Monday, December 31, 2007

Here's a little bit about our little trip:

  • Day 1: Drive to Mobile all the while greatly angering this man.
  • Day 2: Drive to Orlando, sleep.
  • Day 3: Check out what Disney World and Epcot have to offer.
  • Day 4: Have our lovely Christmas morning. Hang out in the hotel & swim in its pool. DW gets so busy that they STOP letting people in!
  • Day 5: Check out what Sea World has to offer. That night, we drive to Melbourne.
  • Day 6: Take Travis' boat to the Spoil Islands and explore.
  • Day 7: Chill on Sebastian Beach, check out Ron Jon's and Cocoa Beach.
  • Day 8: Go to St. Augustine, FL; the oldest European city in America. That night, we drive to Pensacola.
  • Day 9: See beautiful beaches of Pensacola and drive to "Nawlins, Luzianne" (New Orleans, Louisiana). Have ourselves some delicious gumbo and beignets. Drive to Houston to appease afore mentioned man.
  • Day 10: Drive to home sweet home. Prepare for the new year by watching 1st season of Arrested Development with Ste. Turn in early.

You might get details and pictures later on, but for now I'm weary.

Happy New Year. It's been rather exciting year for us, full of change and blessings. We look forward for what 2008 has to offer.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fond Christmas Memories

Though this is NOTHING like what my home looks like or looked like growing up (no foul on the mantle and our tree was fake and flocked - which I'm pretty sure has given us kids any and all of our health problems to date) yet we did get deer once in a while. I've been thinking of Christmases from when I grew up. Thought I'd share the things I've been missing....

  • Mom baking (and me always being put out that she gave it all away!).
  • Ryan playing Carol of the Bells (over and over again. It was his recital piece that one year he took piano lessons. He tortured that poor piano over and over again. I know in his mind he could hear that hard core version Transiberian Orchestra put out).
  • Sledding at Birch Creek (and being envious of how much air Scott could get on the jumps all the while getting frost bite on my toes).
  • Snow (only on some days - you know those days you'd give anything to wear moon boots again).
  • Anticipation of SC (though the anticipation of my kids' reaction is pretty awesome).
  • Endless boardgames (I still rock at Monopoly - but can't seem to manage real money or real estate).
  • Remembering what Christmas is really about (and the retelling of the fill-the-manger-with-straws-that-represent-service-you've-done story. You know the one I'm talking about, right?).
  • Family Parties (whether you like them or not).

It's funny, but none of these will be happening this year, and yet it still feels like Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone! We're of to sunny Florida.


And as they say in the 5th grade, "See ya next year!"

Huh, this is my 200th post. I'm not sure what that means, but I thought it was worth a mention.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Rash Guard

Yesterday, during church, Olivia seemed fussier than normal. She's usually good, and if she isn't, she's fine as long as we're standing with her. It just wasn't happenin'.

Because I'm leading singing time for the younger ones, Steven is on Oli-duty. By the end of church, he was pretty exhausted. I picked up the other two monkeys and headed over to relieve Steven. As I approached a weary husband and a screaming child, he said, "I think she's allergic to her dress."

Sure enough. Once she was undressed, it looked like she was wearing a shirt of rash (right where a surfer's rash guard should be). Her diaper and tights protected lots of her body. Poor thing.

Really, did I need another reason to NOT buy polyester? Okay it wasn't all polyester, it was only lined in polyester. But, it was really cute. Oh well. I'll just have to force myself to buy her another one.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Darker Days

I went dark.

'Tis the season, right?

I like it.

For now.

Olivia approves of the changes.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Prima Donna

What I meant to say is, Prima Ballerina.


Not really.

You must know by now that Emmy has her moments of stubborn glory. I've mentioned it lots. But when she's going to her dance class she can do just about anything and I let her get away with it.

After every picture I take the kids scream, "I wanna see. Let me see!" I show them the back of the camera so they can see the digital screen. After this picture, Emmy furrowed her brow and said, "my hair looks like a boy's. Take a picture from the side."

So here it is.

Really? Do other 3-year-old's fret over looking like a boy in the most feminine of outfits? She's donning a tutu for crying out loud! I am officially creating a new job title that officially belongs to Emmy. Princess Diva, her ladyship. They've been used separately in the past, but since Emmy's arrival on earth it's time to put them together.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Time Waits for No Man

-A saying my dear grandmother is famous for spouting out if you're not working fast enough.

I know I'm done shopping and everything, so you'd think I'd have all this time on my hands to blog. I just can't figure out where it's all going. Actually I know exactly where it's going:

  • This month I'm leading singing time in Primary.
  • I teach preschool this week.
  • Olivia.
  • Saturday, alone, we had our family pictures taken, tithing settlement, a birthday party for one of Bradley's friends and a Christmas party with one of Steven and my friends.
  • I'm trying to plan a trip to Florida for under a $1000. That's just not going to happen.
  • Emmy.
  • Baking for neighbors and friends - I don't bake.
  • Got my hair cut.
  • Only because I also spent time trying to cut it myself.
  • Got my cavities filled.
  • Then tried to get my teeth cleaned - TWICE - and still haven't!!! (It's a long, ugly story that leaves me having an Emmy mouth.)
  • These dern Christmas cards, be patient, they're coming.
  • The boys of the house (they're not as bad, so I'll group them together as one).
  • Endless house chores that aren't getting addressed as readily as they should be.
I'll be back, though. Just not as often this month.

See you soon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Shittake Mushrooms

No, I've never eaten them.

There's this stupid movie (wasn't that stupid until this happened) my kids watch called Spy Kids. It's a series of 3 and in the first two, one of the main characters jokingly says, "oh shittake mushrooms" during a moment of crisis. She pauses at just the right moment during that word....you get where I'm going with this.

My kids began saying this oh-darn-it phrase and we nipped it in the bud by asking them to say holy moley or holy cow or ANYTHING ELSE. Emmy is now catching herself in the middle of the statement before she fixes herself. And she stops right in the middle, well, you know exactly where she stops!

Well, last night, just like I knew she would, Emmy dropped a toy outside and said, "oh sh*#, I mean, holy moley." My neighbor - another mother looks at me like I'm the devil raising my replacement. I've been controlling my natural-born sailor's mouth for 5 years and Spy Kids is what is making me look bad. Urg.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Jealous?

Last night I finished. And all before December 1.


Done.


Completed.


Through.


Ready.


Prepared.


Oh ya, and broke.


Let the (stress free) Christmas season begin.
Now I just have to do those darn cards.
Send me your address if you've moved in the last year.
mickmonkeys@gmail.com

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Other Cougar

My sister, Karrie found out yesterday that she was accepted to BYU. (Steven actually calls it The BYU - not just BYU). I think Steven is more excited than I am. It's like he feels like he converted one of my family members to his religion.
Living in Provo was such a great experience. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we had to move away; BYU didn't offer a PA program. Here's a couple of pictures of one of my favorite cities. It holds more dear memories than almost anywhere else I've ever been.

This is the campus with Mt. Timpanogos looming in the background.

Here's the bell tower with the Provo Temple in the background.

Provo library; originally Brigham Young Academy - the first version of the BYU. The "Y" is in the background.

For those of you that have lived there, I bet right now you're sighing and thinking I hope I can go back soon and visit. Maybe take my kids one day and show them all the stuff I did. Well, that's what I'm thinking. There was always SO MUCH STUFF YOU COULD DO! Living in Texas has greatly diminished our options of outdoor activities. It's kind of a bummer. Then again, people in Utah have been scraping snow off their windshields since October and last night we played outside until dark in our t-shirts. I guess you can't have it all.

Congratulations, Karrie!
We're going to celebrate in your honor tonight. We always need an excuse to celebrate.

Now someone needs to let her know about Elder "Swicket" (SWKT).

Photos from byu.edu

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dinner

I know I have a recipe blog and all, but it's not like I'm making nightly homemade gourmet meals, or nightly homemade meals, ... or any sort of meal for that matter. Sometimes it just doesn't happen. This is why I have a stocked freezer. Or on those really bad nights, I have a nearby restaurant. In fact, Bradley's weekly gymnastics lesson has given us a reason (or rationalization) to eat out every Tuesday night, not to mention the other occasions during the week that merit (in my mind) a trip to a restaurant. You know, like the occasional date night, or getting lunch in the middle of those long days running countless errands, or like when I have a bad hair day (which is lots, lately).

Well, since my little Olivia has been eating solids lately, it's been reminding me of all the parenting books and pediatricians that tell parents that when their children begin to eat solids - that once they learn to gum food down - they should be eating table food. Specifically, whatever the family eats we should cut it up or blend it up so my monkey can eat it.

Seriously?

Let's say, for time's sake, that we didn't eat out. I'm not sure if giving my baby frozen pizza and corndogs is the best idea. Whoever is telling me to "just feed your baby from the table" should take a glimpse at what we eat. Emmy's eating habits are so screwed up that I've vowed to do things differently with Liv.

Luckily people like me have Gerber. And lucky for me Olivia gobbles up every last drop of anything I've given her. I don't have a good messy-face picture of her, yet, so here's a delicious one of Emmy to hold you over until I do.

Once upon a time she ate green foods.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Helping Hand

I'm afraid my hand is healed.

I know that sounds like a good thing, but it still feels pretty sore. Here are some things I don't take for granted anymore:

  • Shaking hands without cringing - I'm afraid it might break again if I meet "Mr/Ms Power Handshake".
  • Wringing out a sponge - I was finally able to to it again last week.
  • Straightening my fingers (well, almost). Bradley actually got the giggles in church yesterday just by looking at my hand.
  • Writing - I can now pen my own constitution??? No, but I can finally make a legible grocery list.

Still can't do and afraid I won't ever again:
  • Make a fist - for self defense reasons, I'm always fighting off paparazzi.
  • Putting weight on the back of my hand. Like the use of my knuckles when I do my push-ups everyday, real bummer.
  • Wear a ring on my right ring finger, making Steven sigh with relief while my sister, Kristen, tears up.
At least it's mostly past me. With the weather being wet and cold, I was curious to see how my arthritis would be. I am happy to say that it hasn't bothered me like I thought it would. I'm just thankful to Britney V* and Faustin S* for talking me into going to the doctor. I would have always wondered.

I'm going to go try my hand (pardon the terrible pun) at wrapping presents.

Let me know what you want, I mean, besides the Christmas Card.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Seasonal

It's slowly (I mean S L O W L Y) getting chillier here in Texas. And though it is not winter yet (well, it's never truly winter here - only technically), I thought I'd change my blog's color scheme. I was growing weary of its colors. Because I'm changing the look of my house tomorrow (YES, I decided to go through with my decorating plans), I thought I'd change my blog today.

Wudyathink?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Decoration Dilemma

When to decorate?

November began on a Thursday making Thanksgiving come at its earliest possible date. I follow the usual "decorate-the-weekend-after-Thanksgiving rule" when it comes to putting up our tree and stockings. My one exception is when we go out of town for Thanksgiving. I'll put it up the day before we leave because once we return it seems that I'm unpacking and doing laundry for days (especially when we go to the ranch). Plus Bradley will be out of school the day before Thanksgiving and he loves decorating our house more than I do.

My dilemma is:

Will Wednesday be
too early to put up my tree?

I mean, it'll only be the 21st! I hate it bad enough that retail and department stores gloss over Thanksgiving like its a mere inconvenience, but isn't that exactly what I'll be doing?
I just * L O V E * Christmas.

What do you think?

Should I wait a week and a half - until the 1st? Or should I go with my holiday instincts and forge on with my decorating plans?

Does it make a difference if we think we'll be out of town for Christmas?

What are you doing? or should I say, "when are you doing?"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yick

I've mumbled this word several dozen times this morning.

I'm home today sick. I went to church with all the best intentions, and left in the middle of sacrament meeting because I couldn't sit up straight. I decided that it was likely that Olivia would nap along with me, so Steven strapped her back into her car seat and the little lady and I left.

Beads of sweat were forming on my brow, and I couldn't keep my eyes open, it was making me nauseated; all due to some pain. I pulled over once thinking I don't want this mess in my car, but nothing happened. I drove about 22 mph (something VERY hard for me) all to avoid jarring my body or using any unnecessary muscles when I turned corners.

I have endometriosis. It's a plaguing little thing that gives me grief every, oh, I don't know, 28 days or so. I can't function when I'm in this much pain. All I can compare it to is child labor except it lasts for about two hours instead of on again off again for 4-5 hours (until I get an epidural). I'm not sure which is worse. Wait, I can tell you what it worse: when you can't have your drug of choice (ibuprofen) because 8 years ago, your body decided that it was allergic to it. I'd take an epidural every month, but I can' find an anesthesiologist that will comply.

Olivia is not cooperating as I had hoped, so I'm braking a family rule and watching my tivo'ed episode of Project Runway (shhh, don't tell). It's definitely making me feel better.

Thanks, Stacey, for teaching my little ones in nursery! I owe you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Family of Carnies

Cue circus music...

video

Mmmm, Much Better

So, when things get stuck in the garbage disposal, I usually wait until Steven comes home so he can fish the thing out. It's usually just a water bottle lid or a baby spoon, but still. Why is it that as an educated adult woman, it still freaks the living daylights out of me to stick my hand down there? As if the disposal might become its own thinking entity and will turn on just to get back at me for all the weird things I put down there.

Give me a break, I haven't been getting a lot of sleep.

It used to be like this with grills. I used to think that if I touched the propane tank on a grill incorrectly or opened it wrong, it just might explode with a fury leaving my children with no mother (and, after teaching a grilling class to about 40 women, I learned I wasn't alone). If I can get past that, I can surely get past a garbage disposal!

Well, besides needing some obvious therapy, I've solved the stinky sink problem. I had to overcome some fears and clean the underside of the black rubber that keeps the water and stuff from flying back in your face. That, along with some Kaboom (that purple cleaner the really loud & obnoxious guy sells on TV) to get rid of all the hard water, I'm not smelling anything. Thanks for all the advice, everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sink Stink

I have this problem. It's been going on for a while now. They say that admitting you have a problem is the first step. Right?

My sink stinks.

Something is alive in my sink. It smells a little like musty dirt. I know, not the most terrible smell, but it's not what I want my kitchen to smell like. It's living somewhere in my garbage disposal. It may have relocated from my dishwasher. I don't know, maybe it's commuting, but I need help to destroy it. Remember, this is doing a lot to my self esteem as a homemaker to seek out advice like this.
So I ask you: any ideas for stinky sinks?

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Please think before you insult me by offering ideas like vinegar, lemon peels and Clorox bleach products. I'm not quite that incapable (almost, not quite). I need some secret, underground, black market, chemical that your Uncle Sal sells in Jersey to oil rigs in the Gulf. Maybe someone has a brother in college who's majoring in Chemistry who can hook me up with his latest project. Better yet, hook me up with the brother that was kicked out of school for his latest project.

I'm getting weary of wasting money on cleaning products or worse, candles that just mask the odor. Somebody, please HELP!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Food Talk

Occasionally when one of the kids is eating by themselves (usually when said child has slept in, or are eating a special treat), I'll over hear them personifying their food by saying things like:

"AUGH! I'm going to die!" Then into the mouth the cereal goes and the chomping (killing) begins. This line is usually from Bradley. Morbid, I know.

Or sometimes Emmy will say something like, "Buh-bye food, we'll see you later." Munch, munch, crunch. I can't help but think this is from reality shows like Man vs. Wild or Fear Factor where they actually eat live food.

This morning, as she spoke to her food, she took her spoon, laid it across her bowl and said, "Look, Mom, now they have a bridge to Terabithia." When I spotted these bowls, I thought of her and her food looking for its imminent death.

Are my kids crazy?

Do your kids talk to there food?

Better yet, do you?

Bowl found at designspotter.com.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Makeshift Bedside Table

Steven and I have never bought any furniture for our room save our mattress. The desk that is in our room was free (though it wouldn't even be in our room if we had a den/extra room), and the cedar chest in there was a gift when I graduated from high school.

Our room is ridiculously big. So the three pieces of furniture are up against three of the four walls to fill a little of the space. We have nothing next to the bed to be a "bedside table". So to accommodate, I sometimes put things in my pillowcase. I have a miniature alarm clock (it's about the size of a credit card) that is usually in there. Occasionally there's a small piece of paper and pen for those lying in bed "to-do" items that come to mind or those middle-of-the-night millionaire ideas (somehow they must not get written down). But last week I had a cough and runny nose; there was a couple of cough drops in there along with some clean tissues. I realize this is sounding weird. Just go with me on this.

Anyhoo, Emmy and Bradley were so kindly waking me up one morning and as I got out of bed, Bradley picked up my pillow to begin a pillow fight. Out flew a bunch of random things. His eyes got wide, Emmy looked excited, and they both eagerly asked, "What else is in there?!" While Steven was wondering, 'how do you sleep on all that stuff?'

Now they periodically check my pillow case for candy (that's what they thought the cough drops were) little surprises, and toys.

I think it's time to get a bedside table.

...And maybe a cute lamp to go on top.

I'll need a charming candle
to add some ambiance.

It would be nice to have
a matching bedside table on the other side.

What if I could get a great
head and foot board to go with it.

We'd really need curtains.

But now the desk
wouldn't match the other stuff.

And the Queen Anne legs on the cedar chest
would surely look out of place.

We would need another room
to put those pieces of furniture.

I guess we should buy a bigger house.


...and this is why Steven
doesn't like it when I shop.



But if I did, this is where I'd start.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lovely Weekend

Weekends are great all by themselves.

Then you add two great friends to the mix, and it's even better.

But what beats all is the ending of Daylight Savings Time.

I'm still finding clocks around the house that still need to be changed.


John & Lee Lee, thanks again for the visit! We love it when you come.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Snopes

I'm going to have to get this off my chest sooner or later.

This is bound to offend a lot of people. But it may limit the forwarded emails I'll receive in the future.

I'm tired of missing persons emails, fixed pictures, get rich quick scams, etc, etc. This phenomenon of forwarding erroneous emails is worse than gossip. One little click can let everyone in your contacts know any number of falsehoods. It's like people are working for the Inquirer's circulation staff. My last favorite was an email claiming the government had new coin in circulation that had the phrase "In God We Trust" removed. Not true.

Here's a little hint, folks. All it takes is a little time of your own (gasp!), check out the email you get at SNOPES.COM. It's likely to save our relationship.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mission

My little sister, Holly, received her mission call yesterday. I'm pretty sure I called about 15 times to check if the mail had arrived. I was very anxious and had butterflies every time I thought about it. My brother, Ryan who lives in Arizona, and I are the only ones who couldn't be there to watch her open it. So I did a little three-way phone call so we could all share in the news.

It was (and is) very exciting.

All the letter had written on it was a 1-800 number.

Okay, only a few people will get that joke.

She's going to be serving the Hartford, Connecticut English speaking mission.


First thoughts: History, New England, the Atlantic, Yale, Hockey, Wealth

Graham and Annie, you are the only people I know that have lived in Connecticut. I'd love to hear what you think.

Just so everyone is clear, I won the pool. I predicted a New England mission destination from the beginning. Pay up folks.

Congratulations, Holly!
We are excited for you and proud of you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween '07

Whatever you are, be a good one.
-Abraham Lincoln




Have fun out there...we know we will.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Question of the Day

Emmy's been tantruming.

I'm not even sure if tantrum can be a verb. It must be.

However, soon "Emmying" is going to be a verb. She's a pro.

She's been holding out on us. This "terrible twos" thing people talk about is just a farce. Emmy has the will power of a 17-year old, the tenacity of a 21-year old and the stubborness of a 74-year old. I feel like as parents we're pretty good at NOT giving in, but we occasionally feel like we walk on egg shells when she's in one of her moods and we don't have the strength to deal with her.

The other night she went on for about 4 hours. At midnight, when she was finally spent, she simply sighed (after yelling and screaming continuously) and said, "Okay, I'm done. Sorry."

Really. You're done, huh. Just like that?

So today Steven said it best when he asked: Why does it seem that I'm more afraid of Emmy than she is of me?

That's not how it's supposed to be, right?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cleaning Day

I grew up doing my chores on Saturday morning. It wasn't ever a question. You just did your chores that day. On a rare occasion, I'd have a soccer game that began before 9 am, so my mother would make an exception and told me I could finish it once we came home. The only other exception I can think of is if we went somewhere for the weekend ... but that exception was: it needs to be done before we go - like on Friday after school.

I remember one Saturday I was slacking because it was Senior Prom that night. I don't know what they do now, but when I was in high school, we had a "day date" (some activity that couldn't be done in a gown) and then went home to get ready for the dance. You were then picked up for the formal part of the date: dinner, dance, parking (just kidding).

ANYWAY, my date was coming that morning at ten and I knew I could get out of my chores. Not so fast. I remember my dad made me finish vacuuming the staircase while my date waited. I was mortified, but looking back I know it was smart parenting and I'll do the same thing to my kids.

Which brings me to my real reason for posting.

I have this hard time when it comes to planning my days. I'm sometimes good at getting a menu planned for the week. I'm sometimes good at getting appointments and activities lined up for the week and letting Steven know so we're all on the same page. Yet, I have a hard time pinning down a day of the week to do my housework.

I know, I know, I do housework all day every day. I mean deep stuff. Even laundry.

Mondays my house needs it, the weekend has destroyed everything. While on the other hand Fridays would be nice because going into the weekend with a clean house is a good omen for me. Saturdays would be nice because Steven's there to do his chores, but I hate wasting a Saturday-with-Dad doing work. I'd much rather play (Saturday's all we have as our weekend being Mormon). A mid-week day like Wednesday would probably work, but I've usually realized that something else needs done that day, usually errand-running.

So I wonder: when do you do your chores? and did you choose that day with any sort of theory behind it?

If you don't want to take the time to comment, feel free to vote.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Before & After

Check out what 5 months will do.
5/21/07


10/20/07

Monday, October 22, 2007

Carving Creation Contest

Saturday morning, we had pumpkin pancakes (they sound much more charming and delicious than they actually were - anyone have a better recipe?) and this is the reason why. The night before we had ourselves a little healthy competition, but it didn't start out like that.

If someone had asked me to throw a party for 50 people, I would have laughed and asked them, "where?"

On my driveway.

I invited 12 families to our house and only one of them was unable to attend. I told them I would supply each family with one pumpkin and drinks. They needed to provide tools (knives, patterns, drills - not kidding) and a treat to share. Winner took home winning pumpkin and leftover treats they brought - ha ha. Winner actually took home a bucket of Dove Chocolates.

Here's some pictures of the 1st Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.
Isabella, Danielle, Joe, & Madison H*

Cole M*, Josh J*, David M*

Luke, Jason, & Roarke B*; Lupita B* ... carving the eventual winning pumpkin.

Ashley and Stacey M*

The house in all its carving glory.

Tiffany S*, Tracy B*, Danielle J*

Some of the other's monkeys. Bunny ears were all the rage that night.

Todd N*, Angela and Jay V*, Brody N*

The finished pumpkins and the carvers (helpers).

Spooky aren't they? The kids voted and, though this picture lacks detail, the pumpkin on the left in the middle row was the ultimate winner.

Though we did not always remain in my driveway because food - like caramel corn, pumpkin roll, brownies, caramel & apples, chocolate-covered pretzels, pumpkin bread, cupcakes ... mmm - were in my dining room and drinks were in a cooler in the garage, my house was able to remain relatively clean. Nothing a quick mopping wouldn't take care of.

Exactly 50 people were in attendance. We had oodles of fun and I'm planning on doing it again next year. All your guests entertain themselves; guys like it because it's a competition, women get to catch up with one another, and kids get to eat themselves sick. What better venue is there?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

FHE Project

Mormons do this thing with their Monday nights. They dedicate their time and energy to their family. It's a pleasant enough thought until someone gets irritated with someone else and you hear a parent in the room say, "You'll enjoy being with your family or else...."

That hasn't happened, yet. At least it was worded differently; it was more like, "just give us a few minutes for a lesson then we can do something else."

However, things have changed in our house since I asked Steven to be in charge of Family Home Evening. He always comes up with these amazing ideas for family night. When we moved, I decided I was all dried up. I just can't come up with something else to keep these monkeys entertained PLUS give it a spiritual twist. I was trying to do that the rest of the days all week long.

This is what we did last week.
Steven thought it would be fun to put up a swing in our backyard. So on Monday night, we all headed to Home Depot to get the supplies.
It's not really meant for two (or anyone that weighs more than 50 lbs for that matter) the tree's not quite that sturdy. I wasn't about to tell one child over the other who could swing first. Plus, they look so darn cute. And on top of that, they were getting along during our oppressive family time: sitting together, arm in arm, on a slightly precarious swing.
Until next Monday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

About Us

What is his name? Steven

How long have you been together? Married 7 years.

How long did you date? 1 1/2 before we were married.

How old is he? 29

Who eats more? I snack more, but he eats more. I still can't figure out where he puts it all. That boy can eat his own weight in food.

Who said I love you first? Me.

Who is taller? He is 5'9", I am 5'6"

Who sings better? I do, but not by too much.

Who is smarter? Steven thinks he is, I think I am.....probably Bradley.

Whose temper is worse? Hmmm, I lose my patience more, but if Ste does (which is rare), he's pretty funny to watch.

Who does the laundry? Me. But not well. I can't for the life of me put it away.

Who does the dishes? He empties the dishwasher and I fill it. A good fit for us.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I do.

Who pays the bills? I do almost all of them. He takes care of the student loans. There are too many and I get lost.

Who mows the lawn? He does. Though I actually wouldn't mind at all.

Who cooks dinner? Me, unless I have one of those days. Steven always creates more dishes than necessary, and it takes him longer, he's always much more inventive than I am, though.

Who drives when you are together? It depends... usually he does. I usually feel like vegging in the passenger's seat and talking his ear off while navigating.

Who is more stubborn? Neither of us are too stubborn. We can't figure out where Emmy gets it.

Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Not me! I'm never wrong, duh.

Whose parents do you see the most? His. They make it easy for us.

Who kissed who first? He kissed me -- but only after 6 dates! Am I that scary?

Who asked who out? He asked me ... thanks to Brian.

Who proposed? He did -- on hole 11 at Birch Creek.

Who is more sensitive? I am. Steven isn't capable of tears....okay, not really.

Who has more friends? I think I do. I keep up with people using this whole blogging thing, but every time Steven walks through the door, he's on the phone with someone different!

Who has more siblings? I do -- two brothers & three sisters. Steven has three brothers.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chris & Jenny

Well, you win some you lose some.

Chris and Jenny came to visit us last weekend and I had two goals. 1. Get Chris to start a blog, as mentioned here and 2. get them baby hungry by using Olivia as bait.

I'm pretty sure I have Chris talked into beginning his own blog. He has loads of strong opinions. He's [only slightly] afraid of offending people. Chris, I'm waiting for that 'church music' entry....

As for the second goal, Jenny was on board until she took Olivia for us on Sunday at chruch while I lead singing time in Primary (3-11 year olds) and Steven conducted Elder's Quorum (men 18+). Olivia did NOT do as we had asked of her (that's sarcasm, folks) and cried until she was back in my arms. There went that idea.

All in all we had lots of fun forcing Chris and Jenny to come to our church's service project on Saturday morning. We made up for it by taking them to the Hula Hut. A great place John & Eli introduced to us.

Our kids are tacklers. So Chris helped us out by reciprocating and tormented and wrestled our children.
The look of torment ... or is that glee ... I forget.
Can't wait to see your blog, Chris. Let us know when it's up and running.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Developments

About 2 weeks ago, Steven was holding Olivia and suddenly said, "uh-oh". Uh oh? What does that mean?



Can you see them? Here's a better look.




You can see she's kind of smiling.....like she planned this or did this on purpose just to torture me.

Yes, it's tortuous.

I remember as Steven told me he thought he could feel teeth in her mouth, I thought, haven't you been a father enough times to know what a tooth feels like? She's only 4 months old!

FOUR MONTHS OLD!

TWO TEETH!!

BREAST FEEDING!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mr. Kirby

My father once told me, "If you don't want to spend your money, never watch a vacuum demo. They'll get you every time."

I thought that was really weird....until Rob and his little crew showed up at my house.

They told me they would clean my carpet for free if I'd tell my friends and neighbors about them. That didn't seem too unreasonable. I'm stupid. However, in my defense, I had no idea these guys were Kirby people. I thought the were a Stanley Steamer competitor or something.

A guy named Rob - who actually asked me to call him "The Kirby Guy" - vacuumed my carpet with my vacuum, then with his and made me feel like I had really disgusting carpet and made me feel guilty for letting my children touch the very fibers of said carpet. Okay, I'll bite. How much?

$2650.

Cute.

Two hours later I had him talked down to $1200 & 6 month, no-interest financing.

I still didn't buy it. For some reason my theory didn't work this time. I still feel a little yucky when I lay Olivia on my carpet. I'm now in the market for a new vacuum. I'll do my research in my Consumer Reports magazine and figure out which one is best. I guarantee it won't be a $1200 one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My Sweetheart

Happy Anniversary, Steven.

Though we both nearly forgot until your father called yesterday to congratulate us, I still think 7 years is lucky!

You'll always be my true love.





Plus, you're hot.
XOXO

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

New Pet?

We have a new pet. When I say it's a pet, it's in the sense that a zoo animal might be my pet. Since Joe died, we've been lucky enough to get a stray.
She's outside our living room window. She builds her bed every night and takes it down every morning. She crawls up and hangs out in the eaves until the sun begins to set and she begins building again. When I'm feeling generous I turn on the backyard floodlights to attract bugs to her web. Allow me to introduce Charlotte (original, I know).
It's been great. She'd right at eye level and doesn't startle easily when we're staring at her through the window pane.
She had been hanging out with us for a week or so when my feeding tactics worked.
Icky, I know.
Does anyone know what kind of spider this is?
We've become oddly attached and this morning we can't find her. As attached as I am, if she's out there laying eggs, I've got my bug poison ready.

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