Monday, April 26, 2010

The Blessed One

Tyler was generous and didn't change her name at the last minute. I worry about 10% that he might just up and name her something else while he is blessing her.

We always have a small circle including just family. Grandpa and older brother Kolby.

And younger brother JR.

All very cool men. Pearl was lucky to be in such competent hands. We missed you Grandpa Dargan.

She was also in the longest dress known to babykind. Here is the woman who made it. (And also took it away before I could get any good pictures...oops.)

But there are some back here when we blessed Daisy if you want to check them out.

It was great to have family here. I love when the cousins come to visit. I even seem to have some competition (Kaysen is 11 and was taking photos for Grandma).

Pearl is all official now and it has been official for some time that I love her bunches.

She is starting to give me big smiles. Daddy is jealous. You readers will have to wait for the smiles because instead of running for the camera, I am just enjoying them right now.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Power of Music

I know I promised the blessing story, and I do have all the pictures ready, but something else happened tonight that I wanted to blog about.

But let's go back in time for a minute.

Growing up, my mother used to sing to me. Her voice is not professional by any means, but it is certainly pleasant. I loved listening to her sing (did you know that Mom?) She sang old songs like Lemon Tree and Where Have All the Flowers Gone and Rickety Tickety Tin ( probably shouldn't have sang that one but I liked it anyway). I told myself when I grew up I would sing to my kids too.

And I do, but not often. I actually sing quite a bit but most of it is made-up snippets, not real songs. Sometimes I sing instead of yelling (It helps me calm down and it sometimes makes my kids laugh to hear me sing threats). I always forget to sing the real songs, or even the fun kiddy ones.

Then along came Daisy. I decided to sing to her one day and she fell asleep as I sang to her. It was like a miracle. And it restored my faith because I figured it was an old wives tale that you could sing kids to sleep (singing did diddly squat with my other kids). So every so often I would sing Daisy to sleep and love the fact that she seemed to enjoy it. Hearing me sing, Ivory would sometimes request a song; and I would sing to her too.

Fast forward to tonight. Tyler left to go home teaching, which left me with all five kids to put to bed. I won't lie and tell you that it goes smoothly every time. Tonight it felt more relaxed. I knew it was getting late but the sun was still up, so we were going slowly. Ivory was in bed, Robyn was in bed (they share the bunk bed). I was holding Pearl in the swinging chair, and Daisy crawled up next to me to snuggle and swing. (I think June was downstairs, but I know she was listening.) I asked if they wanted me to sing a song, and each made a request. So I sat and sang and swung. Pearl went to sleep, Daisy warbled next to me at times. Robyn finally dozed off and Ivory was not far behind. It was perfect. I put Pearl in bed and went to tuck Daisy in. She is adorable at the moment. She loves prayers and loves to repeat the words I say. Afterward, she wanted to give me hugs. She reached her little arms around me, said 'hugs' and I breathed in her lovely freshly bathed toddler scent. I closed my eyes and just thought, "Thank you Heavenly Father for letting me be a mother."

Not all nights are so glorious, but you live for those moments when heaven is not far away; it is right in your home.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baby Pear

After Pearl was born, I looked on June's calendar and she had written in Pearl's birthday. Except she had forgotten the 'L', so it just said, "Pear's B-day". Pretty cute.

Baby Pear is doing pretty well. I keep taking pictures of her, but most of them don't make it here. So I thought I would post some today so you could remember that I have a baby.

Her sleeping schedule is not the best. Most nights she falls asleep between 8 and 10 and then wakes up around 1 and 5. That isn't too bad, although it is wearing on me just a bit. The really hard part is that her daily naps only happen every OTHER day. So one day she takes great naps and I get a lot done. The next; I hold her all day because every time I put her down, she is awake again. And naturally she is cranky on those days because she isn't getting enough sleep.

Today is a sleeping day. Thank goodness.

I've noticed that many of my pictures are of her sleeping, but that is probably because I am holding her when she is awake.

Not always though...right after I feed her, she is usually pretty happy for a while. And she really is a good baby, I don't want people to think she is giving me too much trouble.

Ivory might love her the most. She is constantly leaning over and talking to her, trying to change her clothes and bringing her to me when I haven't asked. (Which is always since I don't feel she is old enough to be toting Pearl around.) The other day, Pearl was downstairs and Tyler mentioned that she was starting to fuss. I thought he was going to pick her up, but instead he went in to take a bath. I told myself that I would go grab her in a minute, but before I could get up, here comes Ivory with Pearl. She was lugging her like she could barely hold her and I realized that she had brought her up the stairs (the STEEP 13 stairs—Yikes!)

All in all, we are loving our newest addition. Stay tuned for...the blessing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Forget and Forgive

My mother made this raspberry cake of goodness and light while she visited. (I ate most of it by myself.) She then left me with all the ingredients to make another and I have been holding off until it was my turn for treat on FHE night. (I have to wait six weeks at a time before it is my turn, although Daisy doesn't have much to say when it is her turn so sometimes I just make what I want that week as well.) I totally spaced making the cake yesterday so I postponed FHE to Tuesday just so we could have the cake.

I made the cake while everyone napped today and they were all waking up about the time the cake was finishing. I thought we should go for a walk because it was so nice outside and as I got the kids ready to go (in strollers, etc.) I told myself that I must not forget to take the cake out before we left.

I forgot.

We walked to a friends house, came back to find June who had wandered off, strolled through the neighborhood, reached the other side (about 4 blocks away) when I finally remembered the cake. I was panicked. The cake was pretty much done BEFORE we left and we had been gone for a good half an hour. I prevailed upon Sunny, a neighbor, to use her phone to call my next-door neighbor to see if she might go into my house and take my blackened cake out of the oven since I figured that would be faster than my trying to run home with stroller and kids on bikes. (That was a great run-on sentence, by the way.)

Naturally my neighbor didn't answer. (She was outside after all, which is why I knew she was home.)

So Sunny was awesome enough to offer to drive to my house and rescue my cake. Seriously, what a great friend. She said the cake still smelled good when she took it out and I tried not to lose hope. After all, my oven isn't as hot as others and I often have to cook things longer anyway. When we reached home, I looked at the cake and noticed the edges were burnt just a tad, but other than that it looked salvageable. Then I tested it just to make sure.

It was still delicious.

Tyler came and sampled and between the two of us, we sampled about half the cake before dinner started. Then after all had partaken, I helped myself to a few more pieces. (I can't figure out why this baby weight isn't just melting off of me.) I may have to call it the forgiveness cake after all it went through. So here is the recipe if any of you want to try it. If you don't like it, you are welcome to bring it to my house. After all, I know I can finish it off.


4 cups miniature marshmallows

1 white cake mix

1 3 oz. box raspberry jello

1 box fresh raspberries or 1 16 oz. carton frozen raspberries, partially thawed

2/3 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9” x 13” pan. Sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the bottom

Mix the cake according to the package directions and spread evenly over the marshmallows. Sprinkle on the dry jello. Spoon the raspberries over the jello. Drizzle the water over the top. Do not mix!

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before cutting. If desired, top with a dab of whipped cream or nondairy topping and add a raspberry for color. Makes 12 normal servings or 1 Maleen sized serving.

p.s. I would have included a picture but by now all that is left is the burnt edges and they don't look too appetizing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

How Can You Choose Just One?

Um...I can't.

I took Ivory out for her four year old pictures this weekend. (About time since her birthday was in Feb.) We had so much fun and the girl is so stinking photogenic that I am having a hard time deciding on ONE photo for my wall. I thought I would give you a sampling of some of my favorites and then I can keep them in the blog book for posterity. Some I wouldn't put on the wall, but they make me smile.

Then there is the problem sometimes that I can't decide between the soft/serious look and the smiley look. These following two show that dilemma.

I even adore this silly one where all you can see is her eye.

With June I made the mistake of taking most of the shots landscape instead of portrait and I need a portrait pose for my wall. So this time I did almost all my shots sideways. This one I took landscape because it worked better for the picture and it ended up being one of my most favorites. Too bad it can't go on the wall.

Hope you enjoyed. I sure love my camera. Best purchase. Ever.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dolittle Do Late

As a fellow resident of the planet, I share a certain affinity for other members of this ecosphere we call earth, usually. For the most part the only things I don't like are cats (I had an unfortunate run in with a rogue feral cat turned assassin in a botched hit on me) and democrats.

So, when an injured bird mistook my back patio for a veterinary hospital, I took pity on the poor creature. It appeared to have an injury to its miniature bird pelvis, but I did not know the extent of its injury. I asked Maleen if I should take care of it. She and I agreed that one of the last things I want to have happen is to have a bird greet me after I've left this life and ask me why I offed it without trying to save it. The course of action decided then, I attempted to repair this feathered beast.

This is "Griffin." Or, more appropriately, was. You see I was Dolittle Do Late. He gave a rather weak attempt at surviving. As it turns out I should have offed the bird when I found him. Now I expect the post-mortal conversation to go something like this:
Griffin: So you're the guy that let me suffer and die in that cardboard coffin?
Me: Yup.
Griffin: You know I spent my last hours alone and in pain?
Me: Do you want me to kill you now? I know a good cat...
Oh well, I tried.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Easter Pictures

I say pictures because that is mainly what this post contains. I love watching kids enjoy a good egg hunt. I think I hunted for eggs well into my teenage years and my Dad joined us last year. You are never too old to find eggs. So here are some pictures as we hunted.

We sent people out in shifts this year, youngest first with a minute between each successive person. I think it worked pretty well and allowed us a moment to focus on each child.

Look how bored these two are waiting for their turn.

Don't worry, there was still plenty for Tim to find by the time he went out.

Daisy didn't actually collect all that many eggs because she was busy doing this.

Pearl was indifferent about the whole thing.

Robyn was our big winner, finding the fiver this year.

Mom and Tim, it was great having you here. Thanks again for entertaining my children during spring break. It would have been a REALLY long week if you hadn't been here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Le Crack-Off

Ivory paused for a photo shoot during the crack-off

For the record, I went back and read some old posts and it snowed during Spring Break last year. So really Utah, we should just plan on it and get out the sleds.

Okay, down to business, and I mean serious business. The Crack-Off is no light matter in my family. The actual cracking part is not too anticipated, but the decorating gets very competitive. I know my family loves me, but I am pretty sure they visit around Easter time just to compete in the egg decorating. And why shouldn't they? They are all very creative.

This was the first year that we had a family Crack-Off as well as our neighborhood competition. The kids are old enough that we thought they would have fun. In other years we were worried about hurt feelings if eggs were cracked but this year we figured out that allowing the kids to eat the cracked eggs made it all better. Robyn's egg was the first cracked and so naturally the first devoured.

Tim's pumpkin egg didn't make the cut.

Here is June and Mom cracking-off. My Cheetah egg took out her ocean egg.

Amazingly our winner was Daisy. She got into the action too. She would push her egg out into the middle with a little help and after she won the first round, she was so thrilled that she picked her egg up and threw it across the room. And that is why we make more than one egg. Her second egg still blew away the competition (meaning Dad). Here she is with her winner daisy egg.

I like that you can still see the marker on her forehead. (Yes, she still manages to draw on herself or the wall almost daily.)

Later the same evening, we had the adult Crack-Off. This is our only picture because Tyler and I were holding Pearl most of the evening.

But you get the idea. Brian was our returning champion and he made it to the final round only to lose to Bro. Hawkes (also a champion from a previous year).

I failed to take pictures of eggs that evening (still blaming Pearl), but I did get a shot of some of them the next day. Take a minute to look and chose your favorite.

My mom won with a landslide vote for Watermeggan. That is the watermelon egg, but we always give them names. Second place was the Valentine Egg (also hers). I think you can pick that one out. Third was 24601, Tyler's Les Mis egg and also The Striped Avenger ( Hawkes egg not pictured). Fourth place went to Tim's Ocean of the Night (that bluey egg) and another egg not pictured. This was Tim's first year placing and he was pretty proud. Fifth place was the Tyler's Pink Panther Egg. Which is your favorite?

Dad, you were sorely missed. Your eggs are always so interesting and we missed your smile around here. Hopefully you can make it next year. Oh, and Happy Anniversary!

Taken last September