What's Going Down

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Things to note: My children are sick. Goopy runny noses and coughing. Delightful.

Today all the kids (minus Lucas) were playing downstairs and Matt and I were gleefully ignoring them. All of a sudden they all start crying.

Anna: Mom! He bit me!!
Miles: But I was hungry!!
Abbie: Where did he bite you?
Anna: Right here, where you can see snot.

Matt and I did not intervene. Instead we had a good giggle. And then begged the children to clean up the horrific mess they had made.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Things to be thankful for.

There sure are a lot of them. I can't even imagine attempting to list all of them.

So, here's a short list:
morning in pajamas.

Also, my wonderful and amazing and tolerant and understanding and hilarious and just downright sexy husband. Yeah, I'm grateful for him, too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The following pictures were taken in a very short (10 seconds or so) period of time.

"Oh, Hi Mom!"

"What do you want?"

"Let me think about it."

"No. No pictures."

"Ok, fine. One picture."

"Take a picture of this!"

"Oh Miles, You're such a stinker!"

"I sure do love you."

Monday, November 24, 2008

Embarassing Confession.

I don't like opening the pop-open packages of biscuits and rolls. I get so scared wondering when it's going to pop open. The element of surprise makes me so paranoid.

What's your embarassing confession?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This. Oh! And that.

I've been checking my blog first thing in the morning everyday. Why? Well, I guess I keep hoping that the blogging fairies will have left you all a present of something interesting to read.

Instead, you have to listen to me. I fear for your sanity and intelligence.

We've been pretty busy between field trips, doctor's appointments, and trying to get my rather large rear-end to the gym a couple times a week. It's truly a miracle that I haven't forgotten any of my children somewhere. Yet.

So, some tidbits. Small stories. Humorous anecdotes.

First. Miles. This is actually the opposite of humorous. It's evil. Or rather, he is. I don't think I was quite prepared for what age 3 can dish out. I've caught him several mornings literally eating out of the sugar canister with a spoon. He has perfected the skill of ignoring. He fights you on just about everything.

ugh. 3.

This face, was because I offered a Tuna sandwich and he wanted Turkey (which we didn't have any of). Total hysterics. I should have known that his Terrible Twos would be coming, he's just a late bloomer, I guess.

(And despite all that, I still treat him like my baby. We jump to fix whatever ails as soon as he starts screaming... and if you've ever heard him scream, you know why. The child makes my ears bleed.)

Story #2. Party Dresses
So, I guess I was feeling ambitious. Or drunk. One or the other. I decided to take on making the girls some Christmas dresses. This is no biggie. Or so I thought. I mean, I've made them dresses before. But that pattern had "Easy!" printed on the front. The pattern I picked this time, did not. We're talking tulle petticoat ruffles and fully lined. I'm about 85% done with dress #1. All that awaits is the dreaded zipper. I have my seam ripper all ready. Wish me luck.


And Finally. For the last couple of days, Abbie's been hacking up a lung. So, I made the executive decision that we'd rather not share that particular ailment, and most of us (barring the devoted Matt + Miles) stayed home from church today. Abbie and Anna played the entire day long so nicely. I don't think I had to scold them for being mean more than twice. There was "Pretend Thanksgiving" and then they did a National Geographic Kids MadLib together (Abbie loves MadLibs, thinks they're freaking hilarious.)


And I managed to get them to look up for a second.
ho-lee crap.


Also, a question. How on earth are these two girls sisters? Two children couldn't be more different... in both appearance and temperament. Makes parenting them very difficult.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Need Christmas Cards?

Every year I make this offer. Some of you have been waiting for this, I'm sure.

What do you do? You email me using the link in my profile. You send me the picture or in some cases, pictures that you would like me to insert into the template (please only send pictures that YOU TOOK, or that you have a copyright release for). You let me know which Sample number you'd like me to use along with any pertinent information (name, alternate message, etc) that you'd like me to include. I can make your pictures black & white, reduce red eye, etc. Be sure to let me know if you'd like 4x6 of 5x7 file dimensions. Then, out of the kindness of your heart, you send a donation (pretty please, but not required) to the same email address via Paypal.

What do I do? Using my magical photoshop abilities, I do what you ask and make you all look like supermodels (kidding!) I create your file. I send it to you. I put a tiny amount of money into my children's Christmas fund (hopefully?). I'll send the file along with directions and recommendations for consumer print labs that do a great job!

And we have some great new templates this year that I slaved over (or was gifted).
Sample 1:

Sample 2:
This is an 8x4. You could print 2 per 8x10 sheet and trim them. These are great and fit in a business size envelope.

Sample 3:
This one is always really popular. I have the ability to fit up to 5 pictures and as few as one into the picture area.

Sample 4:

Sample 5:
New this year!

Sample 6:

Sample 7:

Sample 8:
This is the card I used for our family last year. It can also be oriented landscape.

Sample 9:

Sample 10:

And finally, Sample 11:

Keep in mind that almost all colors, fonts and sentiments can be changed.

I can't wait to hear from you guys. This really is such a blast for me.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Babies make me get all smooshy.

Despite the fervent resolve I have that Lucas is our last baby, every time I hold someone's new tiny skwooshy, heaven-scented baby I realize that I wouldn't be TOTALLY devastated to have another. But, I repeat to you, as I do myself every single day, we're done.

Kaleb was no different. He had me practically swooning and I just couldn't keep my nose off of him. He was the sweetest little thing even though he was 3.5 weeks old and so refused to sleep for me. Kaleb is my friend Carlee's sweet new baby boy. Carlee, I didn't see it at the shoot, but he does look JUST LIKE KYLER.

And so, the tiniest little sneak peek.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Glimpse Into My Life

Alternate Title: Now you know what kind of mom I am.

First. Miles and Lucas get along pretty decently. Truthfully, Miles doesn't have that much interest in Lucas, despite Lucas's attempts at making himself seen. What with the crawling and the maiming of innocent bystanders. Miles does enjoy the occasional hug and playing with his baby brother for about 4 seconds. I'm guessing as time goes on, they'll become more keen on each other. Here's hoping, because I'm certainly not interested in entertaining Lucas for the next 17.5 years.

The other morning, they were being all sweet with each other, and Miles even insisted I "take a picher." I am easily coerced. And a sweet little photo opportunity quickly melted down into this:

oi. boys.

Ugh. Boys.

Next. I've been trying to get Lucas to take a sippy cup with water in it. We're not really being all that successful unless you consider soaked shirts success, which I do not. So, in an effort to literally sweeten the deal, I added some apple juice. Then I forgot I'd done that and threw the sippy cup in my purse. For about 4 days. Today, we were walking off some energy at my favorite rendezvous, Target, and he started getting fussy. So, I whipped out the sippy. He immediately started gagging and coughing. And I dared get frustrated with him, "Dude! You're going to have to learn this sippy thing sometime!" And then caught a whiff of his breath. I just fed my son Apple Beer. It was, perhaps, the nastiest smelling thing ever.

Yes, I'm that kind of parent. Call me Britney?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Abigail and other blatherings.

I think you know her:

I am just gonna cross my fingers and hope that picture looks better for all of you, than it does for me. Matt purchased me a newfangled LCD monitor and it looks HORRIBLE. At least until (hopefully) the Monitor Calibration gobblety-gook he ordered arrives. Otherwise, this puppy is going back! Sidenote over.

Some things about Abbie.
1. She has a name rule. If you're talking to her, her name is Abbie. If she's writing it down, she writes Abigail. I have no clue why. But I think it's cute.

2. She is slower than molasses in the mornings. Getting her out the door for school is making me insane. I've tried charts, I've tried tough love. Nothing is working.

3. Yesterday, a friend paid me for some pictures I took. In homemade cinnamon rolls. How'dya like that currency? Anyway, when I wasn't looking, my children, led by Abbie, picked all the icing off of them. Help me not kill them?

4. Tooth #2 and #3 (a top tooth!) are getting wiggly-er and wiggly-er. It is bad that I'm excited for that nerdy gap-toothed grin? I'm kinda sorta hoping it happens right around Christmas. So what if I'm cruel that way?

5. 37 pounds. Yes, folks. My nearly 7 year old weighs 37 pounds. At one year old she was just under 17 pounds. Which means that she's gained 20 pounds in 6 years. She also wears a size 10.5/11 shoe. So does Anna. They're nearly the same size at this point, and I think by next summer, Anna will be completely caught up. They already share all the same clothes. Except for special outfits.

6. I have plans to make Christmas Dresses for the girls. Wish me luck?

And one more picture of Abigail.
almost 7

Love this girl.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'd be doing you a disservice.

You seriously have to go check out Matt's blog and see the video he posted on his latest entry.

Watch it to the very end.

Try not to wet your pants.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Things I Have Done.
Bolded things = Things I've done. My sisters have been doing this, so I thought I'd jump in for fun.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (also Disneyworld)
8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
(knitting, photography, many others)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables-I count helping my mom
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - bag my mother made for me. Abbie carries her library books in it now.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - SCARY!
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - Dominique Dawes
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby x 4!
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Gah! That's less than half. Time to get cracking! Looks like I need to travel more, eh?

Feel free to do this one. Let me know if you do, so I can come check it out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Never posted this one.

And for that, you should probably thank me.

During our Family Reunion this summer, we took a group shot. My parents, 7 of their 9 children, 5 spouses, and 8 of their 11 (soon to be) grandchildren. We took some nice serious shots.

But when it came right down to it, I liked this one best.


It's much more real. More characteristic of my family and the roles we play. Take a good look, and if you know us, go ahead and laugh. If you don't know us, I suppose you can laugh anyway, but just don't tell my dad. He hates laughing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Magna Doodle Lament

Don't get me wrong. I love the Magna Doodle. Love. We have two large Magna Doodles. One medium Dora Magna Doodle and at least 3 small ones. I'm a huge fan of no-mess artistry. Especially when you consider that "mess artistry" around here amounts to permanent marker on my dry-clean only couch. Also there's a waste-issue. Gone unchecked, my children will draw their way through a ream of paper in about a week.

When your children are as prolific as mine are, you have to turn to something more Green. Enter the Magna Doodle. We love you.
a dumpster.

Miles has really started being creative in his drawing. We're not sure how often (if ever) that he has something in mind before he starts his drawings. We feel like he's more "interpreting" what the Magna Doodle wants to draw. He'll make a shape accidentally. Just random free-form drawing. And notice that it looks like something. And so, he'll make it into that something. Often it's monsters or ghosts. He will draw it some very dainty eyes, and then ever so gently, draw on the mouth. And it's as if he has no control over the "MagnaPen" and if the line for the mouth happens to dip down just a bit he's suddenly morose. "Oh! It's a sad ghost." And the converse is true. It can just as easily be a happy ghost, which in turn makes him happy.

a happy ghost.

Watching Miles draw is more fun than if you yourself were drawing. And his drawings are hilarious. But here is my lament.

If you had actual paper drawings you could save them forever if you so chose. Not so with the Magna Doodle. So, I've taken to photographing some of my favorites, for posterity's sake. But, it's just not the same. I feel a scrapbook page coming on.

Betcha can't guess what this is?


Monday, November 3, 2008

Time is Flying.

Not only is there less than a month until Thanksgiving and less than two to Christmas, but Lucas just turned 7 months old. More than half a year. I miss the newborn him.

But really, we're loving our Lukie. The other kids have the ability to make him SO happy.

And considering that he's probably not yet 13 pounds (sigh!!), he doesn't have all that lame chub holding him down.

And so, we have crawling. He started about 2 weeks ago. Children should not be mobile at 6 months old. So wrong.

He's also got something else to show you:

Yes, both bottom teeth. It's really unfair the way he's growing up all at once. RUDE.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Big Reveal.

I know that alot of people get started on their Halloween costumes way early. But with Anna's birthday being so close to Halloween, I try not to think about anything Halloween related before we celebrate her birthday. It keeps me organized and focused on one thing at a time.

So, we finalized our Halloween Costume decisions about 10 days ago. Which put me into a frantic search for all the right parts and pieces. I have to admit that I'm pretty darn proud of myself. I made Miles's costume completely from scratch... no pattern. (A big shout-out to my Mom who walked me through the pants.) And everyone came out looking fairly well like what they were supposed to.

A rundown. With picture reference because I'm sure quite a few of you will have no idea who our obscure costumes are supposed to be... we like it that way.

First up:
Anna - She waivered back and forth so wildly until finally settling on "cowgirl." I couldn't have been happier. We had most everything to pull that off, but I didn't want her feeling slighted by not having any special mom-touches. So. I added some white felt fringe to the bottom of the skirt she picked out. I made her a pink lasso out of braided yarn, and I glued ribbon onto her cowboy, er... girl hat.
saddest cowgirl, evah

As you can see, she wasn't really pleased during this picture. It's because she wanted me to take this picture first:

And a fun close-up of the boots/lasso/fringe.
fringe, check. lasso, check. boots, check.

Next up was Miles. He insisted for the longest time that he wanted to be a "bad guy from StarWarstheCloneWars." Yes, that's how he says it. Considering that he's never seen it, or any of the other Star Wars franchised movies, etc we were a bit baffled. Good job Lucasfilm marketing geniuses. We managed to sway him to dress as something more interesting, albeit obscure.

Enter Totoro:

(He's the HUGE grey dude.)

And well, here's what you get.
My Neighbor Totoro
And you'll never believe it, but he did actually get recognized a couple of times. But only at Matt's work (aka Nerd Kingdom).

A better shot of the hat, which slayed me.

Next up: Abbie.
Do you watch PBS? Or your kids? If you do, you might know Word Girl.

And yes. She loves words.

You will not believe how hard I tried to find maroon gloves for kids. (That didn't have to be shipped to me.)

Word Girl!

She really loved her costume. And again, a rather obscure costume, but she was actually recognized several times. But never by adults. Other kids LOVED her.

And you may not know this, but Word Girl has a sidekick.

Cue Lukie:


Freaking riot, I tell you. Not a single person knew who he was, but that was fine with us. He was making us giggle ALL NIGHT LONG. Especially with that ridiculous antenna, which I couldn't quite make look like an antenna, and not a horn.

Captain Huggyface

But seriously. Hilarious.
And finally, Matt & I.

Just kidding. We don't do that.

You misundestimated me.

Well, most oh you. Name that TV show?

121. The number of pages in that stack.

Congratulations to Carlee who actually has a brand spanking new baby boy.

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