Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday Drive

Yesterday we took a short drive up to San Francisco. We drove up the coast. It was beautiful. We stopped at Golden Gate Bridge and got out and took a walk over it. The boys LOVED it. Darion told me that his favorite part was seeing Alcatraz Island from up there. He even said he could see cobwebs on it. (That made me giggle.) He was a little nervous because the bridge is so high above the water, but Rusten and I were so proud of him because he didn't let that stop him from taking a walk with us.

Joel is just fearless. Which puts fear into me. Even though there was no way he could fit through the rail, we got a little nervous when he started putting his arms and legs through the openings. Joel fell out of a second story window a little over a year ago. After a trip to the Emergency Room and only a scratch on his belly, it has left him feeling invincible and unafraid of anything. That would have been a lot more of a fall than the second story window. Sometimes I wish he were more afraid.

We had fun and I was happy to be with my three most favorite people in the world!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Apartment

We finally found a place to live!!! I think we're just about settled in for the summer. We kept our apartment up in Eugene to save the hassle of moving for such a short amount of time. Because of this, we didn't bring any furniture or anything with us. As much fun as we're having down here, as much as we're learning, as much as this is an adventure, I am looking forward to my luxury student apartment when I get home. I will never complain about that apartment again after living here. Here are the top ten reasons I "love" my Sunnyvale apartment:

10. Price of rent. I feel like I live in a mansion with the cost of $1650 per month. Unfortunately, we're all living in a one bedroom apartment that smells funky.

9. As Rusten would say, "it smells like an old folks home in the hall." It's like we're visiting grandparents without the drive. (Not really, there is no way EVER that your houses would smell that awful.)

8. Craigslist couches. Sometimes it's nice to sit on furniture that smells like someone else. (at least they don't stink)

7. The lady from Poland. She walks around the building and finds everything wrong and takes pictures to document how unsafe things are. She told me one day that she knows what she is talking about, but I wasn't sure when she started showing me pictures of a tree that had fallen down and nothing was done to take care of it. When I looked at the picture the tree was still planted firmly in the ground with all of it's branches intact. I'm still not too sure what to think of that lady. I am sure that she is lonely and I feel a little sorry for her.

6. Helga. I'm not being sarcastic about this one. I absolutely love Helga. She works in the office at the apartments. She's an older woman from Germany. She loves Darion and Joel so much that she even made a special after hours visit to bring them German chocolates.

5. Plastic cutlery. This is great. I've been washing all of the plastic cutlery to save money and not have to buy real silverware. You may be wondering what is so great about this? Well, when the kids accidentally throw their forks in the garbage, I don't have to have a fight with them about how they need to put their hands in the garbage and retrieve them because I'm not going to.

4. Our bed. We didn't want to pay for a mattress that was just as uncomfortable as our air mattress, so we just bought a memory foam pad and put it on top of the air mattress. It is surprisingly comfortable, however, I REALLY miss my temperpedic that is waiting for me at home.

3. The back patio. You are allowed to have pets living at these apartments. The previous tenet obviously owned some sort of animal. It was pretty smelly back there. Rusten ended up dumping bleach on the cement. Then he took a shovel and scraped the top layer of dirt into the garbage and threw it away. Then he covered the dirt with some redwood bark. It's actually smelling a lot better back there.

2. The "Harry Potter" Room. Our kids are sleeping in our walk-in closet. They call it The Harry Potter Room. They've never been so excited. Hopefully Rusten and I aren't too much like the Dursleys making our kids sleep in a closet.

(drum roll)

1. The Cat Pee Smell. It smells so bad. I rented a Rug Doctor, we've been vacuuming with baking soda with pet odor removal, and used air fresheners. We even found a little kit with a black light that you use to find the spots on the rug. The cleaner is supposed to break up the enzymes in the urine and help with the smell. It's actually getting better. I didn't think it ever would.

I think I can do this for two more months. It's actually making me stronger. Rusten keeps telling me that now I am ready to go on a mission. Last night I had a giggling fit about cat pee and the Harry Potter room. As much as our apartment sucks, we have each other, we won't be here that long, and we're trying to make the most of it.

Bonus pictures of our trip to Las Palmas park this afternoon:

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Yes, Rusten got the consulting/executive position with AltaVitas!!! We are really happy about it. We left yesterday morning. We basically brought our clothes, very few kitchen utensils, our bedding, and pillows and headed down. We are staying in a hotel until we find a place to live for the summer. We're hoping to have a place to live by the end of the week. Housing is kind of a challenge here. This is going to be awesome!

We had a very fun car ride yesterday. The kids were really good. They didn't get out of control until the last two hours of the drive. Those last two hours were wild, but we made it. Darion and Joel loved seeing Mt. Shasta. They couldn't believe they were that close to a real volcano. The reality of what we are doing didn't really set in until we arrived. We checked into our hotel, got some dinner, and headed to the local Walmart. 

I felt like I had never been to Walmart before. That was an interesting experience. I think the Walmart was about four times the size of every Walmart I had ever been to. It was so full of people that it was hard to get around. I was really afraid when Darion said he had to go to the bathroom and Rusten took him. I was seriously afraid that we weren't going to find each other and that I was going to get lost in there. I think there really might be people in that Walmart that have been there for a few weeks. They are probably done shopping, but just can't find a way out!!!

After the Walmart experience I was feeling REALLY overwhelmed. It didn't help that I was tired and getting over a little cold. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do this. But after we went to church this morning, I felt so much better about everything. Everyone was so nice to us. We even got invited to dinner at someone's house. It was such an amazing thing. The gospel is the same everywhere we go. We're living in a hotel right now so I don't really feel like I have a home, but I really felt that church was home today. It was amazing!

We spent the afternoon swimming in the pool at the hotel. The weather here is beautiful. I think we're going to like it here! Pictures will be coming soon!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Catching Up

It's been forever since I last blogged. We've been up to a lot! Darion started kindergarten this year and Joel is almost finished with his first year of preschool. I can't believe how fast the time is going. I wish I could slow everything down, but I am loving every new phase they're growing into. Joel is still loving everything pink and princess. It's hilarious and fun! Darion is convinced he is going to be a ninja when he grows up and has already started quite the training program to become such. It includes: climbing up and down walls, every type of push-up imaginable, and lots of air punching and kicking with sound effects included.

It's also hard to believe that Rusten only has one more year left of graduate school. We have been a student family since we were first married. That's a lot of years of going to school. He'll have a JD/MBA (business and law). I couldn't be more proud of him!! I'm also starting to get some pre-graduating jitters. I have to go out into the "real" world soon! That's going to be weird. We've also been able to live in student housing since we were married. Our apartments haven't been that nice, but we have been blessed to live in a place where we have some amazing friends. It's been nice to just go outside and have other kids for Darion and Joel to play with and adults for me to talk to. I worry that when I move away from this type of community, I'm going to be lonely. I am also really excited for what the future holds. I feel like our family has great things ahead.

I recently went on a field trip with Joel's preschool class. Darion missed a day of school so he could come along with us. We went to a local park that has an awesome playground (or "structure" as Joel calls it these days.) Here's an example of the cuteness I experienced:

 I had to include a picture of Joel and his friend Echo. He is SURE he is going to marry her one day. She is adorable! I'm glad he's been able to have such a sweet friend.

 It was Rusten's birthday on Thursday! Happy Birthday to someone who has made me smile every single day for the last seven+ years! He was actually down in Palo Alto, Ca. on his birthday. He's working on getting an internship down there for the summer. We're hoping it works out for us to move down there. I think we need a new adventure! Wish us luck!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pre-School Graduation

Yes, our little Darion just graduated from pre-school. He is growing up way too fast. We are so proud of both Darion and Joel and the boys they are becoming.

His teachers threw a huge party at a local park. All of the kids and their families were invited to attend. Darion and Joel had a blast.

They played on the playground,

blew giant bubbles,

and played with their friends. Darion is going to miss going to school with friends like Minh,

and Jesse,

And all of his other friends at school. (Yes, that is Joel singing all of the graduation songs with Darion's class. He just randomly went up there and sang with them and we couldn't get him to come back.)

But Darion has officially graduated from pre-school and now has kindergarten to look forward to. He'll have no trouble making friends.

Thank you, teacher Stormi!

Thank you teacher Fatemeh!

We love you Darion! We are SO proud of you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Head Start Field Trip

Darion's class went on a field trip to Skinner's Butte Park. The sun was out, the weather was warm, and it was fun! Joel and I were lucky enough to go with them. It was wonderful! And both kids took a REALLY long nap when we got home.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Darion: The Ant Queen

Darion came outside the other day with a canning jar. He decided to catch some small ants to keep as pets. I tried to explain to him that they wouldn't live without a queen telling them what to do. The next thing we knew, Darion was trying to tell them that he would be their new queen and that they should listen to him. He even put some cracker crumbs in their jar so they could have something to eat. We woke up the next day and we had this conversation:

Darion: "Mom, can I write a message to my ants in the car?"
Me: "Sure! Your aunts would probably love to hear from you!"
Darion: "How do you spell 'This is your new queen?'"

That's when I realized he didn't mean "aunts" he meant "ants!" I helped him spell the words and he taped them to the jar facing the inside so the ants could read them. A few hours later the ants were all shriveled up and dead.