Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grrrr! Computers!!

This is almost all the Halterman Grandchildren (minus Mason). Seven kids under the age of 7. It's amazing they all held still.

This is Jacob and Joseph Shaw (cousins) with Sophie, Rebecca Shaw, and Hailey playing in the snow at Thanksgiving in Utah.

This is Hailey with a vest and Indian hat she made for Preschool. She dressed herself that day--can you tell? There are just some battles I don't have the strength for.

This is us standing in front of the San Diego temple on our date last week. Gorgeous!

Cory got a new bike for his 7th birthday. Don't you love his FAKE smile?

This is our cute 22-month-old Sophie. I can't believe my baby is almost two!!

So, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving vacation to visit Trent's family in Sandy, UT. We drove up to Utah and froze our tails off and got our fill of snow for the season. The longer we're here in San Diego, the harder it is to bear 18 degree weather and driveways covered in ice.

Anyway, the reason I am hating computers right now is because just before Thanksgiving our My Documents file on our hard drive basically disappeared. The screen just said it was unable to link to the file or something. So since we got our computer just 2 years ago and paid about $1800 for it at PC Laptops, we thought it was the perfect chance to take it up to Utah with us and take advantage of their free lifetime repair and service on any computer you buy there. Well, we picked it up a week later, headed home, the drive appeared for two days, then it disappeared again. So we paid $75 to ship it to the nearest PC Laptops (in Las Vegas) to have them fix it. Well, they told us to today they can't recover the My Documents folder or anything else on that drive. Okay, that means, all my PICTURES from the last 6 years, my VIDEOS from the last 4 years, and my family letters I send out each month via email that I save on that file are all GONE from the computer. Well, THANK HEAVENS I have downloanded pictures through July 2010 onto a website called, so I haven't really lost all my pictures--just Aug-Nov. of this year. And I still had my videos on the camcorders hard drive since Jan of 2009, but that means ALL my videos from 2007 and 2008 are GONE. I even spent about 30 hours awhile ago making a really cute, edited movie of all our video clips from 2007 (including captions and music soundtracks), I just hadn't saved it to a DVD yet!! That was Hailey's first two very adorable years of life. My family letters, I luckily just printed them all out over the last couple months and put them in 3-ring binders, so thankfully I did that!!!

Honestly, I can't believe how upset I am about losing two years worth of videos when my kids were so small and cute and that time is gone forever. So, to anyone reading this: BACK UP your photos and videos to spare discs or CD's. You don't want to lose them, trust me! In fact, I'm glad I have all those pictures on Winkflash (we have a lot of Picasa Web, too) because I guess if our house burned down, we'd lose all our CDs, too. I've heard of companies that back up your entire computer on their website or something and so you don't eve have to worry about losing anything. We'll have to look into that.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Halloween and Fall Stuff

Well, I guess I'm done adding pictures--blogger won't let me add anymore.
These are from our ward trunk-or-treat on Sat, Oct. 30. I had bought a new storm trooper costume for Cory this year, and last minute he decided to wear his ninja costume from last year. Okay..... I told him I was NOT going to buy him a new costume next year. Hailey was a cheerleader, and Sophie was a hula girl.

This is Spencer, Cory's best friend, and Cory after a soccer game from this season.

This is Hailey with Brooke (Spencer's sister). They kind of like each other....just a tad.
So cute!

This is Hailey with two of her Joy School buddies. She's the only girl in our Joy School with 3 other boys. We went to a pumpkin patch for a fieldtrip right before Halloween. It was in the low 80's that day--we were hot!

Sophie eating our lunch at the pumpkin patch.

In early October, three of my sisters came out to San Diego for a sisters weekend. We stayed in a hotel for 3 nights in Pacific Beach. We went to Los Angeles one day and did Universal Studios Theme Park. After that, we went to the Chinese Mann Theater (pictured here), and saw lots of stars' handprints.

Some of the cast from Harry Potter.

The next day for our sisters weekend, we hiked Torrey Pines Preserve (the picture below this one), we played on boogie boards at the beach, then we went on a pretty intense bike ride along the hilly coast of La Jolla, California (just north of the city of San Diego.) So fun! It was an awesome three days away from our kids. (Between the 4 of us, we have 15 kids!!) I'd say it was a much-needed break. Here, Christy is pulling me on a boogie board. We also rode them coming in on the waves--the way you're supposed to!

Meditating in a rock cavity on our hike of Torrey Pines Preserve.

I'm actually not in this picture (below). That's Annette in the middle. I was taking the picture. Everywhere we went, people asked if we were sisters. 'Ya Think??

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of Summer

This is Sophie in our front yard. We had a few days this summer where it got up into the low 90's, and considering we don't have A/C, that felt pretty hot! Luckily, we had this little pool to cool off in, if we were too lazy to drive to the big pool.

Hailey on the first day of Preschool. I am doing Joy School with her and 3 other moms. (We take turns every 4th week to teach two days a week. She loves it so much! She's the only girl, and the other three boys are very "boy", but she's holding her own!

Cory on the first day of 1st Grade!! He looks pretty tired because we have to leave the house at 7:15 AM to get to school on time. (No buses in CA) His school starts at 7:45.

When we visitied my parents in Gilbert, AZ the end of August. This is Hailey hugging her cousin, Emma. She sure loves babies!

This is Sophie hugging her cousin, Emma. Sohpie loves babies even more than Hailey! (Poor Emma.)

Hailey playing dress-up in some dress- up clothes at my parent's house. I used to play dress-up in these clothes 20 years ago!!

This is Sophie with Laura Roe's little boy, Landon. They are about 7 months apart. I visited Laura while she was staying at her in-laws house in AZ, when I was there visiting my parents!

Me with Laura Roe at her in-laws house in AZ. Good times!

Weston, Cory's first best friend from the Univ. of Utah married student housing (The Village), Hailey, and Cory.

Hailey playing more dress-up at my parent's house. Good thing my mom saved all those ancient clothes, right mom?

One of our last trips to the beach before school started. This was at Del Mar Beach. It was one of the few very sunny, very warm days we have ever been to the beach. Of course Trent missed it--he was at work. But most of the time when we've gone to the beach it's either a little cloudy, all the way cloudy, and it's just breaking 65 degrees. But this day, it was actually in the upper 70's!

Cory had so much fun jumping in the waves with all his friends. (It was finally hot enough to want to jump waves!)

Hailey and Sophie with some friends at the beach.

This is the position our kids assume when we say "family prayer time". It all started with Sophie diving under Trent's frame to "kneel" underneath him and then all the kids had to start copying her, until now, it's turned into this. We do make Cory and Hailey at least kneel down under daddy. Sophie is still allowed to just sprawl about wherever.

Eating S'mores at our ward campout.

The view of Escondido from our campsite. Hailey is just a few feet from where our tent was set up.

The view from the other side of the hill at the ward campout. This campground was just a 30 minute drive from our house.

Trent grilling up some mean steaks and modeling his new apron I got him for Father's Day. (It says Real Men Don't Use Recipes.) Those were some of the best steaks he's ever done. They fed all 5 of us for 2 nights. (I think we made steak fajitas on the second night.

Play time with daddy on the floor.

After our many trips to Sea World this spring and summer, the kids collected everything they've gotten from Sea World over the last year. (We usually don't buy them souvenirs, a lot of this stuff was when we went to Sea World in April of 2009 before we had any idea we were moving to San Diego.) They put on the dolphin show for us using their stuffed animals and the Sea World Barbie that Hailey's holding. I was trying to sing the song that you hear during the show. It was pretty funny! (My attempt at singing a song I've heard just 5 or 6 times, not the show.)

The Cirque de la Mer set at Sea World.

The kids with a giant Shamu that someone didn't want and offered it to us. We took lots of pictures with it, and then left it on the grass and told some people no one wanted it. (Maybe if we had a giant, empty basement we would've taken it home with us!)

Cory lost BOTH of his front teeth within 4 days of each other, and then a couple weeks later, school started. What a great way to start out first grade!

This was one day when Hailey gave Trent very explicit instructions on how she wanted him to do her hair. He thought it looked pretty silly, but Hailey was so proud of her creation, and Trent wanted to document this hairdo, so he took a picture.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday Walk on the Beach

Our family on Sunday evening at Pacific Beach in San Diego. This is 35 minutes from our house. (Without traffic!)

We went to Ryan and Julie's house (cousins) for Sunday dinner, and then we took a stroll at Pacific Beach at sunset. I can't believe we've lived here for 7 months and we've never done this!! (Probably because our kids ended up going to bed way too late that night!)

But it was still so gorgeous and so much fun.

The kids were just running around with their cousin, Sam, the whole time.

Sophie took a few minutes to warm up to wanting to get down from daddy's arms. The water was practically warm compared to what it is in the winter. (65 degrees compared to 59)

So the real question is, is San Diego worth the insane home prices, gas prices, and everything prices in exchange for this? I think it's all relative with how much money you make, and if you have family close by. So for us, it's great to live here while Trent's in school, but probably not for long after that.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SAHM Again!

When they ask me at work, "Why are you leaving?" The answer is simple. I will point to these three pictures.

I will be officially leaving my part-time job on August 6. I'm so excited! Which is strange because when I first got my job in March, I really liked it and I enjoyed the breaks it gave me in the mornings to step outside the home. (It was my first paid job in over 6 years.) But now that I've been doing it for over 5 months, now that Trent has a full-time job, and now that our student loans are finally coming, I'm happy about returning home.
Sophie is growing so fast each day, I miss her terribly, even though I get home by 1pm. Sometimes when I'm sitting at my desk, I imagine her walking around the corner with her pudgy, tanned arms outstretched to me and her unruly blonde curls, and I get all choked up! When I told them my time was up here and I wanted to return home to my kids, they asked me how much I would need to be making per hour to make it worth it. (They knew my daycare costs were the large majority of my paycheck. ) I told them $20/ hour, partly in jest because what company in their right mind would pay an HR Receptionist $20/hour and also because even if they offered that, I still wouldn't stay. Pretty much no amount of money would compensate for missing out on the 17th month of Sophie's life. Or the 42nd month of Hailey's life. Those months can never be re-lived. Once they are lived, they are gone for eternity. Why should my daycare provider get to see those moments, and not me? (Even though Shauna is amazing, like a sister to me, and my girls adore her--they always want her to hold them at church!) But she's still not ME!!

Working the few short months I did was nice because Trent didn't have a job for the first little while, and then I stayed because of the possiblity of helping Trent get a job at the same company. Now that he's working elsewhere at a good place for him, I can leave.

Money will always be there. Or NOT be there. Money is just money. My children's lives are my children's lives. The same children that I was blessed to give birth to, given the trust to raise them, and teach them, and love them. It's not hard to see which one is more important.

Of course we need occasional breaks from our children--a night out with girlfriends, dates with our husbands, or working out a few times a week alone. Even a special hobby we can work on a little each day. All these things make us better moms. But those quiet (or CHAOTIC) mornings when my husband is at work, and I am at home being my kids' mom (as Dr. Laura would say), are the moments that will get me all bleary-eyed when I'm 60 years old, and admiring my clean house and my quiet house, and missing them terribly.

(Unless of course, I'm like my parents, and every few months another one of my kids comes to live with me and brings their kids with them, so I get to see them and my grandkids every single day!)