Wednesday, January 30, 2008

We will miss you President Hinckley...

I love this sweet tribute to the life of our beloved prophet, President Hinckley. What an amazing life he led...we will miss him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Moderation in all things...

What happens when a five year old has a friend over at lunchtime and Mom is distracted?

...Well they asked me to open a brand new jar of dill pickles

...then ate the entire 20 oz. jar.

...and then 7 clementines each.

ummm...what else can I say? At least it wasn't an entire 1/2 gallon of ice cream and 7 cookies each.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Mom's Secret

My Mom has a crush on ******* *******

(serves you right Mom)

This is Spencer for those of you that couldn't tell( can you believe her, telling personal stuff like that)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Our Own Little Dancing Queen

Ellie has a little dramatic streak in her that keeps her laughing, clapping, singing, and chatting through life. I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised when attending our school's night at Chuck E Cheese, that she shunned all of the rides and games and hung out here at the little dancing floor having a wonderful time dancing and making new friends!

And in a related conversation with Spencer:

Spencer: "Mom! We're starting a break dancing unit in PE class!"

Me: "That sounds....mmmmm....interesting."

Spencer: "And we get to dance with girls."

Me: "Wow! How does that work? Break dancing with partners?", as I sit envisioning two twelve year olds trying to synchronize their "Worms" and back spins.

Spencer: "Did I mention we get to dance with girls and the girl I like is in my class?"

Me: "Gym class sure is interesting in middle school. When I was in school we got to square dance to fiddle music."

Spencer: "Square dance?! Oh yeah! That's what it's called. We're square dancing, not break dancing."

Me: suppressing laughter..."Slight difference there."

Spencer (unfazed): "And the boys and girls get to take turns picking their partners each time. I'm going to pick *******"

Me: "hmmmm...Maybe break dancing doesn't sound so bad after all."

14 years!

Glen and I have been married for fourteen years in December. Since our anniversary is the week before Christmas, it often gets a little lost in the festivities.

So Glen whisked me away last weekend for a late anniversary date!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Spence Comes From Behind...

Spencer loves to play basketball, but unfortunately has not been on a winning team since 2003. In fact his record over his basketball playing career is 9 & 35...with most of those wins coming in 2003. This fact has been a little discouraging to say the least, but at least he's learning lots of character in the process!

So this Saturday I brought my new camera to Spence's game to take some shots. I still need a lot of help on these action shots...but still kind of cool nonetheless.

Spence for the assist! Spencer averages about 8 points per game.

After Spencer's 6 consecutive points in the 4th quarter to come from behind...his team gets their first win of the season!

Ellie enjoys the festive spirit of the moment!

...maybe I'll bring my camera to his games more often.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Glen's the One For Me!

Okay, I’ve been tagged by my friend Denise…someone who’s known me longer than Glen has! I figure it should be pretty interesting to read all about our better anyone who wants to give it a try. Just leave me a comment on my blog when you’ve done it so I can come take a look!

What’s his name? Glen
How long have you been together? Married for just over fourteen years then another 10 months before that
How long did you date? 10 months
How old is he? 36
Who eats more? Glen.
Who said I love you first? Glen. But I readily returned the sentiment.
Who is taller? No question…Glen (he calls me shortie)
Who is smarter? I am loathe to admit it…but this is definitely Glen. Not only does he wins just about every game we play that involves strategy and brains (Scrabble, Boggle, chess, Risk, Settlers of Catan, etc) but he also very down to earth and “street smart” too.
Who does laundry? I wash and dry…he folds. Because I put all the clean clothes on to our bed, he has to fold them before we go to bed! A mean trick? Perhaps, but it works.
Who does the dishes? Traditionally it’s been Glen, but because of his work schedule lately it’s become more the kids and I.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me (closest to the door to intercept wandering children)
Who pays the bills? Actually we’re evenly split on this one…but Glen ALWAYS balances the checkbook and does the taxes (after all he is an accountant)!
Who mows the lawn? Since Glen spends two days wheezing after mowing the lawn it’s become a three way split between Glen, Spencer, and me.
Who cooks dinner? Weekdays…me. Saturdays…Glen. Sundays…joint effort.
Who drives when you are together? Glen (so I can snooze or read while he drives)
Who is more stubborn? Glen would be yelling, “Lara” right about here!
Who kissed who first? Glen asked me sweetly one night after a date, shortly before our engagement, if it was okay to kiss me. I did not refuse.
Who asked out who first? That would be me.
Who proposed? Glen (September 25, 1993 in Rock Canyon)
Who has more siblings? I do (I have 7 siblings, Glen has 5)
Who wears the pants in the family? I think this would be shared title.

Glen is truly one of a kind and I am grateful for his kindness, love, and support! He definitely brings out the best in me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thanks Mom & Dad!

One of the major things I've realized about Glen and myself in our 14 years of marriage is that neither one of us is a fixer-upper type of person. Haha that sounded funny! Glen would argue that I myself could use a lot of fixing, but I'll save that post for another day. :)

I'm talking home maintenance type of fixing up. In fact I daresay we have a much higher tolerance level than the average person for BIG annoyances around the house. After all, there aren't many people who could put up with two years of doing laundry for 7 people with a dryer that took several hours to dry one load!

So, we've made a lot of progress over the last year, but there's no denying we still have a long ways to go to get our home the way we would like it.

Thank goodness for Mom & Dad to get us moving again!

THE PROBLEM: Thirty plus year old dresser handed down from my aunts where three of the six drawers had major issues. Each time attempts were made to fix the issues, the issues would resurface in very short order! No matter how often I reorganized their drawers or got on their cases about taking better care of them...there was no two ways around was an impossible task given what they had to work with!

THE SOLUTION: Two shelving units from Target and 50% off baskets from Michaels.
The girls love it and their clothes are staying organized!! ( For the sake of fairness, I should interject here that on this project all my parents did was to help me pick the shelves out...Glen was the assembler).

NEXT PROBLEM: Ever since we rewallpapered our dining room 1 1/2 years ago, our chairs have completely clashed.

SOLUTION: Mom and Dad save the day with fabric perfectly matched to the wallpaper!

It was way too embarrassing to post the before picture on this one, let's just say it was old, ugly, and a safety hazard...and now here's our new entertainment center armoire from freecycle! Total cost: $70 to rent the truck!

They also helped me get closets organized, assembled shelves, played with our kids, babysat for us, paid for groceries, stayed up late talking with us, helped prepare all the meals, and helped make Christmas wonderful!

We miss you...when are you coming back?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mom time

I love being a Mom to five kids. Truly there's never a dull moment in my life and it's hard not to laugh constantly with the seemingly endless crazy things they say and do.

With that preface now I'll also say that sometimes the daily tasks that fill my time; like laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking, etc., seem never-ending and tedious. So over the years I've found that if I make sure that I have my own hobbies and activities to get excited about, then it somehow makes me a better Mom/wife/housekeeper/person all around.

I've gone through many "phases" in my hobbies...reading, cross stitching, letterboxing, scrapbooking, extreme bargain hunting, cook book creating, blogging, card making, and FHE lessons.

I guess it must be a part of my personality, but when I first discover the joys of whatever new activity I'm trying out I tend to go BIG! Buying carts of groceries for under $5 (but spending hours a week sorting coupons and shopping at different stores)...reading an entire series of books in a week...being in 3 FHE exchange groups at the same time...making scrapbooks for the whole get the picture.

Glen is always very supportive of whatever my hobby of the day is, but then again he's always pretty relieved when my enthusiastic zeal starts to wane a little and balance reigns again.

Thankfully I'm not currently in the middle of any huge projects or experiencing overzealousness in any of my pursuits, but here's an example of one of my "fun" things in life right now...card club. I made 10 of these frog cards, let Spencer babysit....

...and I got to enjoy an evening with the girls and receive these 10 beautiful cards in return!

And now doing the laundry, dishes, organizing, mopping, cooking...just doesn't seem as hard today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

9:00 Church.

Each Sunday through 2007 we would lament on the downfalls of having church at 1:00...Ellie missing her nap, getting home just in time for dinner, missing our afternoon walks, etc.

Now after 2 weeks at 9:00 I'm not so sure what it was we thought we were missing. Now instead of leisurely sleeping until 8:30, we're dragging groggy kids out of bed at 7:15! No more finishing up lessons, talks, or other church materials on Sunday morning! And instead of long walks and more time to prepare dinner, half the family collapses into their beds the moment they walk in the door from church!

And something I forgot...early meetings! Since Glen needs to be at the church by 7:30, that leaves only me getting everyone ready by myself. Thankfully Spencer, Cami, Emma, and Adam are mostly independent...but they're also kids. If anything more interesting comes along while they're supposed to be getting ready, they're quick to be distracted. Especially Adam.

So Adam was supposed to be getting dressed, but as we're ready to walk out the door I realize he's still standing there in his pajamas complaining that he can't find his white shirt...

...this was the first shirt we found! Forget about combing his hair. And hopefully not too many people noticed him coming into church barefoot with shoes and socks in hand!

Oops!--and he has a talk in Primary (never mind the fact that I was the one who assigned it).

How many more weeks until 1:00 church again?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Captain Underpants...a distant relative?

Being the mother of five children, I often get the comment that "I've seen it all." I'm here today to say that it is most assuredly not true that I've seen it all. Each day is filled with surprises...some delightful and others not so!

When Spencer was a toddler, he had a fascination with wearing his underpants (clean of course) like a helmet. I have several pictures from this time frame similar to this one.

So a few years later we're sitting on the floor in a school gym watching a basketball game. Cami (three at the time) is wearing a dress and not being very ladylike, so I keep trying to encourage her to sit more modestly, which on a floor is hard to do. After about half way through the game I realize after a lot of squirming, climbing, etc that it's worse than I imagined... she is not wearing any underwear at all.

So today seven years later we're in a school gym again watching Spencer's basketball game. During the time-outs kids would run out from the sidelines to take advantage of a free moment to shoot a few hoops or take a couple laps around the gym. Emma was eagerly racing back and forth while I timed her and trying desperately to get Adam to join her. Adam was being somewhat reclusive, curled up, and holding onto his ankles. Finally I realize what his issue is...his underpants are down around one of his ankles and he's paralyzed into place not sure how to proceed. How this happens I have no idea.

Have I seen it all yet? Definitely not!

Friday, January 11, 2008

About Me...

I am:
Mother to two boys and three girls, ages 5-15.
Wife to Glen for 16+ years.
Sister to 7 awesome siblings.
Daughter to caring, devoted parents.
A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
From the land of 10,000 lakes...good, (c)old Minnesota.
An avid blogger.
A BYU graduate.
A recipe collector and experimenter.
A wanna be athlete.
A little goofy.
A bargain hunter.
A photographer that still has a lot to learn.
A caretaker of house, yard, and family.
A person who thrives on a project and a deadline.
A little on the quiet side.

Cheap Entertainment...

Two dollars will still go a long way towards the entertainment of our household...

Who would've guessed a box of Band-Aids would entertain them longer than some of their Christmas presents?!

Next year we'll just buy a case, wrap it up, and call it good!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Winding down 2007...

After hosting a house full of guests for Christmas, we realized how much fun it is to have family around. We completely loved the extra attention they lavished upon each of the children and I will never complain about someone helping me organize closets and putting together shelves.

When New Year's Eve rolled around I should've been cleaning and organizing still, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I just HAD to leave the house and go somewhere new and fun or I was going to have a hormonal melt-down ( I hope you fellow female readers understand this feeling).

So off we went to our first trip to Harper's of the biggest Union surrender in the Civil War, site of John Brown's raid against slavery, and the place where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers join together in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Spencer rock climbing on some of the bluffs in the area. We were amazed at how the buildings in the town were built right up into the solid rock. (FYI: No he hasn't worn a pair of long pants yet this winter.)

The view from "Jefferson's Rock"...the place where Thomas Jefferson stood in 1783 and declared,

"The passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature."

We were as awe-struck as Thomas Jefferson.

A perfect ending to a wonderful year! Happy 2008 to all of you!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Our New Kitchen!

Okay so it isn't quite the model that I was wishing know the one with granite countertops, new tile, and stainless steel appliances...
but this one from Santa sure makes Ellie (& Emma, Cami, & Adam) smile!

I get ten-course meals several times a day, usually consisting of pizza, pie, strawberries, and eggs. Thankfully the mess they create in this cute kitchen is not near as damaging as what the kids do in my kitchen (see previous post and this one).

Now I wonder if I promise to be REALLY good this year if I can talk to Santa about getting rid of the 40- year-old countertops and appliances for next Christmas. :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

"Rass Coco Pie" Emma & Elena

Emma and Elena are only a week apart in age and they have been good friends since they were in preschool together.
Tonight they decided that they would make a delicious dessert for everyone to share.

Here is their original recipe, consisting of a graham cracker pie crust, melted chocolate marshmallows, strawberry/raspberry sauce made in the blender, and a crushed graham cracker topping.

After a lot of happy giggles, sharing of great ideas, a couple of crashes, and only a few marshmallow-y footprints on the floor...the final result was sticky, tasty, and enjoyed by all the children!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Sweet Reunion

Grandpa Loughton
October 27, 1915-January 1, 2008

Finally reunited with his sweetheart of 60+ years

Used to call Glen, "G.E."
Taught Glen how to fish
Masterful chess player
Made each one of his grandkids feel like they were his favorite
Talented poet

We love you and will miss you Grandpa.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Our Top Ten of 2007!

After an unofficial polling of each of our family members, I've come up with this top ten list of no particular order.

#10--our trip to Minnesota (relaxing at a cabin, tubing down the Apple River, hanging out with Aitch, and visiting with old friends and long lost cousins)

#9--Modern computer, high speed internet, new washer & dryer, updated bathrooms, etc

#8--Our visit to the Awakenings statue in Washington DC

#7--our visit to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA in Williamsburg

#6--BOSTON...Make Way for Ducklings, Freedom Trail, Lexington/Concord, Duck tour, etc.

#5--AnnaLisa spending the summer with us

#4--Spencer receiving the priesthood AND Glen taking him to SLC for his first priesthood session of General Conference in the Conference Center

#3--Our trip to Oklahoma to spend time with Nana and Granddad before he passed away

#2--Two new family members...Aunt Karey (married uncle Matt in February) and cousin Bridgette Leah (born December 16) AND two more to come soon!

#1--Christmas in VIRGINIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year!

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