Friday, February 29, 2008
well the summer clothes are back in their bins downstairs. Ok not really...they're actually still in a big pile in my room on the floor but I thought it was a great way to start out my blog...if only it were true.
so we are home now...we got home on Wednesday and first tip: leave your house clean before you leave on a big trip. Our home was a scattered mess, revealing frantic last minute packers- our home was cold and it didn't echo like the home we rented in Orlando-those wonderful tile floors.
Disney World was spectacular. It kind of gave me the goose bumps when I first got there. Everything was flawless. The architecture, the landscaping, music, weather, lights, workers, food, fireworks, parades, light shows, rides, characters- it was almost a little overwhelming at first. I just didn't know how to take it all in.
Instead of just being delighted by a new place I get logistical and I start to analyze everything- I imagined Walt Disney's vision he had of this place, the organization it takes to run something so over the top, the millions of dollars spent, the perfection of layout and planning of the park.- This place truly is magical...and/or Disney is a mastermind corporation who definitely know how to run a business.
After 3 days or so I finally got used to the walking and and overload of people. Our family of 16 walking through masses of crowds defines all meaning of "three's a crowd" or "16 is a crowd" All different ages, all different interests, different views...just different. It was fun though to see us all working together the best we knew how. Mom was on a rented scooter and she was the leader of the pack as we tried to keep up with her. (She loved that thing) When we were wiped out from a long day of walking she was ready to "take off" again. It was very exciting and a huge answer to prayer to see her have energy.
So how in the heck am I supposed to write about this 8 day trip? So many in and outs, little things here and big things there- so much to grasp. Um it was just a great experience. The last day was hard for me- I didn't want to go home. I am a feely type person so to see the trip through my eyes would be different than some. Splash Mountain was an exciting ride yes, but it was the hour wait in line with my family that was most memorable. Just being together is enough for me. So instead of buying an expensive shirt with Mickey on it, my greatest souvenirs of the trip are watching my mom and dad hold hands as they make their way to Pirates of the Caribbean or Mckenzie falling asleep on Mom's lap as they cruise around Fantasy Land on the scooter- you know- stuff like that.
Space mountain is something else I tell you. I lost my equilibrium for about an hour after that ride and Chay had to carry me out on his back.
Magic Kingdom was magical but it was my least favorite. I kept getting bouts of anxiety when I was there. I knew there were a million and one things to do and it was impossible to do it all. The rides were a long wait and I felt like great experiences were slipping away- it was just all so new and explosive and loud that I just wanted to sit down on a pretty bench and eat... ..the first night Joette came down with a headache. I went up to her room to see if she was alright and she said, "I am ok, just having sensory overload" her words were so incredibly understood.
Sea World...ok now what a great place! I don't know really what to say but it was just peaceful. We walked through amazing aquariums and watched dolphin shows. We saw Shamu and went on a crazy fun roller coaster- Kraken. It was smaller and relaxing. It was a great shift to admire God's animals. Some of us got a little teary-eyed at the dolphin show- what amazing animals! and you just know the trainers love their dolphins so much.
Epcot- My favorite part was the walk around the world. This is a must see- again nothing is short changed at Disney World. I wish I could have spent more time and money here. I wanted to buy food in every country! Joette was found in France- with a box full of pastries- Sad to say there was no Brasil.
Hollywood studios was great too- I just love going on rides with my brothers. Everything they say I soak right in- I never get to spend time with them so it meant a lot to me to be with them. Rockin Roller Coaster was the best- there is just something about riding a roller coaster with areosmith blasting in your ear. I love music- what can I say? Tower of Terror is quite the ride I tell you. Chay still laughs about how Keith held on to Chay's arm during the ride...
ok well by far my favorite day was the last- Busch Gardens. I'm not sure if it was just me being in a good mood, or the perfect weather, or that barely no one was in the park that day- but I just loved every minute of that place. First of all it was breathtakingly beautiful. The landscaping was just amazing. They had shows going on all over ranging from African tribal, 3-D, river dance, beep bop into the 50's. The rides were out of control and no lines to wait in. There were 6 or so huge roller coasters and 2 of them are in the top 10. It was just fun. They had a huge area just for kids Kenzie's size. She loved riding the planes, boats, carousal with Grandma, the tree house- Plus it was a zoo! You would walk from one place to another and suddenly you would come across this 12 foot crocodile (in a cage of course) We went on a train ride through this savanna type area where there were elephants, Rynosaurus, giraffes, zebras, ostridges- it was so not what we are used to. So yes- I really enjoyed Busch Gardens. My dad really enjoyed it too-
My dad is the sweetest most amazing man. He is a protector. He takes care of his wife and everyone knows it. He was so calm on this trip- If mom and dad were separated for some reason he would always tell me, "you take care of mom and don't let her get on any rides that will hurt her back" At one random time he came up to me and said, "April you are so special" my heart would just throb. He also said on Sunday, "You looked so beautiful at church with Kenzie asleep on your shoulder" I love my daddy. What a man he is. These are the memories I will treasure up forever.
Sunday we went to Church. This is what I love about my family. We were surrounded by so many things to do and yet we set it all aside to attend the Lord's church. The speaker was a little quirky as he compared the gospel to BYU's food cafeteria and the world to his elementary school's cafeteria- but nonetheless we took the sacrament and had family home evening that night. Alyssa sang a primary song by herself and it made me just love and adore her- We sang "give said the little stream" as a family. We talked about family history, motherhood and the priesthood.
Joette's ham sandwich getting ripped out of her hands by a seagull (I felt like I was reliving Alfred Hitchcock's "the birds")
Mom cranking her scooter up to "rabbit" speed at Costco.
Mom stopping her scooter next to two ladies who were on scooters too and asking them if they wanted to race- (I could seriously write a book on "Mom's scooter adventures")
Keith taking the scooter for a spin as his old motocross days emerge- tilting it and riding it on 2 wheels...it was just so funny to witness- we were all so fascinated by this thing- it was like we would pass up any rollar coaster to take a ride on mom's scooter.
Sitting in the hot tub with Chay and Keith during a lightning storm- I know it sounds retarded but it was great to see Keith get all so excited- we got out once the thunder sounded a little too close...
Walking through a major rain storm in Magic Kingdom- we didn't have ponchos so little Julia just endured the drops. She would just lick the water as it poured down her face.
Going with Chay on the Montu 3 times...I love that roller coaster. ..and the sheikra...oh my!
Swimming at night with Chay.
Seeing Kenzie love the pool- I bought a swimsuit with the blow up floaters inside- I recommend these! She could swim by herself!
The boys and their late nights with Monsters and PS motocross-
Listening to Isaac tell stories in the Van-
Watching Kenzie play with AJ and Isaac.
Bryon road ragin, Keith GPS'n, April MS'n, Joette PMS'n
-road trips, walmart trips, guilt trips, space mountain trips
All of us gathered in Mom and Dad's suite- trying to all fit on their huge bed.
Mckenzie flirting with Taylor
Chay wanting to spend time with just me by the end of the trip
I have never breastfed in so many public places
the dolphin show
the feeling I'd get when I would find a family member in a big crowd of people
Kenzie and julia falling asleep on the plane!
Bryon playing with my kids
Lorena's patience with our family
Calie's out of control energy
Joette's passion for the simple things in traveling
Taylor's love for kids
Ashlee's creativity and love for my children
Alyssa's easy company
Mom's love for flowers and fireworks- leadership skills
white bread flimsy sandwiches
Chay breaking both of our sun glasses in one shot- he put them in his pocket.
Keith's ways of prioritizing- putting his family first.
Chay being ever so handsome.
ok well I am getting sick of writing- overall it was wonderful to be together with my family- I can't believe we did it! It is over and I just want to go back.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
So by the morning the fire kind of went out and our thermostat read 50 degrees. burrrrr- but all in all it was ok...especially when I noticed Chay's little surprise for me- a neatly wrapped Valentine gift sitting on the counter. The way he wraps his gifts is almost more fun than the present itself. He takes so much time- the gift was wrapped in the free newspaper stuff we took from Albertson's last night to help start a fire. He decorated the outside with flowers cut out from a store ad- and a "finding nemo" sticker the hospital gave us last night to entertain Kenzie. (Don't worry- I thought Julia had an ear infection but she doesn't) anyway- it was just sentimental wrapping- Chay really knows how to show how much he cares.
He bought me the prequel to the Da Vinci Code "Angels & Demons" (the illustrated version) I opened the first page and read the first paragraph and said, "oh great...another 'I won't be able to put this down' book". It was so thoughtful of Chay.
I drove all the way into his work today with the girls to surprise him. He called me several times that day acting a little bored so it made the surprise all the better. It was quite the adventure getting to his work with far away parking, construction, stairs, big stroller, narrow escalators, Mexicans offering to life the stroller up and over the escalators...let's just say when I finally reached the 10th floor of Chay's building I was a little winded. I greeted him with a red bag of cubicle desk goodies and his three darling girls of course. He later told me in the car ride home "when I first saw you it was really strange" how romantic. It is good to see where Chay lives his other half of life. He has great co-workers.
Well anyway- I love Valentine's Day- another reason to celebrate how blessed we are to be surrounded by loved ones. Good night...my Valentine wants to watch a movie...so I better go.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
"Edk, Lately I've been reading a lot of the family blogs and want you to know that I love reading yours. I can feel your faith and strength that you possess and openly share with everyone. Though you might not know it, you are a great strength and example to not only April and I but to your whole family and the many generations to come. I don't comment often on blogs, but I couldn't pass this up. Thanks for your love and letting me marry your daughter. We love you Mom. Kenzie is really learning how to pray and it's very touching seeing her kneel down, bow her head, close her eyes and fold her little arms. We help her with the words, but it's always touching when she whispers "bless grandma" in her prayers and closes the prayer. I love you Edk....give Gary a hug for me. See you soon."
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Keith and Bev gave us our Christmas stockings and stayed the night
Came into the living room this evening to find Chay shirtless laying on his stomach with a post-it note stuck to his back that read "scratch me".
Gave Julia a little rocket (suppository) - those really work well- her rice cereal kind of plugged her up I think
Planned the meals and grocery list for our 8 day vacation to Orlando.
Went to Gage's 1 year birthday party
Broke the Sabbath to buy Julia some more colic pills and gas drops- she is so achy tonight-what a little sensitive system that girl has-
Talked to Tonya on the phone for about an hour tonight- it was great to talk to her- I too still prefer phone calls-
Heard sirens really close to our house tonight, ran outside and smelled smoke and yelled really loud, "oh my gosh I think someone's house is on fire!" then looked over and saw my neighbor Bill smoking his cigarette...he just laughed and said, "it's just me"
ok well there is probably more but I need to cut this short. My family is more important than my blog. I need to go "scratch" Chay's back and spend time with him. My inner core... my gift of the Holy Ghost tells me that I spend a little too much time on the computer so I need to adjust my priorities a little. Good night.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
1. What time is it? 9:28
2. What's your full name? April Eileen Tomblin Clark
3.What are you most afraid off? starting new things, losing a child, failure, not getting the most out of life,
4.What is the most recent movie that you have seen in the theater? I seriously can't remember...I can't even remember the last theatre I went to
5.Place of birth? Spokane, Washington
6.Favorite food? oh gosh anything- I like Mexican the best but really anything with pumpkin
7.What is your natural hair color? brown- but it is getting darker as we speak
8.Ever been to Alaska? Nope, but I'd like to go one day I guess
9.Ever been toilet papering? too many times- oh the good ol days
10.Love someone so much it made you cry? I'm a mother what do you think? I cry over people I don't know.
11.Been in a car accident? oh my we rolled three times, I hit sheri once and Jim Stroh once...
12.Croutons or bacon bits? I do like the crunch in my salad but would prefer sunflower seeds with peas..snap snap
13.Favorite day of the week?- everyday is the same besides Sunday- so I like Sundays! I get out of the house!
14.Favorite restaurant?- it used to be sizzlers, I want to say the Braza Grill but I've never been there- I need to get out more- I would like to try something new...hmmmm too expensive. I would rather cook something new than go somewhere new...unless I didn't have kids around of course.
15.Favorite Flower?- I like all flowers but Orchids are cool= petunias remind me of mom- I like leaves...
16.Favorite sport to watch?- probably basketball
17.Favorite drink?- I had a pina colada the other night and I was amazed at how good something could taste. I love freshy fresh- but mostly water.
18.Disney or Warner Brothers?- both I guess for totally different reasons
19.Ever been on a ship?- warship? no- Cruise line? no- Ferry? yes...I've played battle ship before.
20.What color is your bedroom carpet?- no carpet- wood floors
21.How many times did you fail your drivers test?- not once- aced it the first time- drivers ed? now that is a different story- good thing the teacher had a crush on me-
22.Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail? My mommy
23.What do you do when you get bored? I dink around on the internet, eat, read a book, clean something, play sudoku
24.bedtime? oh man who knows- usually around 11:00 or midnight, but then I wake up 2,4,6- I'm sleep deprived- have been for 2 years- I dream of the day where I can sleep 8 full hours...oh heaven
25.Favorite TV show?- I watch Oprah everyday- The office is funny, I like American Idol, the T.V is in the basement so I rarely go down there-
26.Last person you went to dinner with? The primary presidency- baby shower. That is where I ordered the pina colada.
27.What are you doing right now besides being on the computer? absolutely nothing...aging...that is about it.
28.What are your favorite colors? green and brown
29.How many tattoos do you have?- one...just kidding joette- none- just moles
30.How many pets do you have?- no pets- but I have softened over the years knowing that despite my disliking of dog poop, buying food- clean up- Kenzie will love to have a dog so maybe down the road- when she is 15- no- I don't know- we will see.
31.Have you ever been to Hawaii?- never been- not a goal of mine either
32.Have you been to countries outside the U.S.? Let's see- Canada, mexico, Brasil
33.Last book you read and finished? The Da Vinci Code- pretty exciting
34. One thing you like about yourself? logical, observant, good taste, love to laugh
35. One thing you dislike about yourself? I play the victim sometimes when I am feeling overly sensitive- usually a sign I need to read my scriptures and pray more- I also base my worth on accomplishing things- not good.
36. democrat or republican? I'm pro life, I support the war, marriage should only be between man and woman- but I like some of the democrat's pushes on government programs- student grants, WIC, so I'm a mixture- more towards the right- Bush makes mistakes like any president...I am political I suppose but I just look to what is right and wrong more than just choose blue or red.
37. Your ideal day? perfect weather, on a trail- working hard, swimming,- maybe creating something with the time and money to do it- maybe shopping with someone who likes to shop- finding good deals- laughing really hard all day. Being busy...
38. What time is is? 10:00
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
These recipes feed our small family comfortably- one serving each with leftovers for lunch the next day so you might want to double them.
This one is so simple and a food storage delight! Soo good
Creamy Tortilla Soup
2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with chilies (I made it with medium heat- a little zingy- Smith's has Del Monte canned tomatoes with chilies mild on sale right now)
2 cans (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 can refried beans (I love the brand Rosarita- you can buy a large case of these at Costco for $6 something- oh I puree these for Chay-He doesn't like the texture of beans)
1 cup canned corn- I put in the whole can
2-3 cups cooked chicken shredded or cubed
cilantro, sour cream, Monterey Jack Cheese
Combine tomatoes and broth. Stir in beans and corn. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add Chicken and heat through- Top with sour cream, cilantro, cheese, chips- I think it would be good with a bread bowl-
This turned out to be so tasty- better than the restaurant
Broccoli and Beef stir-fry
4 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp water
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb round steak- cut into strips (I used sirloin top steak- found it super cheap at smith's)
olive oil- you can use vegetable oil obviously- grape seed oil is by far the best to stir fry with- it is so good for you- plus it cooks the best- albertson's sells it.
4 cups fresh broccoli
1 onion cut into wedges
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
Cooked brown rice
In a bowl, combine 3 tbsp cornstarch with 3 tbsp water until smooth. Add beef strips and toss. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat- stir fry beef in 1 tbsp oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm. Stir fry broccoli and onion (add other vegetables too if you want) for 5-6 minutes. Return beef to pan. Combine soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan- cook and stir for 2-3 minutes- serve over rice.
Ok the next recipe I am passionate about- I am not joking- it is so incredibly delicious- Chay still talks about it- I think I will make this for my family in Orlando- I feel like Rachael Ray when I am making it-
1 (12 ounces) package Rigatoni
1 1/2 pounds italian sausage cut into 1 inch pieces (on sale at Smith's- I used only 3 sausage links)
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces) italian diced tomatoes undrained (basil, oregano and garlic Del Monte diced tomatoes are on sale this week for $.50 a can- not incredibly cheap but they are so dang good- so who cares- I bought 25 cans today.
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp basil leaves- or ground I suppose
1 tsp thyme leaves- ground if you want
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp butter- secret ingredient- so it’s a little fatty- but come on- just enjoy it.
In a large skillet, cook sausage until brown. Add onion and garlic and sauté with sausage. Add tomatoes, cilantro, basil, thyme, salt, pepper and butter. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over rigatoni pasta. Garnish with cheese of choice-Mozzarella and/or Parmesan
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Chay spent the morning shoveling out people's driveways so they could make it to Sacrament. Another neighbor from the ward whom I have a tender spot in my heart for was out all morning with his snow blower clearing out people's driveways also. When we got to church we could hear the congregation singing a cappella. No pianist. When we walked into the chapel there were only about 20 people. We were the only family with children. Where were all the people?
Those who decided to stay home really missed out on a powerful testimony meeting. The spirit was so strong. I am so amazed with the faith of some of our ward members. The lives they lead are so humble and simple yet they are the most Christ-like people I know.
We are getting so much dang snow I can't believe it!- sunday school and primary were cancelled today and our church is just 2 minutes away! I can't remember the last time I have seen so much snow.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
dropped Chay off at another church for men's basketball
10 o'clock was the primary valentine activity
Eleven was President Hinckley's funeral
prepared Holy Ghost talk
Gave the talk at the baptism at 5
a little building of the kingdom I'd say
oh and a little heart breaker- the girl who was baptized tonight comes from an inactive family. Her name is Jacee. Her parents really wanted their child to be baptized even though they don't attend church and they drop her off every Sunday for a couple hours so they can shop or whatever- free babysitting-
Well tonight the mother seemed a little touched by the spirit so I went up to her afterwards and asked if Jacee would be coming to church tomorrow with the hopes she would talk in primary about her baptism. She wouldn't even make eye contact with me- treating me like I was an annoying salesman or something. She finally said, "I don't make Jacee go, it is her decision if she wants to go" What? So I asked Jacee if she would speak tomorrow in primary for a few seconds about her baptism. Her hair still wet, "I don't think I want to come tomorrow" I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I then said, "Hey you just made a covenant with the Lord, you need to go to church girl" I sort of smiled when I said it- but I was serious- she just smiled. ok- I just wanted to scream...but I was in the church...and so it didn't seem appropriate.
Friday, February 01, 2008
It has been truly amazing to see my father change over the years since his baptism and especially since my mom has been sick. The following words were written by my mom on her blog:
"Last night I woke up around 3:00AM. I was really in pain with my cracked feet. It is caused from the new chemo I am on, and you cannot believe how much something so little can hurt. Anyway, my honey bunny was so sweet to me. We talked a little about my pending death and rather or not I would make it to Orlando. I begged him to go even if I cannot. Then I asked him if he would give me a blessing of comfort. It is always hard for him to assist in blessings, let alone give them. I don't know if this was irreverent or not, but I just asked him to lay next to me and put his hand on my head and give me a blessing. It was so tender...this man who used to be so callused and far from the spirit ...reaching out and in just above a whisper asking the Lord to help my feet and hands to heal, asking that I might be able to sleep and that I would know what to do about this chemo; if I should continue with it or not. He also asked Heavenly Father to please keep me well enough to go to Orlando. Then we just held each other and he let me cry awhile. This morning it was him and not me that suggested we read the scriptures together. That is the first time in my life he has asked to read the scriptures together.
Sometimes I question why I have to go through cancer, and then I see the growth my husband has made, and the increasing love in our marriage and I am okay with it. I am so thankful for my husband's love and concern. God bless this great man." ~ mom