Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I'm still alive. That's about all that is exciting. I promise this is just a phase.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


My husband is cooking stingray right now at 10:15 PM. I have no idea why. Maybe we shouldn't have taken a 3 hour nap.

I have a headache. We had a Linger Longer at church today. I made the mistake of eating ranch dressing with baby carrots. I am super sensitive to MSG and I think the ranch dressing most likely had it in it. I have a hard time shaking off a MSG headache. It's really too bad because I really love ranch dressing.

Other than that, it was an uneventful day. Rachel had a difficult time during Sacarament meeting this morning. She is super possesive of my lap. Jason wanted to sit on my lap and I let him. Rachel screamed and cried. My husband took her out and when he came back after she calmed down, he forced her to stay on his lap. She wasn't happy about it and would look at me and whimper. It kind of broke my heart, but it was nice to get a break from her.

Now my husband is eating his stingray. I took one bite. It's actually not that bad.

Friday, September 25, 2009


My husband is an aspiring fisherman. This morning he took Emily, Bradley, and Sarah to a nearby dock to go fishing at 6AM while I remained in bed. Supposedly it's a good time for fish to bite. My husband caught a small bass that he threw back. Bradley caught a trout that they threw back and Sarah caught a Stingray that they kept and is cut up in our refrigerator. I snapped a few pictures of it in our sink, but I am too lazy to post pics. I think we were all pretty grossed out by it, but it's all part of the being self reliant thing. At least we know if we can't go buy a fresh fish filet at the supermarket, we can go catch our own small bass, trout, or stingray (or crack open some cans of tuna fish). I totally didn't even know you could eat stingray. Sarah was so proud of her catch. Thankfully there was an experienced guy at the dock to help give them tips and shrimp bait. Otherwise I'm sure they would've come home empty-handed. My husband said he was traumatized by having to cut up a dead animal. Technological wussy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I know. I'm lame. A lame blogger. I haven't been feeling so hot the past few days. My kids took great care of me today. Pulling some tears really helps to gain some sympathy. After lunch I requested that the kids help clear the table. I asked Bradley to clean out Rachel's sippy cup that had been forming cottage cheese in it all morning. Bradley started and then refused because he said it smelled bad which was the exact reason I had put forth the request. But thankfully Emily stepped up to the plate (or actually the sippy cup) and happily cleaned it for me. While she cleaned it I heard her say to Sarah, "Pretend we are all brothers and sisters and we are helping our sick mom." They can pretend all they want as long as it gets the job done.

Later in the evening, after dinner, my husband took the kids out for a walk and before they left Wendy rubbed my arm and said to me, "Mommy, after we leave get yourself a piece of candy to help make you feel better."

I think one of the reasons that my kids were so good to me was because I rewarded them with Lifesavers all day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It's been hard for me to maintain my blogging momentum since school started. Just an update on Jason's potty training:

The whole potty training thing began last week. I was upstairs taking a parenting escape break in my bedroom. I heard squealing downstairs. I was afraid to find out the cause. Then I heard someone say, "Let's tell Mommy!" It sounded positive, so I waited for them to come find me. Finally Sarah came into my bedroom and said, "Mommy, Jason went pee pee on the potty!" Apparently his older siblings took on the responsiblity of potty training their little brother. It was quite an exciting moment. Since that day, he's done fairly well. One puddle on the carpet, but the rest of the #1's and #2's have been in the little potty as long as he's not wearing anything waist down. Once he gets on underwear, he thinks it's his catcher's mitt for excrement. So we will be working on that the next few days - on keeping his underwear dry and clean.

I know. Not that exciting. But such is my life right now.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Little More Vacation

Ok, so my life has been totally boring the past few days and I just realized that I never quite finished our vacation photos. So here is the day we left NY on our way home. We're fortunate that Rochester is very close to Palmyra, so we stopped for a little church history and Sacred Groving. We went to the place where they printed the Book of Mormon and then the Sacred Grove. That's about all we had time for because we had to make it to Baltimore before bedtime.

The Sacred Grove entrance.
Thank goodness it wasn't raining this year and my husband managed not to pull his back like he did last year. We had a good experience this year.

Oh, how lovely was the morning.

Radiant beamed the sun above.

We did a self-time family photo.

Another self-timed family photo. Wendy thought she should put my camera case under her chin.

I tried to get a good photo of the kids by this tree stump, but it didn't quite work out. This is the best they would do for me.

On our way to Baltimore. Rachel feeding Emily a Twizzler.

We stopped at an old school Taco Bell in a shady part of town in Delaware. We ate fast and ran.

It had a really cool old school Taco Bell sign.

This is like one of 4 pictures I took while in Baltimore. We stayed at a friend's house and went to church with them on Sunday. They live 40 minutes away from their church building so we packed a lunch to eat at a park before the drive home. Sweet Amber even bought us some Diet Coke because she knows my husband is addicted.

After our 2 night, 1 day Baltimore stopover we headed home. The last day was a long day of driving. Boredom set in and Rachel thought it would be a good idea to dig her thumbnail into her sister's knee while she was sleeping.

We stopped at a rest area and I saw this sign on a stall door. I'm not sure exactly what Michelle is thanking the restroom patons for, but I'm glad she has good manners. Or maybe that is a little sacasm? "Thanks for plugging up our toilet!"

Then I was so happy to find another one of these powerful hand air dryers. We stopped at a way cool rest area in New York a couple days earlier that had automatic flushing toilets, automatic soap dispensers, automatic faucets, and automatic paper towel dispensers or the option to use a super powerful hand air dryer. I was so wishing I had my video camera at that bathroom because the automaticness and power were so cool. I fortunately had my camera in my pocket at this restroom in Virginia. It almost seeems dangerously powerful. If you watch closely you can see our skin moving around.

We stopped at this gas station to fill up. I'm not sure if gasoline and fireworks is the safest business combo, but we stopped anyway. The tank was getting pretty low.

Unfortunatley the pump was extremely slow. My husband put the pump in in the tank and then came over to my window to talk to me and I snapped some pictures of him for about 2 minutes. then I looked over at the pump and it hadn't even pumped a gallon yet. I took a video of it and observed that it took 20 seconds to pump 0.068 gallons. At that rate it would've taken 2.5 hours to fill our tanks. Like I said, it was SLOW!

So we stopped a couple exits down at this lovely gas station with faster pumps.

Don't know why Jason was in this position while he was sleeping, but he was.

Then we arrived home in good time after stopping for some pizza.

The End

Friday, September 18, 2009

Still Scanning

Can you guess who this is?

That's right. It's little Davy in second grade.

This is big Davy in 33rd grade.

Can you tell what we are doing at our house this week?

by Emily

That's right. We are potty training a green-eared monkey boy on a giant toilet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cashing in.

About 3 years ago my parents gave us some money for Christmas so that we could buy a scanner. Since I'm a very indecisive person, I could never decide which one to get. Right before we left on vacation, our 9 year old 300 dpi laser printer got a major paper jam that we couldn't get unjammed (or at least it was really difficult to unjam without breaking something). So we decided to finally cash in the gift money and buy us a multicenter printer and scanner. We have been SO craving a scanner for the longest time because we have tons of old photos and documents from David's grandparents that we wanted to get on digital media because physical stuff just isn't all that safe in our house. We got a great price deal on our new piece of equipment and it was quite exciting. So that is what I'm doing. I'm scanning, scanning, scanning. The problem is, I want to scan everything right now because it's so fun.

So thanks, Mom and Dad! We finally got our scanner! And a 1200 dpi printer!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Melt My Heart

The other day as our family was doing it's end-of-the-day-right-before-dinner cleanup, Sarah said to my husband, "I like cleaning up because it makes it more better and we get to spend time together."

Such wisdom at such a young age!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Barnyard Adventure

On the penultimate day of vacation in NY we went to a farm. It's basically a farm that's been in the Brown family for over 200 years and they were smart enough to capitalize more from it by charging a small admission for kids to jump around, play, and look at some farm animals. It was a lot of fun. They also had a gift shop and restaurant.

On our drive there Wendy entertained us with her version of Annie's "Tomorrow".

I still have my mad cheerleading skills.

Ok, so I cheated by jumping on the Jumping Pillow. I also learned that my bladder control isn't what it used to be when I was 16. Unfortunately I had to limit my jumping.
(Note to self: Do more Kegels!)

They had goats.

They had pedal cars.

They had a big rope maze.

They had a Red Barn Twister.

They had more, but those were the best. It was a good day!

Even 90 year old Nani went and sat in the shade with her real sunglasses. She refrained from the Jumping Pillow.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Out of Sight

Some days I have these grand plans to do all this cleaning and organizing after the kids go to bed. Today was one of those days, but now that the kids are upstairs in bed, out of sight, and out of mind, I want to do absolutely nothing. Not even blog except to confess my laziness. I'll be back.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Kirtland, Ohio Post

So here is my spritual Kirtland, Ohio post. We totally weren't even planning to go here, but it was kind of on our way to Rochester, so we stopped. We got there in the nick of time and got to do part of the tour. It's always good to leave more to see, so you have a reason to go back.

We also had Stake Conference today which means the various congregations from around the city all meet together for 2 hours at the Stake Center. The Stake President told us how he recently visited Kirtland, Ohio. It was cool because we, like, totally knew what he was talking about when he referred to the temple and stuff.

This is the Kirtland Temple. It was the first temple built by the Saints. It took them two years and a lot of sacrifice to build. (It is now owned by the Community of Christ which is the RLDS church). Shortly after the temple opened (about 2 years), the Saints moved westward in 1838 to get away from the persecution. Total bummer, but the temple served its purpose and the Saints moved on and built more temples.

This is the front of it. The tour guide told us to be reverent inside, but didn't say anything about reverence outside. We let the kids run around before we went back to the LDS Visitor's Center. It was pretty cool inside. There are 3 floors. The bottom floor is the holy of holies. The second floor looked similar to the first floor, but it was used more for schooling. The third floor was 5 rooms used for schooling and meetings. And I was totally going to find a link for you to see the inside since we couldn't take pictures, but there isn't ANY! Which is weird because they totally had pictures of the inside on the brochure. So I guess you will just have to visit it yourself.

This is back at the LDS Visitor's center. It is the Newel K. Whitney store. The Whitneys were a well-to-do family that became faithful members of the Church.

This is a room above the store that many revelations were received.

This is where they held the School of the Prophets. This is the room that the men would meet and use and smoke their tobacco and Emma Smith basically said, "Enough of the disgustingness!" Then Joseph received the Word of Wisdom revelation and which tells us not to smoke; not to drink alcohol, coffee, or tea; and to be sure to eat stuff that is good for us like whole wheat, fruits, and vegetables. Can you see all the orbs in the picture? My husband says it's just dust, but I think it's little revelations waiting be be received.

This is an old picture of the Whitney's home. We know they were wealthy because it was painted yellow and yellow paint had to be imported. They also had two kitchens, a summer kitchen and winter kitchen. It had something to do with keeping the temperature of the house just right during the different seasons. As you can see in the picture they also had a state-of-the-art side-by-side Jeep stroller which was something most people didn't have until the late 20th century.

These are the toilets at the Visitors Center. They are so clean you could eat off of them, but we didn't. I just let my girls sit on them without a seat cover.

The church really does stuff right, like crown molding on top of the door inside the bathrooms. It's all about attention to detail...

... like blankets in the room where we watched the movie.

It was a great little sightseeing trip. I think the thing that hit me the most was that these people had nice houses for the time period and they were asked to leave everything and travel onward. That must have been a huge deal and they did it anyway. All I have to do is go to church and teach a lesson every now and then. I can deal.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nani's Birthday Party

So the whole purpose of our trip to New York was for my grandmother's 90th birthday party. Yay for being old! I hope to live to my nineties. It was a great day. One of my cousins and his family hosted it at their house, my parents ordered some good food and cake, other family members contributed, and I simply showed up with my husband and kids and enjoyed the party (and took pictures, of course). There were also fun activities for the 14 great grandchildren that were in attendance. (Two great grandchildren couldn't be there, my brother's kids.) Here are some pictures of the party:

The cake. It was beautiful, but we probably should've requested more flowers because there were lots of great grandchildren begging for a piece with a flower. I guess we'll remember that for next time for the 100th birthday cake.

This is Nani and her stylish sunglasses.

This is the other birthday girl, my mom. She was born on her mother's birthday. How cool is that? Wendy was almost born on my birthday, but I'm kind of glad I don't have to share. Notice Rachel is allowing someone besides me to hold her. That was somewhat miraculous. I think it was her birthday present to my mom.

The oldest person at the party.

The second youngest person at the party.
(My cousin has a child 7 months younger.)

My aunt gave the kids ice cream cones. A big hit.

Party favors. Really cool balls that light up when you bounce them.
Jason kept saying, "It's working!"

It was a great day. A relative later told me on our trip that my grandmother said, "It was the best party that she has ever been to."

Here's a 10 second video clip of the end of the Happy Birthday song.

I love how Nani says at the end, "Let's have cake now."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I am your travel guide to Western New York

So if you ever decide to take a trip to Western New York, perhaps for a little church history tour, I am your travel guide. The Genesee Country Village and Museum is a great place to visit. It helps to teach about 19th century living. Here are a few pics of our visit.

Just imagine the Little House on the Prairie Theme Song.

This is a Tollhouse. Back in the day somebody privately owned the tollhouse and charged for traveling the plank road that was beyond it. This was not a place where you could purchase chocolate chip cookies.

A rich person's house in the late 1800's.

I guess the rich people had some funky looking chidren.

Pioneer toys.

Jason got stung by a bee and the pioneers happened to have a bee sting kit.

The first Pottery Barn.

A weaving loom. That thing was intricate and amazing. It took them 3 months to weave about 5 yards of fabric.

Every room we went in that had a broom, the girls just couldn't resist sweeping. I don't know why they don't have that urge at home. I almost bought an old fashioned broom to take home with me to see if it would help inspire them.

There's more, but I won't bore you and will let you see for yourself when you visit.

Thanks goes out to my cousin-in-law, Carla, for recommending this educational activity! (She's a first grade teacher.)