Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's the Verdict?

Should I feel guilty that I left Spencer babysitting tonight and there happened to be a tornado warning that brought them all panicked and hiding out in the basement for 1/2 hour AND then shortly after that excitement ended Ellie threw up?

Or is it penance enough that I came home at 10:00pm to find...

my living room looking like this...

my entry way like this...

my kitchen like this....

AND dried throw-up all over the basement?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Double Bonus!

One of the saddest parts of living in the East is being so far away from grandmas and grandpas. I've always been jealous of friends whose parents come for every birthday and special occasion AND even babysit their kids FOR FREE!!!! What a fun concept!

[Lest anyone feel too sorry for us having all of our parents living more than 1500 miles away, I should admit that I have a brother, cousin, and their families living about 1 hour away. In addition we have many members of Glen's extended family nearby...super fun, but still not quite the same as a grandma or grandpa!]

Since Glen's family is quite spread out and we happen to be the only ones of his immediate family living east of the Mississippi, visits from his side of the family have been few and far between. So when Grandma Sandy called recently and informed us that she AND Aunt Lara were coming to visit...it was cause for great celebration in our house!!!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with them...the reminiscing, the perusing of old photos, laughing, getting Grandma all hooked up with a new Facebook account, and even getting Lara hooked on the Twilight series!

After Lara spent hours reading books, listening to endless three-year-old banter, and playing Barbies with Ellie...Ellie has become Aunt Lara's new biggest fan!

We got spoiled by their visit and miss them already.

Come back soon!

PS I so want to look as good as Glen's mom when I have 11 grandkids!!!

Wedding reflections

Weddings...yay! What a fun way to start your new life together. When I was in college my roommates loved to daydream about what their wedding day would be like. They had everything picked from their flowers, special songs, menu, and even colors. I, on the other hand, had never thought of any of that in my life. I dreamed of being in love and getting married, but those little details of decorations, invitations, and such were completely unimportant to me.

My mom and mother-in-law did all the planning, calling me whenever necessary...and honestly I usually just would tell them to do whatever was easiest/cheapest. I probably drove them crazy in my apathy and I'm sure I won't be a very good wedding planner when my own girls get married, but I like to think that my own nonchalance made me very easy to please. I'm sure there were little mishaps along the way (as there always are), but I don't remember any of them. In my mind everything was perfect.

So Glen's cousin was getting married this weekend. An only child. that brought his mother and sister (with the awesome name) out to the East for a visit.
The kids had a wonderful time with Grandma Sandy and Lara and felt so comfortable with them that they had no problem yelling and fighting right in front of them...so much for making a good impression.

Ellie put Aunt Lara to work reading book after book after book (sorry Lara) and playing elaborate Barbie/doll house imaginative play. Aunt Lara was a good sport and Ellie is definitely enamored!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ellie's Delight!

So what makes a three-year-old jump and down shrieking in delight?!

Finding this pink frilly dress in a bag of clothes that someone gave us!

Being rather reserved myself, seeing this moment of uninhibited joy was therapeutic to my soul and reminded me that certainly nothing can bring a smile to my face faster than the sound of a child laughing in joy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lost Cause!

Spencer: "Mom! I can't find my football jersey anywhere! I need it now!"

Me [busy making dinner]: "Have you tried your drawer?"

Spencer [in annoyed, impatient tone]: "Yes!"

Me: "Have you looked in the dryer?"

Spencer: "Mom!? You've never once washed my football jersey!"

Me: "Hmmmm....that's true. Have you looked in your, uh, pile?"

Spencer [in complete exasperation]: "Yeah, it's not there either!"

Me [starting to get a little annoyed myself]: "Okay...let me come help you."

Spencer [yelling across the house]: "I found it!"

So, where was it?

Sad thing about all this, even though I was the one who'd hung it up there in the first place, it was the last place either one of us thought to look for it.

Sadder still...Spencer is still bitter at me for hanging it up in the first place. He claims that he can never find anything when I try to organize his stuff.

Um, yeah, we could use a little organizational intervention around here!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Uphill battle!

I ask you, "How on earth am I supposed to lose the stubborn 20 lbs. of baby fat, when I have a daughter who cooks scrumptious treats like these chocolate chip brownies several times a week?" [see recipe at right]

Oh yeah--and please don't remind me that my baby's 3 years old...that just wouldn't be nice!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Old dog...new tricks.

I have a newfound empathy for children trying to sit still through church!

After basically 13 years of roaming through the halls of church taking care of small children and then the last 3 as primary secretary, today I got to go to Sunday School and Relief Society empty handed (no kids, no diapers, not even a bag)...

I'm sure that eventually I'll enjoy the quiet time for spiritual renewal, but in the meantime I'm having an awfully hard time learning how to sit still for three hours! After all, I'm to the point in life that sitting still=falling asleep... :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Three Whole Hours!

Much to the happiness of myself and Ellie...

preschool has begun!!!!!

Of course it was at our house first which meant it wasn't a very relaxing week for me yet...but for five more weeks or so until my next turn I'm so eating bonbons and getting manicures every Tuesday and Thursday. LOL!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Life in a Book Title

Remember those old jokes from your teenage years like...

"All You Need to Know About Explosives" by Dinah Mite or

"How to Diet Successfully" by M. T. Cupboard or

"Why You Need Insurance" by Justin Case.

Okay, maybe my humor is a little weird, but I used to think they were hilarious.
So now here's my very own...

"Only 454 Pages Left to Read Before Book Group in 28 Hours"

by Will E. Makit

Monday, September 15, 2008

Glen Rocks!!!

As you can see from these previous posts here and here, Spencer has been having a fun experience playing football for the first time. Through the bruises, the helmet that's a tad too snug (see furrowed brow in photo below), the dripping sweat, and even his first time wearing an athletic supporter...he's working hard AND enjoying it.

So imagine our extreme disappointment when we receive his game schedule and we see that four of his seven games are scheduled on Sunday.

Of course we'd realized that it was possible, but we thought we'd done our research since we'd asked a lot of previous participants in this league about this very issue, all of whom told us that they generally only had one game at most each season. Even the sports' league website indicates that they keep the Sunday games to 25% or fewer of the total games on each team's schedule, which would've meant 2 or fewer for us. We figured we could deal with missing 1 or 2, but 4 out of 7?!?!

So here we are faced with his very first season where either Spencer would only be able to play 3/7 of his games or that we would be forced to go against our convictions and start down a very slippery slope (in our opinion) of playing on Sunday. Of course neither option is very appealing to us.

My immediate state of mind upon learning of his schedule was of frustration and helplessness--what could we do to change anything in this gigantic league with thousands of players?

Glen's immediate state of mind was "we should write to the football commissioner and see what can be done about this", which he did.

A week went by without any response (surprise, surprise)...

Since this coming week was going to be his first Sunday game, Glen decided to escalate his response and write a letter to the president of the whole league...which he did.

And much to our shock and delight...within twenty minutes of writing the email we got schedule change notifications that two of his Sunday games had been switched to Saturday!!!! Even the coaches are exceedingly shocked that the bureaucracy would budge.

I believe it's more than just the old adage about the squeaky wheel...I have goosebumps and a tear in my eye. What a small thing that is a big blessing for our family.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kicking Butt!!

After Spencer's football team totally shut out their opponents 13-0,

thanks, in part, to Spencer's awesome tackling skills...

we were so excited that our other favorite football team totally shut out UCLA 59-0!!!!!!!

(yeah that's us hanging out in our jammies while Adam took a picture of us in our full BYU glory)


Friday, September 12, 2008

Chocolate Chip Brownie Recipe

Cami asked for this recipe from her Aunt Karey, after sampling some of these scrumptious treats at baby Lincoln's blessing. The recipe originated with Karey's mother, Kathy Vaughn.

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 Tbs. vanilla
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Additional toppings as desired (such as white chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, chopped nuts, creamy peanut butter, etc)

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended. Pour into greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with desired chips and nuts.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until brownies test done.


Why I Can't Live in Seattle...

Our freedom...

So Lady-like!

I'm having a major blogging block, so here's a classic picture from the photo files...

Uncle Matt brings out the best in everyone!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Own ABC's --2008 version

I've been tagged! I did this similar one almost a whole year ago, but since I’ve been tagged again by my friend Denise, here are the ABC’s of me in 2008!

A-Attached or Single: Attached

B-Best Friend: Glen

C-Cake or Pie: Pie

D-Day: Sunday afternoons

E-Essential Item: Computer...sadly.

F-Favorite Color: Red or blue--depending on the day

G-Gummi bears or gummi worms: No thanks, I prefer chocolate

H-Hometown: Blaine, Minnesota

I-Indulgences: anything with chocolate and peanut butter

J-January or July: July. No question.

K-Kids: 5 awesome kids.

L-Life is incomplete without: my quiet time in the afternoon

M-Marriage Date: December 18, 1993

N-Number of Siblings: Just 7.

O-Oranges or Apples: Apples.

P-Phobias or Fears: of being completely misunderstood

Q-Quote: "The greatest work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home." Harold B. Lee

R-Reason to Smile: I've got six big reasons! (that's including Glen you know!)

S-Season: Autumn

T-Tag Three: Charlene, Alex, Deanne

U-Unknown fact about me: I dread Saturdays—they’re just not fun like they used to be in my younger years!

V-Vacation destination of choice: Greece or Italy

W-Worst Habit: Procrastination.

X-X-Rays or Ultrasounds: Ultrasounds...I think I could give my own now.

Y-your favorite food: Chicken Parmesan

Z-Zodiac Sign: Taurus (Glen would agree that this is a fitting sign for me).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Kindred Spirits!

Remember this post about Emma's knack for messes...

Well, I'm pleased to tell you that not only is her "gift" going strong, but she's also found a kindred spirit!

Whereas Adam would've been traumatized if any of the mud had even brushed against him, Emma and her friend were quite content standing mid-calf in the thick oozy mud finding "treasures" to put in their bucket!

There's nothing like a good friend who's not afraid to get a little muddy with you!

Monday, September 8, 2008

$65 ripoff!

Our first sign of trouble should've been when we discovered that there wasn't a Marriott within 50 miles of Somerset, PA.

Next bad sign...Holiday Inn, Days Inn, Hampton Inn, Best Western, and even Super 8 are all booked!

So what's left?

Knights' Inn...only $65 a night and has a free breakfast . Doesn't sound too bad. So what kind of hotel does $65 a night buy?...

...one with giant centipedes...

...and a gourmet breakfast that looked just like this!

Next time we'll just go camping!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Holy Hanna!

With the remnants of Hurricane Hanna making our Saturday VERY soggy, the kids decided to make the best of it by...

running, jumping...

splashing, wrestling...
boat racing, rolling, giggling...

and even swimming!

Of course Glen wasn't having quite so much fun as he spent 3-1/2 hours outside trying to rig up our broken downspout to get the water away from the house.

We're happy to be safe and dry and very glad it hasn't turned out like Isabel when we were without power or phone for an entire week!


"And it came to pass that the soldier who stood by, who smote off the scalp of Zerahemnah, took up the scalp from off the ground by the hair, and laid it upon the point of his sword, and stretched it forth unto them, saying unto them with a loud voice:
Even as this scalp has fallen to the earth, which is the scalp of your chief, so shall ye fall to the earth except ye will deliver up your weapons of war and depart with a covenant of peace."

Probably one of the most disturbing verses in all of the scriptures...

but to hear it in a sweet little three year old voice as she's repeating it back for her turn in scripture reading it was hard not to smile (okay maybe snicker) at the irony of it all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Berry Fun Day....

My family has a knack for making unexpected visits. All of the Crain in-laws have been a little shocked at this funny habit of ours, yet somehow we keep doing it. We even just did our own surprise trip when when we showed up at Matt & Karey's apartment in Oklahoma.

Despite its regular occurrence, I was nonetheless shocked (and elated) when Aunt Heather showed up at our door for Labor Day weekend (and for Lincoln's baby blessing).

So she got to join in on our weekend festivities which included raspberry picking at Butler's Orchards. We picked 6 lbs. of berries...

and did a whole lot of munching!

If it weren't for the ninety seconds when we could hear Ellie sobbing hysterically but couldn't find her in amongst the raspberry bushes...it was a berry fun day! (sorry to be cheesy with the Strawberry Shortcake talk).

With six pounds of raspberries in the house I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a couple of batches of jam. Not that canning jam saves any money at all after purchasing the fruit, pectin, sugar, and jars....but there's just nothing quite like fresh raspberry jam on homemade bread. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Happy day!

It was an early morning wake-up call for us this morning, but no one seemed to mind too much! The kids were dressed and ready for the day in record time and I'm not quite so sure who was happier about the new school year--me or them!

Cami began her reign as "Madame President" with a big smile on her face!

Emma was so excited about 2nd grade that she came home today and demanded that since she hadn't gotten any homework that I make her some math worksheets! (I wish some of my other kids would ask me for some math practice once in a while!)

Adam was so giddy about starting kindergarten he was hanging out in front of the house with his backpack on 45 minutes before the bus was scheduled to come. He came home a little tired, but just as enthusiastic about his day tomorrow and also quite concerned that he didn't have any homework yet!

The only sad person about all of this was poor Ellie who was beside herself with boredom and wouldn't leave my feet the entire day. Thankfully preschool will be starting soon and hopefully she'll learn to enjoy her new found Mommy time.

Welcome Lincoln ...

Meet my newest little nephew....Lincoln Beethoven Crain.

Okay, okay....I'm just kidding about the middle name. It's actually Lincoln Matthew, but he has the most amazing ear for music as I've ever witnessed in such a young child (he even loves Paul Potts). He's also exceptionally cute as you can plainly see!

I'll be the first to admit that I was a complete and total baby hog...only passing him to another set of arms with great reluctance!

Enjoying a gorgeous Sunday afternoon after church in Somerset, Pennsylvania found my brother Pete tossing his daughter Lauren into the clear blue sky! (Look at those perfectly pointed toes!)

And Spencer climbing trees (surprise, surprise!!!)

And even some good old fashioned wrestling! (Poor Lauren)

The best part of all was seeing my baby brother Matt and his sweet wife Karey totally enjoying being parents. I loved seeing how gentle and sweet they were with their little baby Lincoln...and with each other. Lincoln is definitely a blessed little guy to be born to such awesome parents!

Congratulations Matt & Karey!!!

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