Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vacation Day 5

Today we had a restful day and went to church. It's always fun to visit a new church and see the different people, a different building with its different smell, different accents, and different teachers. As we got out of the car a friendly lady came over to us and asked if we were visiting or new to the ward. You could see the disappointment on her face when we said we were just visiting. But she continued to be friendly. During the three hours of church I made some observations:

1. The ward we attended LOVES announcements. They announced EVERY activity for the entire month of September and there were a lot of them.

2. The opening hymn was #242 Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow which is only one short verse. I think they have to have a short opening hymn to compensate for the 10 minutes of announcements.

3. Grey is the preferred choice of suit color. Of course there were some blues and blacks, but there was a lot of grey. I think the men like to try to match their suits to to the color of the clouds in the sky. (Rochester is commonly cloudy.)

4. This church building needs some new plumbing for their baptismal font. One guy mentioned that it takes 6-7 hours to fill the font. So either the font is enormous, the faucet is ridiculously slow, or they fill it by hand with a turkey baster. Needless to say they probably never have any morning baptisms.

5. Most of the people in this ward were converts. Which makes sense because the Latter-day Saints packed their bags and wheat and left Western New York heading westward about 180 years ago.

6. One man after church asked if he could take Jason home with him. Jason looked at the man like he was crazy. Then the man proceeded to ask the rest of the children if he could take them home. Wendy forcefully said no with a smile, but when he asked Wendy if he could take Emily home, Wendy nodded yes. (She didn't care, as long as it wasn't her.) Then the man said he had 12 children, but it made me kind of wonder how he got those children. Did he get them by taking them home from church?

7. The diaper changing station was installed too high. It must have been installed by a tall man.

Now we must take a moment of silence.............................



IS GONE!!! It brings a tear to my eye that a Honda dealership would dare tear this beautiful structure down in order to park a few Civics and Accords. It is positively shameful!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vacation Day 3

Took the kids to a park today. They had to wear jackets!! It's August 28th and they are wearing jackets!! It just isn't right. Anyway, I complain when it's hot. I complain when it's cold. If only it could be 80 degrees every day.

We took the kids to the hotel pool tonight (indoor). Our family was briefly hanging out in the hot tub while some rambunctious boys were playing in the pool. Another woman came in and saw us and asked, "Is this a birthday party?" It made me laugh because that would be a funny kid's birthday party swimming in a hotel pool at 9:30 PM. This same lady saw Rachel and thought she was really cute. Rachel was crying because she didn't have a good nap today and the lady picked her up to try and console her and admire her cuteness. I thought it was a little weird, but I allowed her. Then she said, "You are so cute I could steal you." Then she proceeded to the door. I thought that kind of crossed the line and I jumped out of the pool and grabbed Rachel out of her arms. But it ended up that she was just opening the door to let her 11 year old son inside the pool area. Then she said, "I wasn't really going to steal her." I was relieved and we ended up having a nice conversation about how we were both visiting Rochester to celebrate our grandmother's birthdays.
Picture uploading is super slow today. Sorry you only get one.

Vacation Day 2

It's WAY too late to upload photos, so text it is.

We reached our destination of Rochester, NY today. I totally did not know that Kirtland, Ohio was on our route so we stopped and toured the Whitney store and home and saw some cool stuff that I will post later. It was also a nice bathroom stop at the LDS visitor center where I didn't even bother to worry about toilet seat covers. We also got to tour the Kirtland Temple which happens to be owned by the RLDS church. But they call themselves the Community of Christ so it's kind of tricky. I didn't realize that it was he Reorganized church until about halfway through the movie that they were showing us. We got to go inside the temple. I wasn't allowed to take pictures though. At the visitors center they had some paintings of church leaders. They are of real church leaders such as Joseph Smith, Sydney Rigdon, etc. But they reminded me of the paintings that you would see in Disney's Haunted mansion. I wasn't allowed to take pictures of those either which is too bad.

Gosh I wish I could post some pictures, but I really need to go to sleep.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vacation Day 1

The seating arrangement.

Rachel fell asleep shortly after departure.

My least favorite part of vacations - public restrooms. We survived 4 of them today.

Burger King for lunch. I've never seen kids so excited over paper crowns before. They were a hit!

Jason shoving his eighth granola bar into his mouth. I told my husband that the kids seated closest to the front are going to be our fat kids because they have constant access to the snacks. It kept Jason quiet and happy.

A really cool tunnel in Virginia. There were 2 of them.

Pizza Hut for dinner. We stopped a travel food court thingy in West Virginia.

Not happy about tonight's sleeping arrangement.

We are such rebels. We snuck 8 people into our 4 person max capacity room. Shhh! Don't tell!
Off to sleep!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Holy Cow!

Tonight I was putting stuff in the van. Emily was helping. She let out a huge fart. I said, "Holy cow! Emily!" She shamefully said, "Yeah, I have issues." I'm glad she realizes that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Digging for Content

I was busy getting ready for our trip today. I sat the kids on the couch and told them to watch as much TV as they wanted as long as they didn't make any messes. Surely I can count 2 episodes of Spongebob, 2 episodes of Tom and Jerry, 1 episode of Doctor Who, 2 episodes of Go Diego Go, and 2 episodes of iCarly as homeschooling. Right? My plan didn't work though. There were crackers and pretzels all over the family room floor by the end of the day. But I did get some packing done. So since today was quite boring on the blog front, I dug into my stash for some content for today's post.

I took this video when we were at the really cool park with the boat. I know Jason has his fans. This one is for you, folks.

Brief Synopsis: Jason eats a cupcake. He prematurely finishes the cupcake because he doesn't like messy hands and he looks for a wipe. He refuses the dirty used paper towel I offer. He wants to "wash the hands" but quickly finds that licking does a satisfactory job. At the end he burps, but mistakes it for a fart and my husband complains in the background that I'm taking too long of a video of Jason. (Because he wanted me to take a picture of him with his girls sitting on the grass.)

Here's the picture I took when I finished the video:

Don't you agree the video was much cuter?

Back to packing.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009


First order of business: Proof that I went to Sunday School.

A friend of mine took a picture of my husband and I in today in Sunday School and I had this surprise picture in my email when I got home. It's seems almost miraculous to be sitting in a pew with my husband close enough to put his arm around me. We usually spend Sacrament meeting sitting on opposite ends of the pew wrestling children. Which leads me to tell a short story about today's wrestling match:

It was during the second speaker that I found Jason coloring with a pink colored pencil on the pages of the hymn book. Not inside the hymn book, but on the edges of the closed book. I VERY kindly said, "No. No. We don't color on hymn books." He puckered his bottom lip and silently wimpered. I guess I hurt his feelings. I held out my arms to him with a smile inviting him to sit on my lap. My children usually never pass up a lap invitation because there is usually competition for church lap sitting. I was trying to set a good example and keep my eyes on the speaker and I heard and felt a huge slap on my arm. Although my child just hit me, I didn't want to make a big deal of it, so I used the ignore method and watched Jason out of my periphereal vision crumple and throw papers. However, when he got to the point of throwing hymn books I knew I needed to put a stop to it. At this point Rachel was sitting on my lap and my husband had Wendy on his lap and he was listening intently to the speaker give a good talk. I tried to get his attention before the commotion escalated. Somehow the communication failed. He saw me, but didn't understand the severity of the discipline needed. I knew Rachel would freak out if I left her, so I picked Jason up in one arm and Rachel in the other and walked to the exit carrying the 55 pound load and pushed the door open with my foot. I'm sure it looked very graceful. I kindly disciplined him and we went back in for the third speaker. So yes, it's nice to sit directly next to my husband every now and then in church and I have plans to purchase a few new hymn books for our ward after our children are grown.

Then we came home and Jason taught Rachel how to make scrambled eggs:

"First you crack eggs and add a little milk. You know, that stuff that Mommy puts in your sippy cup. Mommy usually cracks most the eggs, but she let me crack one today in a separate bowl. I did good job."

"Then you turn the handle and those things go round. And don't forget to stick your tongue out when you concentrate on this step."

"Good job, Rachel. Now we cook them."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hair Cuts

It's my husband's job to cut the boy's hair. It's my job to take pictures.

I didn't a get complete "after" picture. But he does look handsome! There wasn't as much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the pictures imply. We had to wake him up from a nap so he could only muster a few pathetic facial expressions and wimpers.

Today we cleaned out the van in preparation for our upcoming road trip. I tried ejecting the CD that was in the player and there was an "ERR" message on the display. I tried again and it made an awful clicking noise and displayed an, "ERR". We shimmied a brochure, coat hanger, screw driver in there and tried again and it said, "NO OJ". (What?! Duh, I know there is no orange juice in there. Although..... I couldn't be completely sure that there wasn't.) The children were in there the day prior cleaning out the junk. After several more attempts at trying to get out the stuck CD or whatever was in there (Quarters? Gift card? Gas receipts? Orange juice?) and shoving another CD inside, I went into the house to Google, "How to get stuck CD out of car CD player." I tried a very MacGyver maneuver suggestion and used a putty knife and some duck tape and WALLAH! All 3 CDs came out! I was so proud of myself for saving who knows how much money it would've cost to get it fixed. I also saved us a future road trip filled with boredom as we travel through the hills of West Virginia with awful radio stations.

At lunch I asked Jason if he put a CD in the car radio. With proud eyes he replied, "Yeah! TWO!" Needless to say we quickly figured out who the guilty suspect was.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Heart ...

... Zac Efron.

A friend of mine had a friend who gave her a bunch of hand-me-down girls clothing that was passed on to my daughter Emily. You can imagine my delight when I saw this High School Musical shirt. It was a couple sizes too big for Emily, so I decided to take ownership. This was an instance that I was grateful for my small chest because I was able to squeeze into it. But I had to put a tank on underneath because I won't go as far to sport my midriff. Bellybuttons after being pregnant six times aren't a pretty sight. I even have a zit on my forehead to match my new attire. Seriously, tweens are so lucky to be able to wear silk screened t-shirts of their favorite celebrities. I've always been so envious.....but not anymore!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


When Rachel got up from her nap she had some serious chenille pillow indentations.

That's all for today. I'm doing some SERIOUS cleaning of the downstairs tonight!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Clinton!

One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can learn things however you want. This year we are having a Presidential Birthday Bash and celebrating each US president on his birthday. We haven't gone as far as birthday cake yet, but we make an attempt to learn about him. Today is Bill Clinton's 63rd birthday. We learned about him yesterday by reading a library book. The kids then invited a "guest speaker" to our "class". It was none other than.......Bill Clinton himself:

So yes, Bill likes to play the tenor sax, he was born in 1946 in Arkansas. We learned some other things, but didn't get into the whole Monica Lewinsky thing. These kids books kind of skip over some things.

That was yesterday. Today I allowed the kids a good session of airplane rides. Today I tried a new trick. Who needs a gym when you have two 30 something pound weights to press?

The new trick.
(Sorry about the butt shot, but I didn't want to crop it though because I wanted you to get the full effect of the trick. Maybe we'll try out for America's Got Talent next year.)

The traditional airplane ride.

We call this one the Unicycle. Sarah complains that it hurts her crotch.

My month old pedicure is still looking pretty good, but it looks like I need to shave my feet. I just never think to.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Date Night

Yesterday morning my husband came downstairs and found Rachel chowing on some chocolate chips. I was so proud of him for taking a picture. I've trained him well.

Later that day I found Rachel changing her baby doll's diaper:

None of my other girls have ever been that interested in baby dolls. However Rachel is beginning to express some interest. It makes sense. By 18 months of age, the other girls had their own real live baby doll to love. Rachel doesn't know about real babies yet. She has to settle for plastic. Oh, and the green marker on her is compliments of Jason. We were using some new dry erase books to learn letters and numbers. Jason thought he would try the whole dry erase thing on his sister. It didn't erase as easily as it did on the laminated pages of the book.

And if you're wondering if I ever dress this child, because she is unclothed in the majority of pictures and videos I post, it's a totally valid question. Let me explain. In the spring I filled her drawers with the spring/summer 12 month wardrobe. Now that her pot belly hangs out of most of her clothes, I really need to move her up to the 18 month wardrobe. I believe the bin of 18 month girl's clothes is in the attic. Everyday I say I am going to go up there and look for it, but I don't because it is surely like 100 and something degrees up there. So I keep her naked. It's very much the same reason that Jason is still wearing 18 month and 2T clothing when he should be wearing 3T. However his clothes are in an upstairs closet that is blocked by some of my husband's stuff. We're taking a little trip next week, so I should have them out by then. I can't be vacationing with a naked baby. ......Or can I?

Every Tuesday my husband takes a child of ours on a date. Tonight was Rachel's turn. He took her to get a cookie and to Barnes and Noble. He took her in the smaller car, a car she has never been in. He said she looked a little unsure about the whole situation. Kind of like when you put your pet into the car to take it to the vet. They just know that something is up and get all nervous. She didn't want to eat the cookie. She probably thought it was poisoned or a trick. She's seen Snow White. My husband said it seemed like she felt a little lost without her siblings. It was too quiet and tranquil. She began to warm up to the situation at Barnes and Noble and my husband just let her walk around and he followed her. She even let a little girl read her a book. That must have made her feel at home. She probably thought it was one of her siblings.

Monday, August 17, 2009

U.S. Presidents

We are studying U.S. Presidents this year. Tonight at dinner Bradley told Daddy the names of the presidents that are on "that mountain". Then Daddy asked Bradley if he's ever seen the other side of Mt. Rushmore. Bradley said, "No." So Daddy went to my computer and showed the family a picture of the other side of Mt. Rushmore. Do you want to see it?

How cool is that? I totally did not know that!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday School

For the past 8 years I've always had a pre-nursery child during Sunday School which was my ticket to sit in the hall/lobby of the church building to nurse, feed, or chase a baby, infant, or toddler. But Rachel is now 18 months and qualified to attend nursery so I no longer have my ticket to the hall class. Usually I have a new baby at this point, but I don't, so I feel obligated to go to Sunday School with my husband and learn some spiritual stuff.

Today the lesson was on Eternal Marriage. We talked about what it felt like to know that we would be married to our spouse forever. My husband raised his hand. He most always has relevant comments to add to the discussion. So I sat there next to him, anxious to hear what he had to say about being married to me forever. He said, "When you know you are with this person (your spouse) for eternity and can see the big picture, it helps you to better put up with them in this life." The teacher saw my raised brow and he smiled, and then my husband realized he kind of sort of put his foot in his mouth until the man in front of said, "Yes, I'm sure your wife feels exactly that way."

I really need to get me a ticket back to that hall class.

Every week after church we cook breakfast for lunch - scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and toast. While my husband and I prepare it, the children help clear and set the table and then they do their own thing while they patiently wait for the food. Today it was this:

Bradley did a prophet matching game while Rachel watched.

Wendy helped scramble the eggs.

Emily read a library book about being a kid in ancient Greece.

Jason colored a crossword puzzle.

Sarah played dolls.
Yeah, I know, not that exciting, but I wanted to add some photos to my text.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Library and Walmart

This afternoon we went to the library to pick up some books and DVD's I had on hold and we ended up coming home with 34 books and 4 DVD's. Then we had to go downtown to pick up a couple of books that my husband's former coworker was borrowing. (It was good to see you, Ian!! Ian is the awesome person who replaced my garbage disposal and a loyal blog follower.)

Then I needed to go to Walmart to pick up a few groceries, like 4 gallons of milk, 5 lbs. of bananas, 2 lbs. of strawberries, crackers, pretzels, animal crackers, Parkay Spray Butter, and chocolate chips. It was dinnertime by the time we arrived. We decided to eat some McDonald's because Super Walmart is absolutely and totally One Stop Shopping.

One of the things I love about blogging is that you can share the most intimate details about your life. It's like virtual voyeurism. I am my own paparazzo. It still surprises me that people are actually interested in my life. So I thought I would get a little more intimate this evening and tell you what we ate (This could possibly be even hotter than my laundry post):

Total order:
Quarter Pounder Combo Large with Diet Coke and a splash of Dr. Pepper - Daddy
2 Cheeseburgers -Mommy (and I shared husband's fries and drink)
1 Hamburger - Emily
1 10 piece McNugget Combo Large with Sprite and Orange drink refill - Bradley and Jason
1 Large Fries - Kids
1 10 piece McNuggets, Sweet and Sour sauce - Sarah and Wendy
(All kids share one large drink)

TOTAL = $21.82 (or something like that)

David had a phone interview this afternoon. We were celebrating by dining out. When he actually gets a job or a paycheck, we'll throw in 8 ice cream cones too!! Woo hoo! Party hard at Walmart McDonald's!

Sometimes there are moments in parenthood that you just have to pretend didn't happen or choose to forget. Like this evening as we were leaving McDonald's and I filled the kid's cup up with orange soda. David was getting the shopping cart and I turned around to call for Jason and found him eating the French fries that Wendy dropped on the floor. I forget sometimes that children need to be trained in certain things. It's not innate common sense to not eat food off the floor at McDonald's. Kids are so gross sometimes. I held in my gag reflex and kindly told him, "Eww. Eww. Eww. Yucky! We don't eat food off the floor, especially at McDonald's." But he gave me that little innocent confused look that implied he was thinking, "But they are so yummy. Why would we want to waste them?"

As we were in line waiting to check out I admired the 20 something newlywed couple in front of us. I admired her perfect haircut, her sparkly new wedding ring, her face full of collagen, her beautiful tan. She most likely didn't have a single stretchmark on her body. **sigh** I noticed they only had to buy a half gallon of milk, one box of granola bars and other small quantities of food and had enough money to blow on a big box of Milk Duds. Then I remembered I have this:

I wouldn't trade them for anything. Not even bigger, perkier breasts.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Your face is going to stay that way.

And there's more, but Blogger is very slow at uploading photos.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today Emily wanted me to do Wendy's hair like this:

Emily specified that she wanted it like Jasmine's hair (from Aladin), but pigtails. While doing Wendy's hair I gained appreciation for all the effort my mother put into doing my hair every morning before school. I wore pigtails (sometimes with braids) everyday. It's not easy getting the part just right and the hair flat on the head. Which is why I think I'm fine with the girls taking care of doing their own hair every morning which usually looks something like this:

Speaking of appreciation, tonight I was folding the girls load of laundry in their room. With 4 girls, it's quite a mountain of clothing, especially since many days they love to do a wardrobe change. My husband came in the room and sat down for a moment while he got Jason ready for bed. I looked at him and caught him glance at the clothes scattered about the floor. It was a look that said, "Holy freak, that's a lot of clothes and I'm glad I'm not the one who has to fold and put them away!" The expression on his face was the golden moment of my day. He didn't have to say anything, I could tell he appreciated my laundry efforts.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blogging Blues

I have a little case of the blogging blues. Don't worry it shouldn't last long. I got my period today and it hit me like a brick. I felt great all morning and then suddenly the headache came on, my body started aching, the cramping began and I became very irritable. (Sorry male readers, but I just have to rant on about this today.) It's got me a little freaked out though because it came 4 days early on my 24th day of my cycle. That just seamed a little freakish to me because I've been quite regular the past few months. Anyway, of course I had to Google it and I determined it might be due to a short luteal phase which either means I have low progesterone which means I might have high estrogen. High estrogen increases your risk of breast, ovarian, and other sorts of girly cancer and makes it hard to conceive or stay pregnant. So yes, I'm am most positive I am going to die of cancer now and/or never have any more babies. Sorry. I go through hypochondriatic doom and gloom phases every now and then. It shall pass once my hormones begin to balance out again. My husband surprised me with a hot fudge sundae tonight when he came home from a meeting. He's learned over the past nine years that the way to a woman's heart is through ice cream and chocolate. I think Emily is learning too because she made her very first cheesecake today all by herself (I helped her with the oven, of course). We haven't tried it yet because it had to cool in the refrigerator, but I'm thinking breakfast?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Never tell a girl...

Today at lunch my husband told Rachel that her outfit made her legs look fat.

Afraid that Bradley might think he was serious, my husband quickly let Bradley know that you NEVER tell a girl she looks fat. I know my kids listen to us because today Wendy told me that when she grows up she's going to get married and then have babies. She clearly demonstrated that she understood the correct order of things.

Monday, August 10, 2009

More Sleep Eating

As you might recall, Rachel as always been a very good sleep eater. She was good at it a 9 months of age and still continues at 18 months of age: (I trimmed the first 45 seconds of her sleep eating off of the video.)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Picnic at the Park

A couple of weeks ago our family discovered this really cool park nearby. Now our kids beg to go there every Sunday. Last week it was raining, so we took them today. We packed a dinner and ate it on the boat. The kids like to play Nephi's journey to the promised land, Noah's Ark, and pirates.

It's way cool.

I told my husband that he needed to take more pictures of me so if I die my children and grandchildren can know what I looked like. Since there are so few pictures of me I need to remember not to join in on the funny faces.

Daddy's dinner - a leftover piece of pizza.

Rachel gazing at the sea turtle from the boat.

The captains.

The sea turtle.

The cupcakes our next door neighbor gave us.
It was a great evening. A little hot and buggy, but great.
This afternoon we took naps. Wendy slept with me on the family room couch. When she woke up she saw my painted toenails and said, "Mommy, why you have paint on your toes?"
I said, "Oh, for fun."
Then she said, "Why Daddy not have paint on his toes?"
"I don't know."
"Daddy should have green on his toes."
"For fun!" (Duh!) "When I get to be a mom, I put paint on my toes?"
Then Wendy gave me a big grin.
"Mommy, I'm hungry. I want a banana, would you like a banana?"
"No, thank you."
My youngest daughter does speak! Tonight when the children were getting ready for bed, Rachel was getting into the box of wipes. My husband said, "No, no, no."
Then she looked at him, thought for a moment and said, "Yes, yes, yes." (of course it wasn't pronounced so clearly, but you get the idea.)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Heartbreaker

Before my parents-in-law left today, they gave some gifts to the children. As we watched them play with the toys, my mother-in-law said, "He's going to be quite the heartbreaker when he gets older, isn't he?" (She was referring to Jason.) I agreed and then a minute later captured this:

Yes, he most definitely will have swarms of girls swooning over him.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Tupperware Cabinet and Dinner Out

Today I cleaned my Tupperware cabinet:

Ta Da!!

So I only actually have, like, 5 actual pieces of Tupperware. But isn't it cool that we actually still call it a Tupperware cabinet despite the fact that it's mostly Glad, Rubbermaid, empty Tollhouse cookie dough containers, Pyrex, and hospital insulated 1000 mL water mugs (I have six of them).

Then my husband's mother took us out to dinner to my favorite restaurant. I ate a 7 oz. filet mignon, sweet potato, and caesar salad. As the hostess took us to our table, my husband observed the couple's faces at a neighboring table. He could tell they didn't look too happy to have six young children seated next to them. But as the couple was leaving they made a very nice comment to us about how well behaved our children were. They told us they were better behaved than their own grandchildren. We thanked them and patted ourselves on our backs. We've had people comment before on how well behaved our children are. But it totally makes me question what they are expecting when they see six children sit down at a restaurant table. Do they expect them to be running around and screaming? Whining? Blowing spit wads through straws at the ceiling? Dancing on the table? Is it that surprising that all they do is sit in their chairs, sip their lemonade, and color with crayons on their kid's menu? I'll admit it surprises me after seeing how they act at home. I did take note they did not comment on my kids being cute.

Or well-dressed:

I was so hungry before we left, I just didn't care that Wendy was wearing her turquoise I heart Sweet Treats shirt under her 4th of July dress.

We of course ate dessert - The Chocolate Stampede:

It was stampeded in a matter of minutes:

Then we went to the airport to pick up my husband's dad, the Senior Citizen Manscout:

Yeah, it's a long story...