Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

As you can tell, I have had some issues getting my "weeks" finished up for the year.  I have also been so busy enjoying December, I have not documented our Christmas month.  This next week will be a catch up week, so stay tuned...

A more appropriate title to this post may have been "The Great Christmas Card Debacle of 2013."  I decided to get creative on this year's card.  I enjoy designing the cards every year, and as all things creative go, I always spend more time that I thought  I would on the project.  Because Drew and Bev recently got Instagram accounts, Instagram is a daily part of our lives.  I decided it would be fun to make the Christmas Card look like an Instagram post.

I also wanted a picture with all of our pets.  Camille met us at our house, as I knew a tripod would not suffice.  I remember hearing how actors hate working with kids and animals.  Well, Camille had four kids and four animals to work with.  After taking 130 shots, this was the only one where the animals (minus the hamster) were looking forward and the kids were smiling.  Jessica was mad at me for getting after her for her posing, so she looked awkward in 125 of the 130 shots.

She gets this pained look on her face, and sports a "smile" but with dead eyes.  I explained that just because she is showing her teeth doesn't make it a smile.  I got the camera and showed her the last several shots, hopefully encouraging some real smiles.

A few shots in, Christian asked if we could bring the fish out for the picture.  Um, not only "no" but "heck no!"

The photo shoot was also complicated by the fact that Tiger did not like sitting near Charlie. She kept growling and trying to run away, hence the strangulation hold Bev has on her.

Poor Freddy just acted confused about what we wanted him to do.

Christian kept trying to get the hamster to look forward.  After about 80 shots, I told him to not worry about the hamster.

Once we got one good shot, I went to work making the card.  I decided to hashtag our names.  The new cat has several names.  His name from the Humane Society was Ollie, but we all just called him Blackie.  We didn't put much thought into it because we were not planning on keeping him.  Well, Blackie has just sort of stuck.  I decided that his name would be Charlie, and that is the name on record with the vet.  Because of the cat's thieving ways, Mike named him Klepto, as in kleptomaniac.  Mike and the kids call him Klepto. I call him Blackie half the time and Charlie half the time.  So, on the Christmas card, I hashtagged Blackie.

With hashtags, you don't use spaces, so I put all together #christhehamster.  Well, after Mike taking some cards to pass out at work, he called and said that people were joking about a couple of my hashtags.  So, I reprinted the cards.  I changed out #blackie for #charlie and I changed out  #christhehamster for #chris the hamster.  That's what I get for trying to be creative...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

week 44

Christian using the leaf vacuum at Grandma's.

Luke's birthday. We made him a candy bar/quarter poster.

Jessi is off track and is spending lots of time practicing her times tables and watching Netflix.  Little Blackie is her companion.

I had to run some errands, and she wanted to stay home and watch National Geographic channel.  She called me later, traumatized that a jaguar had eaten a baby elephant.

As if having all the kids take turns in our bed wasn't enough, Mike now has Blackie sleeping in the bed.  He likes Mike and always sleeps on his side of the bed.

We showed up for Drew's choir concert only to discover he had a solo.

Halloween and Christian was a mafia guy, Bev was an 80's girl and Jessi a princess pirate.  Bev could not believe I owned clothes like that, and that I actually wore them, not as a costume.

He was not happy with the mustache, so after pictures, he removed it.

At the last minute Drew decided to be a newsie.

Christian threw his lacross pads on Freddy for his costume.

Jessi joined me for Christian's class party.

Grandma and Grandpa Jones.

Bev with her friends on our porch.

Mike sat all evening as the grim reaper. He sat perfectly still and only spoke or moved occasionally.  He freaked out lots of kids.

The three youngest joined me for some campaigning on Redwood.

Camille brought her boys along.

Before we left for the sign waving, I got dinner ready.  We were having Mike's parents, grandparents and aunt over.  I put dessert in the oven and forgot about it.  It was well done, and the house smelled horrible.

On Saturday the young women did a temple walk. The parents met them there and then we walked to a church for a program and lunch.

Halloween decor.

Thanks to Pinterest, I was inspired to make some bats.

Lots and lots of bats.  I wanted them to fly up the tall wall, which required the tall ladder.  Whenever I get on an extension ladder I feel like Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation--I think the ladder is going to collapse and I will slide down and my hands will get stuck or broken off.  I really psych myself out.  So, I was up there sticking the bats on the wall, obsessing about the ladder and whether Mike was holding it and whether he had secured it and if it was going to collapse.

Mike accompanied me to the symphony.  I was shocked he wanted to go.  It was a great evening.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

week 43

The Daddy Daughter Date was a Mystery party. Jessi dressed up as a business woman and Mike was the owner of an amusement park.  Mike got all dressed and I realized he needed a bow tie, so I ran to the craft room and whipped one up for him.

Once Christian saw the suspenders and the hat, he made himself into an old school baseball boy.

We got boo'ed, so we made some cupcakes to boo some neighbors.

Bev in our bed snuggling Blackie, who happens to look possessed here.

I had meetings, so Mike took the kids for sushi.

Two cute boys.

More recorder the an enclosed space.

Mike introduced the kids to Happy Gillmore.  I hadn't seen it in a while, and I had forgotten that it is maybe not for kids.

Drew's water polo game.

Courtney and her parents came to watch his game.  A triple piggyback.

Drew, Bev and Jessi participated in our road show.

 I ran to the store and came home to find their homework done, and Christian having signed off as Jessi's homework helper.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

week 42

Jessi gives pretty great massages...

and then she lays on me while watching tv.  I love it, Mike can't stand it.

Bev with her cute hair braid bun thingy watching youtube origami videos.

Christian playing his recorder after school waiting for carpool pick up.

We try to reserve our nights eating out for when we are on the go. We had a soccer game, lacross practice, swimming and tumbling, all on the same night.  We ended up at Rio. When Mike and I got to the table, they were all entertaining themselves with a recent youtube find.

Christian had been telling me that it was hard for him to see the board at school, that the Chinese symbols were fuzzy. I thought he just wanted glasses.  After a trip to the eye doc, we discovered that he didn't just want them, he needed them.

This class store trend is not one of my favorites. Seriously, like I need more junk at my house.  The kids are always sweet and buy something for their siblings...sweet, but still, more junk.

Jessi had her class Halloween party.

She and Hailey playing the mummy game.

Christian's last lacross game and team picture. I think he has found his passion.

Mike with his dog keeping score.

Mike and the kids put up the Christmas lights.  He lets the three oldest on the roof to help sort the light strands.  The youngest stays on the ground for safety reasons.  She would likely dance or tumble her way right off the edge.

Loading up the collected cans.

They earned enough to each buy a few things at the dollar store.

Cutting down the perennials.  Christian is now using power tools. He is such a beast, and wants to be like his dad.

Right after this picture was taken, Bev resigned from trimming duties as she found a spider web in the plants.

This little beast loves being outside. When the door opens, he bolts. He stays in our yard, exploring, and comes in the house when we shake the treat bag and call one of his names.  We haven't quite decided what his name will be.  When we got him from the Humane Society, they had named him Ollie. We called him Blackie, but then Mike named him Klepto as in kleptomaniac (the cat steals stuff.)  He reminds us of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, so we sometimes call him that and I started calling him Charlie.  We still can't decide, but we all agree that we adore him.

Drew invited some friends to go to Cornbelly's, so we drove them and took the family.

Drew and his friends ended up splitting up from us to do their own thing.  It was weird not having him.

The kids did this to me last year, and planned did it again. At the pig race, the guy asks for kids to volunteer their mom. My kids cheered the loudest, so I got picked...picked to kiss a pig.  He squealed the whole time. I felt bad for the both of us.

Bev and Kiki shooting paintball guns.

Sweet Freddy at the soccer game.

She went down for a save and got kicked in the head. I thought she was walking off the field when she brushed away her tears and went up and kicked the ball. She's so tough.

We drove to Cedar City to surprise Katie and watch her soccer game.  The gang hanging out in her apartment, not communicating with each other, but rather with their virtual friends.

Getting her hair did.

We drove to a little reservoir for a walk...

and played soccer at a nearby park.

After her game, the kids and Courtney played on the field.

We are so proud of Katie.  She is so smart and talented.  The girl works hard and is a great soccer player.