Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 59--Free At Last!

After a long day of chores and preparing for our myriad of visitors this weekend...
the kids were more than happy to run freely in the gym while I copied and folded the programs...
but it might have been a little too much action
so late at night
since they're completely wired and still awake at 10:15pm.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 58--Twins!

Twin day at school.

Now that Cami's actually gone on shopping trips with her friends, it's not quite as hard to find someone to be identical twins with.

What happened?

I'm just wondering how this cute little bunch...
turned into this big surly looking bunch in such a short span of time?

Dang it. Someone needs to slow time down, speed up my metabolism, and infuse me with extra energy and patience.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 57--Poor Little Princess

After a long day of entertaining friends and changing clothes 47 times, Ellie was completely exhausted by the time it was time to take her friend home.
The poor little princess was just too tired to cope with her play date ending. She fell sound asleep just a couple minutes later, only to be woke up by her siblings returning from school. Poor youngest children never get enough sleep.

Grandma Frances

Frances Langston Goold
Mother to four
Grandmother to 14
Great-Grandmother to 14
The last of Glen's grandparents
Organist to thousands
Kind, loving, gentle, musical, talented
Returned to live with her eternal sweetheart this morning
We will miss you Grandma!
April 26, 1920-February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 56--Bad Hair Day

Today we had Ellie's friends over for the day. Avery and Lincoln are sweet and easygoing and all together they had a blast giggling the day away. Avery and Ellie's favorite past-time (as usual) was trying on dresses. They pulled out every long lost Easter dress we've ever owned, tried it on, then took it off 5 minutes later, to start over with a new dress.

Their only break from dress-ups and dolls was a trip outside to the trampoline where they enjoyed a gorgeous afternoon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dancing Queen Auditions?

Any of you long-time blog readers know that Ellie has always had her own ideas about fashion. Just click on this or this or this to see for yourself (and to giggle).

All my girls (and boys) have gone through this to a certain extent, but Ellie is by far my most stubborn and opinionated child when it comes to her clothing choices. I learned early on that for the most part it's not worth the power struggles that inevitably develop by forcing kids to wear cute, matching clothes every day. The independence they develop is far more valuable than wearing matching clothes.

But sometimes, like today, her outfit was a little, um, distracting. So, using my age old trick, I tried to convince her that some cute flowered pants would be much more "princess-like" than that sequined skirt.

Um, yeah. She didn't fall for that one.

Her reply to me?
"But Mom. Sparkles make me happy."

Okay then. Put on your sequins, glittery tights, and metallic vest coming your way!

Day 55--Girls' Night Out!

Using the excuse of Becca having a baby any day, we celebrated at Nielsen's Frozen Custard tonight. The custard was delicious and hanging out with the girls was a much needed distraction!

So, why do I wait for an excuse to go hang out with my friends? We should be doing this once a month or so!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 54--4.375%

It's official.

We refinanced the house today, which means we're sticking around town a while longer!

6.125% down to 4.375%. Woohoo!

Crime and Punishment

Scene of the crime:

Lunch time at this spot at the dining room table.

The Crime:

A traumatized sister running for a drink of water in sobbing hysterics.

The evidence:

1. Open bottle Dave's Gourmet Insanity Sauce (aka "The Original Hottest Sauce in the Universe")

2. An entire plate of quesadillas with reddish spots the exact same color as the aforementioned "insanity sauce".

3. A giggling brother

The punishment:

Make a new quesadilla to replace the damaged one or suffer with steamed brussel sprouts for dinner for the next three weeks.

What! We're out of tortillas? Too bad. Here's a recipe for tortillas from scratch. Good luck with that.

The result:

The king of quesadillas! At an inch and a quarter thick, it's hard to argue with this lumpy mess of cheese and tortilla.
Cami's damaged taste buds have since recovered nicely and the younger kids have started requesting Spencer to make their tortillas/quesadillas from scratch now too.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

I think you all may be noticing that I've been having fun on the I ♥ Faces website. I love digging through all my old photos and finding ones to fit the theme to enter each week. I've also loved learning how to process them, something I knew was possible, but that I'd never tried until a couple weeks ago.

Now that I won 8th place in last week's "Wonder" theme for the photo of my brother, sister-in-law and their newborn baby, I think I'm hooked for good!

This week's theme is "Black and White", which turned out to be a lot harder than it seemed until I found this picture of Adam playing outside in a quickly passing rainstorm. Transforming it into black and white only seemed to enhance all the things I already loved about it!

Besides his million dollar smile, I love the striking combination of the bright sunshine and the raindrops falling!

Day 53--Fresh Air

Come hang out at our house on a Sunday afternoon and you're sure to discover one of our favorite Sunday traditions...long walks. Sometimes we go to cool trails, but more often than not we just traipse around our neighborhood. We love the fresh air and exercise part of it, but the best part for me is the uninterrupted conversations we get to have. No computer, no phone, no tv, no chores...just us and the kids.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 52--No Cost Entertainment

After a busy morning with chores and games we then went downtown to the National Building Museum. It was "Discover Engineering Family Day" and it was packed with people and fun activities to try (all for free).

They built contraptions out of junk and sent them down a zip line.

Made magnets out of a nail, wire, and a battery.

Built a trussel bridge out of nothing but paper and brads.

Built a homemade stomp rocket out of paper. (I love this cool shot of Adam mid-stomp).

There it goes!

Then went to our stake road-show night where we got some good quality laughs! (Check out Spence trying to hide out on-stage).

And that's why living near DC is so darn cool!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 51--Petland

One of our favorite preschool field trips each year is to Petland pet store. The kids are always completely enamored at the wide assortment of animals and all the moms have an excuse to hang out and talk with each other!
Here they are ogling over the guinea pigs!

Then it was off to lunch at Subway where there was a lot of giggling and silliness and a whole lot of Cheetos and chocolate milk being consumed!

Asking for your help

Last night, I signed up for Feedburner. My understanding was that it was supposed to help me track my feeds. It sounded pretty cool, but this morning I'm not so sure as it appears that some weird things are happening all around.

**I'm so sorry that it appears that this has inundated your Google Reader with lots of garbage. I'm feeling very sheepish and upset by all this. I'm sorry!**

With as much computer knowledge as I've gained over the last couple of years, I am completely clueless as to what's going on.

So here are my questions for you?

1. Is your subscription to my blog still okay?

2. Do you use Google Reader? Or some other program to manage them?

3. Is there anything else weird going on?

4. Is there an easier way to track feeds?

5. Does someone know enough about feeds to give me a quick tutorial?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 50--Baku-what?

Nine years ago, we lived through Spencer's obsession with Pokemon. Today I learned that there's a new craze in town...Bakugan. Never heard of it before until Adam spent quite some time this afternoon creating his own Bakugan. See the resemblance?
Yay. I love trendy phases.

Princesses Don't Toot.

The scene: 3 kids + me in one small room, bad smell suddenly fills the room

Everyone: Ewwww! Who did that? Yuck!

Spencer: Adam, that's gross. Just say excuse me.

Adam: It wasn't me, it must have been Ellie.

Ellie (whining in defense): Princesses don't toot!

Adam: Yes they do. Anyone can toot.

Ellie (getting upset): They do not. Princesses are pretty, so they can't toot! I'm pretty like a princess, so it wasn't me.

Spencer (smugly amused): You're right Ellie. Princesses don't toot so it must be Adam.

Adam (on the verge of crying): IT WASN'T ME! Anyone can toot...even princesses!

In a world with wars raging, the economy going to shambles, and American Idol choosing its top 12...I'm sure glad my kids are worrying about such important matters.

PS Apparently I am not a princess.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 49--Chowder anyone?

For those of you (okay all of you) who only like to look at my blogs to see cute pictures of my children are bound to be disappointed today.

It was a dark, snowy/rainy day and I had a gazillion errands to run, so I spent a good majority of the day running around town (without my camera *gasp*). Then while I was home I was laboring over this:

Chicken Poblano Chowder.

Now I am full, I've done three loads of dishes and still have a sink full, Glen's not home yet, and I didn't take a single picture other than of my food.

Sorry to disappoint...and to ramble.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It Takes Me a While...

For a girl who loves music, dancing, friends, and dress-ups what could possibly be better than a Tiny Tutus class at the local rec center? It was with my own sense of delight and anticipation that I eagerly signed her up and awaited this new happy experience for Ellie.

She did not disappoint. From the moment I told her about her new class she eagerly looked forward to it. She pulled out all of her leotards and tutus to put together outfits, "practiced" her dancing all hours of the day, and in general was giddy with excitement for her grand debut into the world of ballet.
With five kids in the house I pride myself in efficiency. I'm always looking for shortcuts to make my life easier...this Tiny Tutus class was no different. I run kids around enough that I really don't like making extra trips out of the house on my "days off" (you know--when I do laundry and clean the house all day), so I was smart and scheduled her class to be 20 minutes after preschool ended. It was perfect. I'd pick her up from preschool on Tuesdays and drive her straight to the rec center.

Imagine my surprise when during her first class I watch as she lagged a step or two behind the other girls, kept sucking her thumb, and seemed kind of spacey. It wasn't at all what I expected from my bubbly, energetic little girl. It was plain to see that she was exhausted.
I hadn't taken into account that preschool and dance class all in a row would be way too much for my little Ellie who still needs naps 3-4 times a week. [Bad Mom Award #1]

Despite this realization the first day of class, I decided to keep taking her thinking that dance class while exhausted was still better than no dance class at all. [Bad Mom Award #2]

Then today happened.

It was a particularly frazzling day as I was running a little late and still had to drop off another child at their home before dance class. We arrived a good 15 minutes late and Ellie totally looked the part of the frazzled, overworked child with her hair all disheveled and a leotard that was too big, since she'd insisted on wearing Emma's that day.

Ten minutes later the teacher brought her out to me and told me she was too sick to be in class today. I was more than a little surprised since she'd not had ANY symptoms 10 minutes earlier. It turns out that she'd had a "sneezing fit" during the class and that she was not welcome to stay in class. Never mind that she hasn't had a runny nose, cough, or any other symptoms, this sneezing was disruptive and unacceptable.

Here's where I silently thanked Glen for his over-active sneezing genes that he seems to have passed to Ellie and I indignantly picked up my little girl and did what I should've done 6 weeks ago....I marched to the front desk and demanded a refund for the rest of her classes and went home and put my tired little ballerina down for a nap!

Day 48--100th Day of School

Today the school celebrated its 100th day in session! So what, you say?

It is a very exciting day in the life of a kindergartner! They had a day filled with 100's activities and even had "Zero the Hero" sweep into the classroom in full costume and hand out zeroes to everyone.

Yay--it doesn't get any more exciting than costumed super heroes!

One child was so excited that she began wildly swinging punches and trying to tackle him...good thing she probably weighed 25 lbs. and didn't cause the poor super hero too much damage.

My job was to help with a 100's day snack mix. Groups of kids came through and counted out 10 pieces of 10 different snacks to create a fun snack mix with exactly 100 items.

Adam's favorite activity of the day was the Fruit Loop necklace that he spent the evening nibbling on. I bet you'll never guess how many Fruit Loops there were originally.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 47--President's Day at Great Falls

Yesterday may have been slim pickings for a photo, but today I had such a plethora it was hard to narrow it down! The kids have been begging to go Great Falls for ages, so when we were searching for a family activity this afternoon we loaded into the car and finally went!

Emma was quite the super model today. She was always by my side chattering away about school, friends, life, etc. and whenever I found a cool place to take a picture she was the first to volunteer!

The kids were enraptured with this hollow tree. It was big enough to go inside and stand up. We could have just hung some pictures up on the wall, installed a door, and it would have been a home fit for Winnie the Pooh himself!

Ellie was tired and cold the whole time and did not want to leave her cozy cove of blankets in the stroller. Most of the time she whined when we took her out, but not this time. She got to do a little rock climbing and she was really excited about it. Granted her joy last 5.2 seconds, but I was happy to capture this sweet smile in Daddy's arms!

Who would have guessed? Cami and Mikhaela were so enthralled with this corn snake, that we had to drag them away unwillingly from the poor park ranger who tried her best to keep up with the dozens of questions they kept throwing at her!

Trailing Clouds of Glory

What is more wondrous than gazing upon a newborn baby?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
~William Wordsworth

Be sure to check out I♥Faces for more wonder filled photos this week!

Me? Dress Crazy? No Way!

When my brother-in-law left a comment blaming my daughter's crazy clothing choices on me...I did not actually have to stop and think about whether he knew me at a particular point in my life when that may have been true. Not me, I've never dressed crazy in my life.

When Bradford (a little boy I was watching) pulled his pants down to his ankles and started peeing smack dab in the middle of the park, I wasn't even the slightest bit tempted to take a picture of his indiscretion. No, that would have been most cruel of me.
"Thank you Miss Lara, for not giving my Mom something to blackmail me with when I'm 16."

And then when Valentine's rolled around and we spent six hours (yes you read that right) cleaning out the girls' closet, I didn't have the gall to suggest that we take all the kids with us on our Valentine's date and go bowling. No, that would have been completely unromantic of me.

And there's no way that I started bragging and dancing to the music when I actually got a score of 151 and beat EVERYONE...including Ellie!

Then when Glen accused me of cheating for bouncing all my shots off the bumper guards, I never even thought of giving him a dirty look and bragging even more. No. I would never rub my victory in his face. I'm much more sophisticated than that.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Full of Wonder

Wonder: to have a feeling of awe, admiration, marvel.

When I heard the I ♥ Faces theme for this week was wonder, I didn't have to think twice about which picture I would use. I just love this picture of Cami at the Grand Canyon and think it just epitomizes the very definition of WONDER!

**Special Note: Cami was never in any danger. There was solid ground just a few feet below that ledge.**

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