It"s a Crazy Wonderful Life

This is a blog about my family and the crazy life in the Sims Household. We have 5 children, ranging from 14 to 5, and seem to be going in all different directions sometimes. The purpose of this blog is to help keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The cost of clothes in our house

just went way up. I took kaylee shopping for jeans on Monday because she has grown out of all the jeans I bought her when school started, and she can no longer shop in the children's department. We had to shop in Junior's to get jeans that fit her. So instead of $19 for girl's jeans at Old Navy, it is now $29. I knew this was coming soon. Argh!! They grow up way, way, way too fast!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fighting Back Against High Gas Prices

We have definitely been feeling the crunch as gas prices continue to climb. As I am sure you all have too. We decided to fight back as much as we can and we did something drastic yesterday.

Here is a bit of background to help you understand our decision. I have been driving a Suburban for the last 5 years. My gas mileage is about 10 MPG in town and about 15 MPG on the highway. For the last year or so, I have not been able to fill up my gas tank for less than $100 and lately it has been about $135. You may or may not know that most gas stations have a cap of $100. So when I fill up the pump automatically shuts off at $100, then I have to swipe my card and go through the process all over again to fill my vehicle. It is kind of a pain, but oh well. I can go about 10 days on a tank of gas and most of my driving is in town. I rarely go on the freeway, so you can see where I am going here. I have felt like I was throwing money away by driving my big truck. Often I have just 1-2 kids with me, making the large vehicle unnecessary.

A year ago when Mike needed to buy a vehicle for work. He choose a really nice Nissan Pathfinder. Now he has been driving an average of about 600 miles a month at about 15 MPG. Our overall gas bill has been about $800 per month. CRAZY!!!

So for the past few months we have been considering the possibility of buying an extra car. Something smaller and more economical for me to drive around town in. That idea slowly evolved into the idea of trading Mike's Pathfinder and getting two new cars that get better gas mileage.

The last two weekends have been spent exploring our options and the days in between have been spent on the internet investigating those options. We made spreadsheets to compare the costs of the vehicles and the fuel efficiency and how all these factors related to and would help our budget.
Our work came to a conclusion yesterday when we turned this...

into these.

This is Mike's new car. It is a sporty Nissan Altima Coupe. It will more than double his MPG. It will be an adjustment from his Pathfinder, but he likes it.

This is my new car. It is a Nissan Sentra. I LOVE it!!! It will be a lot more fun to drive than my suburban. We will keep the suburban for a family vehicle, and we will use it when we all go places together and for camping and vacations.

Amazingly, even with buying 2 cars, we will still be saving money in our overall budget. When you consider Mike's old car payment and our gas bill before, and the payments on both new cars and gas, we will be saving some money every month. And as gas prices go up, that savings will only increase because of the fuel efficient vehicles.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Frustrated to tears...

Tonight I had a breakdown. Well not really, but as close as I think I have ever come to having one. Mike is out of town and we had Kaylee's School Choir concert. It was held out at the amphitheatre in the park. The weather cooperated for the most part, though it was trying really hard to rain on us. We caught a few drops here and there, but not enough to make us feel wet. I was there with all the kids and as usual, they would not sit still and be quiet. I know it is a lot to ask that they sit there the whole time, so I positioned myself in an area where it would be easy for me to see the show and for the kids to play away from me where I could watch them. I wouldn't have minded so much if they played away from me, but I couldn't get them to stay away from the pond. I worry about them falling in or something as any "good" mom would. They would go away and play for a bit rolling on the hill or chasing one another, but always ended up at the pond. I would drag them back and ask them not to go to the pond and sure enough they would go right back again. I finally asked Tiffany to just keep an eye on them at the pond which she did happily for a while.

As it was getting closer to the end of the show, the boys started getting antsy (despite running around all night). They were loud and disruptive and Kyle started crying. Well, this kid is so darn stubborn, he won't stop crying for anything until he gets what he wants. I finally ended up leaving the performance early, before the final group went on which was the one group we had been waiting around to see. They are a group in the high school choir(a pretty large group) that write and perform their own music. Anyway, I lost it with the boys. I yelled at them on the way home and really laid into them about how they always make me leave things like this before they are done. In the last 4 weeks, I have left at least 3 different things early because Jacob and Kyle make it absolutely unbearable to try to stay any longer. It is so frustrating. I will be so glad when we can finally go and sit through an entire performance of any kind.

This of course followed a truly unbearable Sunday at church with Kyle. He started acting up in Sacrament meeting right after the sacrament. I took him out to the foyer. I am a mean mom when we are in the foyer. I do not let him run around or play. He has to sit on my lap. This is my way of trying to make him see that church is much better in the chapel. Well, this time my philosophy totally backfired as he decided to just start screaming. I had to take him out of the building and rather than go home(which is what he wanted to do) I made him walk laps around the building. I held his hand and made him keep moving. We must have walked around the building 5 times. He wanted to go in and he was afraid he was going to miss his class(he wouldn't because sacrament meeting was still going on). I told him we would go in as soon as he stopped crying. The stubborn bugger would not stop crying. He just kept on going. When it was time for Primary, I took him in. He stopped crying and wanted to go to class, but as soon as I tried to leave him there, he started crying again and did not want to go to primary. I left him anyway and about 10 minutes later, his teacher brought him back to me and said he wouldn't stop crying so I needed to keep him. Then he fell asleep.

I am reaching whits end with him and his crying. I do not know what to do about it. I have not yet figured out what to do with him and Jake to get them to obey me and respect me. So from one very frustrated mother, I ask for any and all advice anyone may have to help me with these two guys. None of the other kids have been near as difficult as Jake and Kyle have been and I am at a loss. I have tried so many different things and nothing so far has worked.

I love my kids and would not trade a single one of them for anything, even when I am most frustrated with them. But I would love it they listened to me better.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another great book by Stephenie Meyer

Wow, I just finished reading 'The Host". Once again, I was so captivated by the story I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it. I am amazed how the author is able to invoke the feelings of the characters onto the reader. I can picture the characters in my head and actually felt some of what they must have been feeling in the story. I even cried, though those that know me may not be too surprised by this. Stephenie Meyer has hit it big. I loved the Twilight Series and can't wait for the next installment, but really enjoyed this new book.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Little American Idol

Here is a video clip of Tiffany singing in the school talent show today. She did a great job and was the best vocal I heard. (I didn't stay for the whole show because Jake and Kyle couldn't sit still.) You will have to excuse the terrible videography. I had Kyle hanging on my leg and jumping on my back the whole time. Though I am terrible at taking videos to begin with.

That's my girl!!! I am so proud of her.

I can't believe my baby is four...

I just can't believe Kyle is four years old today. Where has the time gone? My baby is getting...big! It makes me sad in some ways. He really isn't a baby anymore, and he tells me that all the time. I just can't convince him that he will ALWAYS be my baby. Snif snif. Here is a couple of pictures of him opening one of his presents. I will post more pictures later after we have cake and ice cream tonight.
P.S. These pictures are taken with my new camera that I got for Mother's day. It is a Canon Power Shot SD 870IS Digital Elph. It takes really crisp pictures. It is a really great pocket camera. I am so happy. Thanks Mike and kids.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mock Father and Son Campout

Our ward planned the Father and Son campout for last Friday night. Not only is it early in the season, but it was Mother's Day wekend. They also planned it for a place where you had to tent camp and could not use our wonderful trailer. What were they thinking? As Mike was checking out the weather forcast and contemplating a night in a tent with the three boys he found a gloomy forecast. It was supposed to be cold and rainy with chances of snow. Needless to say, to the disappontment of 3 little boys, he decided not to rough it out in a tent in that kind of weather. Good thing since it rained all night.

So here is the consolation to appease Ryan, Jacob, and Kyle. We set up our trailer in our garage and Mike and the boys slept out in the trailer. Here are some pictures.

Mike ended up being quite relived that he wasn't an hour away in the mountains when at 4:30 in the morning Kyle had an attack of croup and ended up needing medicine and a steam bath. Overall, the boys had a great time. They ate hotdogs cooked on the grill for dinner, watched a movie together, had a late night, and slept out in the trailer

The girls slept in the trailer on Saturday night. It's kind of cool that we can fit the whole thing set up INSIDE our garage.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day is Coming...

As excited as I am to celebrate being a mother this weekend, the holiday brings with it the sadness of having so recently lost my own mother to cancer. I was handling myself pretty well until I clicked onto my sister's blog today and she had posted this:

Okay, so I cried my first tears for this holiday weekend. I am sure they won't be the last. I love my mom and miss her everyday, but these holidays bring it so close to the surface it is hard to keep it down.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Girls Night

We had our second official girls night out on Friday night. From left to right here is Aislynn, Eliza, Me, Mel and Alyssa. (wow I really am short, I was wering 3 inch heals in this picture and I am still a bit shorter than all the others ugh)
This time we went to dinner at the Olive Garden followed by a couple of hours of bowling.
We couldn't get enough of the breadsticks. It was great food.
Mel's birthday is this week so we decided to make that a part of our celebrations this time too. I made her a crown and beauty pageant style sash to wear around for the night. And she actually did.

We had a great time. With lots of laughter as usual. None of us are great bowlers. I had to bowl lefty since my right shoulder is still somewhat lame and Eliza is still recovering from her reconstruction surgery so she didn't even bowl her second game, but somehow she ended up with the highest score the first time around.Here are the scores from the first game. It's a good thing we were having fun, because none of us could go pro!!!

I did actually manage to throw a strike or two. I think I had one in each game. Yeah me!

It was Glow in the Dark Bowling, so the half of the alley we were on was dark.

Look at those styling shoes!!!

As usual it was a great time. We always have so much fun together. As they say, "laughter is the best medicine". I always come home from my girl's nights feeling revived and refreshed. I'm looking forward to the next one in July!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Twilight Trailer is Here

Click here to see the trailer for Twilight the movie. It is just a teaser, but it is really good!! I can't wait for the movie to come out!!!! I'd love to hear what you all think.

I'm Sick!!!

I don't know where this came from, but somehow I got sick. I feel like my nose is the size of my head and my head is going to explode. I started to hit me on Saturday night with a sore throat and by Sunday morning I was getting pretty miserable. I took some Dayquil and made it through church. This morning I just want to sleep, but I can't because my nose can't decide if it wants to run or be stuffy. UGH!!!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

New Entertainment Center

It is amazing what a single piece of furniture can do to transform a room.

Here is a picture of my family room from Friday morning.
Here is what it looks like now after my new entertainment center was delivered.

The entertainment center is a really tight fit. It actually looks like it was built to fit the nook it is in. There is about a half inch gap on one side. We were actually afraid that we would have to remove the baseboards in order to get it in, but the contour of the baseboards exactly matched the widest part of the trim on the unit. It was so perfect. I am so happy. I have been wanting this piece ever since we moved in. I was finally able to purchase it with the money from selling off a bunch of my candle inventory. It really finishes off the room, don't you think?

Conversation with Kyle about his birthday

So, Kyle is having his 4th birthday in 9 days. Yesterday I had a little conversation with him that was cute. It went like this:

Me: "Kyle, your birthday is coming soon, what kind of presents do you want?"

Kyle: "I want tools and a mini fridge."

Me: "What do you want a mini fridge for?"

Kyle: "So I can have my own snacks and drinks in my room."

Me: "Aren't there any toys that you want for your birthday?"

Kyle: "No I want my own mini fridge in my room."

So I have no idea where he got this idea for a mini fridge in his room. I don't have a mini fridge in my room. I don't have a mini fridge. I just think it is rather humerous that he wants a mini fridge so he can have his own snacks in his room.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May Day

It was the first of May yesterday and it should be getting warm right? This week we had beautiful weather until Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday I was out in the yard with the boys, they were playing in the water, it was 80 degrees. Thursday it was cold, rainy, and windy. Today there's no rain, but the wind is ferocious. I think of May and I think of Springtime, flowers and sunshine, not wind and cold. I am so ready for the warmer weather to settle in and stick around for a while.

Our Family in Pictures