07 December 2012

Just a few things I found around the house after the the boys left for school.

A pile of pajamas by the fire.

An apple and a shirt on a kitchen chair. I'm pretty sure they had shirts on when they left 
...but this does make one wonder.

The peanut butter lid on a bar stool.

A forgotten sandwich on the bar.

And a bag of open bread under the Christmas tree in the front room.

All in all--a pretty typical morning.

03 December 2012

So This is Christmas

Last week we decided it was high time we actually had family home evening and seeing how it was getting close to Christmas we thought it would be prudent to spend the night full of Christmas themed family togetherness.  We decorated the tree, sung Christmas carols, and great fun was had by all--except Chase, who every few minutes would stop and ask, "can I go now?"

We ended the evening by taking turns answering very serious questions regarding Christmas. I asked Kai if there was something he thought he might get for Christmas (likes socks or underwear) that he really didn't want. He said, "Hmm. I love everything I get. But if I had to pick something, I have to say I don't want anything girly." so Davis piped in and said, "Yeah, I don't want anything girly either! Like I don't want ANY fingernail polish or ANY make-up [insert long thoughtful pause] well actually I DO want fingernail polish and make-up" Kai started giggling so Davis glared at him as said, "But I don't want any more kids! We have enough of that."

We asked Chase if there was an activity or tradition he wanted to make sure we did this Christmas and he said, "I just want to do more fun things together as a family." I was touched and said, "Chase that's so sweet!" "Can I go do them now?" He asked. "Well, that IS what we're doing. RIGHT now." I said excitedly. He said, "Oh. I guess I meant to say I'd like to do more boring things by myself. Can I go do THAT now?"

14 November 2012

Phineas, Ferb, and the Big Guy

Davis: Do you know what the end of the shoelace is called?

Grandma Jan: I used to but I can’t remember.

Davis: An aglet. I learned that from Phineas and Ferb, they found it online and NO ONE knew it before that.

Grandma Jan: If no one knew it, who put it online?

Davis: I think Jesus did.

For Christmas I think I'm going to make Davis the I ♥ Aglets Shirt that Buford is wearing.

30 October 2012

The Last of the Harvest

We pulled up the last of the onions and spaghetti squash and, of course, Chase finally got to pick his watermelon.

14 September 2012

More Evidence That Chase is a Grumpy Old Man

When Chase saw that stores are starting to sell Halloween decor he told me he hated Halloween for the following four reasons,

He said, "One, you get too much candy. Two your bag gets too heavy. Three, you have to walk around all night carrying that heavy bag knocking on people's doors. Four, its a holiday mom--and I HATE holidays."

01 September 2012

Davis' First Day of Kindergarten

Davis started his first day of Kindergarten this week.

He's been looking forward to going to school all summer. So it makes sense that  he was pretty disappointed when he found out kindergarten was only a half day so he didn't need to take a lunch.

When we got to the school he got out of the van and said, "Bye mom, See you later!" And started walking off by himself. When I pointed out that he didn't know where his classroom was he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Ehh. I'll figure it out." I went ahead and walked him in anyway.

When I picked him up after school he asked me if he could go to school every day. I think it went over pretty well.

27 August 2012

I ♥ Chase

School is underway and last week Chase and I went to his first patent-teacher conference. At the beginning of every year the teacher reads a check list of conduct that the kids agree to and then sign. She asked things like, would he bring his supplies, do his homework, be nice to the other kids, and listen in class.  He responded to all of them with "yes" or "I'll try." Until . . .

Teacher: "Chase, can you come to school each morning ready to learn with a positive attitude?"
Chase: "A positive attitude?"
Teacher: "Yeah, that just means that you'll try to come to school happy."
Awkward silence . . .
Chase replies with a long drawn out: "Nooooo. . . I, uh, don't think I can do that."
After some coaxing he said, "Fine! I'll TRY!"

When we were done his teacher turned to me and asked, "Do you have any questions for me?" Chase said, "I do . . . what's a million plus a thousand." She answered, "One million one thousand." "Good job." He said.

21 August 2012

First Day of School

Not everyone was thrilled to start school.
Davis has another week of carefree living before he's off to Kindergarten, but the other three started school today.

When Chase met his teacher at back to school night she asked him if he was excited for 2nd grade and he said, "I guess. The only problem is that I don't really like talking." "Oh are you shy?" she asked. "No," He said, "I just don't like talking."

For his first day of school Chase chose to wear his favorite pearl button cowboy shirt and jeans. He's still hoping for a new pair of cowboy boots while I'm still hoping to find a pair I'm willing to buy.

Kai decided that he wanted to wear what he calls his "skater outfit." This consists of his flying skateboard shirt, red skinny jeans, and blue high-tops. Mike said he's pretty sure boys don't wear "outfits" just clothes. I'm pretty sure Kai doesn't care.

Kai couldn't wait to get out the door this morning. He was excited because at back to school night his best friend, Jane, made sure they were assigned seats next to each other. I told him if he wants to continue to sit by Jane he'll have to be quiet and calm or his teacher will move him. This is no small feat for a 10 year old boy.

Madison is thrilled to be in 7th grade because she gets to take classes like art, photography, French, and P.E. Yep, she's even excited to take P.E. Oh and she gets a locker.

She saved money all summer so go back to school shopping with her Aunt Becca. When she got home with her new clothes Madison decided that she needs three "first day" outfits (she's a girl so she gets to use that word). One for orientation day (today), one for her first day of A schedule, and one for her first day of B schedule. She reasoned that because each of these days involve different classes and different people they were all technically "first days."

She's so old! I remember her first free dress day in kindergarten  when I asked her if she wanted to wear pink or purple socks and she replied, "Mom, they aren't pink and purple, they're coral and grape."

So here's to a new year--lets hope it's a good one.

10 August 2012


One of these kids just turned 5. He is about to start kindergarten and is under the impression that he shouldn't ever have to change his clothes or brush his teeth.

When I told him to buckle his seat belt on one of the rides at Disneyland he said, "Mom, I know! I read the rules. It says, 'Buckle your seat belt and NO dancing.'"

Another one of these kids is 7. He is about to start 2nd grade and he will absolutely not smile unless he is truly 100% happy. He was underwhelmed by most of what Disneyland had to offer.

Toontown? I don't thinks so.  3D bug glasses? Not quite.  Train ride? Maybe. Cotton Candy? Closer.  Abraham Lincoln? 

Well, duh! Who could possibly resist the charms of Honest Abe!

One of them just turned 10 (today in fact). He is about to start 5th grade. He is growing up fast and I don't like it one bit. He's among the "big kids" now and was bound and determined to ride the roller coaster at Disneyland. He even talked a few other people into doing it with him.

Speaking of growing up fast, the oldest one is 12 now.  TWELVE. We're talking junior high people! Does this freak me out a little . . . of course it does. Pretty soon she'll wanting to stay out late and kiss boys. Fortunately for now she's satisfied driving a car and I'm okay with that.

11 July 2012

A Little Snark for Your Morning

Davis: "I didn't want you to pour my cereal WIDE I wanted you to pour it TALL!"
Madison: "I can't pour cereal tall. It doesn't work that way."
Davis: "Yes you can!"
Madison: "Apparently you don't understand physics."
Davis: "Yes I do understand physics! I do!"
Madison: "Really? What is it?"
Davis: "Okay FINE! I don't understand PHYSICS! Do you feel better now?"
Madison: "Pretty much."

09 July 2012

Back to the Grind

On our way home from our trip to Disneyland (more on that later) we saw a double rainbow.

And I'm sorry but I just can't resist . . .

Enough about that. Way back in March I told you I was going to start a new venture and guess what--I have. It is an online magazine called called KNACKMagazine. You can find us at (drum roll please) KNACKMag.com!

I started it with two good friends, I know, I know, I have been told this is a bad idea more than once, but I did it anyway. We have our first issue up and you should check it out partly because it has awesome downloadable patterns, and partly because it has amazing articles (don't worry I didn't write them so they should be grammatically correct) but mostly because the cover picture is of me as a little kid in a homemade wonder woman costume. 

But seriously check it out.

25 June 2012

Soul Surfing

Davis and Madison have been watching Soul Surfer a lot lately. It is one of Madison's favorite movies and Davis is the only one she can sucker into watching it with her.

So while watching the movie the other night they came to a part where the dad tells the girl she can still surf with only one arm because she can do anything to which Davis says, "Yeah except get your other arm back!"

Davis' impression of Soul Surfer

I am pretty sure he lost the wrong arm. He may have received his ability to decipher left and right from me.

15 May 2012

Another Rousing Program

This morning was the boy's orchestra concert. I went early to get a good seat because I wanted to finally get a good picture of him playing his violin.

Unfortunately, he's short.

But I managed to a great shot of the tip of his bow

and a nice shot of his toes

and a fantastic shot of his shoulder.

Here's looking forward to next year.

11 May 2012


Davis: Mom whats the name of that guy who controls the weather?
Me: Do you mean the weather man? The guy on T.V.?
Davis: No. The guy who like makes the weather and controls it and stuff.
Me: Are you talking about Mother Nature?
Davis: NO! Its a GUY.  And he like makes stuff and is in charge and everything.
Me: God? Are you talking about God?
Davis: YES! God! He really shouldn't have made wind. I don't like it.

08 May 2012

Madison is 12

Madison turned 12 on the 4th. I'm not sure when that happened but it did. But let's just be clear--she may be getting older but she's still a kid.

Mike: Madison, did you know that your birthday is on Star Wars Day?
Madison: Well all day the boys in my class were like, "May the fourth be with you!" and I knew that was like what they say on Star Wars so that makes sense but the whole time I was like, "you could say that any day of the month because every month has a fourth" but I was thinking about that because earlier this week when we were talking about the field trip we were going to take she was all like, "We're going on May 4th and that's Star Wars day--May the Fourth be with you!!" So I realized, yeah, its like May and May, so of course it would be Star Wars day because you can't just do that in April or March or whatever. It doesn't really work. So we ended up going on Star Wars day and now I get it.
Mike: So . . . yes?
Madison: Wait . . . Did you ask me a question?

So yeah she's still a kid.

30 April 2012

Introducing Spike

Today the old man at the pet store talked me into buying a otocinclus.

He promised me that Frankie and the little algae eater would get along. Besides he was only a dollar so it wasn't a hard sale.

Davis saw him and immediately fell in love so the otocinclus is now Davis' "allergy eater." He named him "Spike the Allergy Eater" but calls him Spike for short.

I gave Davis the bag and he loving poured Spike into Frankie's tank and said,

"Mom, Frankie's like, 'Hey Bartholomew, whats up!' Because Frankie doesn't know his name is really Spike."

"But don't you think it's kind of weird that Frankie would call him Bartholomew?"

"Maybe. But it would be more weirder if Frankie knew Spike's name 'cause they've never met 'til now."

"Good point. You should just tell Frankie that his name is Spike and not Bartholomew."

"I don't speak fish."

28 April 2012

Most of Our Conversations Go Like This

Madison: So what am I supposed to wear to this tea party?
Me: I don't know. Ask Ashley, she's the one who invited you.
Madison: But like do you think I can wear jeans or do I have to wear a dress?
Me: I don't know. You should ask Ashley.
Madison: Do you think I can just wear nice pants?
Me: Yes.
Madison: Are you sure?
Me: NO! I have no idea--which is why you should ask ASHLEY!
Madison: Okay I think I'm just going to call Ashley at 8:30. That's in 36 minutes or just a half an hour but then with six more minutes. I think either of those would be fine. Don't you?

16 April 2012

It's Okay If You Spell It . . . Right?

Kai: These bug bites are driving me crazy! They itch like H-E-L-L!
Davis (very impressed): Whoa . . . Kai knows how to spell itchy?!!

05 April 2012

Sports Season

I have a love hate relationship with sports. I love that my kids participate in sports but I hate the time that you have to invest into practices and games.

This is Madison's 4th year playing soccer and every year I think I should sign her up for private instruction or put her on a private league but then I remember that I'm cheap and so I don't do it. However, this year she's at a point where she won't progress much more without guidance. So we broke down and got her a soccer tutor. It is amazing how much difference it has made and I wish we had done it sooner.

However there is one problem Madison seems to have at every practice and every game--she can't seem to keep her shoes tied. Seriously, her shoes are NEVER tied.

Have I mentioned that I love my new camera?  Because I really really do. It makes sitting for an hour in the freezing cold almost worth it.

31 March 2012

The Cake is Done.

It's a good thing I have talented friends. 

It it weren't for my friends Ali and Maryanne Chase's birthday would have featured a very unattractive heap of cake crumbs and frosting. But luckily for me I know a whole slew of extremely talented people and I called a few of them to help make Chase's cake.

This was my first foray into fondant and it turns out that fondant isn't hard to make if you have Ali on the other end of the phone very patiently answering all your questions as you make it.

But its even easier to sit and watch as Maryanne makes and figures out how to apply tire treads to your (not quite) life-sized tire cake.

I love my friends and Chase loved the cake. 

28 March 2012

Gilbert Dies

On Monday my mom and I took Madison to see a community theater version of Anne of Green Gables. We stopped at a new Peruvian restaurant for dinner first.

Madison ordered a Root-beer and I ordered a Diet Pepsi. When our server brought the drinks she told Madison that they didn't really have Root-beer so she got her a Dr. Pepper and told me she didn't really have Diet Pepsi so she brought me a regular Pepsi. I wasn't about to drink a Pepsi when Dr. Pepper was an option so I asked to switch it out and she obliged.

I took one sip of my Dr. Pepper and found that it was actually Root-beer. I took a sip of Madison's half empty Dr. Pepper and informed her that she was drinking Root-beer too. Do you see why I don't normally let her have Dr. Pepper? Something that good shouldn't be wasted on someone who can't tell the difference between it and Root-beer.

As we ate our dinner I told Madison about the first time I saw Anne of Green Gables.

I was in elementary school and my sister was put in charge of watching me while my parents were at a dinner party. My mom had spent the previous weeks taping Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea off of PBS so we decided to spend the night watching it. We loved every minute of it and watched until Gilbert was dying of typhoid fever. Then, unexpectedly, the tape ended. We were freaking out! We had NO IDEA if Gilbert died. This happened pre-google and pre-cell phone so we only had one option--to call my mom at the dinner party and ask how the show ended.

We called. I am sure my mom thought something was wrong and was less than thrilled to discover we were just calling with a question about Anne of Green Gables. She said, "Gilbert? Gilbert dies." Yes. my mother told us that Gilbert Blythe dies.

Fast forward to when I was in High School and my friend suggested we watch Anne of Green Gables.  "Are you kidding me? I refuse to watch that show. I think its stupid that Gilbert dies." My friend, very confused, said, "I take it you've never really seen the whole thing."

So I found out that Gilbert doesn't actually die. I told my sister and we confronted my mom. "Mom, so does Gilbert Blythe die in Anne of Green Gables?" "What? No. What would make you think that?"

23 March 2012

13 Years

As of today I have been married 13 years. It has been 13 years full of surprise music mixes and funny things like this on my door-- 

How can you not love that?

22 March 2012

Cut Me Some Slack

Davis: "Mom wanna come watch a show with me because you don't have anything to do now because you got fired."

Me: "I didn't get fired. Its more like I got laid off."

Davis: "Well you used to have a job and now you don't. I'm pretty sure that's called fired."

19 March 2012

Birthday Cake

After a lot of thought Chase finally decided what kind of birthday cake he wants.

He announced that he wants a life sized truck tire cake. "Don't worry though, it doesn't have to be a monster truck tire--a regular truck tire will work."

16 March 2012

New Toys

In October and old friend asked me if I was interested in a part time job at her company. I said yes and happily became a working mom. I worked with great people and I was able to work most of my hours from home. My job was awesome.

The Wednesday after Christmas Michael found out that the company he was employed with was shutting its doors. He was officially unemployed so I talked to my friend, became her new marketing manager, and switched from working part-time to working full-time. I loved my new job so much that I continued to work full-time even after Michael got a new job in January.

Unfortunately two weeks ago I found out that my boss had to sell the company and I was no longer employed. It was sad, but I have decided to do my own thing--more on that later. To put my new project in action I needed a great camera. I've been wanting one for years.  YEARS I tell you. I did a little research, talked to a few people and finally bought a Canon 60D. I absolutely love this camera.

You may want to click on these picture to see them larger.

I had no idea Kai made such serious faces when he was playing baseball.

Aside from cropping, I haven't done any editing on these pictures. They would look even better with some color correction.

Of all the pictures I took, this is my favorite. I'm thinking this boy is not meant to be the goalie.

09 March 2012


Today is our first in a series of monthly IvIg infusions.  So far so good. Kai even got to paint one of the ceiling tiles. We'll be here for about 8 hours but the nurses are pampering him so don't feel too bad for him.

Update: The whole process took almost two hours longer than they thought because of some problems putting in the IV and a headache he developed half way through. It was almost 10pm when we left the hospital. But all in all things went really well and next month should go off with out a hitch.

22 February 2012

My Two Front Teeth

About two weeks ago I noticed that Davis had a fat lip but when I looked closer I realized his lip wasn't fat at all. What he had was an infection in his gums right above his two front teeth that was causing so much swelling it looked like a fat lip.

Long story short, today Davis had his two front teeth professionally yanked. He was a trooper. They told me to expect the extraction to take at least an hour but Davis was so happy and relaxed that we were in an out in less than 30 minutes. And that includes the time it took him to invite everyone in the dental office to his birthday party in June.

My kids tend to take their time when it come to getting teeth (Madison was still toothless at her first birthday). So he's going to be wearing this smile for a few years.

30 January 2012

100 Days of School . . . Again?

Back when the boy was in first grade he was asked to bring 100 of something to the 100th day of school. Because he is slightly perverse he chose rocks. Now Chase is in first grade and today is his 100th day of school. At first he thought about bringing 100 monster trucks. "Toy ones" he explained, "because,real ones would be too heavy." I pointed out that although we have a lot of toy trucks I didn't think we had 100. So he decided to take 100 recycling bins . . . no wait, 100 fire hydrants . . . . This went on for a while.

It took a lot of convincing but I talked him into taking something I saw on Simply Modern Mom--a monster shirt with 100 googly eyes on it. The only problem was the Madison and Kai liked Chase's shirt so much that they insisted I make them one to wear to school today too.  Unfortunately, Kai got sick this morning so he'll have to wear his to the 101st school day tomorrow.

Chase is quite possibly the cutest kid in the world.

23 January 2012

He'll Be 7 Soon

The next birthday in our family will be Chase's.

It really wasn't that long ago Chase swore he would never turn six and never go to first grade. Regardless of these statements his sixth year came and now it is almost gone.

He's come a long way this past year. He has realized that school isn't the worst thing in the world. He's even willing to participate in PE just so long as his aid participates with him (in fact, she's lost 20lbs because of it). He decided he likes Church just so long as he doesn't have to read a scripture, give a talk, or say a prayer.

However, my favorite thing Chase has started doing this year is talking more. What he says is often unexpected and random but we get these amazing little glimpses into his mind. When he talks he says slowly with little to no emotion. Everything he says is dead pan, which makes it that much more enjoyable.

When Michael dropped him of at school and told him to have a good day Chase got nose to nose with his dad and flatly said, "I will. If my pants fit." Then he gave Michael a kiss on the cheek and jumped out of the car.  He was at my brother's house when he saw an old typewriter on their bookcase and in his slow monotone voice said, "A typewriter? What is this? 1975?"

It hard for me to believe that Chase will be seven in March. But he is constantly reminding us about his upcoming birthday and keeps asking how many days are left. It seemed like for the first time he was excited about his birthday so I asked him what he wanted to do celebrate.  He said, "I want to have pizza. Real pizza from the pizza guy who comes to your door.* Then I want you all to have a party while I go to my room and take a nap."  Wouldn't you know it, that's what I want to do on my birthday too.

*Because Kai can't eat gluten we don't really eat pizza anymore. Sometimes Michael will make a gluten free version but Chase misses "real" pizza.