Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stepping Forward?

Verizon finally came over the weekend and our phones are working again.

Our internet randomly works and doesn't, but it's working now so I can't complain. We're counting the days until Fios is available in our neighborhood.

Had to buy a new keyboard and mouse for my computer, since they felt the vibes in the air and both stopped working this past week.

We got a new garbage disposal installed today.

The thick scum has been removed from my kitchen sink after countless back-ups a day without a working garbage disposal.

Sears is coming to fix our fridge....someday.

Today, when I went to move my clothes from the washer to the drier, my laundry room was flooded with a rush of water (as much from my eyes as from the washing machine).

Lowe's is coming tomorrow.

The warranty just expired.

Don't mind me I'll just be rocking myself to sleep in the corner with the remnants of what used to look like an okay tax refund.

Day 90--Dozens and Dozens of Sliders for Dinner

Decided to try these cute little sliders for dinner tonight. The kids thought they were great and especially loved that the burgers were really Keebler Grasshopper cookies, the buns vanilla wafers, and the ketchup and mustard frosting. They're very excited to play a fun April Fools' joke on their classmates tomorrow. Hehe...we're so sneaky.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Outsmarted by a Tween

Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I'm a list person. My brain (as low functioning as it is) just works better with a detailed list in front of it, so I shouldn't be too surprised that I have children who may be the same way.

Look what I found folded up in Cami's room:

Apparently her and a friend had made a list of the things they wanted to do while they were here.

Yeah, I'm in for it!

Day 89--Getting Bored?

For the first time since starting this Project 365, I'm starting to feel really stretched by it. It seems like my pictures are all the same and most of days are a lot like the one before and the one after it, and there's not all that much interesting going on. Sorry if it's a bore; I'll try to plan some really exciting outings soon. Since it's Monday, our house was filled to the brim with friends all afternoon, so yet again here's a picture of some of them jumping on the trampoline on a beautiful Spring day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 88--Half Asian?

I have to admit here that I am a total slacker. I somehow made it through the day without taking a single photo, so here's a cute one of Ellie from a few days ago. After learning about Asia in preschool she was really excited to try eating her dinner with chopsticks. Surprisingly she was much more adept at it than most of her older siblings.

If you chance to meet a frown...

A few things I've learned through my participation in I ♥ Faces over the last several weeks:

1. I have A LOT to learn about photography
2. I have even more to learn about editing
3. Photography has the potential to be a very expensive hobby
4. I'm totally addicted to I ♥ Faces

On Sundays we often try to go on long walks or hikes. This particular Sunday found us at Great Falls, a beautiful spot on the Potomac river. While Ellie loves being outside, this day she was a little upset that she was missing her nap to be there.

I loved how pretty she looked still all dressed up in her church clothes, with the sunlight on her face and hair. The big giant pout and tears glistening in her eyes is so out of character for her that I'm sad to admit that it just cracks me up whenever I see this picture.

Be sure to go check out I ♥ Faces for other cute pouting faces this week and to enter your own!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 87--Broken Promises.

After canceling our plans and waiting around our house for TWO full days for Verizon to come fix our phones they still have yet to arrive and have yet to let us talk to a real person. Grrrrr. Then Sears informs us that there's nothing they can do to help us with our fridge. They can come fix it...again, but it's far from qualifying as a lemon. Another 2 weeks without a fridge. Grrrr.

Grrrr! New Slogans.

Verizon: We Never Stop Breaking Our Promises to You.

Sears: Low Quality Merchandise, Rude Customer Service. Guaranteed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 86--Short Sleeves!

As per usual, our house was host to eleven kids this afternoon. Thankfully it was a beautiful day and they played outside for most of it!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 85--Twins!

The trusty dove residing in Spencer's windowsill has laid another egg.

Dark Ages

I have:

No home phone line
No working fridge {AGAIN}
No garbage disposal

Good heavens, if it weren't for my new Dyson [and half hour of free internet at the library] I'd really be in the Dark Ages.

If you need me, you can find me out back rigging up my new paper cup and string communication wires right next to my smoke house.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Day 84--Unlinked

Not a great picture of our modem, but shows the red internet light on. It is so discombobulating not having phone or internet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How Bad is the Economy?

It's so bad that even the rent for tree branches has grown too high for the average bird's salary...

thus forcing this poor dove to take up residence in Spencer's windowsill where the rent is cheaper and the landlord is much nicer.
I'll have to remind the dove to send a thank you note to the squirrels who so kindly ripped off the screen that had once made this windowsill a more exclusive property--reserved only for dead flies and the occasional box elder bug.

Oh wait--how could I forget? All the squirrels have been banished from the east coast after President Obama started taxing their acorn bonuses to 90% forcing them all to take jobs at various government agencies' help desks.

Day 83--Joint Birthday Party

Ellie and Elder Packer both blew out the candles on the layered pudding cake Spencer and Emma made for the occasion. Ellie has hardly taken off her princess dress since receiving it and is totally basking in all the attention she gets from old ladies wherever we go.

Elder Packer may have been a little embarrassed he shared his birthday with us after I put it in this week's program so the whole ward would know.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 82--Happy Birthday Ellie Bellie!

Her Royal Highness

Once upon a time, exactly four years ago today, in a land not so far away from here a little princess was born. Her doting parents dubbed her Princess Eliza Sandra--after her Grandma Sandy and soon took to calling her Ellie Bellie.

Ellie was a happy little baby with a quick smile and an eagerness to be a part of the hustle and bustle that surrounded her.

She has grown all too quickly into a gentle, astute, easy-going, giggly little girl with a penchant for high fashion.
Today, in honor of her fourth birthday she was given a throne of plastic, polyester and terry cloth upon which to issue her royal commands.

What? A princess cake is what you want? Your wish is Cami's command.

You want a fancy princess dress to wear to your royal ball?
I bow to your royal demands. Can't beat a two buck princess dress from Unique.

Want a royal ball complete with leaping jesters in pajamas?
Daddy is your humble servant.

Want me to dedicate my 400th blog post to my precious 4-year-old princess...


Happy Birthday Sweet Ellie!

I'm So Glad When Grandpa Comes...

I'm so glad when grandpa comes, when grandpa comes...Hooray!
He always says the kindest things and in the kindest way.
He has a wrinkly, twinkly smile,
He's jolly all the day.
It's always fun for everyone when Grandpa comes!
I love, love this sweet photo of my dad with Ellie and Andrew. Every time I see that animated expression on his face as he reads a book to two of his grandkids, I can't help but reminisce back to when I was a little girl and would snuggle up on his lap for a book or a tickle. I even love that Andrew couldn't care less about the book...he's way more interested in whatever electronic device that is.

We miss you Grandpa and Grandma...come visit us soon!

Be sure to go check out I ♥ Faces for inspiration and to enter your own "No Flash" photos!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 81--Queen Ellie

We did a little birthday celebrating a day early. Although Ellie was completely exhausted and went back to lie down in her bed three times during the festivities she still had a great time as Queen for the Day! (more pictures coming)

Ray of Sunshine

The best part of participating in I ♥ Faces each week (other than all the extra comments) is the way it's made me more purposeful in my picture taking. When my kids heard that it was "No Flash" week they teased me that that is all I take now. You know what? They're right. If there's even an ounce of daylight left I'll take all my photos outside rather than having to use the flash. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's better to use the flash occasionally than miss a good moment.

I love how this picture of Adam captures his cheery nature so well. His smile truly is a ray of light in our family!

Don't forget to go check out I ♥ Faces this week to enter your own no flash photos and to be inspired by all the other entries.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 80--Spontaneous Jousting

I had received buy one, get one free coupons for this cool place called, "Medieval Times" up in Maryland. It looked really fun, but I didn't know when we'd ever have the time. When the big youth fundraiser (mulch madness) ended a few hours earlier than expected, we spontaneously decided to take advantage of our coupons before they expired. The food was average, but the entertainment exciting and unforgettable. I still haven't figured out how to take really cool indoor/low-light pictures, but I like how this one of Emma showed the dinner on metal plates (no utensils) and the exciting knight tournament going on in the arena. Very cool!

Sonnet to Springtime

by Lara, age 17
(written on an icy January day in Minnesota)

In honor of the first day of Spring (yesterday) I have decided to share this sonnet I wrote as a senior in high school. It's not that it's that great of a poem, more than it captures the essence of my yearning each winter for the color and warmth of Spring again. Minnesota winters were SO long and hard for me, but even now that we live in a much milder climate, the arrival of the blossoms, gentle showers, and warm sunshine each year is something that fills my heart with hopeful anticipation for the days ahead.

The sky is azure blue, the grass is green.
The hyacinths are peeking through the ground
The hibernating animals are lean.
The sounds of songbirds echo all around.
The golden sunshine bathes and warms the earth;
A gentle shower washes dirt away.
The rain gives nature and the world rebirth,
And a radiant rainbow arcs its way
Over the mountain and into the trees,
Reminding the world of a promise made;
Never again would that gentle spring breeze
Be drowned in a flood, for a price now paid.
Spring will always come in life giving cheer;
Just remember who made all we have here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 79--Watch out!

You don't want to get chomped by these massive teeth. Of course with the amount of time Ellie spent brushing and flossing them, at least you'd know they're clean. Field trips to the dentist are always so thrilling!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 78--Boys vs. Girls

I couldn't decide which photo fit the day better, so I put in both.

Anything Boys Can Do...

Girls can do better!

After Glen announced that he'd secured 4 tickets to the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament in Philadelphia to see BYU vs Texas A&M, I got a tad bit jealous of his fun day out with the guys while I cleaned/cooked/took care of kids just like normal.
So I did what any competitive wife would do...

I one-upped him.

I left Ellie at a playdate and met two long-lost friends, Chelsey (who drove up from Richmond) and Katya (who I hadn't seen in 6 years), for lunch at Sweetwater Tavern (the best restaurant around) where we smoked cigars (hehe--isn't that what you're supposed to do in taverns?) and reminisced about the good old days before we had wrinkles and gray hair.

Then it was back to our house where Chelsey buffed our nails and gave us hand massages.

Then after apologizing for my unvacuumed carpets because my vacuum had broken (AGAIN) we drove to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought me a Dyson.
After which Chelsey assembled it for me and gave me a 30 minute infomercial about how it worked while she deep cleaned my basement for me.

So you be the judge...

Boys Day Out: Glen and Spencer got to spend 5 hours in the car and see BYU get pummelled.

Girls' Day Out:
Fancy lunch with old friends, relaxed & moisturized hands, a deep cleaned basement, and a new Dyson.

Did I win?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 77--Ellie Sized Burrito

It was a beautiful Spring day. After having to go to TWO different libraries to find this month's Book Club selection, we decided to have a little picnic. A Chipotle burrito was the perfect picnic food and just about right to satiate Ellie's appetite. ;)


Just to be perfectly clear:
  • I really did just receive a Christmas card with pictures of me and the kids in bathing suits.
  • It was from a friend and she was NOT trying to be funny or mean.
  • I thought I could make myself feel better by PRETENDING that it was really a photoshopped April Fool's card.
  • I'm not really 25.
  • I haven't weighed 110 lbs. in a long time.
  • I have gray roots 85% of the time.

  • I think I'm totally hilarious and perfectly clear at 11:00pm when I write my blog posts.

  • Glen and the kids let me know more often than not that I'm not near as funny as I think I am.

  • This doesn't stop me from continuing to write unclear, semi-funny posts at 11:00pm in the name of a cheap outlet for my pent up silliness.

  • Now excuse me while I go back pretending to be a 25-year-old super model with a wicked sense of humor, and smashingly good writing skills.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bah Humbug!

You know I totally ♥LOVE♥ sending and receiving Christmas cards.

It's seriously one of the highlights of my year reconnecting with old friends and hearing all about their ups and downs. I've heard it argued that Facebook and blogging are replacing the need for this yearly tradition, but I say Bah Humbug to you! Nothing could ever replace a nice newsy letter and a family picture from an old college roommate being delivered by our faithful mailman.

Nothing at all.

Except maybe a pack of chocolates and some flowers, but I digress...

So *WHY* exactly am I rambling on about Christmas cards on Saint Patrick's Day?

It's because we got one yesterday.

Yeah, it was a little late, but I don't mind late so much. It's actually kind of fun spreading out the mailbox excitement into the new year...way into the new year.

It was a nice creative newsy letter with pictures from a good friend. Just the kind that I love. Except not this one.

Instead of a cute little family picture in the autumn leaves, they put in a picture of ME in my swimsuit from a pool party last year.

After I got over the initial shock of seeing myself aged 10 years with gray roots and rolls of baby fat, I took a deep breath and realized that this must be a cruel joke.

This wasn't a super late Christmas card.

It was just a slightly early April Fool's card.

They were just trying to trick me into believing that I'm not 25 and that I don't weigh 110 lbs. anymore. Whew. I'm so glad I caught their joke.

Day 76--Feeling Green

Preschool was at our house today. I felt like I cheated since I had the whole lesson handed to me on a silver platter, when the mom who was scheduled unexpectedly had to cancel. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed all the little tricks the leprechaun played on us today. Green toilet water, cupcakes, starbursts, little hats, shamrocks to decorate...he was a sneaky little green guy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

An Old Friend

Its beginnings were humble.

A simple white flannel blanket with navy trim made for Adam by a dear friend. It was just one of several blankets that we cycled through the wash for him, before we put it back up on the shelf.

When Ellie came along a couple years later we pulled it out and put it into her blanket rotation. However it quickly became obvious to us that this simple blanket was much more than just another blanket to Ellie.

Quickly dubbed "Corner Blankey" by Ellie, due to a favorite corner that caught her fancy, she has always loved every square inch of that soft white flannel.

We thought it was so cute how comforting just the sight of the blanket became to her. We loved to watch as she fiddled with one corner while she sucked her thumb with the other hand. You couldn't have asked for a better sleep inducer.

After a while I got a little nervous about how attached she was to it, so I made all sorts of duplicates...large and small, in hopes that it would never wear out or get lost. I made so many I ran out of the navy trim.

Those impostors worked in a pinch (like when Corner Blankey was in the wash), but from the very beginning she called them her "fake corner blankies" and soon refused them altogether. We even tried to replicate the worn edge of her special corner, but alas her loyalty proved too strong for our good intentions.

Corner Blankey has accompanied us on every trip and long car ride we've taken the last nearly four years and has become an icon of comfort in our home. Thankfully it has only ever been lost for brief moments before, due to the fact that Ellie never stays away from it for very long.

So where is Corner Blankey these days?

Gray and shredded and barely recognizable as that bright white soft flannel that we once wrapped Adam in....

but just as well loved as ever.

Day 75--Mondays and Fridays

To limit the number of times my kids ask to have friends over during the school week we have a loose rule limiting it to only Mondays and Fridays.

Because it's limited I try to be very accommodating about actually making it happen on those days. Here's a picture of a typical Monday afternoon at our house.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I Get an "F"

I totally deny that on Thursday:

  • Went to an Enrichment meeting all about prioritizing your time wisely
  • Promptly drove straight from said meeting to grocery store
  • Bought 9 lbs. apples, 5 lbs. sugar, 5 lbs. flour, 3 lbs. Crisco
  • Went home and stayed up until 2:00am
  • Using every last ounce of said groceries

and then cried and grumped around all day on Friday when I realized that I got an "F" for prioritizing my time wisely. It's possible that the 4 hours of sleep combined with PMS may have had a little something to do with it too...

...But then again, none of this ever happened anyway.

Now go check out MckMama at My Charming Kids to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Pure Delight

I don't remember what it was that caught Ellie's eye...maybe a bird or a butterfly. Whatever it was I just love her expression of true delight of being outside. The greenness of the grass and trees in the background just seemed to perfectly complement her sweet smile.

Be sure to check out I ♥ Faces to enter your own photo and to be inspired by the other entries.

Day 74--Just Don't Ask!

Seriously you don't want to know.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 73--Dusting Off Those Shelves

Although I think it's really cool that Spencer's first winning basketball season EVER and Glen's first time coaching ever resulted in a 2nd place finish...
Where on earth are we going to keep not one, but TWO eighteen inch tall trophies?

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