20 December 2011

This Week the Boys Said . . .


"That's enough chocolate for today.  Whoa . . . I mean for one day not two days.  Today . . . two days . . . that is REALLY confusing!"

"Grandma, are you having a hard time getting to the bathroom? You know, there IS an easier way.  Have you thought about an electric power scooter?"


"I don't know what to do! Sometimes I'm naughty and sometimes I'm nice. I hope Santa has a medium list."


"Sometimes at recess I just like to walk around the school yard and think of really sweet chess moves.  In fact, today I came up with some AMAZING ones."

16 December 2011

Is it Christmas Already?

This year has gone by way too fast and I find that I am incredibly unprepared for Christmas. But it seems to be coming regardless . . . so here a few things we've been doing this holiday season.

I tried to make brownies.

I really should stop telling people I can bring things with they invite us over. The worst part is that the brownies were from a mix.  Oh well, instead of brownies we took a plate with left-over Costco Almond Roca. Yum.

Madison successfully made a cake.

In fact, from now on Madison will be in charge of making what we take to our friend's houses. Now that she's tried her hand at cake decorating she wants us to buy her all the supplies for Christmas. I'm not against the idea.

Kai brought the class pet home for the weekend

This is the second weekend we've watched Rowdy, the class guinea pig--and we may be getting him over Christmas break . . . yeah. I don't really understand the appeal of guinea pigs. They aren't cuddly or fun in any way--but that being said, I've never had to chase a three legged guinea pig up the street.

Madison set up a lemonade/headband stand.

Yes my daughter sold lemonade in December . . . in Utah . . . and just to make it a little more strange she decided to sell headbands too. You want to know why? I asked, and she said she was trying save $800 because then she'll have enough money to fly to Italy and buy really good Nutella.

Kai had his first violin concert

He was, uh, kind of excited. But seriously, that kid is adorable and the suspenders just make him even more so.

Kai has been playing the violin for 4 months now. Incidentally, Madison started playing the oboe around the same time, and I honestly don't know which is worse, new oboe or new violin.

Chase lost his first tooth.

Loose teeth are usually a pretty big deal around here. In fact, some of my kids make a ridiculous production out of the whole thing.  But Chase is his own man.  He played with his tooth for a week and announced  that he needed a napkin at breakfast. I handed him a napkin and he handed me his tooth. He was obviously thrilled about the whole thing

Davis had his last preschool program.

I have been to this program EIGHT times now. Twice for each child. Eight years and this was THE FIRST year I was able to get a seat close enough to get a decent picture.  This what I got . . .

I give you 1. Davis taking his costume off 2. Davis making a weird face, and 3. Oh my goodness I think he might need to pee.

Merry Christmas! 

04 November 2011

That IS Tricky

Davis: "Mom, are we going to preschool yet?"
Me:  "Nope.  Not for another couple of hours."
D: "Lets just go now and wait in the car."
M: "No, because we'd have to wait in the car for three and a half hours."
D: "I don't care."
M: "I do."
D: "Listen.  If you don't take me right now, I'm going to change my phone number so that is REALLY tricky.  And you'll NEVER get it. Like 22882 but its a really a 9. Get it?"
M: "Not really."
D: "Yeah.  I told you. That's because it so tricky."

01 November 2011

Halloween 2011

I already wrote about Madison's costume.  But here's another picture--just because.

She told me she's not sure if she wants to go as a dead ballerina or candy corn next year. I asked, "Go WHERE?" Next year she'll be in Junior High and I'm pretty sure that's the trick-or-treating cut off.  I'll probably end up making that dead ballerina costume anyway because, remember, she gets invited to parties now.

Kai went as a wizard. The first picture is how I told him to pose and the second how he thinks a wizard should pose. Apparently he thinks wizards are like rappers.

For the robe, I had him lay down on both pieces of material (the black with stars and silver lining) and cut around him in the shape I wanted.  Then I sewed up the seams.  I call this the Disney princess version of sewing. Then I took an old witches hat from a previous costume and covered it in fabric left over from Madison's skirt.  I stuffed the top with tinfoil so it would stand up the way I wanted it to. The staff is a stick with painted rocks wired to the top.  It was pretty heavy and got to be a pain to carry. We probably should have made the rocks out of Styrofoam.  

Chase doesn't do Halloween and told me he didn't want a costume, so I didn't make him one.  But one night last week as Michael and I were putting the finishing touches on the other costumes, Chase started grabbing left over supplies and made himself an elephant costume.

Unfortunately, or fortunately--depending on your point of view, when it came time to go to the ward Halloween party he ditched his elephant costume and just went as Chase.

Don't worry, if he'd decided to wear his elephant costume I would have made him put on some pants.
This is Chase as Chase--cowboy shirt, bolo tie, gray mouse in the front pocket.

Anytime someone suggested he was dressed up like a cowboy he would get upset and say, "NO. I'm just Chase."

The boy really doesn't like Halloween.  I had to pick him up from school early on Halloween because he didn't want to be in (or even have to see) the Halloween parade, eat the special Halloween lunch, or have anything to do with the class Halloween party.  He told me that Halloween is ruining his life.

So instead of trick-or-treating he chilled at Grandma's house and was plenty spoiled. So much so that the other kids are contemplating skipping trick-or-treating for a night with Grandma next year.

And last but, if you've spent anytime with Davis at all you'd know, certainly not least, Davis decided he wanted to be a robot for Halloween.

Michael took this one on.  He took a garbage can and created a robot costume complete with blinking lights and beeps.

I covered it with tinfoil and made the hat--which should be obvious because it has hearts on it. However, the hat got to be too much, and after two houses it came off never to be worn again.

Happy Halloween!!

28 October 2011

More Language Lessons

D:  "Madison, do you want to know what cookie is in Spanish?"
M: "Sure."
D: "Cuatro.  That's cookie in Spanish.  Cuatro."
M:  "Cuatro is four in Spanish--not cookie."
D:  "Not anymore.  Now it's cookie."

25 October 2011

The Season is Winding Down

Madison is in the final days of the 2011 cross country season.

Today she won another elementary school race, but the competition was pretty light.  In fact she was the only one in her division that showed up.  Apparently the other 6th grade girls in the valley didn't feel like running in freezing cold weather. 

Even though she was the only runner she beat her personal best time for the mile--6 minutes and 33 seconds. She was lucky enough to have her cousin Sam, who is on the high school team, run as one of her rabbits.  Unfortunately Davis thought Sam was racing against Madison and decided to root for him instead of his sister.  Now that Davis has confidence we're going to work on family unity. 

19 October 2011

The First Costume Is Complete

I have one costume done.  Madison had a Halloween party to go to, yes she does that now, so we had to finish her costume first.

This year she wanted to be a Gothic Rag Doll.  I had no idea what that was so the first thing I did was google "gothic rag doll."  Thanks to google and pinterest I was able to get an idea of what she wanted, cried a little, and then I got to work.

This year she helped me with her costume. It was awesome because her help was actually helpful. 

Without further ado I give you Madison as a Gothic Rag Doll.

We made the wig by sewing white and black yarn (don't worry knitting friends I used red heart) onto a black beanie I purchased on clearance for 33 cents.  We used two full skeins of yarn-- and were still a little short.

For her shirt I found a boy's black t-shirt on clearance for a dollar and serged the edges of the sleeves (making them shorter and more girly).  I also serged around the neckline and bottom of the shirt.  then I cut up the center of the shirt, serged the edges, sewed it back together and sewed on fake felt buttons.

The skirt was super easy.  We took strips of black and white tulle and tied them around elastic (the oldest tutu making trick in the book) and once that was done I sewed a piece of gray fabric around the inside.

I made the sleeveless gloves by cutting the toes from a pair of striped knee socks and making a little stitch for the thumb.   We made the necklace with clay beads (we used sculpy brand clay) and some fine gauge jewelry wire.

Oh and don't forget the creepy make-up and white crackle nail polish!

Gothic Rag Doll COMPLETE!  Now to to the wizard . . . .

10 October 2011

And He Used to Think I Was 25

Kai:  Mom you know how I wore my Oregon Ducks jersey to school today?  Well when I was going into class this older kid yelled, "Dude!  That jersey is SICK!  Just SICK!" But don't worry, because when, like, young and cool people say something is "sick" they mean its like "really cool" so, you know, it's like a good thing.

06 October 2011

Learning's for Dummies

Davis is four and has already decided its not cool to learn things in school.  When I ask him what he learned in preschool he says things like, "Nothing. My teacher has a TV hidden in the cupboard and she just watches it all day while we do whatever we want"  or "Today my teacher brought a pillow pet from home and took a nap" or "Today we painted, but I already know how to paint so it isn't like I learned anything."

But yesterday when I asked him if he learned anything in school he very casually said, "I did learn something today.  Today I learned that I don't really like people."

This shouldn't have shocked me because that morning during an episode of Super Why after Wyatt said "and YOU-Super You, with the power to help!" Davis said, "The power to help? Who wants the power to HELP--people will just ask you to do stuff for them all the time!!"

So yeah . . . not really a people person.

28 September 2011

Developmental Dissonance

It seems wrong that my child's desire for me to not see him in his underwear has preceded his ability to put on his own pants.

22 September 2011

Madison is a Rock Star

Well not a rock star per say, but yesterday she got a little taste of what it might feel like to be one.

Yesterday Madison ran in the Triple Crown 1 Mile Elementary School Races at BYU.  In the picture above she is running with a rabbit who I think is from the BYU track and field team.  See how you don't see anyone running behind her?  That's because the second place girl came in twenty seconds behind her. 

Do you love that even though Madison is on a step that is a good three inches higher than the second place girl Madison is still at least an inch shorter than her?  Michael told her that height has nothing to do with running.  I sarcastically (shocking I know) said, "oh yeah, that's why you see so many short people running in the Olympics."  She told me that was just because people think you can't run if you're short.  She said it's like the four minute mile, as soon as one person broke the four minute mark people realized it was possible and they started doing it too.  She said she is going to be the short person who shows short people that they can run too.  How can you NOT love that?

This year her school did so well in the races that they were crowned the Champions and received stewardship of the Championship Trophy. I'm not positive but I think this is the first time they've ever won the Championship Trophy.  If its not the first its been a while.

The woman in the yellow shirt is their P.E. teacher and the school representative.  They were all a little excited.  Can you tell?

16 September 2011

When Pink Eye Looks Like a Black Eye

So this kid was like "Hey! Give me your juice box!" and I was all "No way man.  Get your own!"  But seriously, you should see the other guy!

Side note:  When I told Davis I wanted a picture of him where he looked like a boxer he got down on all fours and pretended to be a dog.

15 September 2011

Its A Miracle My Children Don't Show Up At School Naked

Exhibit A:

Me:  Kai, are you sure want to wear a long sleeved shirt to school? 
Kai:  Its cold in the morning.
Me: Why not wear a short sleeved shirt and a light jacket so you won't be hot in the afternoon?
Kai:  My light jacket doesn't have a hood.
Me:  Neither does the long sleeved shirt you're wearing.
Kai: I think I'll just wear my blue shoes.  Thanks though.
Me:  I'm so confused right now.

Exhibit B:

Chase:  Mom.  I can't find any pants. 
Me:  What about one of the three pair you knocked out of your basket and are currently standing on.
Chase (looking down):  Wow.  That's a lot of pants.

09 September 2011


Upon leaving a very good Mexican restaurant Davis and I had the following conversation:

D:  What language were those people speaking?
Me: Spanish.
D:  No.  The people in the restaurant.  What language was that?
Me:  That was Spanish.
D:  No it wasn't.  I speak Spanish and I didn't understand any of that.  They were was just talking crazy.

I've mentioned it before but Davis is under the impression that he can speak Spanish.  If nothing else I have managed to raise children with confidence.  Some may even go so far as to say, too much confidence. 

27 August 2011

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Some day I will get a good picture of all my kids together.  Until that day I give you attempts 275,489 through 275,494

26 August 2011

Back To School

As the first week of school draws to a close I am finally getting around to posting our first day of school pictures.

Thanks to many bags of awesome hand-me-downs Madison didn't really need any new clothes for school. I love hand-me-downs.  I did, however, agree to buy her a new outfit for the first day. Did I mention that she is in SIXTH GRADE now!  This is her last year of elementary school and I'd be lying if I said that didn't scare me.  In fact, lets not talk about this anymore.

Kai is now officially growing like a weed.  He's grown so much the doctor said his friends won't recognize him when he goes back to school.  That ended up being a moot point because a few days before school started he was offered a spot in the 4th grade class at the same school Madison goes to.  He was, of course, thrilled to be going to school with his sister.

A few weeks before school started Chase fell IN LOVE with a pair of bright blue skinny jeans at target.  He begged for them.  You have to understand Chase doesn't really ask for things, especially things like bright blue skinny jeans.  But he was determined to wear them on his first day of school so I bought them.  He put them on in the morning and I tried to find a matching shirt (it wasn't easy but I managed) and he finished getting ready for school.  Only, he wasn't very happy.  In fact, he was down right moody.  When I asked him if he was nervous he said, "No.  Only I don't think I like these pants like I thought I did."  I was so relieved.  Frankly, I think he looked a little funny in those pants.  So we did a quick wardrobe change, took a new picture, and ran to school.

And of course there is Davis.  Davis is now going to preschool three days a week--in the afternoon.  Which means I can go to lunch with out him.  I told Michael I need a stipend.  He thought I was joking.  He was wrong.

Life just gets better and better.

15 August 2011

He Learned From the Best

It turns out that Davis is even more Kai than Kai can handle.

D: Kai, do you want to play a game with me?
K: Not right now Davis.
D: Here are the rules, I'll say, "Yes you are" and you'll say, "No I'm not."
K:  I SAID I'm not going to play right now!
D: Yes you are.
K: No I'm not.
D: Yes you are.
K: NO.  I'm NOT!
D: Yes you are.
  . . . . .

10 August 2011

The Coast 2011

 It would be wrong to go to Oregon and not go to the coast.  This year we spent a few days in Brookings .

Madison bought a camera right before we left so of course she spent most of the vacation taking pictures.

This is where digital cameras are a nice.  When I got my first camera I went through rolls and rolls of film taking random pictures of trees, bushes and anything else I found remotely interesting. With Madison I don't have to think about how much it will cost me to develop the millions of pictures she's taking.  Though she may need to invest in her own external hard drive.

Chase thinks of the beach as the worlds largest sand box.  So while everyone else is playing in the water he's digging in the dirt.  He only approached the water when he felt like his sand needed to be mud.  Unfortunately, we forgot to bring his tractor this year.  Even though he was disappointed and mentioned his lack of a tractor several times he seemed happy enough with a yellow bucket.

Chase only wears Levi's but after having to wash them several times after our first trip to play in the sand Michael and I bought him a pair of shorts and gave them to him with an ultimatum: no shorts, no sand.

Not only was he willing to wear them (it helped that they were John Deere green) he wore them with a smile.

Baby steps.  Right?

09 August 2011

Curse You Central Air!!

Kai:  Um mom.  I just thought you'd want to know that Davis is downstairs fiddling with the wind machine.
Me: He's fiddling with the what?
Kai:  You know, he's messing with that thing that makes wind.
Me:  I'm sorry but I have no idea what you're talking about.
Kai:  Uggghhh, you know how Madison burned all that popcorn and dad put that box downstairs that when you plug it in creates wind?  The WIND MACHINE!!!
Me:  Do you mean the fan?
Kai:  What?  Fan?  Sure, the fan.  He's fiddling with the fan.
Me:  Did you really not know the word "fan"?
Kai: Never mind!

08 August 2011

Oregon 2011

Every couple of years we try to get out to Oregon.  We weren't sure we were going to be able to this year, but a few weeks ago we made a last minute decision and jumped in the car.  The drive starts out with a whole lot of this

and ends with a whole lot of this
When we were first married Michael and I always drove out and back in one day.  But then more and more smaller people with even smaller bladders started tagging along making the trip considerably longer. 

With out a doubt the drive out is always better than the drive back.  ON the way out the kids are excited to be going so things go smoothly.  The way back is a different story all together.  At this point they are tired and for some reason this makes it impossible for the younger ones to pee when they are supposed to and not pee when they aren't.  As a result we usually take the trip back in two days.

This time we stayed at a lovely hotel in Winnemucca where the kids insisted on swimming before we went to bed.  The day after we got home Madison and Kai developed a weird rash.  It turned out that this particular rash results from swimming in a gross bacterial filled hotel swimming pool.  Then Chase started complaining about his ear hurting.  The doctor looked in his ear and said, "have you been swimming lately?"  Why?  Because this particular ear infection results from swimming in a gross bacterial filled hotel swimming pool.  You might think this upsets me but it doesn't.  Here's the thing.  I really hate swimming and I used to feel guilty telling the kids I don't want to go but now I have an excuse.  Now if all goes as planned I NEVER have to get into a hotel pool again.  

22 July 2011

Its About Time

We are finally starting to get food from our garden.  We've been eating snap peas, cucumbers, green beans, and carrots.  Chase is still anxiously awaiting his corn.  He checks on it every day.  We still don't have any ripe tomatoes but I think we'll start getting some red ones next week. 

We've had a lot of fun with the carrots, snap peas, and green beans so I think we'll plant more of those next year. 

While the garden has been busy growing I've been busy playing with fiber.  A while ago I bought some milk silk from Greenwood Fiberworks and I've been attempting to spin it ever since.  I had some trouble at first but eventually got the hang of it and finished two bobbins worth.  Michael bought me a jumbo flyer for mother's day so I was able to ply them together.  I love how it turned out.  Now I just need to find something to knit with it.

two bobbins worth of singles

Setting the twist
Wound into a hank

18 July 2011

Gotcha Day

Six years ago we put Madison and Kai in the van and picked up my mom and dad.  Michael was afraid we would hit bad traffic or there would be an accident and we’d be late so we left several hours early even though the airport is less than an hour away.

We arrived at the airport and got situated by the United Airlines exit.  After a while the plane from San Francisco (the connecting flight from Korea) landed.  We held up the signs we'd made so the woman from Holt would be able to identify us.  We waited and waited but little Chase never came through the gate.

After what seemed like hours my mom suggested we go to the United desk and see if they had any idea what we should do.  Michael and I were afraid that the second we took our eyes off the gate Chase's escort would finally come through and we would miss him.  So my dad went.

The United desk told him that a Korean escort with a baby had been on the plane but they didn’t know where she had gone after she got off.  My dad decided to walk around and try to find her.  He took his cell phone and left.  He walked from one side of the airport to the other and upon entering the Delta terminal he saw a young Asian woman talking to a Delta worker.  She was carrying a small baby and large bag.  My dad approached them and in Korean said, “Are you from Holt?”  “Yes! Yes!” she said as she started to cry. She didn’t speak any English and didn’t know where to go when she got off the plane.  She got lost and came out in a deserted Delta terminal and didn’t understand where everyone was.  Finally Delta found a representative who spoke a little Korean but he didn’t really understand what she was saying about Holt and the baby. 

My dad called us and we came running.  Through my dad the escort told us that Chase was the most loved baby at the Holt Reception Center.  She said that he was so handsome and sweet that everyone fought over who got to hold and care for him.  She said that he was her favorite so even though she’d never been an escort before, when she found out that Chase was traveling she asked to be assigned to him.  

So at the baggage claim in an empty Delta terminal I was handed a  baby boy with big chubby cheeks, dark eyes, thick black hair and a big beautiful smile.

Happy "gotcha day" Mr. Chase.  We're so lucky to have you in our little family.

02 July 2011

Summer and Small Goats

When it comes to entertaining the kids I like any activity that allows us to stay at home--preferable in our pajamas.  As a result this summer we've done a lot of reading, and almost every night has been family movie night.

Saturday morning Michael decided enough was enough and told us we were going on a hike.  As we were parking the car Kai looked out his window and said, "Awwww!!! Look, it's a baby goat, how CUUUUTEE!"  Unfortunately, what the boy saw was not a baby goat but a schnauzer.

Michael might be right.  We need to get out more.

19 June 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to one of my favorite dads.

To quote MacKay's father's day card, "I say everything good to say about you!"

09 June 2011

The Word For Today is Rumor . . . or Maybe Gullible?

I don't write posts about Madison much anymore mostly because I don't want to embarrass her.  My boys have no shame and I take full advantage of that.  But, even though I  may regret it, I am going to share a recent conversation I had with Madison because it was just too good.

Madison: You know that boy I had a crush on? I don't have a crush on him any more.  Do you want to know why?
Me:  Yes.  I really do.
Madison:  Well the other day his friends were talking about him.  And do you know what they said?  They said that he has a girlfriend in China and that he went to China and took her on a date to see a Hanna Montana movie.  I hate Hanna Montana and if he's going to go all the way to China to take some girl to a Hanna Montana movie, well, I'm just not that interested.

08 June 2011


Last week we took the kids and met up with some of their cousins at Yellowstone.  All of the kids were excited to go except for Chase who has apparently watched Home Alone one too many times and was terrified we were going to accidentally leave him behind.  The night before our trip he slept at my feet clinging to my ankle.  After every stop along the way he would ask, "Are you my family?  Am I in the right car?"  Much to his relief he made it to Yellowstone with us without incident.

Almost immediately upon entering the park we began to see bison and elk.  It didn't take long for Kai and Chase to decide that it was the "best day of their ENTIRE LIVES!!!!"

Or at least it was the best day of their lives until we began to look at things besides animals.

This is Dragon's Breath Hole and it was everything you'd expect from a cave titled Dragon's Breath Hole.  It was loud, steamy, and smelly.   They really didn't like the smelly parts of Yellowstone, but I thought it was a small price to pay to see things like the Grand Prismatic Spring.

We also saw less amazing things like this.  I don't remember what it is called but it was along the Norris Geyser Basin.  Chase said it looked like "root beer and poo, but you can't smell the root beer part--just the poo."

Did I mention that we saw bison?  Because we saw a lot of bison.  They were grazing in the valleys, drinking in the streams and blocking all the roads.

After seeing them so much some of us had a hankering to taste them.  For lunch.  In the form of chilli.

I like to think everyone had a pretty good time.