Friday, February 29, 2008

Demise of Pompeii (or the wild and crazy day of preschool)

So the story of our wild, crazy, and messy day of preschool (from the beginning)...

Last August our family went to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg and my macho husband (seriously you should have seen his strut) won this life-size dolphin. From the beginning I was not a fan--wondering not only how we'd get it home, but where it could possibly reside in our home! However the kids were smitten and Glen was so proud of his superior aiming skills that there was no denying I was outnumbered, thus the addition of "Pompeii" into our bustling home (named after one of the kids' favorite rides at Busch Gardens, "Escape from Pompeii").

I've been secretly hoping for his "death" for many months, mumbling under my breath every time I had to move him from a bed, to a couch, to on top of Ellie's play kitchen...anywhere out of the way. The kids even took to riding him down our stairs, a process I hoped would speed his destruction.

After 6 plus months of stair rides, wrestling matches, and usage as a giant pillow I was beginning to think he was indestructible...until today.

Five minutes after preschool began today I had a breathless preschooler run up the stairs to tell me that Cami's dolphin was broken. I was quite unconcerned as I came down to take care of it. If I would've known that this was the sight I was to be greeted with, I would've run a lot faster and probably not have grabbed the camera, but hey at least I have some documentation of the crazy day now.

After a super speedy trip to Pompeii's final resting place...the trash can...

I came back in to find them literally rolling on the floor and covering each other with his styrofoam stuffing.

This is what they looked like at this point (maybe a total of 15 minutes into preschool now).

So, while they played, I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed some more, but every time someone took a step they left a trail of white footprints ( the epitome of a vicious cycle)...

... so the only thing I could think to do other than giving them all baths and a fresh change of clothes was to vacuum the kids (how's that for a fun preschool memory?).

Vacuuming was a little more effective on the boys with their short hair...

...than on the girls who were still quite a sight to behold even after a thorough vacuuming.

Eventually we did have a little preschool time (confined to the basement so as to minimize the spread of Pompeii's innards through the house). The kids thoroughly enjoyed playing store and going shopping with real money, but I imagine if you ask them the highlight of the day it will probably be related to a giant dolphin!

Who would have ever thought that Pompeii's demise would be as explosive as his namesake's ?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time to get a new toothbrush!

The dentist says we should change our toothbrushes every 3 months, but Emma, Adam, and Ellie got new toothbrushes tonight after only a couple of weeks thanks to...

...Ellie, who while enjoying a little sink/water play decided it would be fun to add their toothbrushes into the bowl from her frequently used potty chair.

In Emma's own words...."Ewwwwwww!"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monsters under the bed...or not

Okay maybe the girls don't really have monsters under their bed, but what we did find was just as frightful...
Apparently one of our girls (no names mentioned) has been enjoying unauthorized little picnics in her bedroom with her friends. Yikes! I think I'll have to do under bed checks more often.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Budding talents

This is Cami's second year playing the cello and she's finally beginning to really enjoy it (which means she practices without me bugging her). I love the sound of the cello and I love that my kids are getting the musical training that I never had.

So once again Glen was out of town for this winter concert...which left me with four kids up past their bedtime to keep quiet and happy. I was more than a little nervous by this prospect (this nervousness amplified by the fact that the last school function I went to without Glen was the one where Ellie threw up in the middle of it).

Somehow we'd gotten there early enough to sit on the front row (anyone who knows me well will know what an anomaly this feat was---unless I mention the fact that I was convinced that the concert began at 6:30 rather than the actual starting time of 7:00). I debated on whether this was a good thing or a bad thing, but ultimately decided that sitting three feet in front of Cami would make for much better photos than from the back of the auditorium where we normally sit.

Much to my own surprise Ellie ignored all the books and activities I brought and instead spent the entire time (no kidding) pretending that two chairs together were her bed. She fastidiously laid out her blanket across the two chairs, smoothing out each and every crease. When everything was to her liking she would carefully crawl up onto it and lie down using her coat as a pillow and Emma's coat as a blanket. Then she would jump down and do it all again...over and over (without noise).

To keep Spencer and Adam happy, I handed them each a camera. Spencer with my nice one and Adam with our old one. Wow! Best money entertainment can buy. Look at the smile on Adam's face--it never left the entire night. Both he and Spencer were so stoked to have free reign with the camera and I got a glimpse into their perspective on life (and budding talents).

I never have gotten so many compliments on how well-behaved they all were (probably because they're usually not). Hmmmm....maybe I should let them take cameras to sacrament meeting. :)

Here are some of their more fun shots of the night:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm a Copycat

Okay. I know I'm a copycat...taking ideas from my friends, Denise and Ashby. But I'm the kind of person who needs ideas...
and motivation. So I'm going to try to post some of my scrapbook pages on here at least once a week...hoping that it will get me moving in the right direction on keeping up with my kajillions of photos. Getting caught up is not even something I can dream about at this point (12 years of photos before digital camera is a little intimidating), but progress has to start somewhere.

Please feel free to bug me if I start to slacken and forget to post one weekly.

Denise and Ashby...thanks for the inspiration . :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Actual conversation with Ellie this morning.

Me: Hey Ellie, what do you do with your eyes?

Ellie: See fings. (things)

Me: What do you do with your nose?

Ellie: Mell (smell) things like stinky diapers and cookies.

Me: What is your tongue for?

Ellie: For eating food.

Me: What are your ears for?

Ellie: For getting wax out of.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

California Dreaming...

This is what it looks like outside our window today...a good old-fashioned ice/freezing rain storm.

But this is life inside our house. The girls got out the beach towels and water toys, put on their swimsuits, and "played beach".

They even took turns being the life guard to save people who were in "trouble" know drowning in the mess in the playroom!

Monday, February 11, 2008

One of our favorite winter meals...

This is one of the few meals that passes muster with every single person in our family...

Potato Soup

6 cups water
6 chicken bouillon cubes
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots (or one sweet potato), cubed
1 Tbs. parsley
3 cloves garlic, pressed

Saute onion and garlic in 1 Tbs. oil for 2 minutes. Then combine with the remainder of above ingredients and simmer until the vegetables are soft.

Keeping the heat at low, add:
2 cups half & half (I usually use milk, since I rarely have half and half around)

Make a roux with:
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour (I often use whole wheat flour)

Spoon some of the hot liquid from the vegetable/cream mixture and mix slowly with the roux until it thickens and is smooth. Add roux to soup while stirring quickly. Heat for another 2 minutes. Serve hot inside of bread bowls. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

Bread Bowls

1 Tbs. yeast
1-1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
4-5 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Combine in one large bowl the remainder of the water, sugar, salt, and yeast mixture. Add just enough flour until dough is stiff enough to handle. Knead well (in Kitchen-Aid of course). Cover and let rise for 1 hour (I'm usually in too big of a hurry, so I skip this step).

Then divide dough into 6-8 sections and form into round shape. Place on greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and allow to rise about 1/2 hour. Before baking, generously brush each bread bowl with an egg white mixed with 1 Tbs. warm water. Bake at 425° for about 20 minutes or until golden.

When they are finished baking, cut a shape off the top of each one (making a lid). Then scoop out the soft part with a spoon reserving it for dipping in the soup if desired.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Preteen Craziness!

Glen and I have always been a little behind the times as far as modern conveniences go. Over the last couple of years we've slowly made some progress in this regard, with some of the advances more welcomed than others. The arrival of a DirecTV satellite dish to our house was widely loved by all (except for me, who thinks we've all put on a few pounds since its debut).

With this new technology, our kids were introduced to previously unknown shows like Suite Life of Zach & Cody, Cory in the House, That's So Raven, Drake & Josh, .. and their favorite (and mine, I must admit)...

...Hannah Montana.

So when we heard about the new 3D Hannah Montana movie they were only showing for a couple of weekends, the girls could talk about little we did what any softy parents of three girls would do...

left Spencer at a friend's house, loaded three more friends into the car (you don't want to count kids vs. seatbelts), and headed to the local theater.

Emptied our wallets and put on our super expensive 3D glasses (the only logical explanation for the $6.50 higher price per ticket!)

I guess I should've done my research better, as I'd expected the movie to be an extension of some of the cute plots and characters from the Disney show, which I must admit I enjoy watching. But after an ear-splitting hour and a half of a plotless movie that was supposed to imitate a Hannah Montana concert with hordes of screaming pre-teen girls -- my ears and mind completely numb, and I was less than impressed...and apparently so were Adam and Glen.

At least the girls had a good time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Old Man Husband!

Glen may try to tell you that he's only a year and ten months older than me, but since when do they start offering memberships to the AARP to 36-year-olds?

And in keeping with acting his age...

"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Out of ideas...

My life is busy and boring and I can't think of a single thing to blog about.

So here's a picture of me, my Mom, and brother Nate in front of the Eiffel Tower in 1975 ( a time in my life when it wasn't quite so busy or boring...too bad I can't remember it).

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Six more weeks of winter!

Well, it's official...Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning thus indicating with 30% accuracy--six more weeks of winter!
A few hundred miles of south of Punxsutawney, PA, several dozen edible groundhogs popped their heads up out of the snow and were quickly devoured by happy children.

Happy Groundhog's Day!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Crossing off our list!

Including the time we lived in Baltimore, we have lived in this area for 10 1/2 years now. (Wow--a decade seems like such long time)!

This area is just so rich with history and amazing places to visit, that you could spend every day for years visiting and never get bored! But we live here, and life goes on. So we find that with all these amazing things to do that we tend to do the same ones over and over again.

...the National Zoo, National Air and Space Museum, Baltimore Aquarium, Gettysburg, Maryland Science Center, Mount Vernon, American History museum (when it's open)....

And the Natural History Museum (Ellie loves holding these giant grasshoppers in the Insect Zoo of the Museum)...

We finally decided that after all these years that it was time to branch out and go visit some places that we've never been before.

Like Harper's Ferry.

The National Cathedral.

The National Museum of the American Indian

The US Botanic Gardens

And most interesting of all...the Mathematical Association of America. hehehe! Seriously, what do they DO here?

Still on our list: National Building Museum, Bull Run, Postal Museum and revisiting National Archives and Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Any other ideas for us?

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