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.


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!




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?



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.

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.

Monday, October 08, 2007

GC Feelings

I can't tell you how much I love General Conference. If you don't know, General Conference happens every 6 months (the first weekends in April and October). We don't attend our normal church meetings. Instead we listen to or watch (either at home or at the church via satellite) the leaders of our church give its members instruction and guidance.

Though cabin fever sets at some point during the weekend, the knowledge I get from these great people surely beats out any sort of feelings of crazed claustrophobia.

I'm always surprised at the very distinct difference between conferences held in October versus the ones in April. They have a feel. Am I wrong? It reminds me of listening to and watching conference in my parent's home when I was young. Saturday we listened while we did our weekly chores. Mom was always recording the music numbers so she could enjoy them the next 6 months while she sewed for us. Sunday we watched and though no rules had ever been truly established it seems like if you were under 8 you were only required to watch one of the sessions and if you were under 5, you could come and go as you please. You had to be out of your pj's before it began - the 'rents were worried we'd inevitably fall asleep if we were still donning our nightwear.

In October, the smell of dried leaves is always floating through the air (I tried to imagine it - it didn't work) and the house has been freshly decorated with Halloween festivities. The holiday season is just around the corner.

In April, spring cleaning had just taken place and you can smell freshly cut grass and you can see tulips in everyone's yard. Easter was near approaching or just recently past. And the thought of wearing shorts soon makes you giddy.

I think GC is so important. It gently and kindly reminds me of my inadequacies. It motivates me to do better, be better, and rely on my Savior more. It reminds me of my testimony (those specific things that I know to be true), and the occasions and reasons that it wavers or weakens. It empowers me with new wisdom and reminds me how much I love this gospel. I'll always be looking forward to these unusual and splendid weekends.

Until next time, GC.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Old & New Friends

Recently a few friends from high school have found my blog. I'm not sure how we were connected and I'm dying of curiosity the number of links it took to find me ... who was our ultimate mutual friend???

I did this blog for a couple of reasons:
1) this was my format of journaling and documenting. I've tried notebooks, leatherbound books with my name in gold on the front, word documents, scrapbooks, my brain.... but none of these venues worked. My handwriting wasn't neat enough or even consistent - that bothered me for some reason. I couldn't illustrate like I can with this blog. My computer is much easier to access then getting out all my scrapbooking materials (though I still try to do that once in a while).
2) it's user-friendly. I think that is a must! Otherwise it's a turnoff and my desire will dwindle and die. I don't know java/html, but blogger makes that stuff easy for you. Plus it has perks like all the extra stuff on the sidebar.
3) I'm awfully far away from any and all family. This was a way for my sibling and parents and in-laws alike to know what goes on in our lives and be able to watch our children progress. It was important to me that when I see them, they don't say, "Wow! I don't even recognize them!"

What I didn't expect was the people I would reconnect to AS WELL AS people I'm meeting. As I check who has looked at my blog, I find that I have people I do not know watching my blog. Not in a creepy way (yet). I have a few messages for these people that are new AND those that are from my pre-college life.

To Heidi & Ky: So good to hear from you guys! Hope all is well.
To the anonymous persons in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Texas, California, Utah: Sign my guest book, I'd love to know who you are.
And to anonymous in Japan: Konichi wa!

Happy blogging!


Friday, October 05, 2007

2Pac in Training

When a comment like this is made during church,
the giggles begin and the reverence ends.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sitter Swapping

We've been swapping baby-sitting with our neighbors (to avoid paying an extra $20 a date). This is great for a couple of reasons: 1) the kids have friends their age at this particular house, 2) all new toys to play with, 3) we have to be with each other even if we haven't planned anything. Wow I made that last one sound like a chore. What I mean is, if were up to me to call a baby-sitter every time, we'd only go out 4x a year.

I should remind you it was on one of these occasions that I broke my hand. It doesn't, however, change my mind that this is great.

Here are the rules to sitter swapping:
1. Find a family with (about) as many kids as you - give or take 1, but NOT more than that....otherwise it's not very fair for one of the parties. And don't believe them when they say, "it doesn't matter that you have 4 kids and we have one! We love your kids," because they are lying to you.
2. Decide on the night(s).....we try to swap Friday and Saturday. Sometimes we get in both, sometimes it's a busy weekend with school and/or church activities so neither of us get a date that weekend. Which leads me to number 3.
3. Be flexible. In the past, we've allotted that anytime between 6pm and 10pm their kids can be at our house. If for some reason they need more, it's planned far in advance.
4. Kids need to be fed before the arrival at the other house. I don't ask you to feed my impossibly-picky 3-year old. Don't make me do it to yours.
5. Know the other family's rules and discipline. It saves you time, energy, lawsuits, ...

I think that about covers it.

Tell me, are you strictly Babysitter People so your children can keep their regular bedtime or are you more frugal (ie: cheap, poor), and are willing to fight your kids when it comes to 9am church?

I just need to find someone to meal swap with. Tara, I miss you terribly. I'm teaching preschool today. When and what are you bringing to my house? I'll be hungry by 5.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Snippety Snip

Really, it's more of a cauterisation.

We're not sure if we're done having kids or not, but when we are, the question of permanent "fixing" will come up. If we do decide to, which one of us will get it done?

I thing it's widely understood that it's cheaper, safer, quicker, less evasive, and even reversible if the gentleman has it done. If women get permanently sterilized, it involves general anesthesia, a hospital, a longer recovery which all also means much more money.

I know some men find this whole idea emasculating and slightly dizzying. I'm wondering, of my male readers, how do they feel? I'm also curious of the married women reading, how does your spouse feel? Are they willing? Or do they feel like it's taking away part of the Y chromosome? If you don't have something to say (or feel awkward revealing your opinion such a topic), simply vote (you can choose and give your reason). It's anonymous.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Looking Fall

A new look for my blog.

The bubblegum pink was beginning to burn my retina. And since the lovely reds, oranges and browns don't exist in this part of the country, I can see them when I blog.

Fare thee well, summer and welcome, most beautiful of seasons. I only wish it was the real you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Realities of Death

My brother is a mortician.

It's a little weird sometimes, but being in this line of work has given Scott chances to own some pretty good stories (kind of like a metropolitan ER doc or, I don't know, a pimp) - and when Scott has a good story, it means Scott has a funny story. I digress.

Our friend, Joe, died today.
Joe was our pet fish. We've had him for a mere few months, but it seems like our relationship has really taken off and we were becoming pretty good friends.

Okay, not really. We just needed a quick disposal of the corpse - and where else but a toilet.

We began explaining to Bradley that fishes get buried in the ocean, not the ground (you know, if you live in water, you should be buried under water). We were using the whole Finding Nemo movie as a tool, telling him that the other fishes in the ocean would bury him once he arrived there. We were really just trying to rationalize our flushing Joe down the toilet.

I started telling him what my brother does for a living - specifically that Uncle Scott buries people after they die. What's the next obvious question a 5-year old should ask?

Bradley stopped and turned to look at us,

"How does he fit them down the toilet?"

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