That day our students went to a local junior high and went to classes there. They had buddies who spent the day with them, and he said it was fun. We decided to go to Gardner Village for dinner that night. The place was all decked out for Halloween, and we thought it would be fun.

The whole concept of Halloween is strange to him, since they have no such holiday in Japan, but Kazuki was a good sport, and I think he enjoyed dinner, at least. He ordered pasta and finished it all.

Friday morning I drove the carpool of 7 boys to BYU, and it was fun to listen to them chatter in Japanese. I felt like a taxi driver. By the time he got home, we were just getting home from our Halloween activities for the day, so we had a dinner of pizza, and then got down to the business of carving our pumpkins. Again, a new thing for him, and he must wonder what in the world we are doing, but we want to show all the aspects of American life at Halloween time, so we dived right in.

Saturday we had a fun day. We all went to John’s basketball game in the morning, and then had McDonald’s for lunch. Kazuki had written in his letter to us that he wanted to eat a really big hamburger at McDonald’s, so we wanted to grant his request. Then we went off to have some serious fun. The weather, while not raining, was overcast and cloudy, but still warm enough for outdoor activities. We went to Trafalga in Lehi and spent a few hour in the pursuit of having fun.

We played mini golf, rode go carts, rode the merry go round and even the bumper boats. Well, I didn’t ride the bumper boats, because someone had to take pictures, right? And I couldn’t get my family to promise not to squirt each other. They did not promise, and they ended up doing quite a lot of squirting.

So you can see why I didn’t want to be involved in all THAT, right?

We timed it just right so that we were leaving in the afternoon just as it started to rain.
After dinner, we dressed Kazuki in a “costume”, or actually, he just put on a cape, and we geared up to go trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, it was POURING rain about then.

Trick-or-treating was less than fun. I’m afraid he didn’t get the whole FUN idea of it. We made it around 1/2 of our neighborhood, then stopped in for donuts at our neighbors, and came back home. Just as we got home, the raining subsided. Ugh. The girls, after changing shoes, wanted to go back out, but Kazuki and John were done. They decided to stay home and hand out candy and watch tv instead.

On Sunday, we got up nice and early to attend the live broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.

We did a little Temple Square sightseeing while we were there. We couldn’t stay long, though, because we had to make sure we were back in time for primary. So, it was a long day for all of us. The afternoon was spent in naps, playing games, and doing puzzles. We had a nice steak dinner and the kids even played outside.

Monday the boys went to BYU for more activities/lessons, and then we met them there at 5:30 for a closing social. The banquet was yummy, the program was too long. When we came back home, we gave Kazuki some American gifts.

Tuesday we had an early morning, waking everyone up by 5:45 to say goodbye. Thankfully Ryan drove him to Provo, so I could get the kids ready for school.

It was a good experience! The kids are already sad that he’s gone, but hopefully they will have a pen-pal in Japan, and some fond memories.

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