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Monday, April 26, 2010

A Fun Family Outing

We had a neat weekend; we drove to Burley, ID last Friday and stayed at the Fairfield Marriott hotel.

Saturday we got up at 6:00am, went down to breakfast and then had to meet in the lobby at 7:45 all dressed in our fancy clothes, ready for family pictures. We all dressed in brown, blue and green so we could match!
Ryan took some pictures while we waited for our turn with the photographer (for individual family pictures.)

We took pictures in the park next to Shoshone Falls. I'll be excited to see how they turn out.

We went to the Twin Falls temple to watch Ryan's brother and his wife be sealed to their 2 adopted sons. So many people were there to support Eric and Bonnie. Ryan's Aunts and Uncles from the Green side and the Stavast side. Grandpa Green (Don) was there and so was Grandma Stavast. Lots form Bonnie's family, family friends and even the foster family that had, had Bill and Austin before Eric and Bonnie got them.

We were in the biggest sealing room I had ever seen! It was beautiful! I was quite emotional. It was a wonderful ceremony, and it was so neat that Eric and Bonnie finally have children of their own to keep forever and ever!! It was neat to watch them interact with the boys in the temple and to see those little boys... Bill and Austin are the same ages as Tate and Canton so it was extra near and dear to my heart.

After some pictures we went back to the church and had a very nice lunch. Once we got back to the hotel we were all very tired and took a nap - then we all played in the swimming pool! Lots of little cousins and Grandma too! Oran was so cute and very comfortable in the pool; kicking his legs and flapping his arms on his back or his front. He kept going from person to person, Uncle Neil, Uncle Eric, Grandma, Mom or Dad. But Tate was very clingy and panicky! He's never liked being in the water, but I was hoping he would get better. Canton was doing really well until he got a little too fearless and got into some trouble. I swam over and rescued him, but after that he was content to sit on the stairs and kept saying "I couldn't see, and I couldn't breathe, and I couldn't talk! It was too deep and I was sinking!!" But before we left the pool area he was getting a little braver and walking around in the 3 foot section.

It was a fun time! I always love spending time with family adn the hotel stay made it extra fun and special.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Best Discovery Yet

For years I've been trying to find ways to make money online, from home, in what little time I can find in between being a Mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, hair stylist, conflict manager and random other jobs that different situations require. I've spent hours upon hours on sites like inboxdollars, memolink, mypoints, creationsrewards, rewardport, and filling our hundreds of online surveys to watch the money slowly trickle in. It's been great using that money for Christmases and on other "Me" items over the past 6 years, but it's been a lot of work and very slow in adding up. BUT, thanks to my good buddy Callie I am now a proud member of the swagbucks community.

I have found a new love! Swagbucks.com - I don't know if any of you already swag, but I thought I'd spread the love. I've been a member for a couple of weeks now and have already earned over 1000 Swagbucks - it's awesome to watch them grow so fast!

If you've spent as much time trying to earn points online as I have you know how long it can take to build them up. So I'm excited. It's a free program that pays you "digital dollars" when you search the web. It only happens occasionally, but those dollars add up and you can redeem them for prizes (I've already redeemed two $5 Amazon gift certificates, because they have so many things at Amazon. That's 450 swagbucks each.) But you can use it for other gift certificates or prizes, like an Xbox, Wii, Iphone, CDs, DVDs, Health and Beauty products (so many choices!) Or if you wait until you have 700 swagbucks you can redeem for $5 paid through Paypal. Every once in a while they'll have a code that you can find to get some more swags, it's like a treasure hunt!

It's completely free to do. If you do online shopping, you can go through them to get more swags as well. If you want to sign up, go to http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/Annarac if you have any questions, just ask me and I can see if I can help you out. I like getting stuff for free or discounted. It's not a whole lot of money, but if you're going to be on the web anyway, it's worth a shot!

(I downloaded the toolbar and use it for all my internet searches, instead of google, like I used to, and that's how I've earned most of my SBs it's super easy. Plus you earn swagbuck every 24 hours just for having and using the toolbar!!)

You probably think I'm a dork, but I'm hooked!! I can't wait to buy all the things I've put on my Amazon Baby registry from gift cards earned through Swagbucks!

I hope some of you sign up, 'cause it's a blast, and if you're going to be searching the web you might as well be getting a little something for it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Moving mingled with Tears

We are planning to move from our house very soon. We've had our house on the market for a few weeks and we have signed a 12 month lease on a new apartment. It all seems to be happening so fast and I have a lot of mixed feelings.

Our house has been one headache after another - in need of constant maintainence and repair. If there is one thing I have learned from owning this house it is that my husband IS NOT a "fix-it man" or much of a "Do-It-Yourselfer." But I have grown to love this house. We have put so much work and love into this house that it has really grown on me.

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Our house feels like home, and as I wander from room to room I see our personality oozing through the walls. I made and hung the curtains myself, I picked out all of the paint colors, and tile, and I worked alongside my family to make this "fixer-upper" a home.

Our house has been a challenge, and I've never liked the neighborhood but it is going to be hard to leave it and all of the friends we have made in this ward. We are only moving across town, but it might as well be a lot farther. I've learned from past experience that if you don't see people at least once a week you have a
way of loosing contact pretty quickly.

I am overwhelmed with all that needs to be done. Ryan is working and going to school, I am taking care of our three little boys and growing a fourth. I can barely keep dishes clean, my kids fed and clean clothes in our drawers and I'm trying to pack our belongings and repair all that needs fixed. Being pregnant makes me so tired!

But after much prayer and many tears I think that we are doing the right thing. this move will be good for our family. Our living expenses will be lower, and our little boys will have a yard to play in that is SAFE!

We will be moving into an apartment with a main floor and a basement, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a fenced backyard. We will be living close to friends who will help us if we need it, and without having to pour so much of our income into a house that needs help we'll be able to start paying down our debt and saving a little too.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Celebrating Easter

For some reason I've found this holiday a little depressing this year. With all of the stress and work that comes with selling a house and moving, I have over looked it a bit and I have let it sneak up on me. Tomorrow is Easter and I'm not feeling at all prepared.

I feel like our Easter Celebrations have been so, empty, frivolous, and silly. As Janet Hales put it:

"For years I felt that our family's Easter celebration was as hollow as the chocolate bunnies we devoured on Easter morning. All my life I had been told that the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the most sacred and significant events in all creation. If that is true, I reasoned, then shouldn't Easter, the commemoration of those events, be the highlight of our year?"

My children have been excitedly chattering about the Easter bunny all day. If I had thought ahead I would have prepared the egg hunt and baskets for today and have it be a strictly Saturday activity, but it's too late for that. It might be too late for just about everything. In my determination to get repairs made on our house, pack a few boxes and have the house clean enough to show to perspective buyers there has been no time for shopping or playing "Easter Bunny." I have bought a single egg, blade of grass or piece of candy - But it is expected.

Ryan is still at work so I asked him to get a few things (I hope he doesn't go over board.)

I think what I will do is stick a slip of paper in each egg, with the candy (so there is no revolting), that has either a scripture reference or a song we could sing. That way we can bring Christ back into our celebration.

I thought we could also watch a video about the resurrection either before conference starts or in between sessions.

I hope that is all goes well and that I feel a little better about the whole thing tomorrow.