Friday, December 31, 2010

Drowning in Clothes!!

I just finished organizing ALL of the boy clothes that we own. Since we get hand-me-downs from a cousin 3 years older than my oldest boy, I have clothes from size 20 (like stuff too big for me) down to size 2T. That's a LOT of clothes!!!! Glad to have that done. The best thing is that everything from size 2T down, I can now get rid of. Ahh clothes actually leaving the house. Only Lydia's clothes left to do.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Few Pictures

Lydia went caroling dressed as Buddy the Elf.
One of those sleep pictures that you just can't help taking

Umm... She tried to get out of the van backwards and hands first.
It didn't really work out.


Sorry Bruce, but it was too funny not to laugh.
Yeah, he just sat down... a bit farther than he had intended.




Monday, December 20, 2010

Busy Lydia

I guess I'm finding out what one part of life with teenagers is going to be like. Lydia has to go to school early twice a week for choir. She has to say two hours and fifteen minutes late 4 days a week for volleyball, and she's a band officer, which has responsibilities as well.

Today was an early choir day, plus volleyball practice, plus the Christmas concert tonight. Being a band officer, she is supposed to be there early to set up. With all of this, she was scheduled to be at school from 7:30 a.m. till about 8:30 p.m.

I emailed her coach and her band director and they are being very nice and letting her have about an hour and a half break between them to do her homework and to eat some dinner.

She is such a great gal! I love my Lydia.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Parenting Frequently Takes More Patience Than I Have At My Disposal

Tree knocked over, water, pine needles, broken glass, ornaments and cereal all over the place. I hope none of these presents are damaged. Ugh!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Preview

video
I'm Different
2010 Year End Video I

Justice and Clayton in the Shower

Justice: "Don't pee on me ... Gosh Darn it!! When you have to pee, pee in the potty!"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snow Day and Laundry

Our Stake Christmas Cantata was supposed to be held on Sunday night, but it got postponed due to the snow. So instead we spent a most enjoyable evening listening to Christmas music from ranging from "The Night Santa Went Crazy" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" performed by Twisted Sister to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Cambridge Singers, etc. We FINALLY had time to get out our Christmas decorations. Now our Christmas tree is beautiful and I even put some lights up. (I cheat and hang them on the insides of the windows. They look just as beautiful from outside, but I don't have to go out in the cold to put them up.) Then my parents came over and hung out with us. It was a very enjoyable, unrushed evening.

Yesterday the kids had the day off from school. I did a lot of farting around on the computer organizing pictures for my end of the year slideshow, and looking for the perfect song. Alas, I have not a single clue this year. Anyway, but I did get my lazy rear up and make pretzels with the kids, courtesy of our pixie who sent us a kit.

Lydia made hers beautifully in the conventional way.

Ross and Mark created abstract shapes for theirs.
(After Clayton ruined one of Ross' by stepping on it, Ross changed it to an "M for MAD!"

Ross kept interfering in Mark's picture

Justice and Clayton had yet more unconventional ways of making their pretzels.


On another completely unrelated note, my husband asked me not too long ago if, when we remodel the bathrooms, I would like to have the laundry moved to the main floor, as it seems a lot of people prefer. I said "ABSOLUTELY NOT!!" I need a LARGE space in which to hide my multitude of sins from the world. Prepare yourselves to be let in on one of my dirty little secrets sssshhhhh!:

Here's a thing I meant to post last week, on one of those RARE days when you can actually see the laundry room floor because I had washed all of the laundry. (Well all of the clothes anyway. There still was a huge stack of blankets and sheets that needed washing piled up on a table just out of range of the camera.
However, here is the laundry that needed to be folded and put away (que the scary, screechy Friday the 13th violin music):
On top of this add two sets of washers and dryers full of clothes. That day was some time last week, so I now have more dirty clothes to wash and less clean clothes to fold (but only because they have been worn straight out of the baskets.) Do I hear Neicey Nash knocking on my door?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

For a Change

It's nice to hear happy screaming laughter coming from the other room and to go and peek my head around the corner to find that the two littlest boys are doing something neither too dangerous or too destructive.

On the other hand, it sounds like Clayton got hurt after all. Darn, I'd better go and check.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Well, we've had our Christmas tree up for most of the week. The trouble is that we can't seem to find the time to decorate it as a family. We just keep being too busy. Darn busyness! Ally (the puppy) seems to think that the Christmas tree is a wonderful thing made entirely of chewy sticks for her... in the house! "How great is that!" I would think the pine needles would poke her in the mouth, but she doesn't seem to mind. She keeps pulling off little bits of the tree to chew on. (As if the needles won't get all over the place fast enough.) Plus she gets in there and drinks the tree's water. I wonder if the pine makes it all taste better. Silly little doggy! She is turning out to be a nice little addition to the family though.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pickle Juice

I came downstairs to find Justice doing this:


video
I added the mattress under him.


One of Clayton's current bedtime stories is "If you give a Moose a Muffin." But every time we get to this page, he says "He pooping!" which cracks me up.
Last night I was going to the store and Ross begged me to buy something with his own dollar for him, but he didn't know what. So I bought him a Disney princess game. I tried to video his reaction, but I had the camera aimed wrong and didn't get it. I made him give me his dollar, then I handed him the pink Disney thing. He said "I hate you!" It was pretty funny. I did of course buy him something that he would actually like, but for one dollar I could afford to make a little joke.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Couch & Sock Fights



Well, it's not new, but it's reupholstered. My wonderful mommy spent a LONG time working on this for me. I helped, but she really did the lion's share. I'm very happy with the results. Wouldn't you know it though, the night we finally brought it up and put the living room all back together, Justice got up in the middle of the night and slept on it. As luck would have it, that was the night his pull-up chose to not work. I got up the next morning to find a huge wet spot on my new couch!! Luckily I seem to have chosen good fabric, because you can't even see the spot now. It has already had to endure that plus muddy dog feet, and snot. I'm afraid it's in for a rough life. However to date, it is holding up very nicely. Those dog foot prints came right off too!

I was disappointed because it rained all last evening, ruining all my plans for walking through the lights at a nearby park that goes all out for Christmas. However the impromptu sock fight in the living room was a fun family night time too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Geographical Idiot!

It takes a special kind of person to be able to drive somewhere about 25 minutes away from home, which you've been to about 5ish times in the not-so-distant past, with directions from mapquest in one hand, and a Garmin on the dashboard, and still miss your turn and arrive 15 minutes late. Yep, that's me! Oh, and for the record I would have been on time without my Magellan moments.

On another note, it's nice to come home from choir practice to find the house quiet and the kids in bed, but it's extra cute when you find three boys all snuggled into one twin sized bed.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

There is a Comedian in the Family!

Someone put baby powder in my hair dryer. I believe it was Lydia, but she's not talking.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is Up?

So I haven't blogged for a whole nine days? Wow, that must be a record! On the whole I feel pretty good about that. I spent entirely too much time on the computer formerly, and I'm happy to report that I'm doing better.

So what's been happening in our household? Much of the usual. Lydia is growing up, and though she has pretty much achieved the status of "teenage girl," she is still as sweet and helpful and wonderful as ever. (I'm going outside to knock on a tree now.)

Ross continues to make me laugh nearly everyday, he's been writing a comic strip. I keep meaning to post some of them, but Bruce has my camera with him, so I can't at the moment.

Mark continues to be the ladies man. I had to tell on a little girl from school, because she keeps calling here, literally 15 times a day, and texting at 11:30 at night. It's getting a bit annoying. What will we do with him when he gets older?!!

Justice continues to be his regular nut-ball self. I honestly don't know how we got that kid. I'm blaming it entirely on Bruce's genes. In the past couple of weeks, he has broken a window by throwing a shoe at his brother, who -darn him- ducked. And last Sunday he was running around like a maniac and accidentally ran headlong into Bruce's gun cabinet, breaking the glass front. It was rather scary! He was very fortunate to have walked away with just a few minor nicks and cuts. At the moment he is standing on the outside window ledge, knocking to come in. I told him to get down and come in through the door.
A few days ago, he was standing on something high, and Lydia told him that he should get down "before you fall down and break your face."

His response was, "We could just fix it with tape."

"You can't fix your face with tape."

"Okay, we'll use a hammer and some nails."

Where oh where did we get this child?!

Clayton is doing his best to follow in Justice's footsteps. But really, is there anything better than short two year old arms around your neck, with a kiss and a "I wuv you Mommy."

My blessed, wonderful, better-than-I deserve-mother has been busy reupholstering my sectional couch. I've been helping some, but she gets pretty much all of the credit. It's nearly finished. I can't wait!

I've been working on a music project that I don't want to talk too much about until it's finished. I don't know, just in-case ... what? I don't finish it? Or it turns out suckish? No, I will finish it! I've invested LOTS of time, and I think it will be cool when I finish. Let's just say that I'm working hard on it whenever I can. I'm studying theory like a fiend, and I'm trying really hard to develop a new skill. It's too early to tell it I can call it a talent. I'll never know if I don't try though, right?

So that's what is up with me. Life as usual. Living it and loving it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cereal

Pros: Depending on which kind it is, it can be very nutritious. It is extremely quick and easy to put on the table to feed your crew.

Cons: It can also be just like eating candy for breakfast. It is not always so easily cleaned up. Occasionally you will have to wash the table, chairs, and floors twice and then bathe the dog (from one morning's breakfast) for your lack of preparing a breakfast less spillable and less enjoyable to throw. Gotta love it!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Caught in the Act

I just caught Justice and Clayton in the kitchen getting crazy with the whipped cream. Now Clayton needs his fourth outfit of the day, and my kitchen needs a scrubbing down. Justice says "Just one more... no five more."

A Day in the Life of My Toothbrush

In the past five minutes, my toothbrush has been dipped in the toilet, stuck into a two year old's mouth, and then carried around in the dog's mouth. It's next adventure is a trip through the dishwasher.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

You Can Pick Your Dog, and You Can Pick Your Nose...

Last night as I was putting the little boys to bed, Justice says, "Dogs don't have bugers in their noses do they?"

"Sure they do."

"But how do they get them out?"

"I don't think it bothers them, or they can just (blows air out through nose)."

"I can help Ally get her bugers out!"

"No, just leave it alone!"

Monday, November 01, 2010

Stinking Stupid Computers!

Both of my internet browsers are being dumb. Mozilla wont let me sign in to my blog, and it won't let me comment on anybody else's either. So, I can't post from that browser. Explorer won't open my blog at all. I don't know why. It will show the page, but then a pop up window will say that it can't open the page. However, it gave me just enough time to click on my dashboard so I can post from here, but I can't actually view my blog for more that 5 seconds at a time. I'll have to figure out what is the deal with them and fix them, but what a pain! Okay, enough rant.

Friday, October 29, 2010

This and That

Does it kind of defeat the purpose when the boys get into a fist fight over who gets to say their prayers first at night?



I can't believe this rose bush is still alive. Among other things that should have annihilated it, one of the kids whacked it with a stick last year all the way to the ground. Amazing little plant.
Here are the Halloween costumes this year:
Ross as Sauron in human form


Mark as a mummy


Lydia as the red queen


Justice as a dragon.

Clayton didn't want to put a costume on, so I didn't care to make him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

TiI Knie sh lnnE

KohfslJ Oey s NOyJ ngnTesJh TisEJ fiJ nEyJg Esyh TJgJ Of hlinnE fnyOI. fiJe Cng fiJ Coe nC sf, TJ NOyJ O lnyJy fgJOhogJ ioef Cng E, g, Oey N fn CnEEnT fn fiJ isyyJe ngnTesJh.

sf gJNseyJy NJ nC inT Noli Coe Knie'h lnyJ TOh Cng NJ fn ngJOE. hn Kohf Cng fiJ iOI nC sf, s yJlsyJy fn TgsfJ fish onhf se lnyJ.

TsEE OeIneJ nJhsyJh Knie nnfiJg fn gJOy fish? TsEE JrJe iJ? EJf NJ EenT sC Ino yn, OeIneJ!!!

Mark

I can't help but smile a little at Mark everyday when I drop him off for school. He thinks it's cool to roll down the passenger side window and jump out "Duke's of Hazard" style everyday. Then he walks off with his backpack slung over one shoulder and his hands in his pockets, so third grade 'cool.' It cracks me up. No wonder he's such a ladies man.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Trouble With Books

I was feeling under the weather yesterday, so I spent most of the day in bed. I figured this was a good time to read the last book in the Hunger Games series. Ugh! See, I love books, but I almost NEVER read them manually. I do all of my "reading" with audio books, borrowed from our great library system, while I cook and clean my kitchen.

The trouble with reading books is mainly because I loathe myself if I sit still long enough to actually read a book. It feels like pure laziness. True, I could replace my nightly 10 minutes of TV watching, after the kids go to bed, but I don't really think that would work. I can't generally manage to keep my eyes open for longer than 10 minutes at the end of the day, so it would take me an eternity to finish a book that way, and I'm just not that patient when it comes to finding out what happens in a good book.

When I do pick up a good book, I go through a real internal battle. My brother John told me I'm nuts, and maybe I am. First I get mad at myself for doing nothing productive, but at the same time, I can't put it down. Then I get madder at myself, so I want to finish it just to get my life back in order. My house falls to chaos, more self loathing follows, I boar through it and count how many stupid pages left till I finish the stupid book every 10 minutes. It's like a virus ~ the only thing to do is bear with it till it's done. In the end, I resent the book for even existing, even if it was a good book.

Anyhow, I felt mostly better today, but that stupid book had it's hooks in me so I had to get it over with. I've spent two whole days reading a book that really was just depressing and I didn't really like the ending after all. It was like this: depressing, more depressing ... hopeless depressing... when will the depressingness ever end...30 pages left and no end to the depressingness... 10 pages left, still depressing... 5 pages and still depressing... the last two pages do a quick, totally inadequate, sum up of a happy ending, without giving you any real details whatsoever, to a three book series of nothing but depressingness. It was a total let down.

What a waste of two days! That is why I am an audio book fiend.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Living Room Floor General

We've had a busy weekend. Our family went camping with my parents on Friday. We had a really good time. When we got home on Saturday, Ross, Mark and Lydia were in charge of the unpacking while I did a lot of sewing to finish Halloween costumes. Then Bruce and the kids went to Trunk or Treat with their cousins. I was exhausted and not feeling very well, so I opted to stay at home and enjoy a RARE couple of hours of quiet.

When everyone came home, it was time for showers and bed. Bruce laid down on the living room floor and fell fast asleep. However, he kept trying to run things even in his sleep. He kept half waking up and shouting at the house in general "Who's in the shower?! Who's turn is it in the shower?! Get in there quick and take a shower!"

He did it like five or six times. It was pretty funny when he kept it up for hours after the kids had been in bed. "Hey Ross, hurry up and get in the shower!"

"Bruce, the kids have been in bed for a couple of hours."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sleeping Arrangements and Toilet Monsters


All of my children have their own beds, but Lydia is the only one who regularly sleeps in hers. Strange children. Ross and Mark prefer to sleep upstairs in Justice and Clayton's room. I don't really know why. Perhaps because this is where I read to the younger kids and they just like the togetherness? The older three are into chapter books and are never reading the same ones, so they just read to themselves at bed time. It's not like they are there to hear me read the little kids' things.

Anyway, there is a futon mattress on the floor of Justice and Clayton's room. I've pretty much given up on ever putting it away. They just get it out again. Generally, all four boys sleep on that, although Ross occasionally sleeps on Justice's bed. Clayton has decided to absolutely refuse to sleep in his crib. I guess I need to get him a big boy bed too, but what is the use?

The other night, after reading a story or two, I laid down with them to snuggle for a few minutes. Mark was snuggled up to my back and Justice, Clayton and the dog kept trying to all snuggle my front side simultaneously (Are you impressed? I spelled "simultaneously" correctly without the spell checker). They kept hopping over each other to squeeze in between their sibling and myself. I constantly had one boy or the other crying. I couldn't help but giggle a little. Then I gave up and went downstairs.

I know it's not a good thing to start, but the puppy seems to be a permanent fixture in our bed. I warned Bruce about this. When she grows up and is a big dog, she will hog all of the room. Not to mention how awful it will be if she does like Chloe did when she becomes elderly and gets a leaky bladder. Chloe did not sleep in our bed. However, Bruce continued to undermine me and let that dog in our bed. If we ever decide to put a stop to it, we are going to have a rough time of it now.

It's three a.m. and I have no where to sleep. Justice, Clayton and the dog have all migrated into our bed and now there is no room left for me. I suppose there are plenty of unoccupied beds around the house that I could go and curl up in.

One more thing: Earlier Justice told me an amusing little tidbit of information. "Did you know that if you sit on the toilet too long, it wakes up and goes (in a deep growly voice) 'NUM NUM NUM,' and eats you up?"

"Really, where did you hear that?"

"Ross told me. He said that those two things in the back are eyes (the bolts that hold on the seat), and the thing you sit on is its mouth."

If I have to re-potty train Justice, Ross is in BIG trouble! However, Justice doesn't really seem all that worried about it. Merely amused.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do Other People's Kids Do This Stuff, Or Is It Just Mine?

I had to rescue Clayton (2 yr old) from his perch alongside Justice (4 yr old) on top of my clothes rack in my closet. They were both sitting on the bar that I hang my clothes on, six feet in the air. WTFREAK?!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quotes of the Week

Both by Justice:

To his cousin, Erik: "Jesus doesn't want you to make a mess!"

Hollered in the door: "Mark! Hurry up and come outside! Ross is going to hit you with a bat!"

Friday, October 08, 2010

You Might Have Kids If

You open the computer desk drawer where you keep your home office supplies only to find a half eaten tortilla in there.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Yesterday a Monkey, Today a Cat


I walked into my kitchen to see my four year old relaxing on top of the cabinets, inches from the ceiling.

"I'm a cat, because cats know how to get up here."

Actually, I'm pretty sure that my cat does not know how to climb up there. If Lydia (my oldest) had tried this stunt when she was Justice's age, I probably would have had a heart-attach. But as it is, I just laughed and asked if he needed help getting down, as I walked back into the other room.

"No, I can do it." was his reply. And he did get down unassisted without any trouble.

Oh and yesterday when I asked Clayton (2 year old) what he wanted for lunch, I swear it sounded like he said "Eat bugers." I had to ask him to repeat it three or four times, and I never did figure it out.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Monkey

As I was making dinner last night, Justice was playing his game of climbing in and out of the window.

"Justice, stop that and shut the window!" says I.

"I'm a monkey, and monkeys can jump out of windows." says Justice as he is going for another round.

"Monkeys can have spankings too!" I holler at his disappearing backside.

"I'm not a monkey anymore!" says Justice as he runs off into the other room.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

DUH!



I've slightly modified the new puppy's name. She is now Alastor, still Ally (alley) for short. I can't believe it took me this long to figure out her perfect name. If I could just get her to figure out that pooping an peeing in my house is a bad thing, she would be perfect.

What else has been going on? Right now Lydia and Bruce are sleeping off the effects of the 24 hour run. Lydia participated in a thing at her school where they had relay teams that ran for 24 hours straight. Bruce chaperoned overnight. They had a good time, but now they are tired.

Ross and Mark are in the backyard rolling down the hill, wrapped up in those thin foam pads that you sleep on top of when you go camping. I can't think of the proper word. I love watching them playing outside with the puppy bouncing and pouncing happily on everything in sight.

Yesterday they got a furniture dolly out of the back of Bruce's truck and took turns pulling each other down the street on their bikes.
I'm adding Ally to my picture project. It's hard to get her to stand still for the camera though.
This picture cracks me up. Justice was in the act of stomping on that big block of styrofoam, and just happened to fall right as I was clicking the camera.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spiderman

A few days ago, Justice informed me that he had been bitten by a spider, and so would be turning into Spiderman. He also told me that Mark had been bitten by a monkey, and Clayton by an elephant. They too would be transforming into Monkeyman and an elephant respectively.

Today as we were coming home from our walk, Justice sighed really deep and said dejectedly, "It's really taking a long time for me to turn into Spiderman."

On another note, Clayton's vocabulary is really coming around these days. We were having a little campfire and roasting hot-dogs and marshmallows a couple of nights ago. Clayton was playing with a flashlight and kept getting mad at Justice for sticking his hand in Clayton's beam. Finally Clayton shouts out, "Touch a hand a DIE!" I think anyone could understand that funny two year old language.

Today Clayton was playing "potty training" (as in copying what I do with our new puppy) with his toy dinosaur. He kept sticking the dino's nose on the ground and saying "See dat, NO! No poop a house! NO! See dat, NO! SIDE!" then he'd give his dinosaur a spanking. It was pretty hilarious.

Pic of the Day


Justice and Clayton's new favorite game is to swing from leashes that they hang from hooks in the basement ceiling.

On a side note, it is not an unusual thing for me to find Justice hanging upside down from that 'I' beam in the basement, without the aid of a rope. On those occasions, however I do not generally run for the camera, but tell him to get down now, in fear of his eminent demise.

I've Got to Learn to Slow Down

I've been avoiding the blogs lately. The computer eats up too much of my time. There are just WAY too many things that I'm supposed to be doing, and it's stressing me out lately. I don't know what the answer is, but I feel guilty most of the time, which is stupid. No matter what I do, there are 100 things that I didn't get done. I kind of feel like my "to do" list is ruling me right now, and I don't like it. I don't have time for anything that I actually want to do, and I feel like I've totally forgotten how to play. Where is the balance? My kids need to see me as someone who loves them and takes time for them, not as a mean ogress obsessed by getting things done.

Completely worn out the other day, (on one of my 4:30 a.m. running days) I took Bruce's advice and took a nap while J & C were taking theirs. I wasn't going to make it one more step anyhow. I was so tired, I actually dreamed about sleeping. I dreamed I was driving along and was so tired that I stopped at our old house, went inside and took a nap. When I woke up (in my dream) the new owner of the house came home and flipped out because I was in her house. I tried to explain that I just wanted a nap, and that I thought it would be okay because I used to live there, but she called the cops on me. I woke up (for real) in a panic because the cops were chasing me down the street.

Anyway, I'll shut my complaining up now. Hopefully next time I'll have found my fun side again. Right now, I'm going to spend some time with my piano.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ugh!

Between the new puppy, and a two year old that doesn't like to wear his diaper then yucks up my whole bedroom, and a four year old that smeared it on the toilet seat, I feel like I've cleaned up a LOT of poop today.

Here's a thought that I have every Sunday:

Sacrament Meeting ~ The Ultimate Diuretic (at least for children ages 10 and under).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Todd

For Todd, because I've been missing my brother: video

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A New Friend



Well, we really couldn't afford another dog, but I missed having one around. So in a moment of crazed weakness, we snatched up this little girl. Everybody's been calling her Ally (pronounced alley), so I think that's going to end up being her name. ~Get it, Nemesis (our cat) and Ally~ It was Bruce's idea. We picked her up last night. She's a lab / husky mix, and so far she's great! She seems more lab than anything, which was the attraction. We loved our lab, Chloe! I'm hoping that she'll turn out to have the same temperament as her predecessor. I've never done the puppy thing before, so I'm a bit nervous about the chewing and potty training. So far she's done REALLY well (knock on wood). Wish us luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Good Stuff, People!

I'm going to take a second to call you attention the new addition on my side bar, entitled Lovely, of Good Report and Praiseworthy. I wanted to share a few of my absolute favorite things. Everything there is guaranteed clean, wonderful, and uplifting. I would say LOVE, LOVE, LOVE about any of them!

John Rutter is an amazing British guy who founded the Cambridge Singers (who are wonderful, and have put out many an amazing thing). He writes absolutely beautiful choral things. His Three Musical Fables is a fun CD. It is exactly what it says, musical fables, but the music is great, and it's funny too. I love this CD and I think you all should check it out!!

I have recently discovered Vocal Point. Yeah, you BYU folks probably know all about them, but we outside of the bubble have to look a bit harder. I don't like their older CDs anywhere nearly as well, but I can't stop listening to their latest, Nonstop.

As for the books, Little Women has long been my favorite because it is wonderful! I LOVE anything James Herriot ever wrote. Cheaper by the Dozen, LOVE IT! I want to be that kind of parent (without having quite 12 children). As for The Hiding Place, it isn't the funnest read, but it is so inspiring! It's amazing how someone can find ways to be thankful and at peace through unimaginable hardships!

I could add more, and I'm sure I will later, but these starters are my absolute favorites.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Out Smarted Blogger, HA!



Okay, so maybe it doesn't take a genius to embed this video from my FB page, but here's the video from our Labor Day hike that I've been having trouble uploading.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Testing

I can't upload a video that I've made. It wont' upload here or on FB. I've tried many a time. Maybe it's my video. This one seems fine. Hmph. Well enjoy Big Head again. I'll see if I can figure out what's wrong with my new video video.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day Fun

Bruce and Lydia started the day off with some squirrel hunting. About 10 minutes after they got home, Lydia called me to "Come and look at this!" on the front porch. I was busily trying to get the house in order so we could leave, so I wasn't thinking about where they had just been. I opened the door and saw this:
Like I said, I wasn't thinking about squirrel hunting, I just opened the door to my daughter holding what looked to be a large, dead, furry rodent by the tail. I screamed like a little girl and jumped in a circle, frantically shaking my hands. Lydia, Bruce and I all had quite a laugh at my sissiness. Clayton took the dead squirrel much better than I did.
Next we went to the state park with my parents. Justice wasted no time in finding a tree to climb. Can you see that little patch of red high up in the tree? That's him. He's the most sure footed kid I've ever seen. If Lydia had tried this at his age, I would have freaked out!
Here's a dog that Mark named Sirius Black. What a life this dog has! We were informed that he lives up the street from the picnic area where we were. He comes and shares in all of the picnics that everyone has. You couldn't ask for a nicer dog! The kids played fetch with him while the adults cooked. We miss our Chloe, and were happy for a canine to share our scraps and fun with. He was certainly fed well! I had to laugh when as soon as our picnic was over and the people at the next table down were getting out their hot-dogs, he took off and decided to hang out with them.
We roasted marshmallows. Yum!
Look closely at Clayton's "treat" that he cooked for himself. Not so yum!
In true Bruce fashion, he tried to have a little nap in the shade.
It didn't work out for him though.
Next we hiked for a couple of hours. I can't think of anything I like better than a hike with my family!
Lastly, the kids enjoyed a game of chess at the lodge while us old folks cooled our heels before we went home, just in time for bed.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Completely Unrelated Randomness

What You Hear When Seven People Are Getting Ready For Church In The Same Bathroom
As the CD player is rocking out to "4 x 1 is 4; 4 x 2 is 8..., " here were some of the other sounds:

"Bruce, he's putting his toy in the toilet!"

"That's my toy!"

"Hey, you sprayed me in the face!"

So it goes. You've got to love the chaos. Maybe I should encourage some of the kids to use the other bathroom sometimes.

A New Fun Way To Ride In The Van
On the way home from church last week, I heard Ross and Lydia suddenly scream in startled shock as Justice discovered what happens when you pull the handle that lays the back bench seat into a total recline. It has since become a total awesome fad to ride everywhere lying down in the back seat.


A Couple Of Funny Trees Down The Street

Every time I see this, I giggle thinking it looks like a monster coming out of the ground with his hands raised over his head.


Funny Uncle John
My brother John and his kids spent the night at our house the other night. We had a bonfire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. John lifted Mark high over his head as if he was going to throw him into the fire and yelled "I claim this child as a sacrifice!" Then he led all of the kids in a crazy Indian kind of hollering and dancing around the fire.
The next day we took the kids to the park. Ross brought a small Tupperware bowl to use as a boat on the lake. Unfortunately it sunk, so John took Ross all around and they built a boat out of three styrofoam cups, a bunch of sticks and a small branch for a rudder. It floated off a way into the lake, and they all amused themselves by throwing walnuts at it.


My Silly Boys While I Was Cleaning Out The Fridge

Boxing Tykes

Friday, September 03, 2010

I Don't Even Want to Consider the Possibilities

It's not generally a good thing when the two year old boy points into the fridge and says "Pee pee!" Especially when there is a yellow puddle at the bottom of the fridge that you thought was just something someone had spilled. I guess it's time to clean out the fridge.

I Just Figured Out Something

Dripping water on a person is an excellent way to get them out of bed and moving. I'm going to have to remember that one!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kitty Baths

Is there anything more embarrassing than your mom giving you a kitty bath in front of the school?! Well we were still in the van, so I'm pretty sure no one saw us. Still my boys were not happy with me.

I tell you what though, I need to start doing daily inspections before I drive off to school with these kids. We pulled up to Ross' school and I noticed that he hadn't brushed his mane, and that he still had dirt on his nose. I looked all over the van for a brush, but I couldn't find one. I did a spit shine on his nose, which he HATED! I cringed as he went into school with his hair a mess.

Next we pulled up to Mark's school and I realized that he still had residue of red marker all over his face from where he and the two younger boys had drawn beards so that they could be "dads." They also drew tattoos on themselves for that same purpose. Their dad does NOT have any tattoos; I think it's just another excuse to draw on their arms and legs.

"Mark! Didn't you wash your face?!"

"Yeah, I did but this stuff wouldn't come off."

Another kitty bath ensued under MUCH protest. I couldn't make a difference. "Well go straight to the bathroom and scrub your face." More cringing as Mark walks into school. Gosh what are these teachers going to think of me? Oh well, I guess that's what I get for trying to squeeze so much into my morning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Boys

Don't you just love it when the two year old gets ahold of the phone and calls 911 while the four year old is screaming at his eight year old brother. Reminds me of The Secret Game

Lately Justice has been yelling "Peanuts Mark!" a lot. At first I thought he was calling his brother a naughty word. After some inquiry though, I found out that "Peanuts" is a signal for Ross (the oldest boy) to beat up Mark (the boy in between Justice and Ross). It's like in the cartoon when Jerry (mouse) makes friends with the bull dog who protects him from Tom (cat).

Alright, alright! (Hair Cut Pictures)



Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Wonderful Hubby

I mentioned that I could really use a break to Bruce the other day. I should have known, and I was certainly suspicious when my mother called and said that she was kid hungry, and asked if she could borrow mine. Now, that is not all that unusual, Mom likes to borrow my kids from time to time. However she asked if she could have all of them overnight. THAT is NOT normal. However both she and Bruce swore that they weren't in cahoots. Now you know that I'm not going to turn an offer like that down! Here's the kicker that I don't think Bruce was expecting, I had signed up to have the missionaries over for dinner last night. That stinker even went so far as to cancel with the missionaries behind my back, and have them call me that day to confirm, just to hide his scent. The turkey! Luckily for him I chose an easy make ahead menu. I went to the grocery store, and cooked an entire meal for company that was not coming. His reasoning for that is "Well, now you have dinner ready for another night." Anyway it worked out well for him that I decided to go and take Ross to get hair cuts while I was dropping the kids off at Mom's for the night. (I have just had the most drastic hair cut that I've had since I was 12 and had to cut my hair off because it turned green. I really think I like it though.) While I was gone he packed things up and was all ready to take me for a camping trip. I rushed backing thinking I was late for our dinner with the missionaries only to find out that they weren't there. Unfortunately for him, I had just paid to get my hair styled because I was planning a hot date as soon as we ditched the missionaries. He was a very good sport, and we did not go camping, we had a nice evening out. Now we are headed off for a long bike ride. Then we are going to get our kids back and paint the garage. I love my guy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Fun New Game

video

My sister Ashley, Mark and Justice

Cooking with Clayton

Ingredients:
  1. half a jar of honey
  2. 2 handfuls of cocoa
  3. a handful of cornstarch
  4. uncooked pasta
  5. a smattering of salt and pepper
  6. 1 cup leftover waffle batter
Instructions:

Dump the honey, cocoa and cornstarch on floor. Mix in the pasta decoratively. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Follow with a splattering of waffle batter on the walls and counter-top.

Yield: A few minutes of fun for you, and one big, but rather unique, and inventive mess for Mommy to clean up.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Joys of Life Rediscovered in a Walmart Parking Lot

Walking toward the check-out counter at Walmart with my two youngest boys, I realized that a storm had rolled in while I had been shopping. 'Dang! I never have an umbrella when I need one!' I thought.

"Oh I am going to get soaked!" I whined to the check out lady.

"Yes you are!" she readily agreed.

As we were walking to the door, Justice turns to me with a huge grin and says gleefully, "We are going to get wet! I love getting wet! I'm gonna find a big puddle to jump in!"

"Wain! Wain!" chimes in Clayton happily.

I smiled and wondered when I had lost all of my sense of fun. Running through the downpour, toward my van, Justice and Clayton are laughing and having so much fun that I decided I didn't really mind the rain after all. As I buckled Clayton into his seat and loaded the stuff into the van, Justice was happily splashing. It just so happened that I had parked next to one of the parking lot's drains, so there was a river flowing in from all directions right close at hand. I stood there half in the van and half out for a minute, thinking about my one hour of quiet time when the two little boys take naps before the older kids come home from school. Then with a smile I unbuckled Clayton, took off his shoes, rolled up the bottom of my jeans and we joined Justice for the happiest seven minutes of my day.

Miraculously both boys fell asleep on the way home and I sit here in total quiet bliss, that is until Ross and Mark come home from school in ten minutes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Congratulations are in Order

Remember, you heard it here first:

I folded ALL of the socks, two weeks in a row!

I'm Raising a Couple of Monkeys




I couldn't convince him to put on some actual clothes, but at least he's wearing shoes and a helmet! Oh well, he'll get dressed sometime today.