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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Carving FHE

Last night for Family Home Evening, we carved pumpkins. Okay, The Chief and I carved pumpkins, and the boys got to stick silly faces on their pumpkins (thanks for the idea, Brooklyn!). We had a lot of fun. I can't really remember ever having carved pumpkins in my life, though I'm sure I have knowing my dad. He always liked to do fun things as a family. Anyway, Buddha got to pick each person's pumpkin, then he dictated to The Chief which face pieces went where on his own pumpkin. Bugga got help from me, then ate Cheerios the rest of the evening as he watched Mommy and Daddy carve their pumpkins. The Chief took a very traditional approach using a stencil (though his method of stencil application was rather innovative...staples!). I, on the other hand, decided to free-hand my pumpkin as is painfully evident. :) But I had a great time doing it, so that's all that matters I suppose.

Buddha's pumpkin

Bugga was "driving" his pumpkin by holding onto the ears as if they were a steering wheel. :) Buddha was fascinated.

Silly and spooky...the perfect combination! :)
P.S. After California's latest disaster...we didn't hesitate to extinguish the tea lights immediately following the photo op. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bugga is Walking! (Video)

Okay, here's the proof. :) Bugga has been walking all over like this since last week! He absolutely loves walking. He'll still grab for a finger if it's offered, and he still gets mad when I let go so he'll walk on his own. But the difference is that he will walk on his own now! He'll go a few steps, balance himself, walk a little more, balance again. It's so cute and so exciting! I love it when my kids walk. Again, I remind you, we have no sound with our video...so your computer is not broken. :)

Buddha and Bugga Playing on Cube (Video)

This is Buddha and Bugga playing on the Little Tikes climbing cube that I hosed off and brought inside because of the poor air quality outside. They have thoroughly enjoyed climbing all over this thing. It's been a huge relief to have this inside while we've been cooped up because of smoke and soot and ash!

Bugga's Gymnastics (Video)

Here's Bugga flipping over the "garden" wall. This is a toy that was outside in our backyard, but I cleaned it off and brought it inside because of the terrible air quality outdoors. As you can see, Bugga certainly enjoys it! :)

Buddha Disappearing (Video)

Here's Buddha playing on our Little Tikes climbing cube. He likes to "disappear" down the hole.

Bugga Climbing (Video)

This is Bugga climbing and sliding. My favorite is his unconventional dismount. :)

Bugga at the Pumpkin Patch (Video)

This is a video of Bugga hanging out with the pumpkins in the pumpkin patch we went to a week ago. He had a grand ol' time up there with his big, orange buddies.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trunk or Treat

Well, we took the boys to a multi-ward trunk or treat at our stake center tonight. Every time I've asked Buddha what he wants to be for Halloween, he always says "Dracula." So, tonight he got his wish. He was the cutest little Dracula out there, too! Oops, I'm not supposed to call him "little." I got in trouble for that earlier today. :) Bugga was an old-school aviator, courtesy of hand-me-downs. For anyone who is not familiar with a "trunk or treat," it's where everyone parks around a building with their cars' rears facing the building. Then, they open up their trunks and hand out candy to the "trunk or treaters." :) The Chief decorated our "trunk," and did a great job of it! It was a lot of fun. Many people loved Buddha's costume, though I think on Wednesday when he goes trick or treating around the neighborhood, I'll skip the makeup. I think he's a cuter Dracula without it. Bugga had fun watching all the kids go by. He also managed to eat some candy, wrapper and all, while I was busy taking pictures of Buddha. Oh well, it's not the first time he's eaten paper (his favorite non-food), and I'm sure it won't be the last. Okay, that's all for tonight. I'm up way too late! After the trunk or treat I had to do some last minute grocery shopping before the Sabbath. I'm beat.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Camp Pendleton/Horno Fire

I took these pictures when we were on our way home after our evacuation order was lifted. The 5 freeway goes right by Camp Pendleton where they were battling the Horno Fire. What's crazy to me is that these pictures were taken at 4:00 in the afternoon! It was so dark from all the smoke. It's still smoky here. I cleaned off a couple of our outdoor climbing toys and brought them inside so that the boys wouldn't go stir crazy from having to be indoors. It's been a huge help! They entertain themselves on those all day long. I'm starting to think I should have done it sooner. :) j/k! We're very grateful for all the thoughts and prayers on our behalf. We were lucky, though, as we actually had a house to come back to. Having gone through the ordeal, I don't even like to listen to or watch the news anymore. I'm pretty tired of hearing the word fire and I don't like to watch people rummage through their burned down houses. It's too emotionally draining. I heard a weather man today say that we all needed Jenny Craig after sitting in front of the TV and eating pretty much all day long for the last few days. That's exactly how I feel. I think I have gained a few pounds after this week. The Chief and I were glued to the TV and radio until they said we could come home. Now I can't stand to watch. My heart goes out to those people, just a couple miles north of me, whose homes burned down. And none of those victims had time to get any personal belongings. It was either get out with their lives, or burn with their home. I just unpacked our car today, even though we've been home for a day and a half. It was time to get things back to normal. As I started to unpack, I realized that it would be a great time to compile an emergency list of items to grab in case of evacuation. So, as I put things away, I added them to my list. Now, if this ever happens again, I'll have a quick reference guide that will ensure I don't forget anything valuable. Wow, listen to me ramble! This was just going to be a quick note with pictures. I'm such a yakker!

It's like driving in fog!

Looking toward the ocean from Camp Pendleton.
Remember, it's 4:00 pm!

That's my flash, not the sun. :)

A nice little gift was waiting on our
front doorstep when we got home. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


We're home! They lifted our evacuation order somewhere around 1:30 or 2:00pm, and we headed home after finishing our lunch in Huntington Beach. We had no problems getting home although we did pass right by the Camp Pendleton fire (aka Horno Fire). That was pretty insane. It was like driving into night and back out into day as we went through. The smoke was so thick and black and the flames were pretty close to the freeway. Our house smells fine since we made sure all the windows were closed before we left. The boys fell asleep in the car on the way down, so we left them asleep in the garage and we quickly vacuumed and mopped up the ash and soot we had tracked around in our hasty exit. It's weird now because being home makes me feel like this whole ordeal is over. And maybe it is for me, but those fires are still raging north and east and south of us. People are being evacuated all over North County and fires are still threatening. I asked The Chief if we could leave all our stuff in our car because I'm just so wary of believing that it's truly over for us. What's sad is that a couple of these fires - the Poomacha fire and the Orange County Santiago Canyon fire were caused by arsonists. Stupid, stupid waste. Those people should be severely punished! Oh well, I'm tired and I'd better go to bed soon. Thanks for all your prayers. We're very grateful and very blessed to have a home to come back to. And thank you Sooz and Melissa for letting us stay with you guys for a few days!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday SD Fire Update

So, our area of San Diego is still under mandatory evacuation and probably will be until tomorrow, if not later. The Witch Creek Fire ("our" fire) has burned up to 200,000 acres and is only 1% contained. 600 structures have burned! It is now converging with another fire called the Poomacha Fire. There are so many fires in Southern California now that I don't even know what the current count is. I just heard Brain Williams, reporting from Rancho Bernardo, say that with FEMA's new numbers at 960,000 evacuees, we have now surpassed any other American peace-time movement in history since the Civil War. Orange County has some very threatening fires now and large numbers of people are being evacuated. And yet, with the new reverse 911 system, there have only been five deaths and relatively few injuries throughout the fires. I can't wait to go home. I hope we can soon.

Smoke Pictures

These are pictures that we took as we were leaving San Diego. They really don't do the situation justice. We had to drive through the thickest, dirtiest, darkest smoke I've ever been in. It was eerie. I didn't think to take pictures until we were emerging. I wish I had some while we were actually in the thick of it. It was crazy. The air quality at our home was so bad when we left. I'm sure there will be lots of clean-up when we get home...if they ever let us go home. :) The fire our home is "threatened" by is the Witch Creek Fire. So far it's just moving around the area our home is in, so hopefully that will remain the case and we'll have a home to return to. We are still under mandatory evacuation, though, so we will remain holed up in Huntington Beach until we hear differently.

I took this picture so you could see the contrast. This is taken northward toward Orange County with the San Diego fires behind us.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Evacuated and Safe

Okay, now I'm chuckling at that last fire post. I totally thought we were safe because the fire was on the opposite side of the I-15 freeway from us last night. The Chief left for work at 6am this morning and literally 1 minute after he pulled away, a ward member called us to let us know that a mandatory evacuation had been issued for our area. The fire had jumped the freeway and was heading our way. I called The Chief, he came home, and we went to work collecting our important identification papers and photo albums. He even unhooked our computer tower to take with us. We packed up a few changes of clothing, grabbed some diapers and blankets and headed out. We waited 20 minutes in a line to get gas and then got on the 56 freeway heading West to the 5 freeway. That drive normally takes all of five minutes, but since 250,000 people were being evacuated, it took us 1 and 1/2 hours to get to I-5. We then traveled to T and T's house (The Chief's brother and sister-in-law) in Laguna Niguel (Orange County). We left our house at 9am and got there at 12noon. That's a one and a half hour drive normally. Anyway, Trina made us a wonderful breakfast meal since we hadn't eaten yet, and then we continued on to Aunt Sooz's house in Huntington Beach. This is where we're hunkering down until they tell us we can come back. The fire threatening our home is called the Witch Fire and it had jumped the 15 freeway in Rancho Bernardo. Many homes have burned. We are directly south of Rancho Bernardo. We've been glued to the radio and TV. We listen to San Diego's fire news at an online radio station and we watch Orange County's many fires on the TV. I seriously feel like all Hell has broken loose in Southern California. Malibu is also burning. There are 13 fires burning throughout Southern California, eight of those are in San Diego. Maybe some have been contained, but all we're hearing now is 0% contained, 0% contained, 0% contained. They just can't keep ahead of the fires because of the Santa Ana's. We've been feeling okay all day because the winds were driving the Witch Fire in a NW direction, but recently we heard that the winds have shifted to the SW, so we're still praying and still waiting. They're saying it will probably be 24 hours before they can start containing the fire. Anyway, this is probably more than anyone cares to know, but it's so crazy to me. I was telling my family today that as we drove away through our neighborhood we saw little clusters of neighbors talking, pointing, watching. Some were hosing down their property and turning on their sprinklers in a last ditch effort against the raging fire. And everywhere people were packing up their cars and closing up their homes. I felt like I was watching a movie - it was so surreal. I can't believe this is actually happening to us! Well, I'd better rescue Aunt Sooz from the overactive munchkin. :) We're safe...for all who might care to know. :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

To Auntie



Hotels, Casinos, Airports, and Our Home...

...What do they all have in common? Well, I'll tell you. But first, let's rewind to this morning. The Chief left a few hours before church to attend some leadership meetings. A few minutes after he left, he called me to let me know that there was a really cool, great breeze outside and that I should open all the windows. I was already scrambling to make some church magazine handouts, but right before I left, I ran around and opened all our windows. Sacrament meeting was nice. Buddha was his usual yakkety little self and Bugga made friends with the people behind us. But, as we left sacrament meeting we noticed little groups of people huddling near the doors all on their cell phones. There was also a very pungent fire smell permeating the building. So we glanced outside only to realize that we couldn't see the hillsides around the chapel. We couldn't see much of anything for that matter. And it was then that we started to hear the word "fire" being whispered here and there. So we started asking around and found out that there were rumors of three different locations, one of which was just one street away from our home. But, our bishop called his neighbor and found out that there was a raging wildfire out in the desert near Ramona. The gusting Santa Ana winds were fueling the fire and driving the smoke and soot in our direction. I sent The Chief home between Sunday School and Relief Society/Priesthood to close all of our windows, but it was too late. He came back to report that there was soot and ash all over our couch and living room, all over the boys' dresser in their room...really all over everything since I had opened ALL our windows. And now, our home smells like a hotel, casino, and airport all wrapped up in one sooty package. The sad thing is, there's really no relief in sight. I'm sitting here watching "The Next Iron Chef" with The Chief and listening to the blustering Santa Ana's outside our windows. The wind will just keep bringing all that smoke in our direction for the next few days. We turned on the news as soon as we could and found out that there are dozens of wildfires raging in southern California right now and all are being driven by the strong winds. Governor Arnold (we're on a first name basis because I can't spell his last name) has declared a state of emergency. Our prayers are with all those who are being evacuated because of these fires. I know that in Malibu, many people are being forced to leave their homes. We have friends there, Ryan and Jolene, and we hope that they are okay. In San Diego county, the whole city of Ramona is being asked to evacuate. Welcome to Southern California's yearly Santa Ana's. I hope we get some clean air soon, I've been feeling claustrophobic all day just thinking that I can't escape the soot and ash. I'm grateful my kids don't suffer from asthma. Pray for us. Pray for rain for California.

Pumpkin Patch/Fair/Carnival

Okay, as you can tell from my post title, I really didn't know what to call the place we went. :) But last night we went to a little carnival-type pumpkin patch in Scripps Ranch. It ended up being a lot of fun and we got some fun pictures. I feel more in the spirit of the upcoming holiday now. Lately I've been feeling like such a boring mom, so this helped me feel like I was getting out there and creating memories for my kids. :) I asked Buddha what his favorite ride was and he said, "The wheel one." Go figure. My son loves anything that he can pretend drive. So, even though the helicopters went up in the air and the slide went really fast, his favorite was the boats...the boats that went around and around in a circle with little dips here and there along the track. Ha ha ha. I love Buddha! Bugga's favorite ride was the slide. Okay, truthfully, it was the only ride he went on, but he did love it! He laughed every time we reached the bottom (or beached the rottom if you're Rindercella). :)

Bugga's First Spaghetti Dinner

Bugga had his first spaghetti dinner on Friday night. It went really well. :) At least, it turned out much like we suspected it would. :) As you can see, Buddha is a great cheer section, but if you'll notice, his food remains untouched throughout. Ahhh, life with a picky eater. It's so weird to me that our two sons can have such polar opposite food inclinations. Enjoy the mess!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Look

Well, yesterday I got a new haircut and new glasses and I'm lovin' them both! :) We knew it would be a while before we could afford Lasik surgery for me, and neither of us really liked my old glasses, so we thought it was time for a change. Sorry the pictures aren't the greatest quality. Our good camera broke, so we're stuck with the back-up. But, hey, at least we have a back-up, right?! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dr. Visits and First Steps

Well, on Friday last week I took the boys to the doctor to have check-ups. Buddha is now 34lbs. He is at the 75th-80th percentile for height and weight. He's big, but he's proportionate, so there's nothing to worry about there. I really think we just have densely-boned children. Buddha also had a Hep-A immunization which he wasn't too happy about, but got over quickly. Bugga is now 22lbs, and he's also in the 75th-80th percentile for height and weight. They also checked his head size and I'm proud to say that he's in the 95th percentile for noggin circumference. What can I say, we have big-headed children. :) They take after their dad, although my mom is always telling me how big her head is. :) Bugga also got pricked, but not for a shot. He had a little toe-prick hemoglobin test which came back normal. Yay! We have healthy kids!

So, on to the more exciting news...Bugga took his first steps alone on Monday! He was walking back and forth between The Chief and me. He still leans into it a little too much, so he doesn't get very many steps in before he starts toppling, but he's definitely walking. At this time in Buddha's life, he was already a walking machine. I remember at Halloween just before Buddha turned one, he was wandering through the mall in his cute little aviator outfit, just this teeny little man making his way through the crowds. I'm starting to think that Bugga might also be walking by Halloween, though he's much more cautious than Buddha ever was. And, Bugga will be wearing the same little aviator costume that Buddha wore for his first Halloween. :) Ahhh...gotta love hand-me-downs. Well, I'll try to get the latest development in Bugga's life on video. I picked up a digital camera/video recorder with audio capabilities from another Freecycler today. I just have to figure out how it works and then maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to put video with sound on our blog! Won't that be nice. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Who Does Bugga Look Like Most?

Well, it's official...I WON! He looks like me! :) I want to thank all those out there who voted for me. I'd like to thank my mother and father for their contributions to Bugga's appearance. Apparently, they won out over the Bagel genes. :) I'd like to thank my husband for letting me have Bugga. I'd like to thank Buddha...for not beating Bugga up so as to change his appearance. I'd like to thank The Producers of my life, without whom I would not have Bugga. Of course I can't forget to thank my body as well - without it's dedication, Bugga would not be the hefty, healthy size-18-month baby that he is. And I'd especially like to thank my fans...all of you...for thinking Bugga looks like me. Ah, I'm such a proud Mama. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Funny Videos!

I got this video in an email from my Aunt Danette. It's for anyone who is a mom or who has a mom. Yep, that's right, it's for everyone! :) You'll all get a kick out of it, I'm sure. I think it's hilarious and soooo appropriate. :)

Okay, here's another of my recent favorites sent by Unkey Dino (how appropriate). This is called "The Translator."

And the last one (I promise) is another hilarious video that will be totally appreciated by moms and dads. This was sent to me by my friend, Teej.

Oh, sorry, that wasn't the last one. I just love to share videos that make me smile. Here's a family video of Faces. I love this video because Ratchet is a video-making genius. Great music, great subject! Faces has a true "army crawl." He's such a cutie! And such a little chub (that's for you, Auntie). :) I love the army pants.