Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Santa Story

I am waiting for a load of laundry to finish up and then I am headed upstairs for a whole lot of folding. My king-sized bed is covered. I did have to make a small sliver of space for Mike to sleep in. He put the ear plugs in and the eye mask on and went to his happy place. Tonight I will be watching 13 Going on 30 (love that show) while being a laundry slave.

I thought I would take a minute and post our Santa story.

Well over a week before Christmas we headed to Wheeler Farm--a tradition of ours--to see Santa. It is a great experience--a great santa in a quaint old house. A hay ride and hot chocolate. I get to take my own pictures of The Man with the kids. There is usually no line. Mike got there before we did, only to discover that due to budget cuts Santa can only make it there on Fridays and Saturdays. I was bummed because I knew the kids (especially the youngest two) really wanted to see him. The night was not a total loss--we went and froze our patooties off at Zoo Lights.

I helped the kids send Santa an e-mail, so I thought things were covered. Wenesday--two days before Christmas--Christian can't stop talking about how we have to see Santa cause "he won't remember who I am and where I live and I gotta tell him what I want and when are we going to see him? "

What's a mom to do. I was in some desperate need of a Santa. I didn't want to do the mall thing--that beats out that pile of laundry on my bed by a mile for the place closest to heck on earth. So, I called up my sister Camille and she tells me that Miss Margaret was having Santa visit her preschool that very day. So I called up Miss Margaret and she said, "bring them over."

Miss Margaret (aka Mrs. Clause) is an angel. Christian went to her preschool before we moved and I am telling you, this lady is a sweetheart. Her Santa is the best too. The kids got their moment with him. Christian got to convey the important message that he is not too young for a DSI. Christmas was saved.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back in business

We had a wonderful Christmas. We did have some major computer problems, but Jeremy saved the day. We need a new computer, but we are trying to make this one do for a little longer. I have taken tons of pictures and I am still making my digital scrapbook pages for December.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guess what I get to do tomorrow?

Partially undecorate the tree then add some lights to it then redecorate it.

Mike likes to blame it on the cat (she likes to climb the tree) but I think it is a wiring/electric-type problem. Half of the lights are out and that just won't do. Also, you might notice a few ornaments on the ground. Everyday there are a few on the floor courtesy of you-know-who. I waited to buy nice glass ornaments until our kids were no longer toddlers. Now we have another kind of tree pest.

I love getting the tree up--it is one of my all-time most favorite activities. I just have to look at this re-do as another opportunity to decorate the tree.

day 13

Friday, December 11, 2009

making Christmas dreams come true since 1999

Wednesday night was what I like to call our annual "accountability meeting." This is the time when I haul out all of my purchases and show the loot to Mike. I get excited for the magic of Christmas morning--for the fact that I have found the perfect items for our children and other loved ones. I like doing the planning and the wrapping and the hiding. Mike, well, he tolerates the meeting. I tolerate his comments about the consumerism Christmas has become. We discuss how to raise well-adjusted, non-spoiled children. We share our hope that the true meaning of Christmas is not overshadowed by the "stuff."

Guess what I found in one of the bags of gifts? My precious notebook with my precious lists. I had already re-created the list, but it was good to get my notebook back.

A few months ago I heard from my girlfriends about the Zhu Zhu craze (they are battery-operated hamsters.) Then the kids saw the commercial. Mike works near a Toys R Us (the place I lovingly refer to Heck on Earth.) He found out when they got their shipments and then back in October, went and stood in line. He scored two of the little hamsters and their accessories. I thought it was really sexy of him to go stand in that line for those hamsters for my babies.

I want to tell myself that I don't like the craziness of the hard-to-find toy, but I have to admit, I kind of like the hunt. I actually did my first ebay bids this year and, I must admit, got quite a thrill from the experience.

Back to the story. So, after going through the gifts, I stayed up and did the wrapping. I have a very specific method to my madness. Each kid gets a special wrapping paper. Then there is a separate wrapping paper for the gifts from the big guy. This paper has to be hidden and then removed from the premises in order to keep the "magic" alive. The gift tags from the big guy are typed. Then I bag it all up and hide it in the basement.

I have to do a good job at the hiding because I have very snoopy kids. They come by it rightly--I was a total snoop. My sisters and I did a lot of snooping and a little finding. My parents got smart and started hiding Christmas gifts in the caskets. (I grew up living in a funeral home--another story for another day.) Christian has already found a few things. He saw the big horse I bought him. I pulled out a trick I learned from my mom. I told him it was for the poor kids that live down the street and not for him.

While wrapping, I watched a recorded Letterman. I like him. I don't like that he might be a scumbag, but I think he is oh so funny. So, I am listening while wrapping and you can imagine my excitement when this came on.

Crazy cat ladies do exist, and apparently they make DVDs.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I will continue posting about cats

I have been ridiculed as the "crazy cat lady." I have been teased for seriously loving our precious baby cat tigy wigy (said in a high-pitched baby voice.) I have been told that my home is now contaminated with cat germs. But, I too was a hater. I didn't feel the love until recently.

All I have to say is that if you don't think this is seriously cute, you need to do some soul-searching cause you probably don't have one. (Kidding...kind of.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

day 3

Cleaning day. I got all the decoration boxes put away and after school the kids helped get the house clean. While we clean we like to listen to/watch Mama Mia. Something about that music just helps.

The girls took a break from chores to do some tumbling.

Kitty love.

This is my newest favorite Christmas song--lame video, but great song.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

day 1

I am making another attempt at documenting December. It is my most favorite time of the year.

This is the kid's tree. It is becoming overloaded with their ornaments. This year's ornaments are bobble-head turtles we bought in Mexico.
Right after school, they rushed in the house and grabbed their advent calendars. They have been salivating over them since I brought them home a few weeks ago. They finally got to dig in to day 1.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A few things to share

What a great, pretty low-key weekend. I put up the Christmas decor. Tiger thinks the Christmas tree is her personal scratch post--she climbs to the top. I am getting the house in order because this is a crazy busy month.

Here are a few fun things I enjoyed and wanted to share.

If you saw or read New Moon, you've got to read this. It made me laugh.


I started tivoing Glee. I loved this.

I sent this to some people. I just watched it again and it made me laugh, so here's to my recently discovered love of cats.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

not a creature was stirring...

but our mouse is still around--and, I might add, avoiding our many traps.

I just took these pictures.

That's right. 4:30 on Thanksgiving Eve and these four are asleep. They all had busy days at school and then had friends over. Then, they all had a case of the oneries. So, I told them that they could all take a rest, with eyes closed, in the family room or they could go to bed early. They chose rest time, and within minutes they were out. Mike got home to this sight and wondered what I had given them.

In other news, my precious notebook in which I keep all of my important lists, including the Christmas list, is missing. My goal was to have all of my shopping done before Thanksgiving. I think I am done, but without my notebook I am not sure. I so love being done shopping before all the craziness ensues. I like to just kick it at home--do some projects, make yummy treats, and be warm at home with the family during December.

In other, other news, I like werewolves. In fact, I believe if I were, say, a teenaged girl I would have posters of a certain werewolf hanging all over my room. I'm not a teenager, so that would be very inappropriate. It was just so, so good.

In conclusion, I love Thanksgiving. It is nice being reminded of just how blessed I really am. I have wonderful, supportive parents and siblings--Mike's family included. Healthy, happy kids. A supportive, hard-working husband. Health. Freedom. The Gospel. The things we need. Great friends. Opportunity.

Even though my life is not perfect, I sometimes think I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Now, let the feasting begin!

Friday, November 20, 2009

we are so there

We are so excited for December 11 when Disney's first black princess movie comes to town. I hope it is a good one, because there is one little girl that is beyond excited. Here is the trailer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Family Home Videos

Mike bought our first camcorder before we were married. We have loved capturing little tidbits of life, vacations and school programs. We have been nursing along our second camcorder, but it died a few weeks ago. We have missed capturing so many things and I didn't want to part with the money (especially this time of the year) but we just had to. I can't believe how tiny camcorders are now.

While the kids were off track, Mike hooked up our old camcorder to the DVD burner and each night we watched memories while burning a DVD. Ohh, my babies. My tiny brand new babies.

We have seen Andrew, Beverly and, just yesterday, Christian. Poor Jessi keeps asking when she will make her appearance.

I can't tear my eyes away from watching these videos. I have also had some revelations while watching. I will share a few.

I realized that I do, in fact, have a Utah accent.

I talk baby talk to babies and toddlers and animals of any age.

I have always loved animals. When we were trying to get Andrew, and it was taking a long time, I got a bunny at the state fair. At various times over the years we have also had a hamster, several frogs, a box turtle and Freddy the Lab.

Wow, that pregnancy weight is a "witch."

How did I survive? Andrew was four, Bev was not quite three when we had Christian. I remember one day calling Mike and telling him that he needed to come home from work because I wasn't coping (I won't get descriptive, but I was having "nursing difficulties" while parenting two needy toddlers.) Loved those days and glad they are over.

I used to make cute birthday cakes--cakes that took hours to frost. After Christian was born they were all purchased at Costco. The last couple of years I have made them, but they are not what they once were.

I loved my babies and kids sleeping in my bed. Mike tolerated it because I just loved it.

Andrew talked non-stop.

Beverly has always seemed like an old soul.

Christian didn't want to talk at all--he didn't really have too with all of us predicting his needs and understanding his grunts.

I've got to remember to live in the moment and enjoy them--they grow up so fast.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween night Mike and Andrew went to the U Football game. It was the black-out game, so his Harry Potter costume worked out great.
A few days before Halloween Mike took the girls to the Jazz game.
At our ward trunk-or-treat.

Harry Potter and Hermine.
Jessi dressed up in Ariel's wedding dress.
Christian was a "Commando" guy.
Jessi and Kiki continue to wear their costumes everyday--they always get such good use out of them. We are now getting rid of all the left-over candy and enjoying the last few days of off-track time. We (I really mean me) are actually going to have to wake up before 9 a.m. That is going to stink.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Love my Grandpa

My dear Grandpa B passed away last week. His funeral was last Saturday. He suffered from Alzheimer's and was 87 years old when he died. My mom and grandma were with him when he died, and his death was peaceful.

My sweet grandma cared for him at home. My mom and other family members have also helped take care of him.

I took this picture of my grandparents in May. I love it. This was taken on their porch. They were sitting there watching all of the grandkids and greatgrandkids play kickball. They have the best yard for playing games.

The funeral was beautiful and it was so nice to hear things I didn't know about him. I was able to trim his hair before the viewing--it was nice to be able to do one last thing for him.

I am so glad that we were able to see him often. I am so grateful that my kids knew him. He left a legacy of hard work and dedication to family. I am also grateful that I can teach my kids where Grandpa is now, that he is happy, and that we can see him again.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Catching Up

I have been such a neglectful blog-writer. But I am not a neglectful "pet parent." I have been sufficiently reprimanded by a few loved ones that I have put more pictures of our kitty on this blog than of my own human children. So, I will only add this one. Everytime I go to use my camera I find pictures that the kids have taken of little Tiger. Andrew wanted to get one of the two of us. It is true--I like her a lot. She has not required a lot of work and is so easy to love.
You will notice the pink nails. I bought "Soft Paws" because they are "the humane alternative to de-clawing." The kids call it her mani-pedi. So far they are working well.

Thursday and Friday were filled with school parties for the three oldest kids. They went off-track Friday. So that means there will be lots of this going on:
They started an "off-track club" Sunday after church. The next three weeks will be filled with happy children playing happily together while a happy mom gets to sleep in. Yeah right!

We have enjoyed the beautiful weather the last few weeks. Mike, Kiki and Bev planted tulip bulbs and Mike got the Christmas lights up.
The kids have spent a lot of time in the field. I have spent a lot of time washing filthy kids, filthy shoes and filthy clothes.

Bev had her first Daddy Daughter Date. It was a sports-themed event.

Halloween preparations are in full swing. Kiki is informing us often that he will be wearing Andrew's Harry Potter costume next year.

We like the movie "A Knight's Tale." Several times a week Kiki plays jousting in the family room.

Andrew finished up his flag football league. Mike coached and Andrew played well and had fun.

Kiki finished up his soccer league. He loves being the defender.

We visited a pumpkin patch.

I made Harry Potter and Hermine costumes. (Tiger was obsessed with the sewing machine and yes, Camille that is her butt sitting on my craft table--right there on the craft table.)

Tiger was obsessed with trying to get the pins. (Okay, really no more cat pictures--I promise.)
I finished an amazing, tragic, important book. Say You're One of Them was a hard book to read, but I couldn't put it down. It is five short stories about children in Africa. I highly recommend it--that is if you can tolerate some tough subject matter.
There's the run-down. I will write again soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Family Fun Time

Warning for all the cat-haters out there--this post is all about our kitty. Yep, it is true--another post about Tiger.

I was perusing the kitty product aisle at my local Target when I saw the most adorable pumpkin costume for Tiger. We (meaning the kids and I) had a great time trying to get her into it. Mike thought it was ridiculous.

That $5 costume provided some serious entertainment.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Conference Traditions

I love General Conference.

We record the Saturday sessions because Mike coaches the kids and they are either in Fall sports or Spring sports during conference. Then we get to watch those talks over the next week. We go to my parents after the kid's games and catch the last session there.

It has become tradition that then the adults go shooting. This year I was introduced to the fun of shaking a can of soda and tossing it in the air for someone to shoot--not that I can hit it mind you, but way fun to watch others do it.

Then we get back to Mom and Dad's and the boys all get changed and head off to Priesthood session together. My Dad reminded me that in two short years Andrew will be joining them. This too is a great tradition. The women folk all stay back with the kidlets and eat and fix the men a steak dinner.

Another tradition is my Dad buying Swedish Fish and other "quiet" treats for the boys to munch on during the meeting.

Sunday, Mike makes breakfast with the kids and we watch "church on t.v." I always work on a cross-stitch project and the kids do quiet activites like drawing and puzzles. This year Bev and Kiki did watercoloring. Bev made that beautiful picture of Christ. She brought it over to me and I asked her if she copied a picture. She said that she didn't, that it was "from her imagination."

One of my favorite talks was given by Pres. Eyring. He told about a gravestone of a mother and grandmother which read, "Please, no empty chairs." I can't wait to read that talk again.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who let the cat in?

In a moment of weakness I said "yes" to this:
Here's the story. Bev's class is in a portable at school. Apparently somebody dropped off a litter of kittens at the school. The kittens sought refuge under one of the portables. Bev's teacher got two of them out and told the kids that the kittens were up for adoption. Bev came home that day asking if we could have one. I said "no." The next day I found a list in her backpack. It was entitled "Cat Names." Each day I found myself considering the possiblity of becoming a cat lady.

The kids have been asking for a pet for a while. Here's my issue. I have a whole bunch of humans to take care of. I have a house to clean and laundry to do and food to cook. I don't want to add one more "thing" to my list.

Also, the whole cat thing. I was very allergic as a kid--my allergies landed me in the ER. I have been using my allergies as the reason we can't have a cat. The truth is that I haven't particularly liked cats.

I started reading a bit about them and talking to some people about them. They are really quite clean. They are low-maintenance. You don't have to kennel them when you go out of town. The downside is the clawing and possible hair.

So, I started talking to Mike about it. He just told me I could say "yes" if I wanted to. I don't think he thought I would.

We went to see her and we ended up taking her home. Her name is is Tiger. Tiger because she looks like one--hopefully not because she acts like one.

When we went to buy all the cat supplies I asked Andrew and Bev if they would contribute their last three weeks allowance. Andrew said "yes" immediately. Bev said, "um, let me think about it." She is such a stinker.
I cannot even describe how much fun we have had with her. That's right, I said "we." If you ever just need to feel happy, come on over and watch her play for a few minutes. It's crazy how fun she is to watch.

The kids are loving her. It is hard for them to leave her. During church on Sunday, Bev told me that before Primary she needed to run home and check on her. Then on Monday, Andrew and Bev were both worried to go to school and be away from her for that long.

I know that she is a novelty right now. I know that she will grow up. I know that eventually she will probably poop on my floor or tear down my curtains. I am prepared for that. I guess I am willing to do it because I am a big sucker for my kids (and, apparently, for animals too.)

My mom and dad's 13 year-old dog Maggie died last week. That probably had a lot to do with my saying "yes." My kids growing up and going off to school probably had something to do with it too.

Bev is at a great age to really take care of an animal. She feeds her and takes care of the litter box (so far anyway.) The night we brought her home Bev came up and gave me a big hug and said, "I never thought you would let me get her--never in a million years."

I guess I surprised her--I surprised myself too.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's Just Another Manic Saturday

Crazy, busy Fall days are here again. And this (filled with D.P.) helped me get through it.
Also, I am missing my Nikon--she is in the camera hospital, in some other state, and I want her back.

Chrisitan tested for his blue belt in Taekwondo. He loves karate.

Christian doing his board break. He did really well at testing.

Andrew sat by me and videotaped while I took pictures. After Christian finished his form this happened. I know he won't always do it in public, but I hope he will always hold my hand.

Then we rushed home to meet up with Mike (who left the testing early) to take Christian to his first soccer game.

Mike is coaching Andrew's flag football team. They had practice right after Christian's testing.

Then it was back to karate. Bev had a mid-term testing. There is a lot of memorizing, and it is sometimes hard for her, but she worked really hard and did well.

Andrew tested for his Second Degree Black Belt. He had to break three boards. He broke two. Then he got nervous because you can't make many mistakes and still pass.

He then did three weapon forms. The bahng mahng ee form he did with his instructor, Mr. Banford.
The ssahng jeol bong form is so fun to watch.

He then did the bo staff form.

He passed his testing. This is him receiving his new belt.

Tradition is that the family, who helped him earn the belt, gets to help tie it on. Dad saw all of the testing, but had to leave early for the next activity. Grandma stepped in in his place.

We then hurried to watch the end of Mike's flag football game. I like going to the games--it's fun to watch him play and it is fun to see the other friends and family there. He plays with Ryan and Sean.
We came home and relaxed, then went to dinner to celebrate Andrew's big day.
It was a crazy day, but a good day. Thank goodness we have a week to recover before we attempt this again.