Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

Wow, my poor neglected blog is still here. I feel like I have lost all skill at blogging. I don't take pictures, I don't say funny things, I don't have any focus. I download whatever is on my camera and try to create a story that sums up my life in so many words. Even I am a little bored listening to me.


I sense a blogging goal for 2012, but that means I have another whole month of slacking. Phew.

Oddly, I am still keeping most of the family traditions in line. I just don't have time to tell you about them. Our Thankful Turkey was made.

He joined the ranks of turkeys on the wall. We are up to six now. The kids had such fun reading through all of them. They told me that I must really like my bed because I mentioned it on three of the turkeys. (I DO like my bed! But I managed to leave it off the turkey this year, in exchange for my new love...avocado.)This year's turkey was inspired by Robyn. I need to write this down, because I always forget who helped the year before.

This isn't related to Thanksgiving, but we got a chin-up bar. The kids think it is great fun, and Tyler finds lots of excuses to take his shirt off and flash his muscles. All the ladies are very impressed. The one I was surprised about was Pearl. She can't be left out and takes her turn like a pro.

We traveled up to Idaho for Thanksgiving. It was a sweet trip both ways. I would like to say a special thank you to the weather gods for holding off on the snow. It was so nice to travel on dry highway. And not have to wear winter attire at all times.

We left earlier this year and were finally around for breakfast on Thanksgiving day. Vicki decided a few years ago that there isn't a lot of spare room for pie once you are done feasting, so she instituted 'Pie for Breakfast.' I am still trying to decide if I like the idea.

I am all for dessert and seconds after that, but it was so sweet. That didn't stop me from eating three five slices. Vicki even made her own little mini pies with filling. Notice the machine at the bottom here.

Of course, Barry had been putting his candy wrappers in it the whole day before. (I know where Tyler gets it now.) Even with Tyler walking around with the camera, we still got an authentic scream out of her.

I think she was worried that we were baking the wrappers. I have to admit though—Vicki is a great screamer.

Everything was very relaxed and laid back. It was great to spend time with family. I was horrible about taking pictures. Sometimes I feel it is just the luck of the draw who gets into a photo. I guess you have to be in the right place at the right time to be included...or in focus.

Pearl went to bed early on Thanksgiving, but here she is giving her famous kissy lips.

That child is hilarious. She is either the cutest thing on two legs, or you just want to chuck her in the trash, or perhaps somewhere more soundproof.

There was a new face at Grandma's house. Can you pick out the new addition?

Okay, I don't know if I have ever blogged about Gizmo. Let me go check... Nope, the word gizmo has only come up once on my blog and it wasn't in relation to the dog. So, maybe I need to introduce you to two dogs. The black one is Gizmo. He has been in the family for a long time. He is a good dog, but will nip if little hands get too rough. I don't blame him.

That middle dog is Moxy of course. She always comes along for the ride to Idaho and I think she secretly likes it better there because she is allowed on the furniture and sleeps on our bed (on Tyler's side), and she's taller than her Idahoan canine cousins.

The new dog is this one:

He is a Havanese. They are supposed to be very smart, non-allergenic, non-shedding dogs. I could get on board that train, but the ticket is often around $1200. This is probably why I have never found one at the humane society. And Vicki's was on sale, luckily. He is a sweet thing, but currently without a name. We'll have to see if something sticks to him by the time we go back for Christmas.

I hope you all had a grand time with family and food. Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. There is nothing quite like rubbing shoulders with the people who have to love you. Watching these two makes me wish I had a brother.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I am not very current on these pictures, but I am bound and determined to finish the year out.

Usually if it is windy outside, I am indoors, but Robyn and I went out together and I noticed it was a bit gusty so I snagged a couple of pictures.

Photos of the week:

You can see how Robyn's hair was blowing in her face and the wind was whipping droplets of water off the fountain. I'm glad the fountain was even working. I imagine they will turn it off for the winter soon. The Provo temple is beautiful and I love to take my children there to walk around. Even on a windy day.

"Fall"ing Behind

My lame attempt at a pun.

I am enjoying the Autumn, and I appreciate that the first snow came and went so quickly. Obviously, we are in for more, but the fact that it is almost December allows my brain to accept snow. In fact, this is the first year where I have been gunning to get my Christmas decorations out early. I have used all my restraint and the fact that Tyler won't let me, to keep from skipping the joyous holiday of Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong...I love Thanksgiving. That is why I created the rule of not getting out Christmas stuff before you have been thankful for all you have. I am just anxious this year.

But we will make our traditional thankful turkey tomorrow and that will get me in the spirit.

Meanwhile, I should really catch up on some of the things that have been going on around here.

Robyn won Reflections. She was so dang proud and they gave her a medal and everything.

I was proud of her too. She really is a little artist at heart, and I am glad that her creativity was acknowledged.

June pulled a fast one on us. Probably the first of many. On Tuesday night before bed, she said, "I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that I have a diorama and a report due on Thursday. The good news is that I have already done the report."

Oh, so just the diorama then? No problem. (Sense the sarcasm.)

Wednesday, I went to my favorite new home, Hobby Lobby and picked up some materials for June to work with. And Wednesday afternoon, we put it all together. I think she did a good job. Her habitat was ocean.

There was even a habitat fair at her school where you could see all the projects together. Tyler and I agreed that there were hundreds of parent/child hours displayed. I hope Robyn has to do this project sometime, because I want her to do the desert and then get a real scorpion and put it in a box with a lid and see how many people we can freak out. (I am possibly not always a nice person.)

I have been noticing lately how not-a-baby Pearl is.

She won't be 2 for a few more months, but she is full of Sass and just as cute as can be...most of the time. I really wish she liked riding in the car more. It gets a bit old that she screeches at me every time I strap her in. You would think that she would have resigned herself by now to trips in the car, but I sense some stubbornness in her. It will make trips over the holidays just that much more enjoyable.

Our Relief Society Meeting at the beginning of next month is having a walk-through nativity night. We are going to set up many nativities and then invite families to come through and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas first thing in the season. I have several nativities of my own that I will loan that night, but I was out shopping and I couldn't help but pick up another. I am always on the lookout for a unique nativity. Although the Savior was born in humble circumstances, I love the ornate feel of this set. Oh and the lamp moves. I am not sure why that makes me love it more.

Besides that, life is busy but good. I am happy to have a good family to share the trials and blessings with. Certainly each day is not perfect, but at this time of Thanksgiving, I am keenly aware of my pile of blessings. Like the laundry, it just keeps building up. I wonder if there is some analogy here that could make me love laundry more?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What are the odds?

I was randomly looking through a calendar for next year, 2012, and 4 out of 7 of our birthdays fall on Sunday. I love Sundays, but not for birthdays, because we can't really go OUT to celebrate, and if I forget anything, there are no last minute trips to the store. And I will have to get all my balloons the day before. Yuck.

I blame leap year. Without leap year, it would have been 1 out of 7. Luck of the draw I guess. At least I wasn't born on Feb. 29th.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Missing You Already Dad

Tyler left today to go on a business trip. I am not complaining because he hardly ever leaves and I know there are women whose husbands are gone for sizeable chunks at a time. Or women who raise their children alone. So, let's be clear that I know how good I have it. At the same time...I miss him already, and it is clear how much he helps out around here. So, we took some kodak shots for you Dad. Hope you are missing us too.

I know I look a bit concerned in this last picture with Pearl. She had taken a nap after church and by the time she got up, the light was fading. The first few pictures I took were too dark and I was wondering if I was going to get an adequate shot at all...hence the angst in my expression.

Loves to you across the country. I hope the time flies while you are away. Really, I do.

p.s. Tyler, you know my love of the 50mm, but you can't beat the wide-angle lens for getting pictures at arm's length. It's growing on me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Storybook Family

I took this photo shoot a while ago, and somehow forgot to post pictures on here. We love the Jett's and were super excited when baby Savannah came along. Then I was even more excited to take some pictures for them. Here are some of my favorites in no particular order.

They are such a beautiful family. I am a tad jealous that Savannah got those blue BLUE eyes of her Dad. Why couldn't I pass on my baby blues?

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I cheated this time around. Tyler is the one who likes to take pictures of texture. Remember this post? He is still at it. He has been taking pictures of textures for over a year now. So, I went and grabbed some. What I love about textures is that it is a piece of the whole. You will probably recognize most of these, but think about how it is different as a piece of the big picture.

Photos of the week:

Cool huh? I haven't become a texture junky yet, but it might become a hobby of mine.


Winter is settling in like an old friend. Perhaps an unwelcome friend in my book. One that I know is coming to visit, but I just can't seem to get excited about. There I go complaining again. I swear my weak Washingtonian bones will never get used to the snow and cold here. It certainly isn't terrible, and I can't start the winter complaining, because the cold lasts around here until April. That is a lot of cold. And at least I don't have allergies in winter. There is one Huzzah!

This morning there was frost on everything. I think frost is very pretty, and I like watching the sun soak it into dew.

Photos of the week:

When I was little, I learned a little song from the Brite Music books. It went:

Playful little Jack Frost came last night
Yes that's right
Came last night
Painted all the ground a frosty white
Just last night

Playful little Jack Frost froze the air
Here and there
Spread a frail design of Angel's hair
Just last night

I had great images in my head of Jack Frost creeping around and frosting the windows with his icy breath. It seems that nowadays Jack Frost gets a bad rap. He is bad in Santa Claus 3. And the Fairy series that the girls enjoy has Jack Frost as the bad guy as well. I know he is said to bring winter, and I know that I was just harping about the cold, but I always liked Jack Frost. I have fond memories of him. I am sad that he has become the scape goat of winter. I mean, if you want an evil winter figure, I think the Snow Queen wins, hands down.

On the Shelf

You probably all know that I am a sucker for holidays. I love to decorate and change things around. The kids love to help, and this November, I was pleased when June thought of a new idea for me. We have all these cute blocks with different Thanksgiving sayings on them. We usually chunk them together, but June put them all over the house this time around. There is one by each cluster of objects. Genius I tell you. It makes me smile to look at them.

Photos of the week:

Then again, they aren't stapled down, so sometimes small hands mix them around a bit. I caught this one in the act.

I am a little concerned at how fast time passes these days. At this rate, Christmas will be next week. I'm not quite ready.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reflections Entries

Just so you know...I am NOT blogging every day this month. I often try that in November, but I am not going to torture myself this time around. That said, I am still trying to catch up, hence the continued posting.

Reflections is a program that has been going on before I was in school. I remember entering something once or twice. I want my girls to be involved if they would like, but only if they have an idea they want to run with. I don't want to be holding their hand, or staying up late finishing their project. (That is only for book reports and State projects. I'm kidding.) Reflections is meant to be their own work, so it would kind of defeat the purpose if I did much.

There is a different theme every year. In 2011, the theme was "Diversity means..."

I had already told June that if she wanted to use my camera she could. She came up with her own idea of who to photograph and why.

In the meantime, Robyn came home one afternoon and I had bought a pack of eraser tops since all the erasers on our pencils are either worn down or eaten off by little ones. I had left the extras on the counter and Robyn set to making some art with them. She was so proud of her creation that she wanted to enter it in Reflections. I am not quite sure how it fit the theme, but here is her Eraser art, entitled Something New to Taste.

If you can't is fruit. It could be diverse because there are different kinds of fruit, or perhaps this is a different way to think of is all in her mind. But I really like.

June on the other hand struggled to get hers finished mainly because her sorry mother kept forgetting to set up the photo shoot. But just days before it was due, we got everyone nailed down and June did her thing. She did a great job posing the kids and taking pictures. I helped her put them in a collage and I think it turned out great. She titled hers Anyone Can Be a Friend.

Looking at her pictures, I suddenly think that I may have no talent at all and we just have a really nice camera. Or, we'll just chalk it up to June having raw talent at an early age. Probably it is a combination of the two. But it was fun that they both participated.

I found out later that you can enter more than one category, although only one entry PER category. I think this household will stick to one entry period. This mother can only handle so much artistic exploration.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jett's Halloween Party

I had good intentions to host a Halloween party every year starting last year. And that is where is good intentions. It wasn't until Jenaca called me up and asked if I wanted to come to her Halloween party that I realized I wasn't having one. I hadn't even thought of having one. It wasn't even on the radar. Oh well, there is always next year. But I was glad for an excuse to dress up and go on a date.

This was the costume I talked about making. June used it after me, but I broke it in. It was pretty easy to make and I am proud of myself for doing anything that involves sewing.

Yes, I was wearing more crazy eyelashes. I got a whole bunch on sale after Halloween last year. I was going to let June use the eyelashes too but I forgot she wears glasses. I didn't see those two working well together.

And now for a real picture of the Ornothologist. (Which as you all know is fancy talk for bird-watcher.)

The party was fun and we played a few games that we played last year. It was girls against boys, and I am proud to say that the girls won. Woot.

I admit that I felt old. EVERY couple had a baby there. And unanimously, it was their first baby. I guess I could have brought Pearl, but that wouldn't have changed the fact that she is the fifth child. It was a nice feeling to know we aren't at the beginning, and refreshing not to have to drag along a child who will ultimately be cranky by the end of the evening, but still...old feeling.

I loved this little guy's costume.

Cannon was looking good as Superman.

I did use my mothering skills though and let a child puke into my bare hands. It seemed better than letting it get all over the carpet. I saw some very startled faces, and the actual mother wasn't batting my hands aside to take over. I think several women were surprised I would even do that. But, in all honesty, it didn't bother me one bit. Maybe there is something to be said for us 'old' mothers. Been there. Done that. Just wash your hands well afterward.