Thursday, June 30, 2011

"We have much to do and less time to do it in..."

Why do I always do this? I have had all week to get ready for Saturday's big shin-dig and sure as shooting tomorrow will find me running around like a headless chicken trying to finish getting things done. Things like cleaning, cooking, and decorating for the 4th of July. I am still in the delusional state where the insanely long list of tasks still seems manageable, despite the fact that I know it takes the better part of a whole day to clean the whole house...

I know that 24 hours from now I will be wondering why I took the time to clean the silverware organizer before tackling the biggies like toilets and floors. It's much more likely that guests will notice my crunchy, sticky kitchen floor long before they reach for an extra fork and think, "Oh my, this silverware organizer is pristine!"

What can I say? I apparently must enjoy the rush of adrenaline that comes with waiting until the last possible second before starting huge projects, because I keep doing this. I was the queen of the all-nighter in high school. I never pack until the night (or day) before we leave on a trip. Heck, most of the time I never even start doing the laundry to pack until the night (or day) before we leave on a trip. And let's not even talk about the wedding dress. (That was a close one.)

If it all gets done tomorrow, well and good. If not... I may just throw everything into the laundry room, lock the door and buzz the vacuum around a bit. I figure everyone is coming to see Jake, not to do a white glove test in my living room. But please leave your white gloves home anyway...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


That's what everyone in this house is.

Such great timing....

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Last week I was not very good at getting to my morning workouts. I was resolved on Monday morning to rededicate myself and get there every morning, and once there to work my fanny off! Both literally and figuratively...

So far, so good. (And yes, I am well aware that today is Tuesday....) The problem is I am so sore I am walking funny! That hasn't happened since my first two weeks of working out. And as I am sitting here typing this and feeling all of my leg muscles tightening up and dreading getting up to go hunt down the ibuprofen, it occurs to me that I may have been really kind of stupid today since I was already sore when I woke up.

Let's examine the decision making progress here today.

1) Go to 6:30 am workout. I stand by this one. I have discovered through trial and error that the best way to combat sore, stiff muscles is to keep moving.

2) Do 4+ hours of fairly heavy duty cleaning. Hmmm, I am on the fence here because it all needs to be done before Saturday and anything I didn't get done today is still on my plate for tomorrow when I will undoubtedly be even more sore...

3) Do 1+ hour(s) of yard work. My in laws were so kind to come over and help me get the yard clean up started for Saturday. In retrospect it was perhaps not the best idea to start hacking and whacking through the overgrown jungle in the corner. I don't really know what I was thinking, other than once I got started I became consumed with the eradication of the Oregon Grape and Virginia Creeper vines that are the bane of my yard.

4) Go to 7:30 pm Zumba class. This one was probably pushing it. Caite even tried to give me an out and offered to just go walking with me when I was whimpering from pushing on the gas and brake pedals in the van. I didn't go to Zumba last week though, and I really missed shaking my stuff! Oh well, what's done is done.

I have already soaked in a nice long bath, complete with Sore Muscle Relief bath salts. I'll give the anti-inflammatory a try. And if all else fails I guess I will scale back the workout tomorrow. But I will be there. I'm rededicated, remember?

Monday, June 27, 2011

A rite of passage...

I have talked to enough people to know that at some point in his life my son will probably try to jump off of a roof. It's been explained to me that it is a guy thing, a rite of passage, and inevitable. I consider it hard proof that there is something wacky in how guy's brains are hard wired...

This is at Libby's birthday party tonight. Taylor wanted Jake to climb onto the roof and screw some nozzles into his mister system... because Taylor doesn't have a ladder.
  (We're going to bypass the glaringly obvious fact that his father-in-law is in the construction trade and probably owns every type of tool and ladder ever made, but whatever.)  
Jake of course was thrilled to be allowed to climb on the roof and do manly house fixing type things. I just want it on record that it was Brian who gave permission for this, not the anxious mom who walked around to the other side of the house so she couldn't see her son dangling over the edge of the roof. I did find comfort in the fact that if he plummeted off the roof, we were in the company of competent medical professionals who would know what to do. I also just asked them to make sure he didn't end up breaking any more bones before Saturday... I did not want to have to postpone the baptism yet again.

After it was all over and Jake was once again on terra firma, he came over to me and said, "Well, I think I just earned my Risking Life and Limb patch."
Yeah, that makes me feel so much better...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gearing up for a very full week...

So far this week we have four church functions, two parties, three family activities and one major holiday celebration planned. And all of that is on top of our daily "no couch potatoes" activity. Plus somewhere in there I need to find time to clean my house, catch up my laundry, and bake a couple dozen cookies. Time to dig out the Super Mom cape and tights!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Communication is key and love is a daily decision.

I am feeling blue around the edges. Not all the way through, but just a tinge here and there. I can't even pinpoint exactly why. But it led to sharp tongues and short words and hurt feelings for a while tonight.  After we yelled for a few minutes, we tried talking instead. And the tongues got softer and the words were more expressive and the feelings got less hurt. About twenty minutes later I was thinking that it is amazing to be able to walk away from an exchange that started so poorly, with no bad feelings left, in such a short amount of time. So although I am still a little blue, I am also very grateful for the relationship I share with my husband. I love that we are able to acknowledge that as much as we "irritate the living snot" out of each other, we wouldn't want to trade it for anyone else's "snot". I am also grateful that he recognizes the medicinal properties of chocolate for when a girl is feeling a little blue...

Friday, June 24, 2011

The inaugural barbecue...

Today was a good day. I literally forced myself out of bed and to the gym. I was glad I went, although I am feeling it now! When I got home I noticed the lawn was looking a bit brown, and I remembered that I hadn't turned on the sprinklers. So I went to turn them on and set it to run a manual watering for that morning. But I happened to look in the back yard and noticed that the kids had left some books where they would have been ruined by the water. So I went out and brought in the books. And then I noticed how many popsicle sticks and wrappers were all over the back yard, so I hurried to gather them up before they turned into a soggy mess. And before I knew quite what happened I had spent two hours cleaning off my back patio. Since it was so nice and clean it made me want to have a barbecue. So I texted Diane and invited them to one. Which meant I needed to go to the grocery store. So I then spent two hours cleaning out my fridge, freezer, and both pantries so that I knew exactly what I needed to get. I think that everyone has something that they are a bit anal about. For me it's my fridge. I normally clean it out every two weeks. Like pull everything out, wash down the shelves, kind of clean it out. I think it stems from growing up in a house where there were usually 25 open bottles of salad dressing in the fridge. It drove me crazy when it was my turn to cook or to put away the leftovers.

Anyway, I feel much better when my fridge looks like this.

A place for everything and everything in its place. 
(Before you think too well or too harshly of me, remember the only place in my house this applies is the fridge.)

A two hour shopping trip later we were restocked and ready to rock and roll!

A good shot of my nice clean patio. 
Lila is giving me the thumbs up for remembering "Safety First!"

The one hiccup to a great evening. I just about burned the grill down. I was preheating it and apparently there was a bit more grease or something than I had thought. I am glad to report that we all kept cool heads and the crisis was quickly averted.  I am just not sure if the nickname "Old Smokey" is now referring to me or the grill...

We dragged our tables outside because I was determined to eat on the clean patio.

It was worth it. Such a perfect night.
But it will be much nicer when we don't have to rearrange the furniture to have a cook out.

After dinner ice cream cones.

Sherbet .... yum.

Evie ended up wearing most of hers and trying to lick the rest off her arm.

Thanks Salisbury's for hanging out and making our first barbecue a complete success.
 Here's to many more summer nights spent this way!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hanging out at Em's...

Today was filled with sunscreen, sprinklers, otter pops, sandbox digging, trampoline jumping and picnic lunching with Emilie and her kids. And all that was before 1 pm. After that much fun we headed home for a much need rest.

We went to visit Grandma-Great in the hospital where she is recovering from a knee replacement surgery and the kids took turns taking rides in her wheelchair. It's made them very excited for when their daddy gets his wheelchair.

I came home a little early from knit night to help wash the various substances out of the girls hair. Which was quite a chore, but I don't mind. The way I figure it the more things you have in your hair at the end of the day is equal to the amount of fun you had. So judging by the bath water these kids had a ball!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We may have a solution...

To the problem of Lila ending up in our bed every. single. night.

Train her to get into bed with Evie! 
If all she needs is a warm body to snuggle with I am more than happy to volunteer her sister...

Today was library day. The story times feature a different area of the world each week and this week we visited Asia. Jake's lunch request? Egg rolls and rice so he could try out the chopsticks he got.  The rest of the day was spent playing in the backyard and having quiet reading time with our new library books. I hit the wall around 5 and dozed off while reading. I woke up to some seriously ornery children who I got to then load up and run a few errands with, including the grocery store. I thought they were starving on top of the ornery, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that Jacob had made them all peanut butter sandwiches while I was napping.  He is a pretty awesome big brother and just a generally swell kid. Moments like that make me a proud mama. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Twofer Tuesday

We had a nice laid back Tuesday.  I was feeling so energetic this morning that I got some cleaning done before the movie and we were even early! The movie this week was "The Tale of Despereaux" and when we left the theater to go home and make lunch all of my kids wanted soup. Jake was all for making soup from scratch, but I told him it would take several hours before it would be ready to eat, so he compromised with canned soup but cooked on the stove top instead of the microwave.

After dinner tonight I came into the living room to find Lila doing this. She said she was making cookies, but big sister soon had her convinced they were perfect for an indoor snowball fight! Why do we spend money on toys and entertainments for our children when they would be perfectly fine with a cardboard box, sticks and string and random loose fiberfill?   

Oops, here's for yesterday...

So... yesterday was a really fun and busy day. 
We went swimming and I actually remembered the camera and the camera card! Yay!

After swimming we scrounged up some lunch at Pa Dave's house and then went around the corner to my friend Myra's.  The moms knitted and talked and the kids rode their bikes, played with Lego's and chased the dog. Lila tried to ride the dog, stomped through the flower beds, dumped a glass of water on Myra's day planner, and tracked sidewalk chalk in and all over the couch... 
I hope Myra will still want us to come back someday.

That night we went to our friend Addie's 2nd birthday party. We had cake and ice cream and there was a castle pinata stuffed with all kinds of goodies for the kids. They were running around in full blown sugar-high mode by the time we left just before 9 pm.

We came home, had baths and I was in bed and out at 9:30.  I don't know what time the rest of my family went to bed, I was so dead to the world.  I only meant to lay down and read for a moment while Brian was getting changed into his pajamas. The next thing I knew the alarm was going off at 6 am. It was really very disorienting. It was nice to go work out not fighting fatigue the whole time though. I may have to try to do that on purpose next time...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Brian, I know that you have already been spoiled with your amazing father's day presents of a tee-shirt, a foot scrubber and some candy. But I wanted to give you one more gift today, I wanted to write into our family record my feelings about you and the role you fulfill in our family.

You are such a wonderful father. You are a good provider, a good teacher, and a good man who is setting a example to your children of what a husband and a father should be. There is no doubt that your children all adore you. They run to you with open arms and genuine joy every time you come home, whether you've been gone for two days or two minutes. Your kindness, your humility, and your perseverance through all of life's challenges are some of your best qualities and things that I admire you for greatly. The priesthood that you hold and honor blesses our home and our family. The support you give me to learn and enjoy new pastimes is so appreciated.  Most especially I have come to realize over the past few months, that for all the struggles and problems we've had to work through and overcome through the years I have never, ever, not even for one second, ever doubted that you love me and the children with every fiber of your being.  Being loved that completely is a precious gift that I will always be grateful for.  I know that these children we have been blessed with are miracles. This life we have is a miracle. It's so easy to get bogged down in the day to day and forget just how amazing our story really is. I love you so very much and I want everyone to know what an exceptional man you are. So Happy Father's Day my love, thank you for being the father of my children.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Night: Date Night!

Tonight Brian and I got away for a much needed date night. It was even more fun because we met up with Sarah and Kyle for dinner and a movie to celebrate her birthday. Well, we eventually met up. It was a struggle at first because (and I am sure this will come as no surprise to anyone who has known us for any length of time) we were running a little late. Just as we were getting to the theater Sarah called to say that the restaurant we had planned to meet up at was no longer in business and did we have an opinion as to where else sounded good. The rest of the conversation went a little like this...

Me: Where are you guys?
Sarah: We're on the north side of the theater.
Me to Brian: They're on the north side of the theater... where are we?
Brian: The south side.
Me: What are you wearing?
Sarah: Black and grey, Kyle's in a white polo.
Me: The north side? We're on the north side now, I don't see you...  long pause
Me: Wait, you said Jordan Landing right?
Sarah: Yeah
Me to Brian: Is this Jordan Landing?
Brian: No this is Jordon Commons.
Me to Brian: Did I tell you Jordon Commons?
Brian: Nope, you did say Jordon Landing... crap.

We eventually made our way over to Jordon Landing and still had time to eat. Whew! After dinner we went and saw "X-Men: First Class" which I thought was very entertaining and a great action movie. The X-Men movies are some of the few superhero movies that I actually like. I really liked how they tied their story line into real historical events. The only downside for me was that the sound was cranked so loud I had a definite headache by the time the show was over. (Boy, does that make me feel old...)

Thanks Sarah and Kyle for letting us tag along on your date night, it was fun as always to get to spend time with you. And thanks to Grandma T, and Caite and Patrick for watching our children so we could go out. It is a huge favor to take on our three crazy kids, and we both appreciate it more than we can say.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday: Make or Bake Day!

Today we make!

One of my favorite summer pastimes as a child, friendship bracelets made out of floss and beads.

I was surprised at how quickly they both picked up the basic concept. Evie needed a little more hands on help, and lost interest faster than Jake, but still not bad for our first project. 
Jake is eagerly planning on making a friendship bracelet for everyone he knows. 
His exact words, "Braceleting is my new favorite thing to do."

Here are some other things my kids did today that made me laugh. 

While we driving around doing errands I got stuck in some construction traffic. "What is with all this traffic!" I demanded of no one in particular. From the back seat Evie answered with complete seriousness, "Mom, there are a lot of people in this world. And they have to drive to places too." Put in my place by my four year old.

While Jake was at his day camp I took the girls for a picnic and let them play at the park. There were quite a lot of children so I just tried to keep a general eye on my girls. Evie quickly became friends with two little girls that looked to be about her same age and had a grand time playing with them. After awhile I heard a boy calling out, "Lila! Lila!" Since that isn't a very common name I looked to see where my Lila was. She had made friends with two little boys that looked to be about 8 or 9 years old and they were following her around and following all of her rather bossy directions. I don't quite know how to feel about the fact that my two year old is already making the boys dance to her tune...

Jake really enjoyed his first day of Cub Scout Camp. While he was telling us all about it he mentioned there was a trading post and asked if he could have some money to take for tomorrow. I told him I'd think about it and give him an answer later. I meant that I needed to talk to his dad about it, but about twenty minutes later he came back.
 "Hey Mom, about that money for scout camp?"
"So... how are we feeling about that?"
It took everything I had to casually turn my head and swallow the snort that wanted to break free. In a somewhat strangled voice I said, "You need to ask your dad about it."  
It would not be a good thing for him to learn that I would have given it to him just for giving me such a good laugh.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random Thursday...

Today I only read one book.
I did start knitting a sweater and got a good bit of it done. 
I had big plans for catching up on laundry. 
I injured myself while folding the first batch and lost my enthusiasm for it. 
(I was vigorously shaking out a pair of jeans and whipped myself with them... it really hurt.) 
I did do the dishes this morning. 
I always feel better when my kitchen sink is clean. 
My mental blinders let me ignore the rest of the messy house and focus on the clean sink. 
I spent quite a bit of time trying to convince Lila she was tired enough to take a nap.
She remained unconvinced. 
Jake is going to his first Scout Camp (day camp) tomorrow.
He is thrilled. 
I am mildly apprehensive, but pleased that he is thrilled. 
I am trying to decide what to do with the girls tomorrow. 
Maybe we'll read some more...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rather uneventful....

After I came home from the gym, bathed, ate my breakfast and did a batch of laundry, I still had over an hour to lounge around and read before the rest of my family woke up for the day. Unfortunately my stomach decided it wasn't happy and I crawled back into bed as everyone else was getting up. Days like this make me really appreciate my son. He was so sweet and helpful all morning, getting himself and his sisters breakfast, keeping them entertained and even bringing me some toast he made me. I stirred myself to make lunch for them and then headed back to bed. Fortunately Lila was willing to snuggle down for a nap with me this time, Evie was tired enough to tuck herself in for a nap in her own bed, Jake settled down for some quiet reading time and we passed an equally quiet afternoon. I am feeling better this evening, if somewhat frustrated with the state of chaos that is my house. But not quite frustrated enough to motivate me to get up and deal with the chaos. I'd rather go back to bed and read some more. I did finish three books today, so I guess I did accomplish something after all...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A perfect summer day...

Today was a great day. We woke up late enough that breakfast was popcorn and candy at the movies. My kids think I'm pretty much the coolest mom ever. (I think that doing something crazy like that every so often keeps them on their toes.) The movie was "How to Train Your Dragon" which is one of our favorites. I particularly enjoyed it because the last time we went to see it in the theater, Lila was a pill and I missed most of the exciting parts while walking her up and down the hall.

After the movie we went and had a front porch picnic with Caite and Patrick at Pa Dave's house. Since we were already there, of course we had to swim for a bit. As my dad said, "The pool likes to be used." Sitting on the porch swing and eating ice cream afterwards I kept trying to decide what song would make the best sound track for such a perfect summer day.

And in conclusion I would just like to thank everyone for the comment love on yesterdays post. I am blushing at all your kind words of encouragement. I have to hurry and finish this so I can go comment on four more blogs before midnight to make my goal! (The thing about having such fun and busy days is I am not online very long and so have to cram my daily to-do's into a short amount of time...)

Monday, June 13, 2011

I've been thinking...

That it's a good thing that I don't blog for the comments. I had over 100 hits today, and not one comment. I've been thinking there could be a couple of reasons for that.

1) I've been writing boring stuff that there isn't anything to comment about.

2) People are really busy and don't have time to leave a comment.

3) Some people (i.e. my grandmother) would like to leave a comment but don't really know how to work their computer...

I won't lie, I love comment love as much as the next blogger. It makes me feel connected to actual people instead of thinking I'm sending my thoughts out to be lost in cyberspace. I try to reciprocate and share the comment love with others, but maybe my comment karma needs a bit of a boost. I will make it a goal to compose five thoughtful and sincere responses to others blogs every day this week and just hope that if the comment love starts to flow my way again it won't be in the form of spam.

But even if I never get another comment again that is okay too. This is primarily a record for me and my family to look back over and enjoy the memories. I get a real kick out of reading back over my posts every couple of months or so... l mean let's face it, I am hilarious! ( Well, at least my kids are...)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Taking a deep breath before plunging back in...

This title could be true for so many different parts of my life right now. Sometimes I just feel like I am barely keeping my head above water and dog paddling for all I am worth to keep from being swept away, in parenting, in housework, emotionally, you name it.

I think that's why I love Sundays so much. It feels like a moment where I can stop the day to day grind type stuff and focus on my family and the bigger picture of my life. So even though my house is a disaster, my laundry pile is a joke, and my to do list is out of control, right this very moment I feel happy and blessed that my little family is together just enjoying each other's company.

Tomorrow is the start of a new week and I'll jump back in a little bit stronger and ready to take on whatever floats my way.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wedding Snapshots

We love to get dressed up all fancy... well, at least the girls do. 
(Note the state of comfort the boy has reached.)

Evie eating a fancy cupcake wearing her fancy new cupcake dress.

Getting ready to head home, Lila was thrilled to be liberated from her dress. Silly girl.

It was a beautiful wedding and a lovely (and very long) day.
Congratulations Lauren and Austin!

Shopping shouldn't be such hard work

I quite literally shopped until I dropped today. I think I tried on every dress within ten miles of my house. But at least I finally found a dress to wear to the wedding tomorrow. Oh! And shoes! Yea for cute shoes that don't hurt! Check back tomorrow for pictures of us all in our wedding attending finery. Hopefully I will post before midnight tomorrow (tonight?) so I can get back on schedule...

Friday, June 10, 2011

A very long (but good) day...

It's late. Late enough that it's technically tomorrow. So I will give you the quick version.

We went to the park for a picnic and had about an hour or so to play before we got rained out. We didn't want to stop the party so we went to my cousin's house and had a wonderful afternoon hanging out and visiting while the children played.  I ran home, changed, and dropped the kids off to the grandparents to beat rush hour traffic out to Salt Lake to pick up Brian. From there we headed down to the Mount Timpanogos Temple to attend a session where my cousin Lauren was taking out her endowment. It is always such a wonderful experience to get to go to the temple with the extended family and be surrounded by the people you love and who love you. I am so excited for Lauren and her fiancé, Austin. I think they truly deserve all the happiness they are going to have.

But all of this made for a very late night, and apparently a stream of consciousness rambling type post. I could very well read this back in the morning and think, "Huh? What was I trying to say...."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesdays: Library Day

I have changed my mind. Our first Make or Bake Day craft is going to have to be library bags for each child. I have a rule that each child can only check out as many books as years they are old, but that is starting to add up to a pretty heavy load for one bag.  (And that's not even counting my books. I go to the library on Tuesdays after Zumba with Caitlin because there is no possible way to browse in a library when accompanied by small children...)

But aside from the whole heavy book issue, I really enjoy sharing my love of libraries and reading with my children. I like that they are (mostly) well behaved and that they know they can ask the librarians for help in finding books. Lila can't ever be bothered to look at books while we are in the library (but she always wants one to read on the way home when the other kids are looking at their books) so I grabbed two random board books for her.  Evie chose four princess stories that I am secretly excited to read too, the illustrations look beautiful. One of Jake's selections was a Star Wars themed cookbook. Now I have get to spend the next week making and eating things like Yoda Soda and Wookie Cookie. The things we do for our children...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday: Movie Day

Day Two of Operation: No Couch Potatoes was a rousing success. We saw "Megamind". The first time I saw this movie I didn't really enjoy it. I can't for the life of me remember why though, maybe it was hormonal? Today I laughed and laughed through it. The kids were really well behaved and even Lila sat quietly with the aid of a few bribes treats. I am excited for next week, they are showing  "How to Train Your Dragon" and I love that movie!

We came home for lunch and some down time, but by this afternoon we were ready for another swim. (I am grateful that none of us are blond enough to take on that green tinge from being in the chlorine all summer, even if we do smell strongly of it.) Caite, Patrick and Pa Dave were all home to swim with us this time, which made it extra fun! I have to laugh at myself though. I remembered to take the camera with me, but forgot to take any pictures. Grrr. At some point during the summer I will get a picture of my three little fish splashing in the pool.

Jacob gets his cast off tomorrow and I am not sure who is more excited, him or me. I'm tired of "accidentally" getting smacked in the face with it when he gives me a hug.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Operation: No Couch Potatoes

That's my goal for the summer. I am sure I am not the only one who's children would quietly and happily while away the entire summer watching cartoons and playing video games. I am going to out myself here and admit that there has been more than one summer day that we've not bothered to change out of pajamas as we moved from bed to couch, and no one's even been sick! (Gasp! Shocked denials! I know, you'd never have thought it of me...) For me, it all boils down to needing some form of structured schedule. And it's only taken me eight years of being a mother to figure that out, imagine that.

And so I've done just that. I have outlined a weekly schedule that includes mostly free activities that necessitate getting dressed and leaving the house to interact with the public. That means shoes, shirts and hair done in the morning!

Mondays: Swimming. Free at Grandpa's pool. (We are so lucky!) Added bonus of Lila not fighting taking a nap, and all the children going to bed early. Hmmm, swimming might become a daily activity for us...
Tuesdays: Movie Day. $1 movie showing at our local theater. So $4 at the theater or $1 to rent a Redbox if it's a movie we don't want to go see.
Wednesdays: Story Time at the Library. Free, also helps cut down on library fines because if I go once a week I don't forget to return my books.
Thursdays: Picnic and Parks. Free and fun to try visiting all the different parks around us. This is something my mom used to do when we were children and is one of my favorite memories of my childhood. Hours and hours playing at different parks with cousins and friends.
Fridays:  Make or Bake Day. My kids love to do crafts and they adored having cooking lessons with Grandma-great last year. So I am seeing what materials I have on hand and coming up with different crafts or cooking lessons we can do. Jake has expressed much interest in making a puppet theater. That may be our first project.

All this comes after doing our daily chores, which I have high hopes of getting back to a place where the daily chores only take 15-20 minutes. Sometimes that feels so do-able... sometimes not so much.

I'd love to hear any ideas or success stories people have about keeping kids entertained and active during the summer. Us moms gotta stick together now that we're outnumbered!

P.S. We went swimming for the first time this summer and had a blast! I am still kicking myself that I forgot to grab my camera though. I guess there is always next week...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The song of a bird...

If you remember last Sunday's post about the robin's nest in our grandparents back yard, here is an update.

Two of the eggs have hatched. 

The kids were once again enthralled by nature. 

I am impressed by the lessons they are learning, mostly to respect nature and observe from a distance... hopefully.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Guest Post # 2: It's a Guy Thing!

No cutsie pictures of the kids or flowers today, so you know it has to be someone else authoring this time!

Today Chrissy has given Jacob and I (Brian) the "opportunity" to do a guest post on her blog (Truth be told - I don't remember it being a request...).  
It's been a nice mellow Saturday for us around here.  Jacob had a birthday party for a friend, but that and a couple of errands was all that was on the schedule.  

When I went to pick Jacob up from the party, I thought it would be fun to drive up and see if we could get close enough to see the gigantic helicopter we saw flying over North Salt Lake carrying something.  I know, that's a guy thing (or so I've been told).  We found that it was actually carrying huge lengths of pipe for a natural gas line and we were able to get pretty close to the action!  

Here, I'll let Jacob tell you about the pictures since he was the photographer for the day:

Photo # 1 - Landing for refueling.

Photo #2
You can see the propeller blades bending from the weight.

Photo #3
It was amazing to see how fast they could load the pipes.

Jacob's part:
It was good to take a drive and get out of the house (even though the helicopter bit made me nauseous).  The b-day party was good, but there were few people there I knew. there was a piñata ,and half is in my room.  I know, it's a guy thing!

(Brian again) We were close enough that after staring at the gigantic whirling blades Jacob had a little motion sickness!  

So there you have it.  My second post, with some help from Jacob.  It was a fun day and proof that sometimes the weekends with the lightest schedules can be some of the funnest.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Let the summer begin!

How did you celebrate the last day of school?

We celebrated with slurpees and a trip to the library.

Do we know how to party or what?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A little blue...

Today I planted some flowers in my yard and thought a lot about my mom. 

Several people, including myself, have commented how much like my mother I've become in the last four months. I'm now a regular at the gym, and I actually enjoy it. I got a haircut, and it looks a lot like hers used to. I spent several hours in the past two days doing yard work and found it really rather pleasant.

I wish that I could have shared these interests with her a couple of years ago. I wish I'd made the effort to get up and go workout when she was the one teaching it. I wish I'd paid more attention as she shared her knowledge of plants and all their Latin names. I wish that we'd had more time.

It's left me in a strange place, emotionally speaking. I feel more connected to her than I have for awhile, but that in turn opens me up to missing her more and feeling sad about it. I don't know what to call it. Bittersweet, I guess. I suppose I'll just have to take another page out of her play book and see if playing in the dirt is as healing for me as it was for her. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


First of all I have to say how happy we are that Brian is home from his business trip and life around here can get back to business as normal. I have several cousins and friends who's husbands travel extensively for work and are gone for weeks at a time and I just want to say that I think they are amazing. My husband was gone for barely over 48 hours and I fell completely apart. (I am blaming about 90% of it on TOM, but still... I feel like such a wuss.) I am feeling incredibly grateful for both my wonderful extended family on both sides who went above and beyond to help me while Brian was gone, and also that traveling isn't really part of his job description so any future trips will be few and far between.

Now back to the titled post....

When I picked Jake up from school today it was just him and I running some errands. I can't even remember what we were talking about, but he made a suggestion that wasn't a good idea. I said, "No, because where would that leave us? Up the creek without a paddle."  Apparently Jake has never heard that figure of speech before. He thought about it for a moment and then said, "Well then, you'd just have to float along with the current."  I can't decide if that makes him really easy going or more of a fatalist. Either way it gave me a good chuckle and something to think about.