Saturday, November 29, 2008

A little about Sarah.

I can't convince Sarah that it's called a piano and not a com-piano. Kids these days! I guess it's common sense to think that anything with keys must start with 'com.' She thinks I'm joking. Maybe someday she will be a concert com-pianist.

I walked into the bathroom tonight. Sarah was screaming. As a result, David had purple ear plugs in his ears. She was complaining that the water was getting too high. Usually when Sarah takes a bath the water is shallow, but tonight David had it a little higher to give the kids a good soak and scrub down. It was unusual that she was so distressed, so after the bath David sat Sarah on his lap and talked to her about it:
David: Are you scared of the water?
Sarah: No.
David: Does the water hurt your legs? (Sarah has eczema.)
Sarah: No.
David: Then what was the matter?
Sarah: (Whimpering through the sobs) I was scared Rachel was going to go under the water because she's little.

After her explanation, it made a lot more sense. She was having some anxiety and concern for her baby sister. I thought it was sweet.

Sarah's been crawling into bed with us almost daily now. She quietly gets under the covers and snuggles up to me usually sometime between 2 AM and 6 AM. This morning I was half asleep, but aware of the intrusion. I felt a tap on the shoulder and heard her whisper, "It's me, Sarah," as if I didn't know. I always thought I would forbid children sleeping in my bed, but I actually enjoy it. I think Sarah likes the one-on-one snuggle time with her Mommy while the others are fast asleep a whole hallway away. I've asked her several times why she comes in our bed, and she never has a good excuse. No excuse needed. That's why we purchased a king-sized bed 3 years ago.

Sarah also likes the turkey drumstick.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm not too good at blogging during the holidays. But I will say we had a GREAT thanksgiving. As I prepared the meal, I asked the kids to tell me what they were thankful for. Their responses were:

Emily - "God's creation."

Bradley - "My brother and sisters."

Sarah - "My family."

Wendy - "My mom and dad."

Jason - Since he is still a little clueless, his siblings assisted him and he was able to repeat the phrase, "Heavenly Father." Now the two phrases (a combination of 2 words) that Jason can competently say are "Heavenly Father" and "poopy diaper."

Since Rachel can't speak, here are a couple of pictures of her First Thanksgiving:

Turkey and a cracker.

The tryptophan kicked in fast.
It was a happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm a Slacker.

I totally slacked on the blog last night. My in-laws came to town and took us to dinner. Then I got on the phone and couldn't stop talking. Then it was time to go to bed and I didn't have anything to write about because my day was spent cleaning and making a photobook online. Not all that exciting. Now on to preparing for Thanksgiving.

By the way - this is my devil post (#666.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tonight's Dinner

Tonight we had gourmet Chef Boyardee for dinner. I dumped 2 cans of ravioli in an 8X8 baking dish and covered with mozzarella cheese and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. I served with bread and butter, canned green beans, and pistachio salad (pistachio pudding mix, crushed pineapple, cool whip, mandarin oranges, and marshmallows.) It was great! Very balanced - meat, grain, vegetable, fruit, and milk. My counter is becoming more cleared.

Also, I baked some Betty Crocker cinnamon streusel muffins yesterday with a use by date of August 2006. They were still delicious. So just in case you have a pantry full of Betty Crocker streusel, it lasts longer than it says! Good news!

I captured Jason's first jump off the tall stool tonight.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Melinda is preparing for her Christmas cards.

The other day, I had a friend on Facebook who posted her status as:

"... is addressing Christmas cards."

It totally freaked me out because I hadn't even thought about Christmas cards yet. I know I have some in the attic that I bought on clearance last year, but I don't plan on getting them down until at least next weekend.

However, tonight I am pleased to say, I have the bulk of my Christmas letter done and we took some photos tonight for our family Christmas card. I am way excited about it. Now all I have to do is order the photos and address the envelopes and come up with some way to give them a Martha Stewarty touch. Next on the list: Christmas tree? But wait, Thanksgiving is first.

Rachel wore her first bow today.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Perfect Role Play

Whenever I read a blog post about how a blogger's child demonstrated their knowledge and love of Jesus I get kind of jealous because I wish my kids said cute things like that too. If only Spongebob, Dora, and the Wonder Pets taught about Jesus and the Plan of Salvation, I would be totally set. However, as I walked through the playroom today and overheard the kids playing, my heart was filled with joy because my kids are cute too.:

First I heard Sarah crying and complaining, "I want to be a Mormon!"

I stopped to listen to what the fussing was about and heard this dialog:

Emily: No you can't be a Mormon. I have to invite you to Primary.
Sarah stops crying and becomes more agreeable.
Sarah: Ok.
Emily: Now you ask me what a Mormon is.
Sarah: What is a Mormon?
Emily: A Mormon is someone who believes in Jesus.
Sarah: I don't believe in Jesus.
Emily: Then you need to come to Primary with me tomorrow.
Sarah: Ok.
How sweet is that? My kids are little missionaries in training. I love it. I'm not sure how much credit I can take for that, except for the fact I bring them to church. I think the credit goes to their Primary leaders for doing such a good job at teaching my children and making Primary an enjoyable experience for them. So enjoyable, that they love to reenact it at home and want to bring other kids too.

Today Rachel turned 10 months. She's growing up and rode in the shopping cart for the first time. Doesn't she seem excited about it?

A whole new world of toys.

We finished the pancake mix today. My pancakes starting getting larger as I cooked them.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fall Cleaning

Today I cleaned out my cupboards. I thought it would be a good thing to do the week before Thanksgiving. Knowing there is a good meal ahead in less than a week, I thought it might be fun to use the miscellaneous foods that are shortly beyond their "Use By" date and challenge our creativity to come up with some meals this week. Because we have a large family, everyone always seems to think of us first when it comes to getting rid of clothing and food. We've had 3 families in the past year drop off a load of miscelleaneous food items because they didn't want to travel with it when they moved. It's fun to try things that are on other people's menus. We also often get the leftovers from church events. Last year my husband came home with a trunk full of hot dogs, hot dog buns, mustard, ketchup, Hershey Bars, marshmallows, milk, syrup, pancake mix and Doritos after a father/son campout. I am very grateful for the free food but sometimes the items don't fit the uniformity of my cabinets and so I shove them wherever and forget about them. I don't want that to happen anymore so tonight I made:

Ramen Stir Fry

2 packages of Ramen noodles
1 can sliced carrots
1 can peas
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 t. sesame oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 egg
1/2 cup cashews

I boiled the Ramen noodles (but not the seasoning packets because MSG gives me a nasty headache) and drained. Then I kind of threw everything in a wok and stir fried away. It tasted pretty good. No rave reviews, but I give it 2 stars and a pat on the back for creativity and resourcefulness.

Then I made a box of chocolate chip muffins with a Use By date of SEP 07. I think Bradley will be pleased to see those at breakfast.

This is our pantry for the next 5 days. How about some tomato pie in a graham cracker crust?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Good night dirty sink

It is 11:43 PM and my kitchen sink looks like this:

and I don't care. As you can see we had scrambled eggs for dinner and this is only a sampling of what the rest of my kitchen looks like. There was an era in my life when it would've been the end of me to retire with unresolved messes. That was the same era that the clothing in my closet was arranged by color. I'm lucky that my clothes ever see a hanger these days. After folding 5 loads of laundry and trying to get a 2 year old to fall asleep by boring him with Bill O'Reilly and Hannity and Colmes, dishes aren't my highest priority tonight. My socks are wet from stepping in a kitchen floor puddle and my toes are rejecting the cold kitchen tile floor. They are telling me bed is where they need to be. It took me two hours to get toddler Jason settled tonight. The problem is he probably takes too long of an afternoon nap. It's just so nice to get a break from his destructiveness during the day, that I postpone waking him up every afternoon until it's like 5:00 PM. Therefore he's not quite tired enough in the evening to go to bed and he performs crib escapes. When Bill O'Reilly wasn't enough to bore him, I selected a Discovery Channel show called "Destroyed in Seconds." As Jason watched an apartment building get sucked up by a giant sink hole he couldn't stop saying, "Uh oh! Bo-ken! (Broken) Uh oh, Mommy! Uh oh! It bo-ken! Uh-oh! Gasp! Uh oh! Bo-ken! Uh-oh! Mommy! (pointing to the TV) Uh oh!" When that didn't work, we tried Andersen Cooper. Finally he crashed as I rubbed his head. However, he's still on my bed, because the minute I try to carry him to his room, he regains full conscicousness. I know I'll be mad at myself in the morning for not mustering the will to clean my kitchen, but oh well! My toes will thank me for it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

6 RAndOm THingS AboUt mE

I have writer's block tonight. I think the 40 something degree weather is freezing my brain. So I think tonight is finally a good night to sit down and fulfill a tag I received 3 weeks ago.

1. I met my husband on the internet at No, I was not a desperate Russian female looking for U.S. citizenship. Just a desperate Mormon looking for a mate to spend eternity with. I know it's not such a random thing these days, but back in the 1999 AOL dial-up days it was a bit out of the ordinary. I think my parents flipped when they found out I was moving across the country to hang out with a guy I met 2 months prior. Anyway, our love story is a whole post of its own. I'll have to write it someday. Or heck, just go watch You've Got Mail and take out the part of the plot where they are trying to put each other's bookstores out of business.

2. I was a cheerleader in high school. My husband HATES that I carry that baggage with me. I can't convince him that cheerleaders at my high school were chaste, sober, and smart. Anyway, I like totally don't regret it and cheer camp was, like, oh my gosh, so much fun!

What about, what about, what about our color shout?
Orange, orange, orange, orange!
A blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue.
Yay! Go Warriors!

But seriously, we were not stereotypical cheerleaders. I still managed to maintain dork status in high school.

3. My baby highway is a baby expressway these days. My total labor and delivery for my fifth child was about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Totally unexpected. Jason was born in the emergency room. Don't want to do that again. Rachel came a little slower, thanks to her sunny side up position. We'll have to see if we can compete with Domino's Pizza and deliver #7 in 30 minutes or less. (No, I'm not pregnant, yet...)

4. I grew up in Southern California and went to the same elementary school as the boy from the TV show Alf. I was in sixth grade when he was in fourth grade. I have an 8X10 autographed headshot of him somewhere in my parents attic. I'm sure I can eBay it someday so I can pay a mortgage payment. I also went to high school with Cherie Johnson from Punky Brewster. I had the opportunity to interview her in freshman English class. I remember being so nervous to be talking to Punky Brewster's sidekick.

5. As far as I know, I am 99.9% German. I'll bet there is some Frenchy thrown in the mix somewhere, but no one wanted to record the foreigner. My ancestors on both my mother and father's sides immigrated from Germany to Western, NY in the late 1800s. But don't worry, my parents are NOT related.

6. I LOVE wasabi and pickled ginger. I love supermarket sushi (cucumber and California rolls). But I buy it mostly for the wasabi and pickled ginger. Could there be a more perfect combination of organic matter? First of all they're a perfect combination of pink and green. I love those colors together. Secondly, one is wet and slimy while the other is dry and pasty. I love to spread the wasabi on the surface of each sushi slice and top it with a piece of pickled ginger. Then I take a bite and experience the ultimate combination of sweet, sour, and spicy. At first it is delightful, and after a moment it becomes an extra delightful sensation when the nose starts burning and the green horseradish performs its duty to clear the sinuses. Mmmmm! Japanese are awesome!

So here is the part I hate - tagging others. If you want to tell us 6 random things about yourself, please do. Randomness can be so much fun! Go for it...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Preserving my history

I went to an Enrichment meeting tonight at church. We ate some good food and then had a lesson by two young gentleman about preserving our family photos. One thing they recommended was to back up photos onto an external hard drive. My parents gave us a nice compact 150 GB drive for Christmas last year. I plugged it in several months ago and just realized I never transferred my photos to it. So that is what I am doing tonight. I have a lot of organizing to do. Everytime I download the pictures off my camera I puke them onto my computer's desktop and it's a mess! On to preserving my history... I'm glad our Enrichment meeting didn't tell us blogging is evil.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My husband replaced the porch light with the sun.

Last weekend I asked my husband to replace the lightbulb on our side porch because it has been out for the past 6 months. When I flipped it on that evening I felt like I turned on the sun. I didn't realize I needed to specify wattage. He replaced the 60 watt bulb with a 200 watt bulb. I told him that the scripture, "Let your light so shine before men....(Matt 5:16)" was not meant to be taken literally. Needless to say we have a well lit porch. It's a bit painful to the eyes, but it will probably be another 6 months before we get around to changing it to a lower wattage.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Tradition

Our stuffed animal collection has become a bit out of control. It's difficult for all of us to get rid of any since many of them have some sort of sentimental value attached to them. So this weekend we started a new tradition of allowing the kids to pick their five favorite stuffed toys. The rest we put in two bins that will be stored in the attic. In two months on January 17th, we will have Stuffed Animal Swap Out Day when the kids can pick new stuffed toys for the next two months.

We gathered every single stuffed toy in the house and piled it into the family room. Before the kids selected their 5, we let them jump into the pile.

We don't do much raking of leaves here, so this served as a good substitute.

It was fun to see which ones they picked. They stuck to the smaller ones and surprisingly the cheapo ones they won at the amusement park this summer.

The fun in action.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mmmmm. Knorr Chocolate.

The other day Jason found this:

I'm sure he felt like the luckiest boy in the world to be the first sibling to find a free piece of chocolate sitting within his reach. He probably thought Mommy and Daddy goofed and forgot to put it with the hidden Halloween candy. I would've loved to have seen his face when he bit into the tasty chicken bouillon cube. Serves him right!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holy Crap!

I try to limit of the "c" word for instances that truly warrant it, so here's the deal...

Gas is $1.99/ gallon!!!
How awesome is that?
Off to date night. Sonic burgers and an evening decluttering the downstairs with my husband. Doesn't get much better than that, now does it?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Bitter Part of Mortality

Laundry. That's what I'm doing....

I also have to catch up on the A to Z Mysteries tonight because I have to return them to the library on Saturday. Do you think I can read books O thru Z in two days? I just can't wait to see who stole Dink's painting from Uncle Warren. I'll bet he was wearing orange.

I know, I know. Y'all are reading the Twilight series, but I'm still at a second grade level. I'm catching up. If you haven't read the A to Z Mysteries, you should. They are filled with suspense!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who am I kidding?

I have to post at least some pictures of my day:

I cleaned under the couch today. I had no idea all that stuff was hiding under there.

I asked Bradley to put the wipes away. I appreciated the attempt.

Rachel's not into the boy band genre. ABBA is still at the top of her list. But I dig how she's sporting the footed pajamas.

Jason snuck out of his crib tonight. I couldn't resist taking a picture of his belly and letting him spend some time with me. Can you believe his hair doesn't stick up anymore? Some people are a little sad about it.

So that's a little of my day in a nutshell.

The Guilt is On

I have a very messy house to clean up tonight. I'll be back tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ok. Way exciting!

To Blogspot users:

Did you know you can embed a comment box into your blog now with Blogger?

To enable the embedded comment form for your blog, go to the Settings > Comments page and look for the Comment Form Placement setting. Change it to Embedded below post, save your settings, and go check out a post to see the new form in action.

I found the directions here:

Try it. It gets rid of that awful ugly Blogger styled comment page.

At Last...

The kids have been begging for these M&M ice cream treats for a few weeks. It's vanilla ice cream covered in chocolately coating dipped in a colorful chocolately shell - "3 treats in one for 3 times the fun." I never bought them because only 5 come in a package and I'm too cheap to buy 2 packages so every family member can enjoy one. I broke down and bought one package this weekend to satisfy the children's curiosity of what such a treat looks, feels and tastes like. I'll have to admit they weren't as cool as I was expecting them to be for $0.60 a piece. The 'm' was poorly stenciled and blurry and they didn't quite fit M&Ms slogan that claims, "They melt in your mouth, not in your hand." The kids seemed to enjoy the novelty though, except Bradley who didn't appreciate the extra "fun" and ate his without the shell.

So, been there, done that. It was fun to indulge in a little grocery commercialism. Now, we're back to just plain 'ole fun with a store brand bucket of vanilla ice cream.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Collateral Damage

Yesterday at church the Relief Society teacher had a big basket of beautiful cookies. The weight of the large cookies stressed the wicker basket and the handle broke about 1/2 hour before class. She was flustered and asked if anybody had another basket that she could use. There were three other women, including myself, there to lend a hand and offer our advice. All of us instinctively thought the reasonable thing to do was break the other side of the handle and create a wicker bowl. She agreed and commented that stuff like this infuriates her. At first I was confused until I realized that her two children are grown and these types of things don't happen to her on a daily basis. Improvisation is a daily task in our home. Here is Jason's collateral damage:

November 7, 2008
A broken stool. Jason thought it would be fun to throw it and watch it tumble down the stairs. Now the kids have to stand on an upside down laundry basket to brush their teeth.

November 7, 2008
A broken antenna. Definitely broken. Not even super glue can fix this one. We thankfully can still get some radio stations without static.

November 7, 2008
Later that day Jason tried to make it up to me by offering to clean my windows.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday!

Yesterday at Walmart we told Bradley he could pick out a birthday present since we didn't give him one on his birthday. He had a difficult time picking one out. He really wanted a toy guitar. But I highly discouraged him and told him that it would get broken quickly. We had to leave because it was getting late and he was very disappointed. He asked me if he could pick something out at the check up (he meant "check out.") I told him he could. So he picked out a $1 Slinky. Kids are so easily satisfied. We even threw in a $3.92 mini Etch-a-Sketch. He was doubly delighted. But after just 2 hours the Slinky looked like this:

Which is exactly why I didn't want to spend $25 on a toy guitar.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Once upon a time....

... I cared about what my children wore in public. Those days are over.

As long as she's wearing panties under her skirt, I'm ok with whatever Sarah wants to wear. It's surprising she didn't opt for the pink cowboy boots tonight. Instead she wore the brown sandals that are 1 1/2 sizes too big.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My soul delighteth... my baby's appreciation for ABBA.

Dancing Queen

Super Trouper

Happy Brithday!

The card Emily made Bradley.

Bradley - November 2002

Thank goodness he grew up to be handsome.

Bradley resists variety. He requested the same cake as last year except with a 6 and no Milky Ways because he doesn't like Milky Ways. I did my best. Instead of a round cake, he got an easy rectangle cake with Hershey Bar pieces. I added a single Kit Kat under the 6 and of course he complained because he doesn't like Kit Kats. But I explained I needed to put the Kit Kat under the six so we didn't get confused and think he was 9. I told him that he didn't have to eat the Kit Kat. He agreed that it made total sense.

Bradley had a good brithday yesterday.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

Yes, I took a blogging vacation yesterday. I'm in charge of an annual Walton Feed order for our stake. So I woke up at 6:00 AM to go to a church building about 20 miles away to receive the truck and distribute the food to the different wards. We normally do the order in the parking lot, but it was raining, so we had to lug the food inside. All went well though and I'm glad to have that over with. It was a reminder to me of one of the advantages of homeschooling. I am clearly not a morning person.

Now today is Bradley's birthday. I voted today. The whole process of standing in line and voting took 1 hour and 40 minutes. I took the birthday boy and Emily along with me. As we stood in line I felt like I was waiting to ride a popular attraction at Disneyland. I asked the kids if they were excited to go on the ride. They rolled their eyes and continued to walk the balance beam, a piece of log landscaping. As we inched our way down the outdoor corridor of the AME church building, I observed a crushed 32 oz. Disneyland beverage cup. It was so strange since we don't even live in the same state as Disneyland or Disneyworld. For a moment I thought I might actually be at Disneyland. However, the voting booth was far from the Space Mountain adventure I was hoping for.

I look forward to this evening when I sit with a big bowl of popcorn and watch the electoral votes roll in.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Isn't she beautiful?

The 0.5 horsepower Badger insinkerator

A friend came over on Thursday to help us install a new garbage disposal. And when I say help, he did the whole thing. All we did was sit and watch and help keep little helpers out of the way. He amazingly had the job finished in about 30 minutes. I'm sure it would have taken me at least 2 hours or maybe three. I won't let my husband attempt such a project. My husband prefers to labor in the virtual world. Lowes was charging $100 for installation. This only cost us an eggs and grits meal to feed the plumber. Thanks, Ian!

We bought the budget $80 disposal at Lowes. The next model up cost something like $160. The selling point was how quiet it runs. They even had sample buttons you could push to test the difference. I'll admit that it purred like a kitten and it was tempting, but is it really necessary to spend double the amount for an appliance that runs for maybe 15 seconds/day? I can assure you the increased decibels won't make much of a difference in this house. I love my new disposal! No more nasty kitchen trash can.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy November!

Today was a day of recovery from the Halloween festivities. We let the kids eat as much candy as they wanted. At 2 years old, Jason hasn't learned about pacing when it comes to eating candy. He took advantage of the Halloween honeymoon and ate several fun-size packages of M&Ms, Snickers, Reese's, Hershey's, and licked several Tootsie Pops and left them somewhere to leave a sticky mess. I guess he doesn't care to find out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. It's all about instant toddler gratification.

Our November 1st trash can.
Those poor Tootsie Pops! It's such a shame that they never had a chance at life.