Monday, February 28, 2011

Cool Auntie AL!

So it snowed on Tuesday and the very next day a warm breeze blew in from Utah via Taiwan with the arrival of my little sis, AnnaLisa.   Auntie AnnaLisa was a resident of our basement for an entire year, but left about 8 months ago for a cool job teaching English in Taiwan.  She had a fun and challenging adventure, before returning back to the states a short while ago.  Now she's back in town for an exciting job interview and my kids are totally loving all the fun Auntie attention that gets showered on them when she's here. 

Almost daily trips to 7-11 for slurpees, snuggles on the couch, watching funny videos on her computer, jumping on the trampoline together, someone to tease....it's fun to have Auntie AnnaLisa back again! 

Random tidbit about AnnaLisa:  I was 10-years-old when she was born and I have a vivid memory of my parents disagreeing over what to name her.  One of them wanted to call her Melissa Rose, but for some reason one of them was opposed to the name.  If I remember correctly they came up with the name AnnaLisa after hearing one my fellow contestant's names in the school spelling bee (which I just happened to have won). 

Another random tidbit about AnnaLisa:  Much to the delight of my children, whenever it's her turn to pray, she almost always prays in Russian. 

Another random tidbit:  AnnaLisa is cute and single, and could quite possibly be living in the DC area again soon.   Oh and she also loves going on blind dates. 

(hint hint)


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pent up rage or braggadocio? which do you prefer?

Perhaps I've been a bit too cooped up with all the sick kids in our house over the last few weeks or maybe it's because of the child who randomly started waking us up at night or maybe it's because I stepped on the scale yesterday for the first time in weeks....
Whatever it is, I'm just bubbling over with brewing animosity tonight and can't wait to rant about totally random and pointless stuff.  Grrrr.  Watch me burst forth with rage. 

1.  Internet Explorer---I have deep seated loathing passion for internet explorer and hope that one day it implodes on itself.  Yay for Mozilla Firefox!  Boo for Internet Explorer! 

2.  Beef--It doesn't matter what cut it is, who prepared it, or how many times I try it....I want to like it, but am disappointed every time I try it.  My poor, poor family now considers it the forbidden fruit of foods and pretty much obsesses about how infrequently I serve it to them.  Stupid beef! 

3.  People who block entrances to side streets and businesses when they're backed up in traffic anyway and couldn't go anywhere if they tried.   I consider anyone who can't just stop a few feet back and let people in and out of the side streets as inconsiderate, obnoxious, oblivious, and should have their drivers' licenses revoked.  LEARN HOW to DRIVE PEOPLE!!!!!!

4.  Movies that are supposed to be for kids and are filled with inappropriate innuendos and adult humor.  Boo for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid!" Dumbest waste of time...ever!   

5.  The IRS.  Penalizing an all volunteer organization at an elementary school PTA with a $5000 fine for submitting their tax return late is lame, lame, LAME!!!!!!!  Stupid piece of overblown crappy government entity! 


So, what makes your blood boil?  Feel free to add your own rant into the comments (as long as it's not directed at me, because otherwise I'd have to photoshop a picture of you with horns growing out of your earwaxy ears and send it to the National Enquirer. ) 

And now that I have all that out of my system, we'll return to cute picture collages and my normal braggadocio posting. 

Have a nice day. 


:)

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter's Last Hurrah....(hopefully)

After getting a little sneak peek at springtime last week, Tuesday rolled in with a little Arctic blast (and a memory of my brother Peter jumping off the couch).  Once again, it turned out to be more talk and less white stuff, but in the end the kids did end up with a 2-hour delay for school.  I, for one, thought the two hour delay was perfect.  It meant seminary was canceled, which meant we got to sleep in, and it also meant that the kids got a chance to play outside and enjoy the snow before it all melted that afternoon. 


 


And now that they've got that out of their systems, now I'm really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really,really, really, really, really, really....
READY FOR SPRING!!!!



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Friday, February 25, 2011

Flashback Friday: Freshman Year

Today was the day that many of Spence's friends from church heard about whether they were accepted into BYU or not.  Hearing of their excitement (or disappointment) got me to reminiscing back to my BYU days.   

So in true Lara list form....

Five Random Facts About My Freshman Year
 
  1.  I hardly knew a soul on BYU campus when I got there.
 
  2.  I had my first kiss about 2 weeks into the school year.


  3.  I was the only one of my six roommates that did not get engaged that year  (those unhappy stories are worthy of a whole post for another day)

  4.  I had a half-tuition scholarship and a community scholarship, but otherwise paid for everything (all four years) myself. 

  5.  I accidentally took 20 credits my first semester.  I had signed up for an advanced French class, which I thought was four credits total, but it turns out it was a compacted class that was four credits per block. 

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And what Flashback Friday post would be complete without a couple of  good "Let's make fun of Lara's hair and clothing" pictures? 

Here's when we randomly decided to get a "family" picture taken (minus the 1 roommate who never really became a part of our "family")....


  The card game, Spoons,  proved to be one of our favorite roommate bonding experiences through the year (once again minus the one who didn't want to bond).   We usually only played when it was well after midnight and were all feeling a little punchy from studying for midterms.           

One last random fact about my freshman year: 
This autumn it will have been twenty years ago that I came to BYU as a naive 18-year-old!  Twenty years! 

By the way, if any of you are doing some math trying to figure out how old I am...let me help you out. 


20 + 18 = (almost) 28
:) 


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Subliminal Advertising....

At  age 12,  I started buying all my own clothes.  For most people this would be the advent of dressing "cool" for the first time in their lives.  For me, though, it was the beginning of making it very obvious to the world that I have about the same kind of eye for fashion as I have an ear for music.  

In college, my poor roommates helpfully tried to pump up my cool factor with sound fashion advice and borrowed clothes, but when they saw me wearing their cute borrowed red sweater, with my white pants far after Labor Day and accompanied with orange socks and my brown tennis shoes, my fate was sealed as the anti-fashionista of the apartment. 

So now as an adult I wonder, when I consider myself to be a detail oriented person, why am I  so oblivious to the rules of fashion?  Why is that I still wear my tennis shoes with every outfit?  Or why that the only fashion rule I can seem to remember is not to wear blue with black and I still do it all the time anyway? 

After careful consideration, I've come up with the following hindrances to me ever being fashionable: 

   1. I like grocery shopping way more than I like clothes shopping.   

   2.  When I do occasionally venture into a clothing store, I'm usually in a hurry.

   3.   I am lazy and like to be comfortable.

   4.   90% of what I buy comes from secondhand stores or the clearance racks. 

   5.  I hate ironing.     


So now I've admitted to the world that I'm hopelessly unfashionable and since it's a proven fact that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, I've decided that my only hope is to convince the world that loose, wrinkly clothing IS the new fashion. 

My new subliminal advertisement: 
This woman is dressed in super cool, highly fashionable clothing.   





Is it working yet?  


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Monday, February 21, 2011

Slaying Our Goliaths…One Marshmallow at a Time

If you can overlook the ever-present clutter in the background of the pictures, you will see a glimpse at one of our favorite family home evenings ever.  We have this lesson every-0ther-year or so and it never fails to be a fun and memorable night.    One of these weeks I’ll even get around to scanning it in and sharing it with the world. 
11 01 31 033001
11 01 31 031003
11 01 31 030004
Now don’t mind me while I go climb into my bed with visions of warmer days dancing through my head.    After getting spoiled with a little glimpse of Spring this past week, the possible 2-4 inches of snow tonight is rather discombobulating.   <----Hehe--I’ve always wanted to use that word in a blogpost and I’m feeling rather full of chutzpah now that I have successfully subjugated the onerous utterance. 

Now farewell my congenial and ardent compatriots, while I take my leave to the boudoir where my pulchritudinous paramour awaits my affable presence.   

(I’m feeling rather magnanimous tonight, therefore I’m offering a special prize to the first person who can translate that last sentence without using a dictionary…on the other hand anyone who presumes to tell me that the usage of my pretentious verbage is incorrect will be offered a slushy snowball to the elbow. )


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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Analyze That...

  Most of my dreams are about as nonsensical as my late-night blogposts and as such I've never been one to give much credence to searching for hidden meanings in them.  Last night's dream, though, was unusual in its clarity and realism and I decided that there may be a little more to this one than to the usual fluffy stuff of my late night dreamland.   What do you think? 


Okay, here is the dream:  Some random person owes me $20.  They call me in the middle of sacrament meeting to ask if I would mind if instead of paying me back in cash, if they could pay me in egg salad sandwiches instead.  I immediately feel a mixture of sympathy and bemusement at this poor family that can only pay me in lunch food and graciously accept their offer.  The person then starts to haggle with me about how much I think each egg salad sandwich is worth.  I think $5 each.  They think $15.  I eventually agree to let them give us two sandwiches and we pay them $10, so we can have two.  I then exit sacrament meeting where they are in the hallway with the egg salad sandwiches.

I wake up and find myself craving an egg salad sandwich. 


So I know I'm no Joseph of Egypt or anything, but I really think that there may be some hidden meaning there.  Here's my analysis: 

Some random person owes me $20.  ($ is almost equal to £ , therefore the number of dollars signifies how many pounds I could stand to lose.)

They call me in the middle of sacrament meeting to ask if I would mind if instead of paying me back in cash, if they could pay me in egg salad sandwiches instead.  (money<food)

I immediately feel a mixture of sympathy and bemusement at this poor family that can only pay me in lunch food and graciously accept their offer.  (I am powerful, beautiful, and dangerous)

The person then starts to haggle with me about how much I think each egg salad sandwich is worth.  (Occasionally I think I are smart enough to outwit people)

I think $5 each.  They think $15.  (5 kids = perfect, 15 kids = crazy)

I agree to let them give us two sandwiches and we pay them $10, so we can have two. (I have no future as a negotiator)

I then exit sacrament meeting where they are in the hallway with the egg salad sandwiches. 
(I know what I'm making for lunch today)





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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finally....

After a winter of this....


and more recently this blue spectrum light therapy lamp....


to help me over my winter blahs.  


I am so happy for  weather like this....
Thu
Partly Cloudy
68°F | 48°F
Fri
Partly Cloudy
71°F | 44°F







So I can get my vitamin D and sunlight...
the old fashioned way!    Yay for an early taste of spring! 


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NOTE:  It's about February every year that I understand why I could never live in Minnesota again.  My parents will attest to the fact that Minnesotan winters were not good for me or for the people who had to spend time with me. Our much milder Virginian winters are about at my threshold.  I still drag, but  with vitamin D supplements, exercise, and now sunlight therapy, I usually keep it together enough to function at a somewhat reasonable level {last week being excluded}

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wintertime Fun

There are so many fun things to do in the summertime, that someone’s written a whole song about it all.    Things like swim in a pool to keep yourself cool, fish in a stream, or lazily dream on the banks as the clouds go by, or count all the stars in the sky... 

But what about the wintertime?  What then? 

Well, here’s a little glimpse of some typical winter fun at our house (minus the song)…Stomping on bubble wrap
Stomping on bubble wrap…

Playing pioneers in a snow storm…                                Creating her own cooking concoction…

Making the corner of the living room into Lego Land!   

Making a little Valentine for a friend…


 Cooking up something warm and comforting to eat….         Going outside to “lax” it up…


Finding a box and making it her new hideout/artist canvas…

snowboardinglara
or just hitting the slopes for a while…

That's what we do....how 'bout you? 
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

100th Day

I keep hearing tales of people with large families whose youngest children are totally photo starved.    The parents took loads of pictures of the oldest kids then petered out by the time they got to the younger kids. 

Not so in our house though! 

With the advent of digital cameras and blogging my younger children are the complete opposite...while pictures of Spence and Cami sit in a manila envelope in a closet in the basement....my younger kids are in complete photo overload! 

Speaking of overload, her's a few pictures of my youngest: 
This is Ellie at her 100th day of school museum.  Each child was to make a project using 100 of the same item.  Ellie knew from the beginning that she wanted to do a rainbow and the 100th day's proximity to Valentine's Day made the candy hearts a natural choice for the medium.  
 

As part of the museum, they had a few other classes who came to check out the cool museum of 100 day projects.  It was so sweet to watch Ellie as she proudly shared her sweet smelling project with the visiting 2nd and 3rd graders.   With all the candy on her project, hers was definitely one of the more popular projects in the room! 

So what did my other kids do for their 100 day projects?  Hmmm....let me look into my photo files....
nope, I have absolutely no idea! 

And continuing with the subject of photo overload, I also thought I'd share this little Martin Luther King Jr. project she made!  I can't even telling you how much I've been longing for the sun lately and this "I have a dream..."  poster just cracked me up!
Like mother, like daughter! 



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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Top Ten Signs That It's Been a Long Week....

10.  You run three errands, talk to a child's teacher, and then go home and realize you've had your shirt on inside-out all day. 

9.  You excitedly try 5 new recipes through the course of the week and somehow they're all totally duds. 

8.  You get mad at your kids for being so irritable with each other all week, then you stop yourself and realize they sound exactly like you do. 

7.  Your fridge smells like a dead body emporium, but you get so irritated that not a single child will take you up on your very generous offer of $30 to anyone who will clean it up.  Then, instead of being grateful when your husband kindly volunteers to clean it out for you, you feel stupid and have to leave the room as he pulls out moldy crap crammed in the back corners.  Another household task that you just can't seem to get right.   

6.  You're driving home from the store in heavy traffic and instead of stopping 10-feet back, some jerk-wad blocks the entrance to the street so you can't get home.  It happens ALL the time, but this time you flip out, start swearing in front of the kids, and lay on the horn for an unnaturally long and contentious amount of time. 

5.  You spend half the week convinced that a nagging dull pain is your first kidney stone waiting to happen, so you guzzle water like it's going out of style.  Nothing further ever develops, but you have to pee so often that you're sure that you could have watered all of Virginia's flowers for a year with all the water you drank and expelled. 

4.  Your friend drops by with chocolate chip cookie dough brownies and you only hesitate for a second before breaking your once-a-week sugar diet that you've been doing awesome at and eat half the plate yourself. 

3.  Your blog goes to pot. 

2.   When you finally relax on Friday night and think that this week is almost done, you get woke up by kids THREE times that night--one crying in frustration and the other vomiting twice (yes, it's Ellie)--and you realize that your next week isn't shaping up to be much better than this past one. 
1.  You're so irritated that you can't think of anything witty to end your list with, that you  go all lame and end with a big giant, boring...




nothing

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

White Dresses

Every week is a circus around here.  Thankfully, though,  I usually have a couple of recovery days each week, where my schedule isn't quite as intense.  Those are the days when I do laundry, mop, answer emails, and in general get caught up with life.  Sometimes, though, life picks up a notch or two and my recovery days get swallowed up by more craziness.  It's weeks like that where I barely have time to breathe, yet alone blog or accomplish anything of note. This is one of those weeks and I am blogging tonight only to give a boost to my sanity level, which has been slipping at a steady rate this week.  


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Here's Cami's latest culinary creation....
a mini wedding cake for a RS meeting about developing a celestial marriage. 


Here the YW got to try on the women's wedding dresses....

Here's Cami wearing my friend Mina's dress...

Cami wearing my friend Kristi's dress.  Cami declared it the most comfortable dress she's ever worn.

And here's Rachel wearing my sister, Kristina's wedding dress. 
And the little tidbit they read about K's dress:

"Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved her older sister, Lara, very much.  She loved her so much that when she finished her degree at BYU that she decided to follow in her sister's footsteps and move to Virginia.  Her loving older sister welcomed her with open arms, but told her that she needed to get her own apartment ASAP.  Kristina found a cute little place in Fairfax built by her wonderful older sister's two bare hands and started attending the Langley ward, the ward founded by her older sister to meet the needs of singles in the DC area.  It was there that she met Mr. Thomas King--a fellow recent graduate of BYU who had grown up in the Great Falls ward, also founded by her older sister.    They dated, fell in love, and decided to get hitched on December 31, 2002 in the DC temple.  Her older sister had recently given birth to a very handsome, but colicky, baby boy who pretty much cried 24/7 unless he was being held in a certain position....but that didn't stop her from tending to her own silk worms, harvesting the silk, and hand spinning the silk into the wedding dress  you see before you today.  And that, more or less, is the story of Kristina King's wedding dress....or at least the story you get when Kristina gets too sick to answer her own dear older sister's emails and phone calls."


Here's Katy wearing my dress....



And the little blurb that was read about my dress:

"When Glen and I were engaged, we were both poor students at BYU and neither one of our families was in a position to help us financially with the wedding expenses.  I had shopped around for a dress some, but really couldn't afford paying several hundred dollars.  I thought about renting a dress or borrowing one, but then my Aunt Zina graciously offered to make it for me.  Being clueless and selfish, I excitedly accepted her offer although looking back I now realize what a sacrifice she had made to create a wedding dress from scratch in only a couple of months time, with 6 young children in the house.  She was so patient with me as I picked a pattern that needed to be tweaked,  wanted to wait for the fabric to go on sale, and had to squeeze my fittings in between my full class schedule and 2 part-time jobs.  In the end, we ended up right on budget with it costing right about $100 with a bonus set of pillow cases and a temple bag she made with the leftover fabric.   It was just the beautiful and simple dress I had dreamed of for marrying the man of my dreams. "







And here's me wearing the dress with the man of my dreams!  :)
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Monday, February 7, 2011

HELP WANTED:

Seeking an experienced individual who can teach me  techniques on how to stay awake in warm, comfortable, and dark places (ie the temple) without disturbing the people around me. 



Either that or a lesson how to sleep in the sitting position...without my head bobbing up and down and drooling like a fool. 


*****

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Factory

Who: My kids
What:  Celebrate Groundhog's day by sharing groundhog cupcakes with their classes
When:  Every February 2nd for the last 10 years
Why: Because it's a fun tradition and I'm crazy
Where:  My kitchen and dining room...YIKES! 


This year we made about 10 dozen cupcakes (that's about 2-1/2 dozen for each elementary  child and a dozen each for Spence and Cam).  Emma's were gluten free.  Adam's were egg/milk/nut  free and for the first time in years I got to make milky, peanutty, and eggy ones for Ellie, since there's not a single food allergy in her class.  By the way, my mom got me these cupcake holders for Christmas and I LOVE THEM!!!!



Cami shared her cupcakes with her homeschool Geometry class and Spencer brought his to seminary...

Don't be fooled by the mere quantity of cupcakes, it was by far my laziest year yet.  I totally skipped the ears, noses, and mouths on the groundhogs and just had their eyes peeking out of the ground.  They weren't quite as cute, but at 10:30 last night I really didn't care. 

Here's to an early spring!  (I hope.)


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