Thursday, December 9, 2010


Having the right perspective has helped me immensely today.....

You know how everything from Costco comes in multiples?  Like a box of Cheez-it has two sleeves.  Well I bought a couple boxes of them yesterday with my handy-dandy coupon of course!  I came downstairs this afternoon to find one sleeve empty already.  I started to get frustrated but then took a step back and did a little thinking.  Okay a box of Cheez-its from Costco costs about $6 and I had a $2 off coupon.  So I'm only out $2 for half a box and it made a nice after school snack.  That's actually not too bad for 7 kids!

Oh and as long as I'm in a giving mood .... we won't worry about the brand new giant Christmas lights that we brought home yesterday that are already broken.  That's right one of them had a little run-in with a soccer ball.

It's just an accident ---- sheesh!  You need to work on your patience!!


My baby has discovered the trash ...
I know you're wondering what I'm complaining about.  It is so useful when they are able to discard their own stinkiness; however, he doesn't quite know the rules yet.
EVERYTHING goes in the trash.  I know he's simply practicing his free-throw for his future career in the NBA but seriously this has got to end.
•  Sippy cups go in signalling "I'm done"
•  Toys go in meaning "these are sub-par mother,  please go acquire me something meaningful"
Anyway, it is this new discovery that has me siting here tonight staring at a single brown penny loafer wondering where it's match is.... My guess:  Timbuktu
** Trash day was yesterday**
He also has been fascinated with the appliance cupboard in the kitchen lately, more specifically the popcorn maker.  Tonight I discovered why --- it is full of tiny "balls" (the kids, not I, fail to empty the unpopped kernals).  These balls are the perfect pair with the hole near the latch on the dishwasher when opened.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sneak Peak

All 4 of my girls are in a "Whoville Christmas this year."  Last night two of them got to perform bits of it for "A Swiss Christmas".  Check out their cute "Who" hair.  I'll post a video after their real performance.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Merry Christmas


This is going to be mostly pictures.  After we survived the great Blizzard of 2010 (if you live here you'll know what I'm talking about ;) ) we headed down to my parents to enjoy spending time with family.  We especially loved having my brother's family up from Texas.

Good Times!

 A little pre-meal nap!  They hadn't even eaten yet...

 Caleb was sick most of the time.... his eyes say it all.
 Jake spent most of his time out side so his glasses were fogged over when he came back in.  haha

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow Day!

We had our first significant snow storm of the season this weekend, so we decided to go sledding in our yard for Family Night.
  We realized that we didn't have any snow clothes for Caleb yet so he had to wear pink. 

It was so funny because he couldn't stand up.  He was so bundled he kept tipping over!

I love seeing the cute hats out ... especially the beautiful ones made with love from Aunt Krista!

The kids all had fun even though it was FREEZING!  Caleb isn't so sure of the snow but when I brought him in he wanted to be back out.

Danny is a great big brother!  He made sure to build a jump on the sled run for everyone.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy 14th!!!

My oldest just turned 14 yesterday!  The time flies by so quickly.

         (yes I know there are only 8 candles on the cake)

We got lucky with this one.  He is such a great kid and is making great decisions.  We are so proud of him.  Friday we took him out to eat at Five Guys.  He has a thing for Baconators (as he calls them).  Then he picked up a pair of jumping stilts.  Don't ask!  Just know that I was against them but was talked into them because he has been saving money for over a year.

#1 Rule:  Thou shalt not use jumping stilts unless your dad is home so that I don't have to take you to the ER.

#2 Rule:  Thou shalt not attempt flips on said stilts (thank you Uncle David)

#3 Rule:  (just added)  Thou shalt not attempt to jump down stairs lest you crash and scratch up your back

We had a brunch Saturday morning to celebrate his birthday and had his two best friends over and then spent the afternoon and evening visiting with family that are starting to arrive in town for the Thanksgiving holiday.

We really Love our family!!

Today Danny was ordained to the office of Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood.  We are so proud of him for the choices he's making and that he is worthy of this great responsibility.  And he looked very handsome! 


This summer we took a major ROAD TRIP and while visiting my brother in Independence, MO we attended a church meeting in a poorer area.  All of the boys were wearing suits while passing the sacrament.  They looked so great.  I thought it would be great if our Deacons would wear a suit to pass the sacrament.  Anyway I asked Danny if he would wear one were I to get him one and he said sure.  We just barely got around to shopping for one and he's worn it the last two Sundays.


Anyway, back to the ordaining.  I sent out an email to the family that would be in town this Sunday inviting them but not obligating them to come to his ordination.  A lot of them responded that they would be able to come.

Then yesterday we realized that a major snowstorm would be hitting our area on Sunday so I told Danny that most likely no one would be able to make it.   As predicted we woke up to a good 6 inches of snow and it continued to fall.  I was sitting in the lobby with the noise maker the last hour of church and noticed the snow had lightened up a bit so I thought well maybe we will get someone.  Then about 30 min. prior to the ordination the snow was REALLY coming down so I resigned myself to the fact that nobody would be able to make it up the canyon.

About 5 min. to the hour my brother came in with a couple of his kids.  I was so surprised and told him no one was coming because of the storm.  He wasn't sure what everyone was doing but they all started arriving one by one until we filled up a room.  It really meant a lot to us that so many would brave the treacherous road conditions to be there for Danny.  As our Bishop said "a righteous family tradition".

**  they didn't realize we had so much snow - it was clear on their side of the canyon **

Thursday, November 18, 2010

YW in Excellence

Amber had her first YW in excellence this week.  She didn't have anything that she had recently done so she came home after school and painted the picture of the First Vision.  I am amazed at her natural artistic abilities.  She took two weeks of art classes this summer and is in art this year in school but that is the extent of her training.  She is amazing!

Jacob's writing

Jake has discovered the Thesaurus this year. He is an excellent writer. He uses a few too many adjectives and some run-ons, but he is only in fifth grade so he has some time to figure it out.

His class is putting together a Thanksgiving book and this is Jacob's entry:

As the glistening snow gently drifts down upon the glistering, and radiant colors of the awe-inspiring Autumn forest, I amble aimlessly, for I could never allow myself to wake from this amazing trance in the beautiful land of the Autumn forest! As I watch the delicate, but lovely snowflakes gently drift as softly, and gently as an agile feather, despite the sound of my frigid teeth chattering away I have no qualms of staying in the ferociously, amazing Autumn forest. The idea of giving cordial thanks to the pilgrims who brought my mother hear from England encroached upon my mind. I snap awake to the sound of my obsolete shutters slamming shut, and open over, and over. Man I'm glad I awoke or I might have gotten frostbite. I got up, and shut the window then jumped into the bed and drifted off to sleep.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Life as "I" know it....

Here are just a few of the things that have caught my attention lately...

You're NOT as helpful as you think you are.

I know it may feel helpful in your one year old mind to help me unload the dishes but it doesn't feel very helpful when I am trying to LOAD the dishes.

Without fail the baby LOVES to come over and mess with the dishes and has developed a fascination with the knives (I know yikes, right?). I always escort him as far away as possible or strap him in his highchair but yesterday his big brother let him help unload the silverware and continually praised his one year old efforts. (I know that is cute!) Anyway, I found it funny this morning when I went to load the dishes after the masses had eaten and run off to school; not only did the baby come to help but he RAN and eagerly. It was very cute! He was extra excited to be a big helper and do a chore. Like I said, too bad I was loading so he had to be strapped into the highchair...

I'm glad Webster's is around but wonder if it was the best source for this....  & as a MOM we must always be ready

Sooooo .... a couple of nights ago my 10 year old son mentioned that he was reading the newspaper earlier [another story all together] and was very disturbed by what he was reading about Elizabeth Smart and Emmanuel (David Brian Mitchell).

Knowing the things that were most likely in the article, I tried to casually ask a few questions to find out exactly what he was thinking. Oh and I shewed the little ones away. So to the best of my recollection, here is how the conversation went...

ME: "What kind of things disturbed you?"
HIM: "Oh some of the things he made her do.."

ME: "Like what?"
HIM: "well he raped her and uh yeah"

ME: "Do you know what raped means?" (We hadn't had "THE TALK" w/ him yet)
HIM: "yeah"

ME: "Oh really?!? How?"
HIM: "I looked it up in the dictionary"

(Wondering what Webster may have taught him)

ME: "And?"
HIM: "It's about sexually and yeah"

ME: "Do you know what sex is?"
HIM: "(shrug)"

ME: "Do you know how babies are made?"
HIM: "I know it has something to do with X and Y chromosomes" (typical smarty pants scientific reasoning)

At this point I figured it was time, and so I had to explain a few things to him to which he replied...

HIM: "That sounds really weird" Hopefully he'll keep thinking that way for awhile.

We did something stupid but I'm still excited!

Our microwave broke last week. I was boiling noodles (which I always do with the lid off) so there was a lot of steam coming from the stove to the microwave but I also had to microwave something at the same time. I've done this a million times but that day the microwave POPPED!!

We began our quest to find a new microwave. We wanted to find a deal which we did but the microwave wasn't available the end of the month so we left to look elsewhere. A few days later my husband found one and for even less but it was about an hour away so he bought it and we waited a couple of days until we'd be heading that way to pick it up.

Anyway, a few days passed and we headed to the Home Depot location to pick up the microwave and buy a couple of hula hoes and leave. It didn't quite happen this way...

As we walked in we noticed a pair of LG front loading steam washing/ drying machines on sale (while supply lasts of course). I headed to garden and my hubby headed to appliances to pick up the previously purchased microwave where I would meet him.

When I made my way to the appliance section, I found myself being talked into (by my husband which is very unusual - it usually goes the other way) purchasing a new washer/dryer. I have been eyeing this set for years and building my dream laundry room in my mind for just as long so it didn't take a lot of convincing. In fact he then had to talk me out of purchasing two sets (part of my grand design). So today I find myself trying to get as much laundry done so we can remove the old set, take down a shelf (we are stacking them so we can fit two sets ... eventually), and remove a window sill in preparation for a delivery tomorrow.

Did I mention we HAVE to buy a new car?  Our old one blew and the one we borrowed too? ...... Here's where the stupid part comes from......

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Halloween is one of my favorites!  I admit I complain about having to get all the costumes together but always love the finished results!

Last week was especially busy and seemed to get the best of me but somehow we pulled through and got everything done ... well, except for my house.  I swear Halloween Night a bomb must have exploded because there was stuff on every floor of the house.  I made them clean it all up Sunday and they kept saying, "Sunday is a day of rest mom!" (In long drawn out voices -- haha)

Thursday the day started out getting Katie ready for her preschool Halloween party.  She decided to wear her sister's ladybug costume that day because she had some serious ladybug envy that she needed to get out.

At the end of the class the parents came to watch them show off their costumes and mad musical skills.

A couple hours later we had Jacob's Wax Museum Report to get to.  This turned out really great despite my grumbling at all the projects in this class.  He has more homework than all of my kids combined but that's another story.
We're proud of him -- he did an excellent job!

We then headed over to the elementary school to catch Savannah's 1st Grade Halloween Program. She was so excited to sing for all of us.

Between all of these things I'm busy cutting tulle to make skirts to go with all my girl's costumes. With Thursday over it was time to get ready for Friday and Savannah's Halloween party at school. I forgot to take any pictures but it turned out good. We did centers so I brought the rootbeer brew and a couple of games.

Now to Halloween --

It Utah everyone went trick-or-treating on Saturday so as to observe the Sabbath.  We went to the trunk or treat at church and then headed to my mom's to trick or treat with cousins and enjoy spending time with family.  We missed them last Halloween so it was nice to be there.

Danny was Malfoy from Harry Potter but was often confused for a vampire --- either works.  The white make-up was supposed to just make him look pale but it does it doesn't look quite right in this lighting.  Haha

Amber was a ladybug this year and a pretty cute one at that.  I especially liked how her antenna turned out.

Jacob was a wight - creature despised by man.
He spends a lot of time looking at Webster's dictionary and is writing a story about a wight so he decided to be one. Basically, it is anything scary. He did a pretty good job and played the part all night.

I had to get a close up.

Hailey was a witch. She told me that she is always a witch but so am I so it's all good! I just couldn't resist turning her gorgeous dark hair into my witch's nest with spider's and webs crawling out.

Savannah finally got to wear her ladybug costume. During the day I used Halloween as a bride to get the kids to really clean their rooms...
Hailey found an old dance costume which went perfect with the skirt and wings. I should have take a picture of the back. It is red and black stripes. So cute!

Katie was a beautiful bride! She wore the dress-up Grammie got for her birthday and I had made a veil and bouquet last year at Halloween. She make a very cute bride but the boys better wait awhile.

Caleb was a very cute dragon. He loved stomping around the house in his costume and figured out trick-or-treating pretty quick. Once he realized what everyone kept putting in his pumpkin he held on tight and wouldn't let it go!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crazy Hair Day

Today is crazy hair day at school.  The kids LOVE it and we try to think of fun new styles every year. 

When Amber was younger I styled her hair into a palm tree and for the next two years her little sister wanted that hair too.  She has informed me numerous times since that she is ALWAYS a palm tree and wants to do something different this year.

I got these ideas off of a morning show.  They turned out pretty cute.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I've walked past this note pinned to the wall near the boys room for a couple of days now & just stopped to read it.

Makes me happy...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mean Girls

Amber came home from school crying on Friday.  Junior High is such a hard time for kids.  Everybody is trying to fit in, figure out who they are, and who their friends are.  Some handle this well and others do not. 

Amber is take a class similar to what Home-EC used to be and they have been on the cooking lessons.

Anyway, they were divided up into groups of five and each student is given a role which comes with an assignment.  On Friday Amber was given the assignment of Guest which meant she only had to set the table because she had already had all of the other roles. 

Well a mean girl, told her she had to switch with her because she didn't want to do the job she was assigned.  Amber tried to protest but the girl was persistent and Amber finally caved and ended up doing most of the work with one other girl while the other three sat back and gabbed.

What made it even worse was they told her at the end of the day that the "mean girl" had licked her spoon before setting it.  Amber got mad at them and they tried to play it off as just playing around and having fun.  They also told her they washed it off but Amber was at the sink doing the dishes and they hadn't ever come over to wash anything.

Anyway, as a mom I hugged her and told her how sorry I was.  I told her that I am very good at comforting her but there is nobody that can make her laugh like her dad so we called Dan at work and he helped cheer her up.

My first instinct was to call the parent of the other girl to let them know what their daughter did but then I am not sure if that will make it worse for Amber at school.  Dan and I decided we would talk with the teacher and see how she handles the situation.  Ugh!  It is so frustrating to me that kids are mean.

I wish she would have come to me sooner because I could have helped her better but Friday was their last cooking class.  She said the girls didn't do much of anything the entire cooking series.  I told her that if something like that happens again to 1. tell the teacher 2.  tell the girl firmly NO and then do your role and sit down.  If the other chores don't get done they don't get done and we would back her up when talking to the teacher.  Any other suggestions?

I didn't stick up for myself when I was younger and I am trying to teach my kids to without teaching them to be bullies.  It is tricky.  Since they were little I've tried to teach them to find the kid that needs a friend and invite them into the group.  They haven't been perfect at this but they have done this.

At Savannah's parent-teacher conference the teacher told me that a group of girls were eating lunch in the classroom and there was another child sitting all alone.  Savannah (1st grade) left the group and went and got the other child and brought them into her group.  That makes me so proud and the teacher said it melted her heart.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Kids are funny and apparently I'm not very smart ...

Katie and a friend on the way to the school a few days ago:

Friend - "my mom can count to 100 million.  She can count so good. She can count all the numbers"

Katie - "My mom can count to .... 39"

Only a few more years and I will not be able to count my age anymore ... :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Little Things make all the difference....

I didn't want to go!!  But I did and I'm glad!

This morning I was all settled in to have a lazy Monday where I just get caught up on things around the house, when my husband came downstairs dressed for work.

Me - "What!  I thought you were working from home today."

Him - "Nope gotta go in, why?"

Me - "oh no biggie just told the girls you'd come to the school today for Books 'n Buddies"

I went into panic mode because my day was suddenly cut into 45 minute increments until late afternoon.  There goes nap time for Caleb (and me).  There goes doing much, if any,of the day after Sunday clean-up.  There goes having any reasonable block of time to get ready for the day.

I showered and rushed to do my gymnastics carpool duties -- with wet hair pulled back until  I reached my next 45 min. block.  (I was 20 minutes early by the way - my brain apparently went with my husband to work - so I could have dried my hair but oh well)

Anyway I finally get to the moment that takes me to the school for Books 'n Buddies.  I get in the car and have a flashback to last year where I arrived at the school only to find my kids wishing they could go out to recess instead of read & one of my kid's teacher had scheduled a pizza party for a few kids back in their class so he wanted to be there.  I was hoping that this year would run more smoothly because I always have the company of a couple little ones who could really benefit from a nap.

Anyway I knew my 1st grader would be excited to have us there because this was her first event but I wasn't sure about my 3rd grader.  Each grade comes in at different times so we were nicely settled in to reading when I looked up and saw my 3rd grader standing in the door.  She's clutching to her lunchbox looking around and when she saw me she lit up and said, "I knew you would come!"

That made it all worth it.  So glad I went.

Planning Ahead

I spent the evening researching the requirements needed to apply early to college for my son. 

I skipped my senior year and started college at barely 17 and it was the best decision I ever made - well besides choosing to marry the best man alive and have each of my beautiful kids.  I feel like it really helped me to grow up and I also loved it!  This morning I realized we are only a few years away from my oldest being in that position so I did a little research to see what we need to be preparing for.  I've talked to my kids about this and so far they think its a great idea too.  We'll see in a few years.

I can't believe how quickly the time goes by --- treasure every moment.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Collision Course ---

What would happen if all my world's collided together?

I miss the time when I could see my cousins at every gathering but now there are so many of us and we all have our own lives that these are few and far between.  I miss playing sardines through Grandma's house (okay given the choice today I would probably opt out of the game but I still miss it!)  Or when we were newlyweds and got to see all of my husband's cousins at every holiday gathering.  Life changes, we all get older and our priorities and focus change.

Am I the only one that wishes that I could somehow mash everyone I have ever loved into one big neighborhood?  I know it would get complicated but oh the joy of being able to see everyone I love anytime I wanted.

I visited where I grew up this summer and got to see lots of old (not old age) friends and some family and it made me want to move back to be able to see them all the time.  I had a great childhood and a lot of great people in my life.  LOVE THEM!!

I had all the in-laws at my house this summer and LOVED it. -- Yes it's tiring entertaining for two weeks when I can't get my naps in or else everything will fall apart.  Someone has to make sure things are running so we can eat and actually see the table and floors.  --  I miss family more than anything and don't like missing out on stuff.   If we're with my family and I know the other side is getting together without me it's hard.  Why can't I be in multiple places at once?  When do the superhero traits kick in?

My family, it's the greatest.  I know you are all jealous and wish mine were yours - okay, I know the beauty about family is that most everyone feels this same way and if you don't I'm sorry.  We're not perfect but we love being together. 

I have great friends in my neighborhood and in my old neighborhood.  Last month I was able to go to lunch with friends from my old neighborhood.  I was slightly nervous because we rarely talk anymore and I was afraid I might be the odd man (or woman) out because they all live near each other still.  It wasn't the case and lunch made me wish I still lived by them.  They get me (or at least pretend to) and it was so great to be able to catch up and chat as if I were still one of the group.

I know it's crazy to think that this could actually work but why couldn't it?  One big commune full of my friends and family ----- maybe because I wouldn't still love them all? 

I guess that's what memories are for ...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Farewell 1616 Canyon Oaks

My brother found out a couple of weeks ago that they were going to tear down my childhood home. I was fine with that until a different brother sent a bunch of pictures tonight and we found out they were doing to start demo tomorrow.

I will admit --- I cried a lot! I felt silly for crying but the tears started as I looked at the pictures and they just kept coming. As I type more are coming. My kids just looked at me wondering what was going on so I showed them the pictures my brother had sent.

What really set me off was seeing the gazebo in the backyard. What little girl doesn't dream of her wedding day? I did and I LOVED gazebos. I was so excited when my dad had it put in. We couldn't have an outdoor reception because it was cold in January but we did take some wedding photos in my gazebo. I know it wasn't really only for me but I've always thought of it as mine

The Family Room
The original 12!

Here's the family room with my brother's family.

The back yard.  We had a rope swing off of this tree with a trampoline under it.

Looking out the Master and into my dad's office.  My parents moved 12 years ago and these were their same curtains. Funny!

The main hall with the attic entrance.  Every time we went down the hall we ran and hit the attic pull.  Another favorite thing to do was climb the walls.  The hall was narrow enough that we would put our feet on one wall and hands on the other and make it all the way to the ceiling.  This is also the hall my mom had decked out in family photos.

My room!  One birthday 14 or 15 my mom said she'd decorate my room for my birthday.  I wanted black & white but she didn't like that idea so somehow I ended up with hot pink!!  I hated pink but did love the room once it was done.  Green walls were not included!
The Game room hall.

 This was the long hall that went from the main part of the house to the game room and at one point my bedroom. I was always scared at night because of all the windows so I would run down the hall as fast as I could!

•Haunted house in game room
•Soapy trampoline time
•Swimming & jumping off roof into pool
•Kickball in front yard
•Rope swing
•Zip line
•Telling Paul & Phillip everyone was gonna drop there drawers on the count of 3 & then Liz and I laughing when they did it
•Playing hide & seek & using attic to get to the other side of the house
•wedding pictures w/ my sweetheart in the gazebo - this one makes me the most emotional
• taking baths w/ preschool friends (in swimsuits) in my parents giant tub - it was like a swimming pool & b4 everyone had giant tubs

Childhood has come and gone.  I don't think daily about my childhood but when I do it is with fondness.  I know it wasn't the house that made the difference but wonderful parents, fabulous brothers (lots of them!) and sisters, and a foundation in Jesus Christ that made the difference.  We had the house that everyone was always at and my parents welcomed everyone. 

 I just had to throw this one out there b/c everything is bigger in Texas and that cake was pretty impressive!