Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Though Their Eyes

I saw on my sisters’ blog a list of questions she asked her kids about herself and the answers were hilarious! I can help but copy!

What is something I always say to you?
P sit by me
T you have to be nice
C that you love me
G you can do it
What makes me happy?
P singing
T me saying sorry
C when we’re good
G a clean house
What makes me sad?
P I’m not telling you
T punching
C when we’re naughty
G me being mean
How do I make you laugh?
P tickling
T by making silly faces
C when you say funny things
G you’re witty
What was I like as a child?
P little
T you liked baby stuff
C happy
G flirty
How old am I?
P 2
T 15?
C um, 30 or 31
G 31
How tall am I?
P I’m not telling you
T 50 tall long
C 5 feet
G 5’ 7”
Who is my best friend?
P My mommies my best friend
T Jacey or Shari or ME
C Daddy
G Teri
What is my favorite thing to do?
P to be happy
T play a little bit Wii (I think this is his favorite thing to do)
C snuggle
G be with your family
What do I do when you are not around?
P hold Isabel
T you sometimes wrap presents when I am asleep
C entertain the kids
G blog
What am I really good at?
P kisses
T putting someone in time out
C loving us
G cards
What am I not good at?
P putting me in time out
T Mario Kart
C you’re good at everything (I REALLY like this answer)
G throwing a ball
What is my job?
P you need my help
T feeding Izzy
C to raise a family
G to keep our family together
What is my favorite food?
P strawberries
T Chicken Noodle Soup
C something new ‘cause you love to try new things
G Chicken Salad Sandwiches on croissants
What makes you proud of me?
P I’m not telling you (I think she says this when she doesn’t understand the questions)
T that you win racing
C by being our mom
G your spirituality
What do we do together?
P my hair
T we help each other
C snuggle
G talk about everyone else
How are you and I the same?
P we sing
T both have bodies
C we’re both Ramsays
G same goals, united
How are we different?
P I have snuggle baby, you have Isabel
T I don’t have glasses, you do
C we’re different ages
G I like action movies
How do you know I love you?
P How do you know my daddy loves me? Like Enchanted.
T because you always say that
C because you tell me like every single day
G you tell me

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lake Norman or Bust

video

Since Jacey left a week ago I have felt a bit sluggish. Apartment life has gotten old. I had all the little jobs to get done; cooking, bathing, dishes, cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc and didn’t want to do any. My children have not been on their best behavior this summer and all I can think is “who can blame them?” But it is difficult to deal with them day in and day out with no spousal support. (Is spousal even a word?) At least I can always enjoy the pool.
Now I am rejuvenated. We rented a boat for the day and had the best time! We cruised the Lake Norman, tubed, swam, talked and laughed. So much laughing! It was good to hear all the laughing. Landon, Ben and Jennifer came with (we missed you Greg and Kara) and we loved hanging out together. We ate good food, cooled off in the water, and just had the best time.
Pictures say a thousand words… I hope you can feel the emotions from these pictures.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Funny

This was in Reader’s Digest recently and it makes me laugh.
“I have CDO. It’s like OCD but the letters are in alphabetical order - the way they should be.”

Friday, July 25, 2008

Book Review - Stolen Innocence

This week I finished reading Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall. I thought it was interesting and put a review here.
Stolen Innocence is the autobiography of Elissa Wall, a former FLDS member who managed to break free from the religion. Elissa was born into the FLDS religion. Her mother – who birthed 18 children - was the second of three wives, but because of a strained home life, Sharon Wall and all her birth children were removed from the Wall residence. Then the prophet assigned them to a new man, Fred Jessop. He was an elder in the FLDS community, and was to be Elissa’s new father. None were allowed any contact with their biological father.
The FLDS operated much like a cult. Television and pop music were banned. Clothing was restricted to heavy prairie-style dresses that covered clavicle to ankle. When prophet Rulon Jeffs fell ill, his son Warren took over and things became even stricter. Children were forbidden to attend public school. Their education came from church elders, was completely based in religious teachings, and often children were pulled from school by the time they reached their teen years.
Throughout her childhood, many of Elissa’s siblings were either married, shipped off to behavioral camps, or simply excommunicated. At age 14, she is assigned to marry Allen Steed, her first cousin, a man of 18 who was quite a bully to Elissa in their childhood. Despite constant pleas for help no one would allow her to postpone her marriage. The marriage is not a legal one; the FLDS members marry in secret across the Nevada border to avoid the attention of the authorities.
Elissa too young and unworldly to understand her situation and is miserable. Allen rapes her nightly. Having had no education on the subject, Elissa doesn’t have words to describe what is happening to her. That doesn’t stop her from reaching out for help.
When she does go to Uncle Warren, as she is instructed to call him, he tells her to “go home and repent and give yourself mind, body, and soul to Allen because he is your priesthood head and obey him without question because he knows what’s best for you.” When she pushes it he says, “You are being selfish. You need to set aside your feelings and do what you are told.” Allen is instructed to have a “strong, firm hand” with Elissa.
Elissa grew more and more rebellious. She got a waitressing job outside the FLDS community, and skimmed money out of her paycheck (the entirety of which was supposed to go to her husband and the church) to put towards CDs and movies, and giving money to family members.
A turning point came for Elissa during her fourth miscarriage. Not having told anyone she was pregnant, she jumped in her truck and left the compound. Her truck got stuck in the mud, in the middle of nowhere, and she was close to suicide when Lamont, a friend of a friend, happened by and rescued her. Lamont was also an FLDS member, and had an equally traumatic experience in the church. Their friendship soon grows to love, and after a few months, the two escape the FLDS together.
Out of the FLDS, Elissa – despite tremendous fear – agrees to bring suit against Warren Jeffs for, among other charges, accomplice to rape. He is found guilty. As of the writing of this book, a plan was made to bring rape charges against Allen, but it is not clear if any were filed.
Wall does a good job of explaining the beliefs of the FLDS church for those of us who are unfamiliar with the religion, and she does so in a straightforward manner that is neither pro-FLDS nor bitter or angry. Elissa tries to explain how true fear is instilled in these believers – that if they do not do as they are told and “keep sweet” that they are damned to hell, and that their prophet is their god’s mouthpiece on earth. I felt like Warren Jeff’s taught his people that he was their Savior. That only through him could they be saved, totally eliminating Christ.
Like most autobiographies, it can get a little repetitive and self-serving. Wall is constantly speaking of her feelings, which are the same over and over again: fear, mainly, but also confusion, anxiety, and just a touch of anger. A person can only read about the fear and anxiety she faces when speaking to a church elder so many times before it becomes grating. The book is over 400 pages, but a quick read. I give it 3 stars.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Burning Hot

We go to the pool on quite a regular basis. It is a way to get out of the house, we all love it, and it is an activity that we can play together. This week we’ve been three times already. Unfortunately another disaster has struck. It was in the 90’s weather wise, but to cool off we just got in the water. Tate needed to go to the bathroom. It seems every time we go he needs to pee. We start to walk the 500 yards to the bathroom but the ground is so hot that I had to put on my flip flops and then carry Tate there. On the way back he doesn’t want to be carried (he is five and too cool for that). Running for the pool he is saying, “Ouch! Hot! Ow! Hot! Oh! Ouch!” each step. Turns out he got 2nd degree burns on the bottom of his feet from that. Every toe has a tiny blister and the balls of his feet are bright red. Poor guy. He is walking around on his heels because they hurt so much. Maybe next time he will welcome mommy carrying him.
Random pictures from the pool of each kid.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Men in my Life

What makes a good father?
Growing up my dad was gone a lot. He worked long hours. He was the bishop of a needy ward. He had horses that needed to be taken care of. I look back at how much my mom did by herself and tease that for a number of years she was a single parent (except for financially).
This summer I have had a lot of single parent moments and days. I now seem to have to go it alone on a lot of levels. He is never home to keep kids occupied while I prepare dinner. He hasn’t been able to go lots of places we have. I take the kids grocery shopping and I take the kids to run errands. We go to the movie by ourselves. Off to the pool and out with friends. We mini vacation and do tourist attraction. So many moments without him. When four kids need my attention, three end up crying because I do not have enough to go around. Sometimes Daddy just isn’t around to fill in the gaps.
I remember my daddy reading to us The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales while we lay in bed. He gave me piggy back rides. He sang songs with us (some of my favorite are still the ones we sang on the Waterton trails, always instigated by my mother). He gave me a priesthood blessing whenever I need one. By example he has shown me the true love of Christ. When I was around ten or eleven I had a bad night. My dad took me in his arms, in a special spot of our house and told me he loved me. He wanted me to remember for the rest of my life how much he loved me and how safe I felt in his arms at that moment. . . . I still do. THAT’S what makes a good father.
Gentry wrestles with his kids. He gives kisses. He teaches them how to treat me. He changes diapers. He makes up silly stories about daddy snakes and two loin brother. Gentry scares the monsters away in the middle of the night. He leads us in family scripture study. He does everything he possibly can. Gentry give every day to his family. THAT’S what makes a good father.

Thank you Gentry and Dad for being the men in my life.

Monday, July 21, 2008

They are Kids!

OK I have been putting this off for a while, but I just have to comment on something that has been bugging me for a while.
MY NEIGHBORS DOWNSTAIRS! I am so not a fan.
They have come knocking on my door to complain. They have gone to the apartment managers to complain. I received a note complaining about “jumping, running and banging”.
The last time she knocked on my door, I decided to just ignore it. After all I was taking the high road. I had nothing to say to her… After about five minutes of her “banging” on my door (I know, this is the same words she used to complain about us) I decided I did have something to say.
She says to me “I just wanted to invite you over so that you can hear what your kids sound like to us.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? She wants me to leave my four kids alone in an apartment. She wants me to go into a stranger’s apartment by myself and she thinks it unreasonable that I don’t want to do this.
I told her I didn’t want her coming by anymore. I didn’t care. I don’t want to hear it. We live upstairs from her. We try to be considerate. We will not throw late night parties. We will not turn our music up really loud. We will not be spiteful and stomp on the flour. We will not hold wrestling matches. We will not even play Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii. But I will not tell my kids to stop being kids.
Yes they jump. THEY ARE KIDS! Peaches is two and her short legs don’t reach the ground hanging off of a chair or the bed. In order for her to get down, she has to jump. Yes they run. THEY ARE KIDS! They have energy to run from one activity to the next. I wish I had that energy. Yes they bang. THEY ARE KIDS! They bang their drawers shut when they get clothes out. They bang drawers shut when they put clean clothes away. They bang doors when they open and close them. They stomp to throw fits. They take the stairs up and down way too rough. THEY ARE KIDS! Just to be spiteful (and maybe not take as high of a road as I wish I could) I will post a picture of the husband laying out at the pool. Maybe then you will see why they can’t relate to the running and jumping thing.

I think it’s been a while since they did either.

Lake Norman's Lunch Cruise

Sunday was spent like true Southerners enjoy spending their days, kicking back with the family.


We stared our day taking a sightseeing lunch cruise on a replica Mississippi Riverboat around Lake Norman. The food was great, the surroundings relaxing, and the boat was fun. The kids loved playing caption. I enjoyed being on the water. Gentry was happy to be spending time with all of us.

The coolest house we saw actually had an airplane parked inside of it on the bottom level. I guess when the owner (some rich lawyer) wants to fly some where he just opens up the whole bottom level wall, kind-of like a like a garage door, slides his plane into the lake and takes off from the water. I know it sound crazy but we saw it and it is real. If you are into NASCAR racing then you would be in heaven here. Most of the celebrities living on the lake are NARCAR Champions.

After the lake the boys did bumper boats. So much fun but I think they enjoyed getting wet more than bumping into someone else, and then mini golf. It was hot but lots of fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Are We Connected?

I recently started a Facebook account. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this sight,
“Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.”
I found that it connected me with family that lives far away, friends from high school that I haven’t seen or talked to in years, great people from Rhode Island, and other good friends.
I wonder how others think of it. I am new to it so maybe my feelings will change but I am excited to reconnect with old friend. And I really want to reconnect. I don’t want to just see random names on a wall and never see or hear anything more from them. I want to read about their lives and have them see mine. I would love from others to check out my blog and get to know me today, seeing how I have changed and in turn do the same for them. I have fond memories with most of these people and I hope I can even create new ones.
With that in mind, I want to share something that can help you connect with me. So here are some random things.
1. I will NOT watch scary movies. I use to watch them in my younger years, not any more. For me I feel a loss of spirit. I get scared and am uncomfortable for days.
2. My favorite treat is M&M. Peanut is the best. Love almond kinds for holidays and special occasions. Will eat them any time. Trust me when I say they melt in my mouth, never in my hand.
3. I hate running. I know that running and marathons are the new big thing but not for me. I hate to run. I do it, on a tread mill, only because I want to be fit. NOT because I get any kind of pleasure from it. I enjoy the morning swims much more.
4. I have always struggled with reading my scriptures every day. I have never mastered this skill. Don’t get me wrong, I read my scriptures regularly. Just not every single day. I miss a day here and there for one reason or another.
5. I want to travel. This is my biggest desire. To see and experience more of the world.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Family Pictures


When we took pictures a few Sundays ago, we got these ones... I am thinking I may print them up and make a collage with them.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Biltmore House

Asheville has been recognized as one of the top 12 travel destinations in the world. That's according to Frommer's—one of the country's top travel publications. Asheville shares the spotlight with Zurich, Switzerland; Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; and Tokyo. Since I am not traveling to any of those places soon, I will just enjoy that I was able to be in Ashville yesterday.
We were in Ashville to visit the Biltmore. George and Edith Vanderbilt's 250-room family home and country retreat. We toured this real life castle and saw original art from masters such as Renoir, magnificent 16th-century tapestries, Napoleon's chess set, a library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley, and priceless antiques. Courtland’s favorite part was learning about all the hidden doors like inside one of the fireplaces. Mine was seeing The Waltz a water color painting by Anders Zorn. I have seen prints of this picture before but it never caught my eye until seeing it yesterday. I came home and learned more about the artist. This angel stands gaurd. A beautiful house.

I have a good time until about half way through when I was practically asked to leave. Peach was not as enthralled as the rest of us and she decided this was a great place to throw a fit. I didn’t think so (neither did the staff). So Tate, Peach, Isabel and I walked outside for a while until everyone else was able to finish the tour.

Isabel was tired and by the end so was I

Hair Troubles

I love red hair. I have always wanted to be red. A couple of years ago I did it and loved it for two weeks, and then it started to dull. My hair dresser told me that since I am a natural “ash blond” it will always be that way for me. We tried a couple different things for a bit but I didn’t like what my hair looked like once it started to fade. So I went back to my dirty blond color.
Here in Charlotte, Kara colors her own hair and it looks great. I thought maybe this was the answer to my problems. I could do it myself. If it started to fade after a couple weeks I would simply color it again and it would only cost my under ten dollars to do so. I could live with that.
These are the results:

this is my before picture

during

after

I don't think that I will be doing it again every few weeks. Instead I think I will be looking for my dirty blond color back again.

The whole experience leaves me wondering why do we worry so much about our hair? I know that the way we dress, talk, and look creates an image of who we are to others. But I wonder sometimes, so what? If someone gets the wrong impression of me right now because I have pink hair they will pre-judge me and not give me a second look (or thought) or they will take a moment to get to know me better and then decide if they want to spend more time with me (or not). Either way, I am judging them too. We are all learning here.
I am at a place in my life where I am really convertible with whom I am. I think most people like me, and if they don’t… most of the time I figure oh well. I like who I am. I want to be better, but not because someone else thinks I am lacking, but because I want to improve myself. I hope I am a good friend who is honest with myself and others. I want to be a good mother and wife. I want to be smart. I am working on improving every day.
Today I am working on loving pink hair and I want to get my kids to bed early enough so that we can read for a bit. Maybe even finish Despereaux.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keep Reading

I just found a great website, that I love. If you love to read and are always looking for some recommendations then you will love it too. http://www.goodreads.com/ I would love to add you to my friends list. Just let me know.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Puzzles

The other day, to pass the time, Court did a puzzle. When he was done, he asked me if I wanted to take his picture. So I pulled out the camera and got this: I know; like mother, like son.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hilton Head Island

Thursday morning I packed up our crew and Jacey packed up her boys and we headed South West to Hilton Head Island. Gentry’s cousin Melissa, and husband Dan, own a time share with Marriot and invited us for a few days to visit them and enjoy the beach. It was a mini vacation that I really enjoyed. Jacey is a great traveling buddy. Our kids couldn’t have been better in the car. I never want to do another cross country trip without a DVD player. And thank goodness for fast food. When we got there, Dan and Melissa couldn’t have been more accommodating. They took us to one of their favorite spots; a play area with a large tree house, a lighthouse, tons of tourist shops, different restaurants, and house boats docked in a beautiful bay.
Even from a young age boys seem to dream of what they would enjoy having one day…. The next day it was off to the beach and we couldn’t have made better weather ourselves. It was slightly clouded over, so not too hot, a gentle sea breeze, and water that begged us to get in. Well most of us anyway. Court played all over. In the water, with the sand, collecting shells, and touching the washed up jellyfish. Tate didn’t get out of the water the whole time. I had to keep calling him back to the water in front of us, but constantly in the water. Peaches wanted to sit on the lawn chairs, eat treats, and not get dirty. Isabel heard the waves crashing and slept in her car seat the whole time. I tried to get some pictures and watch all kids with only two eyes. I wish I could have been in the water more but I was certainly relaxed.
I am feeling closer and closer to Taydon and Kayson each day. They are such cute boys and I love seeing them grow and learn this summer. Jacey is on top of things, she just sat right down and played, played, played with them. She seems to really know what is important. Finally I tried to get Peaches in the water but you can see by this picture how that went. She liked the feel of ocean water much better when she was washing the sand off her feet and legs. We also went swimming in a few different pools, ate tons of food, talked, played cards, slept (but barely), shopped, read, laughed, and got rained on. It was great.
Thank you Melissa, Alex, Kayci, Megan, Sadie, and Dan. When thinking of the summer I spent in North Carolina I will remember these days fondly. My mini vacation to the beach was awesome and it is all because of you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tate

Two words to describe Tate are ALL PERSONALITY. He is a character. When he was born we were so happy to be adding to our family. Courtland was all ready four years old and we had been too many fertility appointments to get pregnant with him. By the time Tate was 18 months we could see why Heavenly Father might have made us wait to have him… he was so difficult. He was and is strong willed, determined, stubborn, defiant, and downright mean sometimes. I remember one time he did something that he wasn’t supposed to. I had tried a number of ways to get his behavior to change with no success, and so I tried another. “Tate” I said pulling him close to me and looking him in the eyes. “Please don’t do that. That hurts my feelings.” He was silent for a moment and then said calmly, “Good.” Now this was not the response I was expecting to get, so I pushed it further. “You want to make Mommy sad? You want me to be unhappy?” His response, “Yep.” Then went on to do what he got in trouble for in the first place. Only this time watching me and making sure I see that he can do whatever he wants and he doesn’t care if I am upset or not. I started crying. I was pregnant at the time, but still. That is just Tate. He is sensitive, loving, helpful, caring, and affectionate. He is always trying to be the center of attention. He talks with adults with no reserve. He always entertains other kids, including babies. He wants to snuggle more than the others. He loves kisses and hugs. When Gentry and I would wrestle, Tate would always “get Daddy” in order to save me. I love Tate so much. He is a middle child and has a middle child personality. Most adults that spend time with him can’t help but fall in love with him. We certainly are glad he is part of our family. He gives our family... More Personality!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wheat


Before marrying Gentry “wheat” was just a word. I knew wheat made flour and that was just about it. Boy has my life changed. We now have regular conversations discussing wheat and the impact it has on the Ramsay family. Here is a bit of what I heard in a recent news cast from CNN:
Wheat is at two and a half times what it was about a year ago. In part, because of such a large demand for Ethanol and that has farmers planting more corn to produce the fuel when they were growing wheat. The dollar sinking to a record low makes it easier and cheaper for foreigners to buy. As a result nearly 60 % of the wheat grown in the US last year was exported. Leaving wheat supplies at the lowest level since the end of World War II. All of these factors are sending wheat prices sky word.
Gentry’s dad is a wheat farmer. His Dad did it before him (and still does). These wheat farmers may just have a great year… making these pictures look like the gold(en wheat) at the end of the rainbow.
Good Luck Kevin and Robin we wish we were there to help with the harvest this year but we will be thinking of you. It's going to be an exciting year!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Visit with Joanna and Doug

As I mentioned before, Joanna was in town last week. It was a good visit. We did some fun things. The pool was awesome! We all really had a good time. On the Fourth of July, Joanna and Doug both helped out a bunch packing items up, setting up, getting the whole BBQ started. I felt anxious when Doug isolated himself from the group. There were so many guys there and lots of activities going on, but he didn’t want to participate in any of them. But hey, “to each their own”. Saturday we went to a truly amazing library up town. It had a huge children’s section and lots of activities for them to do. Doug seemed to be avoiding conversation with me, but was still in a good mood with the kids and Joanna. Joanna just made of the best of the situation. We all had a good time. When we got back from the library I had promised to make some dinner for the adult and Doug ordered pizza for the kids. One thing after another and still dinner wasn’t ready an hour and a half later so we all ended up eating pizza. That night things were tense in the house between Joanna and Doug and therefore tense for everyone. Owen was fussy, Lorali would not go to sleep, and luckily Ethan was tired and went right down. Sunday we got up and went to church, but Joanna ended up taking her kids to the car and just sitting there watching a movie so I felt like we needed to go after sacrament. We stopped for lunch, YUM, and had a great time. Then we pretty much came home got changed and packed up the kids for the rest of the afternoon. We went to the Discovery Place. Ethan loves dinosaurs and was fun to watch. Lorali was cute all along the way. I only heard Owen fuss once and that was during a presentation of some chemistry explosions. It was strange between the adults. I felt like Joanna and Doug were done visiting us and just anxious to go home, but who could blame them. All in all it was good to see Joanna and her family. It’s nice spending the summer closer to them.

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