Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fluxxy Weekend

When counting one's blessings, we must also look at some trials. Some blessings do come as trials. Others just show up and are just blessings.

Prince and Princess number 1 were coming down for the long weekend. They brought Prince's car. Of course, they hit the "dead zone" and their car engine blows up. This isn't the first time this has happened over the 17 years we have lived in the "Dead zone" area. 

I was just about to be worried when Princess 1 called and said some wonderful people stopped and rescued them. It was later in the evening and it was COLD. They have AAA but since it was the dead zone and late, dark and cold, they decided they had better just get a ride to where I could pick them up and we could deal with the car during light and warmer hours. 

I went to pick them up in a nearby town after they arrived. The people that picked them up are restoring an old car. It just happened that my brother-in-law owns an auto-body and paint shop and that the man that rescued them was about to finish up his restoration and needed some detail work done. They exchanged information so they could contact him for some work. 

The next morning, I called my mechanic and he suggested I call the tow place directly instead of going through AAA as we may not have to drive the hour to the car, wait and then have them meet us and then come back. I called the tow place and he drove to the house, picked up the key and got the car and delivered it to the mechanics. All without anyone leaving the house. What a blessing. 

Monday, the mechanic looked at the car and found metal shavings in the oil. Not a good sign. Prince and Princess decided that fixing the car wasn't an option.It was drivable so we took it to my tire place to see if we could transfer their newer tires onto Princess two's car. They said they were a bit too big. 

While we were there, we called the recycle place asking for a quote on what we could get if they recycled it and I called the junk yard. We could get up to $300 if I delivered the car to the junk yard. $160 for recycling it. I asked Prince if he wanted to put an add in the paper for someone to buy it for parts. He just wanted it out of their lives and to not have to worry about it. While at the tire place, one of the workers heard me calling the junk yard. He told me he would give me $200 for the car. I told him I could get more from the junk yard. He told me he would give me $250 and put two used (but better) tires on the back of Princess 2's car. I talked him up to $275 and to give us the tires and mount them for free. 

He agreed and gave us the cash right then. I gave him their key and told him I would get him the title next time we went to visit Prince and Princess. 

We cleaned out the car we bought and fixed up for Princess 2, and sent them on their way home. We were grateful that we had the car to lend them. We are lending my suburban to a family member out of the area so with Princess 4 in drivers education and Princess 2 and I home, we are short of cars. We have had to coordinate with only one car and a few times I have gone to go somewhere only to go out and find I don't have a car. 

My sisters in-laws gave them a wonderful custom van for Christmas that is in great condition so they returned a car that my father had helped them get and use in the past. My dad in turn said we could use the car for now. We just need to get a ride up the three hours to pick it up. 
My mechanic didn't charge them to look at the car and I am taking him some treats tomorrow. The entire thing could have happened when they went to Disneyland in January. They took that car! I am so grateful that it happened where I could help them and that we had just gotten that other car and made sure it was in good condition to help them out. It made me realize how blessed I am to have a mechanic I can trust and a tire place with people I know and trust. I also had my brother-in-law look at it. It is nice to have people I know and trust for years now. We are blessed. 

Funny aside story. Princess number 2 showed up one day while attending elementary school with a little girl from school. She hadn't asked her mom to come. I took the girl back and her mother was freaking out looking for her. Since then, the girl and my daughter have been friends. The day after Prince and Princess left, this girl comes to the house with her new baby to visit Princess number 2. She tells my daughter that her husband just got a new job at the tire place and bought a car the day before for $275 and thought he could fix it up and sell it for $1500. It was Prince 1's car! I thought the guy that bought it was familiar but he just started working there and I had only met him once. What a small world. 

We played games and enjoyed the weekend even thought there were some sad and crazy events. God blessed us and others through a trial. Princess one collects "Oz" things and someone gave them "Fluxx" for Christmas. We enjoyed learning how to play and remembered we had played a different version before. If you haven't played it, you may enjoy it. We enjoyed some other games as well. I hope you have a "Fluxxy" weekend!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Moving Service and Bowling

One of my longest standing friends from the town in which we now live is moving. Her house sold this week and over the past month I have been helping her with finishing up projects, painting the old house to sell, painting the new house, putting beds and rooms together and final packing and cleaning of the old house. 

Having moved my sister so many times in the past few years and now my good friend recently, it makes me think how much I don't want to move all the stuff I have. I really need to weed down all my stuff even more than I have. 

Nothing like moving to evaluate why we keep things we may not use.

This past weekend, they needed to get everything out of their house and get it cleaned. I knew they were under a deadline and Princess five wanted to "hang out" with some friends. It is one of her good friends that is moving so I suggested that they get some friends together and help their friend finish packing her room. 

I was so impressed with the girls. They did everything I asked and worked really hard hauling load after load to where I told them to take it. When we left about four hours later, we had cleaned out the entire house and had it ready to go except four items that needed some fragile moving. I have never seen a group of girls move and work that hard without complaint. 

When it was over, my friend paid for them to go bowling and get a pizza. I grabbed the camera when I went back to pick them up after moving a load. Look at the smiles as they stood in the empty house. 

These friends moved in the same time we moved to this town. It was within months of each other. We have been in the same bunko group for 16 years. We ran a holiday boutique for years. We took quilting classes together and raised our children together. When her father died, I was there. When my mother almost died, and I went through my divorce, she was there. 

We have been through much together. They are only moving across town but it is amazing to me how when someone moves out of the neighborhood or congregation we tend to not see them as often. I hope we make the time to do things together as the kids get older.

The girls had fun and I was happy we could help them with the last bit of moving until they get their new house built. 

I am glad princess five has such a great group of friends. I hope she keeps them...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mayday Parade - Newest Fan

Princess three was  talking about a band that she likes. They were coming to a town near where we live. She said she wanted to go.

When she said that, I thought, I need to win her some tickets.

We had a car break down (I'll share about that later) and we went to the tire store to see if we could get the tires off the broken car put onto one of our running cars. As we were going to leave, a man came out with a box, walked right up to me and said, "You need to enter to win some tickets." I asked him what the tickets were to and he replied "Mayday Parade Concert!"

I was a bit in shock that he walked up to me and that was probably the only place I could win tickets to that concert, but went ahead and put Princess three's name in for the drawing.

Skip forward a bit. She calls me telling me she won the tickets but had to work as an ambassador that weekend as it was their busiest college tour weekend.

Princess two wanted to take princess five but situations dictated that Princess five couldn't go. Princess four was asked to go by friends who gave her a ticket so Princess two and I went even though I didn't think I would know any of their songs.

I was a bit surprised that I actually knew some of their songs. Also, some of their songs sounded a bit like U2 of the 80's. I LOVE U2 if you remember, (See here for a post about that.) 

We really enjoyed ourselves. We sent princess three a few clips like this one so she could feel like she was there for a second. I thought all the band members were amazing but my favorite was the drummer by far. He was playing with all limbs and was singing some major parts of the music. How he can do all that at the same time and be amazing at all of it was something that put me in awe. I have never been able to play the drums or the piano for that matter by playing different rhythms at the same time. I guess that is why I am so amazed when Princesses play the drums so well.

For that reason, I posted this link showing the drummer playing on youtube. I wish he was singing at the same time so you could also be amazed but just know that I have seen some amazing concerts in my life, some BIG names (You can see a partial band list on the U2 post I linked in this post) and they were just as amazing live. Not the bling that the big bands have but they sounded just as good live as on their tracks.

Here is a link to their Drum Cover of  "Somebody that I used to know."

Here they are signing "We are the Champions" which I thought was really good.

You can visit their youtube page to hear more. Sometimes they also reminded me of "Jimmy Eat World" (see a post about them here) but I, in general, like their music more. There are some songs that will always mean more and I will like them more for one band or another but I really liked most of their music. Some of it reminded me of some of the local bands I saw in New Zealand almost 30 years ago. 

Three of us went to the concert for free. During the concert, they threw out free t-shirts. We ended up with three. One for Princess three that didn't get to go and we also got two Frisbees since one of the workers for the hosting tire store was sitting a few rows in front of us. Then, the owners of the tire stores son came walking by with a stadium seat cushion. He gave it to me. 

If that wasn't enough, we found a dime on the way out.  (see a post about that here

Heavenly Father really blessed us to all be able to see a fun band and all for free, along with getting some fun prizes for Princess three who couldn't go due to work. And, for me, he gave me a comfortable seat for the concert and reminded me on the way out to "trust in Him" as I couldn't have planned it better. He really does take care of us.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Bouncing Around - Planking Fun

Princess Five arrived home from school on Friday with some fun hat action. They had a birthday party at school and I had to take a picture of her coming up the walk with her pink "hair" bouncing. 

One of the closets I cleaned out this weekend had these exercise balls in them. I didn't remember having so many. I used the silver ball to sit on when I would do Cranialsacral therapy but I haven't done anything with that recently. 

I forgot that Princess three and four got the red exercise balls when they were dancing on the fourth of July. Here is a link to that event.

I think I got the gold one as the silver was a bit low while I was doing the therapies with it. I then found a box with a new blue ball which I think is in between the silver and gold color in size. 

I decided to blow them all up and make sure they had no leaks before we sell them at the indoor yard sale. 

Princess five helped me fill them and then we started playing on them. 

Princess five would get them lined up and run at them and then roll from the largest to the smallest which is similar to those conveyor belt systems. She rolled gracefully over them and onto the floor. 

She then tried "planking" on them. It was hard for her to keep her balance for long as the balls wanted to flow in different ways. After a few minutes, she got it down. She bent over backwards on the gold ball and I think it will help her with her back walk-over but after leaving them blown up for a few days, she really seems to enjoy playing with and on them. 

Tonight before bed, she bounced on one for about 20 minutes. I sat wishing I had that type of energy but reality is, I am tired just thinking about it. 

Princess two had a busy day and depending on what she eats, has better and worse days.

I actually had something else to post about today but with some family things going on, it took me late into the night and so I thought I would post about these as Princess five looks so cute playing with the balls. 

The balls all held their air and I am debating between the silver and gold ball for my therapy chair in case I ever get back into doing that.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oops, I Did it Again - Massage and Cleaning Fever

Have you ever gone into one room for something you were working on and then got stuck in that room and then left that room to get something for that project and in the new room, you get into another project and after about  five hours, you return to the first project with the item you left to get? 

Yep, I did it again! Princess number two came out of her room with a generic cd case which had two cd's in it. She wanted to get rid of the cd's so after a few minutes, I thought I would go and find the cases. There are two main places we store those so I went to my massage area where I have a drawer of cd's I use when doing massage. 

The room was a mess as the princesses use it to get ready in the morning. I started cleaning it and even though I cleaned out some of the drawers last week, I ended up going through every cupboard, shelf and drawer. 
Princess number two came in and was impressed with the amount of things I pulled out to sell. The funny thing to me was the massage stuff again. Of course it was stuff I could use doing massages but I never had used them and probably never will. I pulled them all out with many other things and was going to put them all in the "Indoor Yard sale" we have been having to earn money for Princess four to go to Thailand. 

I took the picture for this post as I thought it was so funny that I have so much massage stuff. Then, I noticed the foot massage heater. 

Where has that been all my life!?! I put it under my computer desk and as I type, I am getting two types of foot massages and it is heated! YES!

So happy I cleaned out that room today!

After all that cleaning in that room, no cd cases. That led me to the family room where we keep all the empty cases for the girls cd's and the Christmas ones etc. I start in on that. Princess two took out some of the stuff in that case a week or two ago but I found some cassette tapes. I don't want them so I got rid of most but pulled out a few to transfer over to the computer as they had the girls on them or a couple I got in New Zealand when I lived there that I wouldn't be able to find on cd. 

I didn't realize how many cd's we have but there were some I don't think anyone would want anymore in there so I need to find the cd's and put them with the cases so I can clean that out a bit more. I still have several rooms to go but Princess two is keeping me focused.

I also included a photo of our indoor yard sale again as there isn't much left from that last picture other than the computer monitor and a few games. Princess two is really doing an amazing job keeping up on this! 

I am busy which makes it hard to follow it all. I am so grateful she is keeping it going as it makes me get through the stuff I haven't had time to go through in years. I have about 7 empty bins of things we have gone through and sold, donated or distributed. 

Of course with all this sorting and cleaning, I didn't knit anything in the past two days. :-(         

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Massage Fanatic - Funny Finds

While cleaning out some drawers and closet shelves, cupboards and under my desk, I found the funniest thing out. I obviously like massage! I couldn't believe how many little foot roller massagers I have. I have back scratchers, back rollers, scalp massagers etc. 

One would think I like touch or something! 

Once again, I was up all night filling orders for knit scarves. I had three to get done and on the third one, it was about five a.m. when I fell asleep only to be woken at 6 as a taxi driver taking Princess 4 on a ride to drivers education.

I snatched less than an hours sleep after that before a meeting at 10:30. The day happened from there. 

So, while cleaning my room out more, I've started finding these little massagers everywhere. I love it when the girls rub my back and I keep two of the feet rollers under my computer desk and use them when I blog. 

I thought it would be cute to make a word out of them all. I will be putting some of them in the "Indoor Yardsale" so come on over and I will demonstrate how they work on your back! 

I'm off to hopefully dream for the three hours I have before Princess four turns into a pumpkin if she doesn't get to drivers education with both shoes on by six a.m.

Happy Massaging!    

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Save the Last Dance For Me - Dance is Over

Princess four has her last performance this weekend. She isn't sure with everything going on if she will be doing drill team next year or not so this may be her "Last Dance" in her dancing career. 

It is sad each time I see them get to this stage. She enjoys dancing so much. You can see she gets all the right "faces" that the team does and is so precise in her presentation when she is dancing. 

Photos give you the moment stopped in time and she always used to say, she thought she wasn't sure she was good. 

But, when I show her the photos of her in mid air like the one at the top and her face is in the "Face" of the moment and her toes are pointed, her arms are straight, her leap is in mid air and she looks at the others around her, she can get a better perspective on how she really dances. 

The second one down is her literally rolling mid air on the tops of her toes. I couldn't do that for a million dollars

I love her smile in the flower photo and the "Breast Cancer" dance shirt.

The photos also depend on angle. I have this "leg up while kneeling shot" in about ten different angles from throughout the year but I just happened to be in a good spot for this shot only once. 

When she is in four competition dances and is on different sides of the floor for different dances, it is hard to be in one good spot to take photos. Seats at competitions can be at a premium so once you are sitting, you don't want to get up and try for another seat between dances so we have to take what we can get.   

At times, that means we get shots of her doing a great leap mid air only to have two other people in the shot in front of her. Here is one such photo. 
You can see her hands up, her toes pointed, she is in the air but she has an arm and a few bodies in front of the greatness. :-)

Princess one and Prince number one both came to support her in the state competition and Princess two also came. Princess three was doing ambassador work at a college weekend and couldn't attend.  
My dad showed up and I somehow missed taking a picture of him as he sat behind us, left for a call, watched the dance, took the others to lunch and then watched her dance for a second and then left. 

I am sad I didn't get a photo of her with him or of him supporting her as he is the male role model in her life and he drove an hour to see her perform those dances with a meeting before it, calls in between and then flipped the bill for them all for lunch. What a blessing he is in her (and all the princesses) life.   

I feel so blessed to have been able to find ways to allow the girls to be their best and have the chance to shine. Dancing gives them such great self esteem, exercise, poise and grace. I know it will help them throughout their lives. Small sacrifices now make a huge difference later.

With the service mission and  service hours, RYLA, Hoby, girls camp, church youth camp, perhaps girls state, getting her driving hours in, and perhaps student leadership again,  I don't know if she will do drill as she has had a difficult time with all her honors classes and maintaining her grades. She has been able to keep her 4.0 but it has been a struggle.

With all that, whatever she decides, I don't think she will be looking back.... except in this picture!  
Princess number four, you amaze me and  I LOVE YOU!I

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fair Way to Settle and Estate Part Three

I wrote a post about how last time the girls were together, I worked on a fair way to settle the items in the house that all the girls may want.  To read about those first two posts, click on the links below.

See the first post here.
See the second post here.

This weekend with the holiday, all the kids were down and since we had the main lists of items done, I figured we needed to break down the other items. Things that they all wanted. 

So, I pulled out all the Hot Wheel cars. I dumped them on the table. Yes, I did literally dump them which was not great for the table or the cars but I am so glad to be getting things organized and out of the house. 

Not sure why I feel that way but I really do feel like I want to simplify everything and have it all settled so later it won't be an issue. I am sure it is all I have had to do with my own mom's stuff like I have explained, but anyway, it is done!  

At first, I had them all choose one at a time but some were slow and we couldn't keep track of whose turn it was so that only lasted for a round or two. After that, we counted to ten and during that time, each had to choose one car. 
It was interesting to see who remembered what car. I was shocked to learn that Prince number one NEVER played with hot wheel cars. He is almost thirty so that was strange to me as he has lots of brothers in his family, I would have thought they would have boxes as it is for us with Barbies. 

He said they played with Legos. I think every child has wonderful memories with Legos. That is probably why Lego Land is so popular. 

After we started counting, the cars went quickly and each girl seemed to be extremely happy with the cars they acquired.

The older girls obviously took the older cars they had memories with, and the younger girls, took more of a variety such as a boat, a helicopter, an ambulance, a fire truck etc.  

I was shocked to see that we had some Hot Wheel cars from the late sixties and seventies. I told the girls that the older cars were of value but most just liked the different cars that opened doors, trunks, had lights, popped open etc. To see some of the prices you can get for your old "Hot Wheel" cars, Click this link.

We then went through the barbies that I spent days sorting and organizing. See that post here.  

The first sort was the Barbies that each girl "got" for gifts and then the one's they all got. The older girls played with the older one's and the younger girls played with the newer so there wasn't much of an issues. This left the younger two without many sets as we stopped buying them and told people to not give them any more as we had so many. 

The girls were a bit sad that I got rid of several sets when I cleaned out a few years ago. I couldn't keep everything and got rid of the bigger items such as the beach pool, Ferris wheel, several cars like the jeep and corvette. With this many girls, I could have filled the closet with just Barbie stuff. 

They each then chose from the extra bags of clothes, hats, shoes until they all had what they wanted. I kept about five barbies and the left over small bag of extra clothes for my house. 

As you can see by the smiles on their faces, they were all happy with what they got and it was nice that they now know what they can take when they want and there won't be any hard feelings later because they all know it was as fair as possible. 
I put labels on each box of cars and dolls for the younger girls and put them in their closets except for the youngest which I left where she could get to them with her friends if needed. 

Princes number one and her Prince then got out the "Fisher Price" little people toys that she got in the "List" meeting and decided that she wanted to take them now for when they have friends over with kids. She took her little Fisher Price Vacuum as well. I was THRILLED to have them gone. The cars, Barbies and Little People sets being gone, gave me two empty shelves and a few less bins in the toy closet. 

I talked to the girls about how I hope when I die, they will be able to work out anything that may have been overlooked in the same manner by choosing numbers and going with the closest to the last and to continue until everything is gone. That way, everyone gets something. 

Oddly enough, they all ended up with most of what they wanted. It is funny how that works out. 

I was worried it may put a strain on the weekend but it was a really nice weekend for us all.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Annual Valentines Day Treasure Hunt

Because of the long weekend due to Presidents day, Princess and Prince number one decided to come down for the weekend and Princess three also came home. It was WONDERFUL that we could all spend the weekend together. 

We did our annual treasure hunt that the girls love and I don't remember it taking me so long to set up. We had lots going on today but we still all enjoyed it after I got it ready. 

Part of the wonder of the day was going to visit our friend whose wife passed away this past week. We sang him his favorite Hymn and took him a sucker bouquet and a sign that talks about how, "When we lose a loved one, they become a memory that lives with us." or some something similar to that. 

To me, that was the best part of the day. 

I got the scavenger hunt, yreasure hunt ready and Prince number one has never had the opportunity to participate in our annual Valentine hunt. He was as excited as any of the girls. 

He didn't quite get all the clues I left as he doesn't know our belongings and decorating as well as the girls but he follow the pack and ended up at the right place as the girls followed the clues to the next hiding spot for their treat. 

There were about 15 stops in all. Some were more hidden but if there is a hard clue, I just give information on the clue to make it detailed so we can have it go a bit quicker. 

For example, one talked about doing something "remotely" and we have several rooms with "remotes" in them so they raced around the house looking for the right room. 
I wrote them each a card telling them how much I appreciate them and put it in the mailbox with some stickers and Valentines.  

I had to get creative because as soon as they knew we were going to start, they rushed to check all the spots I've used before. 

The only one that was the same as one we have used before was the dryer. I put on it they should "Vent" about something and they picked up on that hint quickly. On the vent, it said, "Look inside"  so they could get the treat as I didn't want the treats on the floor.
We had a great day running for "treasure" and spending to together. 

Here is a picture of the clan huddling about near our mail box.

They all enjoyed the pirzes they recieved. I gave them all a bag to start with and they collected their " treasures"and put them in the bag. 

Once done, they sat in the living room and sorted their "prizes" like you do a Christmas stocking. 
Princess number one's favorite prizes were the chocolates. They each got their own box and the family got several wonderful chocolate items... 

To make it a bit more exciting, I sprinkled little hears all over the stairs and they all started looking for clues on the hearts thinking they were somehow connected to our first clue  (which they weren't.) 

I asked Prince number one what he thought about our tradition and he smiled and said he really liked our tradition. 

He was eating just as many chocolates as Princess number one.  

Here is a link to a past treasure hunt. As you can see from their smiles in the pictures, they LOVE the treasure hunt tradition and I love that they still love it.   

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!