Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Out With a Bang

Being the last day of November, I should come to you with a great post and wise words. Sadly, or should I say, more predictably, that is not the case. Tyler is watching snippets of Friends on the computer next to me, which is very distracting, and I should be writing our Christmas Newsletter. (Which should have been written a few weeks ago.)

So, so long and thank for all the fish. I'll be seeing you next month.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grandpa Got 'Em

Same ole drill as usual boys.

Except this time he got my baby.

I was not happy. Besides the fact that it is permanent marker on their foreheads, it smells nasty. And I can't snuggle her like usual. Luckily it washes off pretty well.

Fine Print

According to blogger rules, as long as it is not past midnight on the North American continent, it counts as being posted that day.

Therefore, since it is not midnight in California yet, we'll call it good.

It's like on Sunday. Being Mormon, we don't shop on Sunday. So when it hits midnight, can you suddenly go shopping, or do you wait until you go to sleep and that makes a new day? I am more of a mind that the day continues until you go to sleep, unless I need to buy medication for children, in which case I might break the Sunday rule anyway, but only after checking with all my neighbors first.

Enough of my craziness. We just got chatting too long with the Neilsen's tonight. We had to celebrate their good news. Baby(ies) on the way. Double woot.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Early Christmas

Now that Thanksgiving is over, there is not much to hold back the tide of Christmas that is inevitable. I am not ready yet, but as my Father-in-law pointed out, it is coming whether I am ready or not.

My shopping is half finished, I don't have any advent activities planned, and I only have a few ideas in my mind  for the girls. (This is in the hope that they can still make home-made gifts for each other.) All these things will fall into place, I am sure.

In the meantime, I should feel rather festive because I have already received a few gifts. Firstly, if you send me out on Black Friday, I AM going to buy something for myself, almost guaranteed. Don't get me wrong, I love buying gifts for others, but I also love buying things for myself. I told Tyler he didn't even need to shop for me because I took care of it for him. Let's take a quick look at exhibit A.

Yes, self-portraits are not my strong suit, but what can you do? You can kind of see the shirt I bought myself. I really like it. It is more of the baby-doll style which Tyler called 'maternity', but I don't even care. Truthfully, I will probably have a 'maternity' looking tummy for the rest of my life considering how many times it has been stretched out. It is not hemmed at the bottom which drives my Mother-in-law crazy. But I like it. It fits my personality. Also note the boots. This is the first year I have gotten boots for myself. EVER. We go to Idaho every year and my feet are always cold. This year, those boots are single-handedly keeping my entire body toasty. Yay.

The other thing you can't see in the picture is this:

I have this thing for owls recently. Not sure why. But I saw this necklace and had to have it. I like interesting necklaces because my girls love to play with them in church. Mr. Owl here seems to be a good addition, and Pearl has already taste-tested him and shown her approval.

My Sister-in-law may have noticed my owl fetish because check out this cute ornament she got me.

That alone makes me excited to decorate my tree. I guess I can get into the holiday spirit.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Seven hundred people. That is how many posts I am up to. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself, and really, who else is going to say anything around here?

I have done the Black Friday thing. I have gone and victory was had...
by the stores, that is. I got plenty of good items, but a few snuck in there that I know were not on the list. But enough of confessing my weaknesses. Let's reminisce about the days of yore. (i.e. yesterday)

My sister-in-law carried the burden of Thanksgiving this year for the first time. She did such an amazing job. I feel guilty that since I come from out of town, I am never asked to bear the onus of hosting the feast. Although I think karma caught up with me in the car yesterday. Regardless, I am secretly pleased that I am not in charge. (Although I guess that is not so secret anymore.) It is a wonderful thing to arrive, partake, and see all the work someone else has gone to in your behalf. Seriously, all those of you who showed up at someone's house yesterday, even if you brought something, be grateful.

Kathryn did an excellent job, from the food, to the decorations. The chow was great.

There were cool lights on the table. (Never seen that before.)

Drinks and desserts were plentiful.

Pearl was digging her first Thanksgiving. Have I mentioned that child can eat?

Lastly, Kathryn got these scratch cards where you could write what you were thankful for. Those were way too much fun. And such a great idea.

Kathryn, for the record, I am indeed grateful. You outdid yourself. Maybe I can bring more next year. Or maybe, one of these years, you will just have to come down my way.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What was your first clue?

June may be one of those people who gets sick while reading in a car.

The drive to Idaho is not a bad one, and considering the weather, we made excellent time. However, literally ten minutes before our destination, June pipes up from the back, "Um, I just threw up."

Those are so NOT the words you want to hear in the car. EVER. I looked back and assessed the situation. I was riding shot-gun so it was my job to move about the car and help children. I dutifully left my seat and was deciding what to do next. I thought about going for a plastic bag, but it seemed like the damage was already done. So, the next option was wet wipes.

I should have gone for the bag.

Moments later, like a fountain, June threw up two more times. Oh, I love the holidays. We had no good way to clean it up, so like good parents, we made her sit in puke while we drove the last ten minutes to Grandma's house.

She was fine for the rest of the day and enjoyed all the feasting we did. We are thinking it had something to do with the fact that she read to her sisters for almost the whole four hours. And miraculously, we only got vomit on one book. (That is amazing since I think they brought almost 15 in the car.)

I do have pictures from our Thanksgiving spectacular, but I need to get to bed. Black Friday is a tradition around here, and I need to get some sleep before we wake bright and early.

Hope your turkey day was a groovy one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HE'S Packed

...or so he says. Which means that it is only my unpackedness that is holding us up. Sheesh, don't I get any credit for helping children pack? Although, I didn't help that much this time around, and the one who needs the most help (Pearl), is also not packed yet. So maybe, he has a point.

So, I am going to go pack.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Old People

I kinda love old people. Kinda. I love them because they have lived a long time and seen so many things. They have weathered the storm and come out intact. They are kind and forgetful. Granted this doesn't cover all old people. I am thinking more of those that live in assisted living facilities.

I worked at a retirement home when I was in high school. I served dinner in their dining room and I really enjoyed myself. But it was hard to watch them get older. Some moved up to the building with more security. (For those with Alzheimer's and the like.) Others died. It was inevitable after all...they were old. It was hard to look at those people and see what I might become someday. And it was hard to see some of the employees treat the residents like a task to accomplish and not like human beings. I mean, how hard is it to cut up a grapefruit for someone? Especially someone who's hands shake? It is the little things that count.

And despite all the time I worked at a facility like that, I still get uneasy when I go to a retirement home. There is the smell, the randomness, the hesitation about knowing how to talk to older people. Some are fairly lucid and others, not so much. Which brings me to my story.

Our ward is located close to a Retirement Living Center. Each ward in the Stake helps out with their church meetings once a year. Our ward is usually scheduled in November. Anyway, the kidlets and I had the opportunity to go and participate today. It seems the senior's are usually very happy to see children and especially babies. Pearl put on her biggest smiles and made friends immediately. We sat next to a very nice woman who exclaimed over her again and again. At one point she said, (talking to Pearl)

"Aren't you precious honey? You have big smiles, don't you honey?"

I was thinking that she might like to know Pearl's name, so I said in an enunciated voice, "Her name is Pearl."

Immediately the woman responded, "Well, when I called her honey, I didn't think that was really her name. I was just thinking how sweet she was."

I felt so rude. Did she really think I was correcting what she called my child? I tried to explain myself, but I'm not sure if she followed.

As the meeting progressed, she slumped over in her seat and slept. This didn't bother me in the least. I would probably fall asleep in church too if I didn't have children. I was kept busy watching Daisy, trying to keep her in the seat next to me, and balancing wiggly Pearl on my lap.

Suddenly the kind lady next to me was awake again and exclaiming over Pearl. I thought this odd for a moment, but upon noting the fistful of silver hair Pearl clenched in her fist, it didn't take me long to figure out what had happened. Pearl is fascinated by hair recently and apparently I let her get too close to the nodding white noggin and Pearl took her opportunity. I felt terrible, but I think Pearl's ear to ear grin and giggles made up for the pain in the woman's scalp.

All in all, it was a good trip. It has been too long since I have been to see the Grandma's and Grandpa's, as Ivory called them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkish Delight

Making our thankful turkeys is one of my favorite traditions. You can see some of the others here and here. I only had four to put up this year, but each year we get another. It is like watching a little family of gobblers grow. I keep imagining a whole wall filled with these turkeys twenty years from now.

I did steal the hand idea from June's school turkey this year. I thought it would be so cute with Pearl's tiny hand. Plus, it was really fun for the girls to find their own hand and compare the sizes. Daisy in particular loved finding everybody's hand.

Seriously, it is never too late to start this tradition. Do it.

p.s. If you are worried that you have no artistic talent, you are missing the point. The weirder the turkeys, the more fun it will be to look back at them and laugh. Already, our turkey from 2008 lost one of his googly eyes right before we laminated him, making him the famous one-eyed turkey.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The King's Highway

There is a fine line, when helping a child, between having them do it, and doing it yourself. When June brings home her book report projects, I admit that I get an idea in mind (after she chooses the book). I try to get her to help as much as possible, but in the end, I often feel that she is creating the picture I have in my mind. Perhaps I shouldn't help at all and see what she comes up with. After all, she is very creative.

Anyway, the book this time around needed to have an interesting setting. (To create a diorama.) I helped June find a good book, because it is hard for children to envision a book with a good setting. We chose The King's Highway.

Many of you may not have heard of this book. I picked it up one year at Deseret Book. It was on sale, and I am kind of a sucker for children's books. I hadn't ever seen it before but after reading it, I was pleased with my purchase. It is a simple story wherein a king has no successor. He asks people to travel his highway and the one who does this task the best will become king. Wealthy men and knights come out decked in their finery to travel the highway. A young shepherd boy, Michael, watches these men and follows to see who will be chosen.

Along the way, they come to a bridge covered in rubble.

The wealthy men and travelers are put off by this mess in their way. Michael quickly goes to work clearing a path so these men of prestige can pass through. When the path is cleared enough, the travelers continue, but Michael remains to finish the job. At the bottom of the pile of rubble, Michael finds a ring with the King's crest. He would send it to the castle, but no one is left to carry it so he takes it himself.

Upon arriving at the castle, he tells the King he has found his majesty's ring. The King replies that it is not his ring, it belongs to Michael, the one who helped clear the trail for others, and who was therefore the best traveler on the highway.

We had fun creating the King's highway. I particularly like our sucker trees and gumball bushes.

It is fun to create with a child. But I also look forward to the days when my vision doesn't cloud hers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

And I'm Not Talking About the Coins in Your Purse

I need change. I don't think I look forward to moving, or Tyler changing jobs, or illness that comes, but I do desire a certain amount of adjustment in the daily grind. Hence, why I decorate for almost every holiday. Also why I am constantly looking at a space and reorganizing it. I move furniture around, buy new clothes, cut my hair, and try new recipes. Most of the time, I am very happy with the diversification, but once in a while, something does not shift in the right direction. Mostly that means that I just need to try again. And happily this post is not about a failed transformation. In fact, I am rather pleased with Heidi. Sassy, ain't she?

My ribbon drawer has been suffering for quite a while. Too many ribbons, not enough motivation to actually put them in the girls' hair. And when you want to find one, you have to dig and dig and hope you find one that is not fraying. Well, no more. I don't actually think I will use ribbons more than I used to, but it adds a little flair to my laundry room, and I have a whole drawer upstairs for the taking. I am not even sure what to do with it yet.

Please don't think that I thought of this all on my own. Almost all my creative genius started in someone else's mind. I love this one even more, but I don't think she would fit above my laundry room shelf.

 I am a tad jealous that the picture is obviously taken during the day. Have I mentioned my snobbery about taking pictures at night. I really don't like to do it, and that doesn't bode well in the winter. I will just have to get over my stubbornness. Apparently I need a little change in that area.

Friday, November 19, 2010

You Knew This Was Inevitable Right?

So there had to be some lame posts in November. After all, we all have lives, or why would we be writing about them in the first place.

So after a long meeting tonight, I am going to go watch Ironman 2 with the hubby. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Middle Child

Thanksgiving that is. Sometimes I feel sorry for poor Thanksgiving crammed between those commercialized holidays of Halloween and Christmas. Not that they don't promote shopping for Thanksgiving as well. There is always the feast to prepare, and don't forget black friday. Anyway, back to the current rant.

I feel that after the costumes and sugar highs, you need a week or so to get back to normal, and then suddenly, you are making pumpkin pie cheesecake and visiting the family. I love traditions, but it seems we don't get enough thank yous in before everybody reverts to 'greedy-me' at Christmas time.

I need to think of some activities that we can do throughout the month. It helps that the kids keep bringing home cute Thanksgiving projects. Ivory's turkey:

Robyn's Indian Corn:

June's turkey: (His body is the outline of her feet, and his wings are her hands.)

Even Daisy got in the spirit, sampling some cranberries while I made cranberry orange bread. She didn't seem to mind that they were tart.

I am thankful every day for my family, but it is nice to have extra moments to focus on them. If you have any traditions that you can't do without, I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Green Laser

Tyler loves the stars and is constantly buying gadgets to help him get a better look. It started with the telescope bought for himself June. Then he got some nice binoculars and those are actually pretty good for finding stars. Now, he got himself a green laser that shines up to the heavens to point out constellations or specific stars. It is pretty cool, and like every new toy, Tyler has played with it a lot.  I will be making dinner and suddenly something next to me turns green, or Tyler will shine it next to Pearl hoping she will grab at the light. (I will probably need to go around and apologize to our neighbors; Tyler likes to shine it in their windows hoping to confuse them.)

He did find one use that I enjoy, and of course it involves a camera. Night writing. I just made that phrase up, but I am sure it will catch on. Here is Tyler practicing. If you look closely, you can almost make out the word Tyler amongst the scribbles.

June took a shot at it. Not bad for a first attempt. It is not as easy as it looks.

I however was a pro from the get go. Check this out.

 And then of course my tribute to Pearl because I was once again holding her in a dark room. As before, she didn't seem to mind since she was with me. She is such a momma's girl. (I love it.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Party Games

I am the queen of leaving things behind and then never coming back to them. However, I did promise myself that I would finish up my Halloween Party post. I think I am just going to add the pictures. I am plenty wordy usually, but most of these speak for themselves. Camille ended up being our big winner, although it was a fierce competition.

If you have any questions, you are of course, welcome to ask. They were all Minute to Win It games.