Monday, March 31, 2008

Note to Self

Roll up car windows when weather forecast calls for snow.

p.s. This should actually be a note to Tyler and not to self, but I shouldn't pick on him because he lets me have the spot in the garage so my car DOESN'T look like this in the mornings.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hunt for Sugar Highs

Easter was great this year for the kids. We never miss the Vineyard hunt in the morning, mainly because I like the free donuts and chocolate milk afterwards (mom's like Easter too!) I have plenty of pictures of Ivory, because I followed her around the area for smaller kids. Robyn had graduated to the large field with June, and Dad took them because he can run faster (or at least bend over more easily to help out). Although as parents we were given strict instructions not to pick up eggs for our children (apparently parents have a problem letting the kids hunt). They should really have an adult hunt some year and I would love to sit back and watch some of these parents slug it out. I've heard the hunt up at Gardner's Village is as close as you get, with women fighting over eggs that have potential coupons. It still might be fun to watch.
Here are the older girls getting ready to hunt.

Here is Ivory with her game face on.

She really liked the pixie sticks and she would go from one to the next until she had a whole handful.

I like this picture, just because she is really working for the candy.

Heaven knows they all had a full basketful (I was suddenly wishing we had gone to a bigger hunt where you only have a chance at about 4-6 eggs max).
Then my favorite part...the donuts. They usually have a fairly good variety. We chose a spot in the sun because it was still a bit chilly (after all, it is still March).

I watch every year to see which kid will spill their drink. There is a lip on the table that is cleverly disguised by the table cloth, so some poor unsuspecting kid tips her cup every year. And the winner was Ivory. Even watching for it, I was still unable to stop the inevitable. Too bad they don't actually have absorbent napkins there. But once again, I shan't complain because I moved the camera just in time and no real damage was done.

We came home and had our family hunt shortly after. Mainly I was excited to hide the eggs and the girls were ready for more searching. I was pretty cheap, only putting two jelly beans in each egg, because by this point I figured the sugar would last for weeks. There were a few key prizes, such as cadbury eggs and chocolate bunnies, but the goal of this hunt was to make you feel you had done well. And everyone came away with a full basket. Here are some pics.

I think they had a good time. And then I am such a great mom that I made them empty all their jelly beans into one bowl so we could share them later. My kids must think I am the candy Nazi (they are right).

Next year, I think I may put money in the eggs (then they can buy their own candy). But it was a happy Easter overall. We usually have a family hunt for our chocolate bunny, but we skipped that this year (I still HAVE the bunny, but it may be my job to eat it all by myself).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Eggstravaganza

Where to begin? Now that you are all thoroughly done reading about Easter activities, I am finally getting around to posting mine. I was waiting for some pictures, or I would have gotten it all out of my system last Sunday. So, if you can stand some more holiday reminiscing, read on...

A few years ago, we adopted the crack-off as our signature event. It is ridiculously fun and we have incorporated it wherever we can. Tyler even arranged a work crack-off. The first year was sparsely attended but more people get involved every year. I didn't bring a camera (don't look so shocked), but we all had a great time. Perhaps my favorite throw of all time was done by Genevieve. She had never participated before (so she didn't know quite what to expect) and I have never seen an egg explode like hers. I thought there was NO WAY that either egg could come out intact, but sure enough, one egg came away unscathed. It wasn't Genevieve's unfortunately. No, her egg lay there, oozing liquid (which is impressive coming from a hard-boiled egg). The rest of the competition was tame after that. Ron (who I don't know well) took the win and was quite surprised. But in this game, you never can tell. I haven't found a good strategy yet, so I still chalk it all up to luck.

Then in the evening, we had our family crack-off which really consists of friends until we feel the girls are ready to have their eggs break (we don't think this is the year yet). We had some excellent entries in the decoration category. Everyone thinks so differently when it comes to decorating eggs, and I love the variety.

Hands down, Heather Ure took the prize though. I have never seen an egg come in costume, but I loved it. Here is Mr. Sp'egg'tacle.

After the judging, it was a mad smashing affair. The eggs certainly don't last long. Here is Keri facing off with Darin.

She looks confident, but it was not to be. Darin ended up as our grand champion with his egg 'The King.'

Afterwards, we played a little Mafia and then settled into Curses. With the right people, this game is freaking hilarious and we had a good crowd. The curses were piled on top of each other until it got a bit crazy. I think this is Keri trying to hold her nose, keep her elbows straight, swat mosquitos, and perhaps cackle at the same time (I honestly can't remember all the curses she had by this point).

I gave up when I got the curse to imitate everything that the person next to me was doing. Since Tyler and I were loaded to the hilt with curses, I happily threw in the towel after a few minutes.

Here are a few shots of all the couples. Please forgive weird expressions (I think John Ure was talking in French with his teeth clenched when I caught him).

It was a very fun night and we want to thank our friends who came and we missed those who couldn't attend. However, my parents are in town in a week or so, and they were sad to miss the crack-off so we may be doing it all again...stay tuned (who says you can only break eggs at Easter time?).

p.s. Pictures of cute kids and easter egg hunts coming shortly.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

By the Power of GraySkull

I would usually use my afternoons during quiet time to get a lot of my blogging done. But my girls have discovered He-Man, not to mention She-Ra on YouTube. They absolutely love them. I'm not really surprised since it was one of my favorite shows as a kid. However, I have suddenly sacrificed all my blogging time to the most powerful man in the universe. And to make matters more interesting, YouTube only shows the episodes in three parts (about 8 minutes long each) so I have to be around to click on the next part or I get screams of "MOM!!" from the girls. So I have found a new hobby. It is called athletic crosstitching. For those of you unfamiliar with this sport, it is very similar to regular crosstitching, except that you get up from your seat every 7-8 minutes. I may prefer regular crosstitching where you can sit for an hour at a time, but athletic crosstitching is probably much healthier for me. Needless to say, I have not gotten much blogging done, but hey, Kari, I am almost finished with the giraffe.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Times

I am really anal about nap time. Life pretty much revolves around it at my house. During it, older children must be quiet and sometimes I even get a nap myself. Some people may think that I am not doing my kids any favors, because they won't be able to sleep with any noise around them, but the train in our backyard pretty much takes care of that problem. However, there is one downfall--my babies usually will not sleep unless they are in their crib. I have plenty of fond memories trying to rock Ivory to sleep at church (most of the them unsuccessful).
So, I was greatly surprised when yesterday, Ivory decided to take a nap on my bed. She woke up early from her regular nap, much too early. I could tell by the crying that she was not ready to be awake and she was frustrated to be so. I took her into my room and put her on the bed with me (since I was in the middle of my nap). She cried in protest but before I knew it, she had zonked out again and slept for another hour and a half.

I rested with her but eventually got up to work on dinner. My favorite part was when June came upstairs and saw Ivory's door open (this means to the kids that Ivory is now awake and you can play with her). "Uh-oh, Ivory's awake!" June said. "Let's find her." I saw Robyn looking under pillows and small toys (as if Ivory could hide under them). They gave up eventually and went downstairs and I followed later to tell them that Ivory wasn't really awake yet. June asked later if Ivory was sleeping past quiet time. And I replied, "Quiet time is UNTIL Ivory wakes up." Yep, still anal.

Came downstairs today while Robyn was using some new markers to find that she had found a new use for them...lipstick. Who would have thunk? I think she has very good taste, choosing a very natural color, brown. Not a bad idea, I thought. Unfortunately, since they are washable markers, it came off much too easily (no 24 hour lip color here). Now, maybe if I give her the permanent markers...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An Evening with Garrison Keillor

Truthfully, not much to look at, but the man can weave a story that will leave you holding your sides. It is an amazing talent.
Tyler listens to a Prairie Home Companion most Saturdays when he can keep the kids quiet enough to hear the radio. It is a show broadcast in the old style with live musicians and plenty of stories. There are some recurring characters like Guy Noir, private eye, and recurring adds like the ones for ketchup (not sure why?), and the show is quite interesting to listen to. Garrison is famous for his Lake Woebegone Tales in which he talks about the average people who live in his hometown in Minnesota and he has written a few books about them as well.
He tours the country and the radio show will air from different locations (always on a Saturday night). He actually came to Salt Lake City not too long ago, but I was unable to attend with Tyler. But he came back on Monday for a night all to himself. No band, no guest, just an evening with Garrison.
He mostly told stories and he sang a bit. He was really quite funny, but underneath it all, he seemed very morose. Granted, his whole topic was how depressed everyone is in Minnesota because it is not spring yet (I can relate. If the sun hadn't come out today, I may have sat in a chair and done nothing all day). Other than that, it was an enjoyable evening and I got to spend it with my favorite person so no complaints on my side. If you ever have a chance to turn on the radio some Saturday night, check it out: 5-7 pm KUER-FM 90.1

Completely unrelated. My mom has been posting again (yay!) and for those of you who thought she may have died since she didn't post for over a month, that is not the case. She did have a few computer and child problems, but she is back in business. If interested, click on The Dargans on my side bar (somewhere in the middle, sorry they aren't alphabetical yet).

And lastly, I was not unhappy to see Amanda Overmeyer leave Idol tonight. I could never figure out what people liked about her voice. I am shocked it wasn't Kristi Lee Cook. But her time is coming, she can only hold it off for so long. Oh, and I guess I was also shocked that Carly Smithson was in the bottom three. What?! Sometimes I wonder about American. Then again, maybe I should actually vote sometime.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Seamus McDermott

Well, a leprechaun has moved into our house. His name is Seamus McDermott (and that is pronounced Shay-mus for all you non-Irish speakers). We left him a pot of gold last night and he left us some goodies in exchange and left his calling card saying he was happy to have found a good home.
I threw this together at the last minute, because I couldn't see St. Patrick's Day come and go without doing something, and I really didn't feel like dying all our food green this year. The girls loved it though. June has been looking for the leprechaun all day. It is so sweet. She asks me questions like,
"Is he wearing green?"
"Do leprechauns walk or fly?"
"Where would he hide his gold?"
and then I catch her looking behind her mirror and under her bed. I told her that leprechauns don't like to be found because they are scared someone would take their gold, and she said, "I wouldn't take his gold." Sweet girl. I love that she doesn't even contemplate that her parents could be doing this, instead of a leprechaun. Life must be magical when you are a kid.

Here are some pictures of us getting ready for bed and filling our pot of gold. By the way, it is Tyler's idea to always stick things to our foreheads (don't ask me why?).

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tagged, again

For some reason, I am not a big fan of tagging (no offense Kellie) but since I haven't ever done this one, I figured, what the heck...

10 years ago:
1998, I was just starting my first semester at BYU. I lived in the dorms (7th floor of U-hall, they are tearing them down now). I was dating up a storm (I would meet Tyler a year later, once I moved off campus) and I was trying not to sleep through my boring class (History of Civ--yikes, don't take that class after lunch).

5 Things To Do Today:

* Hunt down the girl scouts and buy only 2 boxes (which I will probably consume the same day).
* Get out my card table from the garage so I can make a mini fort for the kids.
* Return Fablehaven to the library, get Lightning Thief and clean part of my house before I start reading it.
* Frown at the snow just a bit
* DO NOT read blogs while my two year old is awake (I found her trapped in the bathroom yesterday. She must have had a good half hour to herself in there. When I came in, toilet paper was everywhere, her blanket was over the stool with the plunger on top, and there was soap on just about everything. I hate cleaning up soap).

3 of My Bad Habits:
* Thinking I am always right (but I usually am, so that isn't THAT bad, right?)
* Biting my nails (but I don't feel bad about it).
* Eating desserts when the kids aren't looking so I don't have to share.

Places I have lived:
Washington and Utah (oh, and Ukraine for four months)

Things Most People Don't Know About Me:
I used to have a skink as a pet. She was about as long as my arm. I wanted a snake, but my parents got me a skink instead. I really liked her, but I didn't like the smell of fresh vegetables (which she ate) wilting under the heat lamp. yuck.

Tyler had a better answer to this question, but you have to ask him if you want to know.

Um, I'm not tagging anyone, because I personally don't like being tagged, but if you feel the desire to share information about yourself, I would still love to read it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm going to staple it to my forehead.

So perhaps if I staple my camera to my forehead, I will not forget it ALL THE TIME!!
June had her Spring program in pre-school today. She was so cute singing her songs and this time she actually sang (compared to the winter program) because she wasn't feeling sick. But do I have any pictures?? NO!!
It wasn't my fault this time, but since it IS my fault at least half the time, I figure it is a family thing (I mean, who forgot all the underwear when we went swimming?). I went looking for the camera moments before I left. Couldn't find it in the usual spot, so I was hailing Tyler with, "Where's the camera? Do you have it?" He said he had the camera and we were all set to go.
So I was genuinely surprised when I said, "Where's the camera?" (at the event) and he says, "In my pocket, I think." And when he says it's not there, I assume he left it in the car, but NO!! It is on the table at home.
So, even if we had pictures you would just have to take my word that she sang very well. And she said her line perfectly. She asked me the other day where she gets her good memory. I told her she gets it from me, but what I should have said was, 'You stole it from me.' I haven't remembered anything the same way since I had her. At least she puts it to good use. Anyway, it was fun to watch her and see how big she is getting.
As for the camera problem-- Maybe I should take the same approach as I do with my lip-gloss; buy a whole bunch and stash them everywhere. A bit more pricey, but it may be my last resort.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You finish (sniff)

I am a bit emotional (we all know that). Tyler laughs at me because he can always see the tears coming. When I read a touching story, I often have a hard time finishing because my voice gets caught in my throat and the tears start to flow. There have been many a time that I have handed Tyler the book or magazine and asked him to finish a story.
So last night Tyler was reading a little story out of the Friend. It was not a long story, a few paragraphs, but I was surprised when there was a long pause and I realized that Tyler was having trouble finishing the story. He looked at me and laughed with tears in his eyes because he was surprised by his own sentimentality. He tried several times to finish the last few sentences but it didn't work and he finally handed it to me. I bravely finished the last few lines (not an easy task for me either) and we laughed and cried a bit together. June was a little confused. She wiped a tear from my cheek and said, "Stop being silly you guys."
Part of me hopes she inherits this wonderful gene for crying and part of me hopes she doesn't. But chances are good she will get it, since apparently BOTH of her parents have it :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

All in the Family

Warning: This is a long post with lots of pictures, but we had such a good time in Idaho that I wanted to write it all down and remember it. So skim, read through, or just check out pics, whatever you like.

The drive to Idaho was rather uneventful what with our youngest being two now. We left in the evening and in less than an hour Robyn and Ivory were out cold and June amused herself until she fell asleep later. Tyler and I had four hours just to talk to each other (this never happens) so it was a good trip up. Granted, we can't get the girls to stay asleep once they reach Grandma and Grandpa's. They are usually up for about an hour because they are excited to see toys, dogs, grandparents, etc. This is normally not so bad but Tyler had planned for us to go to the temple bright and early the next day. I have to admit, I wasn't as alert as I would have liked, but the Idaho Falls temple is quite beautiful. I have been to that temple a few times, but I am not very familiar with the layout of the temple. Some lady must have noticed this right away because she came over and put a sticker on me. "This sticker will let people know that you haven't been to our temple before," she said. Great, I thought, I get a dork sticker for not knowing my way around. Then again, I could just blame it on how tired I was. But it was great to go with Tyler. We usually split up and take turns, so it was nice to go with him for a change.

Then our day was planned out. The whole family was together this weekend. Tyler has two brothers and they were there with their kids. His older brother Kolby and wife Kathryn have three boys (who I didn't get any pictures of. I'm going to have to have Kathryn send me some later). And his younger brother JR and wife Amber have a girl and a boy. It was really fun to get everyone together. I like my girls to play with their cousins when they have a chance. I didn't have a single cousin growing up (I know this sounds impossible, but it is true) so I like getting together with family when we can.

Grandma knew a great little swimming place that is heated through the winter. I think it may be a natural spring of some kind made into a pool. We took the kids and they had a grand time. Grandpa stayed out of the water with our youngest member Jack and took pictures through the chain-link fence, so please forgive the lines. There was a hot water area with a smaller pool with very hot water. I would liken it to a hot tub without all the bubbles. I naturally had to stay out of that water since I'm pregnant but the girls enjoyed it, especially Ivory. She would go back and forth from the hot water to the cooler water. It certainly kept Tyler and I busy, trying to follow her around. I have to admit, having more kids can literally fry your brain as you try to watch them all at once. Here is Tyler with Ivory and June. I liked this back shot because Ivory's little braids just stick off her head so cute.

In this picture, you can catch quite a few of us if you know what you are looking for. I am holding Ivory with Tyler leaning over. Behind him is JR following Rozzlyn's little head. In the lower right is Robyn and in the upper right in Kathryn.

Here is JR and Rozzlyn.

And of course this picture needs NO explanation.

We played until we were all tuckered out and starving. Apparently they make food there too, so the pool doesn't smell of chlorine, it smells like a hamburger. So we bustled into the dressing rooms to do a quick change before getting some lunch. I decided to make the trip just a tad more interesting for our family. At Grandma's house, when I put the towels in the car, I put down our bag of clothes to change into and never picked it up again. So, we had outer clothing but no under clothing. This wasn't so bad for the girls; I found spare panties in the car because I tend to hide extra undies everywhere for them. But Tyler and I were not so lucky. I figure it is good to wear jeans every once in a while without underwear; it makes you REALLY appreciate underwear later on.

After getting the troops packed up, we went to Big Jud's, a diner of sorts. The food was delicious and the company was even better. Kathryn took a bunch of pictures, and I will try to get some later. JR tackled a Big Jud burger which is a 1 lb. burger that was about the size of his head. But that didn't stop him from finishing the whole thing. That boy is crazy (and I can say boy because he is 6 months younger than I :) We stuffed ourselves silly because that evening we started a special fast for Grandpa. He has been having some trouble with his heart. I think the doctors have diagnosed the problem and minor surgery should fix it, but the heart is never something to take lightly.

We were all able to go to church together the next day as well. Grandma and Grandpa's ward is starting to become an 'older' ward. All our children combined doubled the number in primary, and we had to keep Ivory with us because there was no nursery. That is so weird to me since we have three nursery's in our ward, and really need a fourth. But everyone is at a different stage of life. After church, we came home to break our fast and spend the afternoon together. It was really fun just hanging out, eating and watching the kids play. Life is good with family. Grandpa said having all the family together at church was the best birthday gift he could have (it was his birthday this weekend) and he decided that is what he wants every year.

We packed the kids up in the evening and headed home. It was another uneventful trip. The girls borrowed a Power Ranger movie from Grandma and watched that on the way home. Ivory gave up half way through, and I slept through a lot of it. After about two and a half hours, I turned the movie off (for sanity's sake) and the other two slumped over in the back. The only thing keeping their eyes open were the mighty morphing power rangers. What funny girls.
And so we are back. And it is warmer here than Idaho, so that was a relief.

Here are a few extra pictures. Ivory found Grandma's bouncing seat suspended from the ceiling. It is made for little kids, but Ivory tops out at a whopping 21 pounds so we let her play in it. She loved it and spun in so many circles, I couldn't watch because it was making ME dizzy.

Here is one with aunt Kat talking to her. I still love those funny braids.

And as usual, I didn't take ANY pictures. Not a one! I am such a slacker. So I stole all these from Grandma's camera before I left and I found these cute ones on there as well. Here is a great shot of Rozzlyn and then one of Jack. What cuties!

And now on a COMPLETELY UNRELATED note, I saw the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile today while I was shopping. That is one crazy vehicle. It almost reminds me of a hovercraft because the people are so high up. Anyway, just thought I would share that. I hope you all had a great weekend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Playing Ketchup...

Or is that catch-up? I'm behind on a few things I wanted to blog about, so I will just smash them all into one good post.

First: I am THAT kind of mother.

It is good to know what kind of mother you are early on.
June is just in preschool but she had a little spotlight today (in which the parent's needed to make a poster to describe their child). I am happy to say that I threw the whole thing together in about 30 minutes this morning. I think I wanted to be that mother who was prepared a week in advance and had thought through the project extensively, but since I wasn't really that way when I was in school, I can't say I was surprised by my actions. This is good to know now, before my child comes to me with a last minute diorama or state report. The good news, is that I can probably help throw something together last minute (it's what I do), but no promises on quality.

Second: No Turkey's for me.

We went bowling with the Mack's last weekend. We had a little trouble getting together so we finally went bowling bright and early at 10 o'clock on a Saturday. The bowling alley is surprising crowded on a Saturday morning (go figure). Shannan brought his own ball (which to me is a sign that this person is serious about bowling). And he pretty much whomped us in the first game. I have to give some serious props to Tyler though. Although he did not win the first game, he got a really good score (156). Now don't laugh, I think anything over 100 is not too shabby. At least, I aim to break 100 when I play. The second game, we all slowed down a bit because I won with a 131, but it is still a win, and I will still claim it. I came close to getting a turkey at one point (for those of you who don't bowl, a turkey is three strikes in a row), but I was denied by one pin in the third try. It was still a ton of fun and I try not to cry daily that the Mack's are moving soon.

Third: I had an Enchanted evening.

I know I have mentioned this before, but Tyler and I don't ever go to movies. We usually just rent from Red Box (much cheaper) and then we don't need to get a sitter. BUT, my darling husband surprised me by taking me out Tuesday evening to see Enchanted. I was so excited, because I really wanted to see it. And I wasn't disappointed. True, the ending is a bit contrived, but hey, it's a fairy tale. It's like WordGirl says, "It's my show, things roll my way." And because it was a fairy tale I was able to let go of the fact that things very conveniently fell into place at the end (did she really manage to throw a sword right through the arm of his jacket...into steel??) Still a very cute movie, and the fact that my husband took me as a surprise...even cuter.

Thank you for playing ketchup with me. We'll have to do it again soon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Aerosmith Said It Best

Pink, it's my new obsession...Pink, it's not even a question

So the verdict is in, and we do GIRLS! I am actually thrilled with the news. Well, I probably would have been thrilled either way, but I am all set for girls (as evidenced by the last post). This pregnancy was much different than my other three so I was all set for a boy, but now I am living proof that you can have a much different pregnancy and get the same result. Oh, and I am a pro on the ultrasound now. It took me about 2 seconds to deduce the gender; after all, it has looked the same these last four times. Tyler is excited as well. He may feel a bit overwhelmed but he is always up for a challenge. And if he ever dreamed of having his own harem, he is well on his way.
Here's a picture of the new little angel. I love this little profile shot of her with her hand up by her face.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Tortoise and the Hare

Many of you know the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, but today I will tell you about the Tyler and the Hair. See, Tyler is a brave man, who has given over his life to four women (granted, three of them are small right now). He doesn't mind that the house is scattered in pink, that the toilet seat is always down, and that we have the Barbie movie instead of Cars. He is probably the most patient man I know, as we slowly take over everything in the house. For instance, the hair drawer: the most dreaded place for a man to venture. "All I want is a comb!" he yells, wading through hair clips, ties, and bobby pins. I must admit that I only get the hair drawer cleaned out every six months or so (usually when I can't stand it anymore, and that is saying a lot). Hair ties seem to multiply on their own, and oddly Grandma keeps buying more hair stuff although we obviously must have a life-time supply by now. I think I may start throwing hair ties away as I take them out of the girls' hair. It might be easier to buy more than to clean out the drawer. I unfortunately did not take a BEFORE shot, but try to imagine everything in these bags strewn throughout the drawer.

I know, now you are staring in wonder at all the hair stuff I have (unless of course, you have girls and then you may have a better collection than I do). So our story goes that Tyler is the most patient man. He never complains that he can't find what he needs under the mound of girly items. He sifts through the wreckage until he finds a brush, or scours the house for where Mom was doing hair last and left the brush. And then he places said brush back into the carnage, hoping he will find it again tomorrow. What a brave man. And so, this drawer is for you.

I can't promise it will stay this way (you know us all too well), but for a few weeks, you should be able to find your deodorant. And next week, I will tackle the ribbon drawer. Then again, maybe I will just shave everyone's head next week and throw everything away. It really is tempting...