Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Tis the Season . . .

I've decided that this. . . blogging. . . is a great compromise! T.R. HATES annual Christmas letters, I LOVE them. So, here we are ;) Only the people who WANT to read this have to, instead of feeling compelled.
So, only read further if you REALLY feel like you want to ;)

We've had some fun adventures this year! A long awaited trip to Disneyland, a much dreaded (by me, anyway) Pioneer Trek, and some "FUN" (?) remodeling inside and outside our house! T.R. continues his work as the best attorney around - which is actually how some of our remodeling came to be! We now have a new shower in our bathroom that once housed only a tub, and a NEW KITCHEN. Completely new. We're talking gutted . . . for almost 7 weeks!! It's kind of fun to have people willing to "trade" their services as payment for attorney fees!
Does anyone know a good Nanny in need of legal work?!
He also continues his service in the bishopric - - and, sometimes the bishopric work coincides with the attorney work ;)
I spent the first part of this year AGONIZING over the fact that I'd be going on the Pioneer Trek with our youth! I AM NOT AN OUTDOORSWOMAN. at all. period.
T.R. was excited to go, I was NOT. But we both survived - he survived my CONSTANT complaining and worrying, I survived the dirt, bugs, WIND, sleeping "under the stars" *HORROR*, WIND, the 5+ hour school bus ride, WIND, and the walking. I didn't mind the walking. But, I'll NEVER, please heavens above, NEVER do it again ;) Famous last words, I know. Somewhere in the middle I threw in a few friend's wedding flowers, and painted the front of the house. It looks SO much better now that it's not seafoam/army green.
AND, we celebrated our 12th anniversary!

Tommy is now 10 1/2. He is the reason for the above mentioned Disneyland trip! We promised him we'd go when he was 5! oops. It was ALOT of fun, but now I'm wondering how we're EVER going to top that birthday present?! Tommy still LOVES to read, and his expanded vocabulary that has come as a result of reading so much has actually gotten him in some sticky situations . . . but that's a post for another time (if you haven't already heard the "cleavage" story!) He also loves to sing and is in the school and ward choir! He's learning to play the piano, and was invited to play on a "COMP" soccer team this year. His team did quite well, and I'm not going to lie . . . it's MUCH more exciting to watch kids play actual soccer and not the "AYSO-everyone-crowd-around-the-ball" soccer that we all know and love! He's a good kid and has kept the sense of humor he started out with! Let's hope it carries over into the not so distant

Joey continues to be our Gentle Giant! He's 9 now - and only about an inch and a half shorter than "big" brother! They wear the same size clothes, and are only half a shoe size different. So much for the FABULOUS hand-me-down situation we enjoyed for so long!
Joey is very sweet, and quiet, and always concerned about others feelings. . . well, with the possible exception of *little sister*!! He's been reading the Harry Potter books, and LOVING them. Thank goodness! It's hard to engross Joey in a book, but Harry came through for us in a major way! Joey loves being a cub scout and is also learning to play the piano. He is thinking he wants to try baseball this spring, instead of soccer! It'll be basketball soon - - I'm quite sure of it!
Ms. Anna will soon be 6. She is in Kindergarten and LOVES it! Our school began all day Kindergarten - PERFECT TIMING- just this year! And from day one, I could tell that this would be NO PROBLEM for Anna! She rules the school - and it'd be hard to do that if you were only there for half the day ;) She's reading really well, but still enjoys watching TV best!
Anna is an absolutely FABULOUS big sister, and adores Sara. The feeling is mutual!

Sara will be 2 the end of March, but today was mistaken as a 3 year old by a lady at the grocery store!! oops. Yes, she's a gentle giant, too! She is calm and cuddley . . . so much so that her fabulous nursery leader finds herself "cuddling" with Sara most of the time, or in other words, holding her so she doesn't freak out ;) Yes, we're working on it!
Sara's ABSOLUTE favorite things in the whole world (besides her brothers and sister) are Sesame Street (ESPECIALLY Abby Cadabby and Elmo) and the music of Glee!! She is a die hard fan of both. We're talking the jump-in-front of-a-bus, take-a-bullet-for kind of devotion! This, I've decided, is not a bad thing! Because of her deep devotion to Sesame Street, she can not only sing the alphabet song. . . but can name the letters when asked! They don't even have to be in ABC order! CRAZY, huh?! And, because of her love of Glee music. . . she knows the difference between Journey (da-da-da) and Neil Diamond (ba-ba-ba)! Perhaps we have a star in the making?!

So, there you have it!
Hope this Holiday Season finds you happy, healthy, and basking in blessings!

Looking Forward . . .

. . . to another great year!
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Quiz . . .

Can you guess who made this one?!
This one?!

This one?!

And this?!

The main theme of the night. . . Let's see how much stuff we can CRAM onto a paper plate!! What doesn't make it on the plate - - GOES STRAIGHT TO THE MOUTH ;)
Oh, Christmastime. How we love thee!!
Just in case you were actually curious about whose is whose . . . they are, in order from top to bottom. . . Joey's, Anna's, Tommy's, Mine! T.R. was out hanging the lights, then listening to an insurance salesman, so he missed out. Bummer. He did manage to get some candy to his mouth, though!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Then how the reindeer loved him. . .

I bought these slippers for myself (even though they were too small. I just thought they were too cute to pass up.) I wore them a couple times, then Joey asked if he could try them on.
He hasn't taken them off since!
He even named them... the one on the left is "Slip"
on the right is "Mindy"!!
Man, I love that kid!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And then. . .

Joey turned 9. . . . (holy cow. he's 9.)

Sara had her first Hostess Cupcake. . .

Anna had her two bottom teeth pulled by the dentist! Her permanent teeth have already grown in. . . which is why the dentist had to pull the babies! They weren't even loose yet. Sure saved us ALOT of drama (and trauma). Maybe we'll get lucky and the dentist will have to pull ALL of them out?! And maybe we can convince the tooth fairy to just pay the dentist!!
(She, too, had had a Hostess Cupcake!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat . . . Smell my Feet . . .

Give me something Good to Eat!!
Thank you!
Harry Potter, Minnie Mouse, the fire ball (?), and the uninterested Utah Ute Cheerleader.

At the Cousin Halloween Party.
FYI. . . 12 kids ages 10.5 and under + candy, games, paint and pizza = CRAZINESS!

We ate pizza, decorated pumpkins, wrapped each other up like mummies, played "BOO"ngo, and ended with the classic "DON'T EAT PETE"! Good times!

YEAH for Halloween!
(and letter stickers!)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Before . . .

and After . . .
Note to the world: Seafoam/Army Green is NOT an acceptable house color!
And yes, those dates are correct! It really did take me 3 months and 27 days to paint 8 shutters a little siding, and a rain gutter! But, you must understand that in the mix was also a pioneer trek and a little surgery! So, cut me a little slack! Now I have to do the sides and back of the house! Should take me another year, or so! HGTV here I come. The name of my show? "Painting for Eternity"

A few pics of the Annual Pirate pARGHty!

Please don't be alarmed - - my fishnets ONLY come out for the pirate party, then they go right back in the costume box ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Goodbye, for now . . .

To the man who taught me to roller skate at Classic Skating
Who let me come to his auto parts store and help "organize" the shelves
Who ate a piece of cheese RIGHT AFTER disposing of a dead mouse - convincing my 7ish year old mind that some of the dead mouse qualities had transferred directly to him ;)
Who NEVER missed a political discussion OR an election - he had even filled out his absentee ballot, thus casting his vote on the very day he passed away!
Love you, Grandpa! See you on the other side!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Please, don't be a hater . . .

Yes, I signed a paper and allowed a stranger to punch a small hole in my darling daughter's ears. Please, don't hate me. Please, don't think me evil. Please, don't send a letter to your senator. It's cute (to me. I realize not everyone feels the same.) and she cried less than when she gets her shots . . . PLUS, no fever as a result! Now, what else can the two of us do while the others are in school and dad's at work?! HMMMMMM . . . . .

Monday, August 31, 2009

And sister makes three . . .

Three kids in school . . . HOW CAN THIS BE?
Three kids in school . . . At home? Sara and Me!
Three kids in school . . . I'm not gonna lie--
Three kids in school . . . I DIDN'T CRY!!

Anna LOVED her first day of Kindergarten! No surprise. She's been counting down since she was 3! And our school does "all day" kindergarten - so she'll leave with Tommy and Joey, and come home with them! Crazy! These first three days are "short days" for the kindergarten - unfortunately the teacher failed to mention this to me, so I had NO IDEA! Luckily, one of my neighbors had been clued in, and as we were walking home from the school happened to mention it! WHAT?! And I, being the seasoned mother of school children (?) had already informed a couple moms that school gets out at 3:15. YIKES! Luckily, I was able to get ahold of the misinformed moms - so all was well! And poor Sara. . . missed her sister terribly! The whole day I heard "A-nna?" "A-nna?" It was a very happy reunion when we went to pick her up!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Please . . . make it stop . . .

I have a fifth grader . . . .
And a third grader . . . . .

How can this be when I, myself, am a perpetual 7th grader?!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bad Hair Day. . .

This is what happens when you leave the previous day's hair-do to be slept in, and then your one year old decides to pull it out before you come in to get her the next morning! Holy Bad Hair Day, Batman!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Not my finest hours . . .

I feel that enough time has elapsed that I can write about the TREK without sending myself into cold sweats. After three and a half months of PANIC and DREAD, and then four days of actually BEING THERE, it is now safely in the past, and for myself, and proof to everyone who knows me, the pictures must be shown. I was ACTUALLY there ;) and it wasn't just some horrible nightmare!

When I was released from YW's a year ago, the ONLY thing that made me feel even a LITTLE okay with it, was knowing that it also released me from any connection to the TREK. Yet, in the back of my mind, there was a little tickle that wouldn't go away. A small "yeah, you're going anyway." I tried to ignore it . . . but at the end of March when the 1st counselor in the stake presidency needed to "talk to me and my husband" I KNEW. And the panic/dread set in immediately! So, I paniced and dreaded myself into a complete, frantic tizzy! And poor TR, he'd wanted to go from the start - - so he tolerated my panic and dread fairly well! Why the panic and dread? Well, for someone who HATES to camp, the thought of spending 4 days and 3 nights in the middle of nowhere, with only a 5 gallon bucket for your ammenities, sleeping under the stars (that's a whole DIFFERENT panic attack in and of itself) with no water/flushing toilets, topped off by a 6 hour school bus ride, JUST TO GET THERE. . . NOT PLEASANT. But, wah-wah-wah. You do what ya gotta do when you know The Church is true! And I would spend 24/7 with the youth if I could - they're GREAT - even if it means ROUGHING it. Which we definately were!

Thank goodness for the wonderful pioneers. Reason #8,732 I would not have made a good pioneer . . . I do not like things tied around my neck! That is why the tie is where it is! I spent A LOT of time holding on to that tie so my bonnet wouldn't fly off! It is VERY windy in Wyoming. And yes, that IS a forced smile!

Our cute "family"! They are/were the ONLY reasons I made it through! Don't get me wrong, I'm a pretty tough chick. And the 25 miles of walking/pushing a handcart were pretty fun! But the no-shower-for-four-days-sleeping-in-your-own-filth-under-the-stars-in-the-dirty-dirt. . . not for me. But our kids (ALL the kids, for that matter) were SO great! And so CUTE, and willing to do ANYTHING! And only a couple complained a couple times, but it didn't last long and the complaints were far outshined by their happiness and complete goodness! LOVE them all! TGFY (Thank Goodness For Youth!)

I'm SO glad the pioneers kept going and didn't stop in Wyoming - 'cause there's a WHOLE lot of nothing in Wyoming! Other than wind. I'm grateful for the wind because it kept us cool - but there was dust blown into places dust has NO business being! And the more we saw and did, the LESS I could comprehend HOW they did it. Absolutely Amazing. And the fact that those pioneers picked up and did it again and again, day after day . . . FOREVER GRATEFUL am I.

"On this side, you'll see sagebrush and nothing . . . and over here, sagebrush and nothing." This is what we said, pretending to be tour guides, on more than one occasion!

We were lucky enough to be joined by Oscar, the TREK dog! He's a ranch dog that lives about 10 miles away, but comes to the Martin's Cove area every summer. He picks groups to follow, usually favoring groups with kids. AND HE CHOSE US! Even one of the missionaries commented how lucky we were to have been chosen by Oscar! He followed us to Martin's Cove, every now and then BOUNDING away to chase a jack rabbit, then waited for us to come back for lunch. He was a huge dog, but so kind and gentle and patient! I think he chose our group 'cause so many of our kids shared his demeanor . . . kind, gentle, and patient!
And so went the trek. The parts that I thought would be bad, were bad. (Although the outhouses surpassed my expectations! They were clean and non-stinky. But a hole is a hole, no matter what you set atop of it!) And the parts I thought would be good, WERE GOOD!
Am I more convinced of the truthfulness of The Church? - nope. It was TRUE when I left, and it's STILL TRUE now! Am I more grateful for the pioneers? - nope. I was VERY GRATEFUL when I left, and am STILL grateful now. (I AM more convinced, however, that Heavenly Father was watching over/protecting them because I believe even more now that it's a miracle ANY of them survived - even the ones who left when they should've and didn't encounter snow and wind and frozen rivers.) Will I do it again? -nope. PLEASE nope! (Why would I be so greedy as to take this EXPERIENCE from someone else?!) Am I more grateful now for a bed, shower, flushing toilet, and a home? YES! Am I more grateful for friends who love me enough to slip me some HEAVY DUTY sleeping pills that actually allowed me (coupled with ear plugs and prayers) to sleep? YES! Am I certain that the world is in good hands because of the valiant youth in whom our future depends? YES - All is well, ALL IS WELL!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Something(s) to live for . . .

Coming in August . . .
Coming in December . . .

Can you say . . . YUMMY?! And . . . *HOT TIP* . . . I just bought a bag of coconut M&M's at Target (07-09-09) so, I guess they're out earlier than expected! And they're GOOD!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mischief, thy name be . . .

This is what I've been finding in our bathroom lately. It seems Ms. Sara has taken a recent liking to pulling toilet paper off the roll. However, she knows she's not supposed to, and this is her solution! "If I shove it down into the roll - Mom will NEVER know I pulled it off!!" Should I worry that my 15 month old is ALREADY figuring out ways to be sneaky?!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wanna play . . .

Our FABULOUS new swingset! Sure to provide hours of fun! Now, if I could just find a remote control for Sara's swing . . . .

Friday, June 12, 2009

To Infinity and beyond . . .

Happy 12th Anniversary, SQUIRT ;)
Love ya, n' stuff.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I don't mean to brag, but . . .

Those are some pretty cute girlies!
My friend, Sara, took these pictures of the girls. This is just a small sample of some AMAZING pics! Check her out at - just a little free advertising because I think she does good work!
Of course, it helps to have such LOVELIES to photograph, right?!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Preschool Grad and Gems from Joey . . .

Am I a Scrooge to think that graduation from preschool (or kindergarten, or even 6th grade) is slight overkill?! Oh, well! It was a fun evening . . . Trey, the little boy standing next to Anna, is the reason I answer this question daily, "Mom, what grade do you have to be in to kiss boys?!" My answer: "COLLEGE."

And now, some GEMS from Joey's Second Grade "Quick Write Journal" which he brought home yesterday. I had the BEST time reading through it, and now present some of the best excerpts - totally unedited:

*One day my brother had namonea! It's when the fluooy gets worse and worse.

*My faverite song is Jigle bells. I like the jigle part.

*My faverite Ice crame flaver is choclite. I have ate it at Aretic Cerkle.

*If I was in a rodeo I would be scard. Becuse I would bounce up and down.

*I would vote for my dad beacuse my dad is seriuse. And strong. And fathful. (I assume
they'd been asked to write about whom they would vote for for president!)

*I don't have a faverite kind of socks. Becuse there all the same.

*My fridge is white. It has food in it. It does'nt have rotten food.

*I voted for Micane. Becuse people say Oboma lies. I dont know for shor. Goodbye.

*Oboma is presendent now. I am kind of sad. He chaned the rules. (P.S. This and the above do not necessarily represent his parent's political views ;) At least we know he'll think for himself!)

*I think that soldiers spend their day buying guns.

*I don't know what it would feel like to be a cow with no teeth.

*I'ts national hug Day today I would'nt hug anewon aspeshaley a boy Its creepy!

*If I foud the last bit of snow I would lock it in the frezer. But that would turn it into ice so I
don't know what I would do with the last bit of snow.

*If I could go on an amaganary trip to Ploto I would. Well first of all I wouldnt beable to beacuse
Ploto is more then 1,000.000.000 miles away from earth. But if I could I would shout IM THE

*You shoud respect a lady. Beacuse she might be carring a purse and if your not nice she might
just SlAP YOU.

*If I found one hundered dollers sitting on the ground I would pay tithing. (ten dollers) Then I
would pay for two D.S. games Yoshis Ilend, and Mario Kart D.S. So 100-65=35 So I would
have 35 dollers left. So I'd give the rest to my parents.

*If I was a composter I would write RAP muisc. Beacuse RAP is sort for RAPTORS I Think.
(their school mascot is a Raptor!)

*I don't really know what my summer vacacon plans are but I know I will have fun.

MAN, I LOVE THIS KID!! I hope summer vacacon IS fun . . . .

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Homage. . .

This sippy-cup needs it's own special post. I bought it for Tommy, YES, Tommy. Now, before you gag, please know that THIS particular cup has avoided the dreaded "lost for days with milk, no wait, that's cottage cheese" scenario! I don't know how, but it's retained it's original paint job, even after COUNTLESS washings - most of which were in the paint stripping dishwasher! You can STILL tell who made this cup! AMAZING! So, for that reason, I feel the need to pay homage to the cup that has survived 4 CHILDREN! Heck . . . I'VE BARELY survived 4 children! It will soon be time to retire our old friend, but until then. . .God Bless America. . .and it's celebratory 4th of July themed sippy-cups!

Monday, April 27, 2009

EEWWW. . . dirt.

Said Anna to me in the car today . . .

"Ew, I think there's dirt under my fingernail"

"It's okay, we can clean it out when we get there."

PAUSE. . .

"Oh, wait. It tastes like oreo. It must've just been oreo from when I scraped the frosting off."

Alrighty then! Do I tell her now that it won't ALWAYS taste like oreo?!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

When life hands you lemons. . .

Last night as I tucked Joey into bed, he informed me of something he'd apparently been tossing around in his head. . .

"I think I know what boys who don't go on missions, 'cause they don't believe in our church or something, do while they would've been on their missions...
They open a lemonade stand to make money."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Last First.. .. ..

From here.. .. ..

Sara Alice
March 28, 2008
9 lbs. 3 oz.
21 inches

to one SHORT year.

Sara Alice
March 28, 2009
23 lbs. 4 oz.
32 inches

I've watched my last "first steps" (6 weeks ago) heard my last "first word" ('Anna' - she LOVES her big sister!) and made my last "first birthday" cake. But I guarantee I haven't given my last hug! I LOVE you, my last baby girl!

Sara LOVES Abby Caddabby from Sesame Street. She gets SO excited everytime she sees her, so naturally that was who her cake had to look like! Well, that backfired a little because all she wanted to do was gently 'pat' Abby, not EAT her! I had to force feed her some frosting to get her to realize that she could eat this Abby! But, not being one who likes to get her hands dirty, she still wouldn't go for the dig-in-approach! So, we ended up using a fork! But, as you can see by the last picture, she eventualy enjoyed her Abby cake and ended up with frosting everywhere! Happy Birthday, Sara!