Saturday, November 28, 2009


We celebrated Thanksgiving all alone this year. Not that a Thankgiving with a family of 8 is all that lonely. But here is our holiday in pictures:

Wendy was my gravy stirrer while I took pictures. I attempted to make my own gravy this year instead of using Heniz. I've always heard stories how gravy is so difficult to make. Mine worked with no lumps. I felt very successful.

My beautiful Sweet Potato Casserole. My favorite.

My beautiful turkey cooker and carver.

My beautiful homemade rolls I decided to make last minute. I didn't think they were going to work because the dough didn't seem to be rising. But they did and were delicious.

Me. We have our Thanksgiving buffet style. There's just not enough room on the table for all those dishes. I also read online this year a nifty trick to keep the mashed potatoes warm is to put them in a crock pot. It totally worked and saved some stress of getting the potatoes done last minute to make sure they were hot.

The family feast. We get out the special glasses for the holiday and the kids think they are pretty special to be able to drink out of fancy glasses.

My plate. Clockwise: Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potates (with skins), turkey, Stove Top Turkey Stuffing ( I learned this year that the Turkey Stuffing does not have MSG, but the Chicken one does.), Green Bean Casserole, Roll, and Jellied Cranberry (center).

And yes, I did eat it all, but a couple of bites of my sweet potatoes. I was stuffed to the max. A few years ago I bought some extra large plates on clearance at Target. I love using them for Thanksgiving.

A drumstick eater.

A wing eater.

After dinner we played pin the pilgrim hat on the turkey. It was difficult to decide who the winner was.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bad Blogger

I know, I'm a bad blogger. I'm not even feeling all that bad, just got a little busy with holiday preparations and I was in a little bit of mourning for the loss of $860.31 to fix the car.

Today at lunch I took a brief moment to go upstairs to complete a task while my soup heated in the microwave. Bradley was curious as to what would happen if he shook a jar of hot chocolate powder with the lid slightly loose. He concluded that it goes everywhere and that he needs to clean it up quickly before Mommy comes downstairs. He failed to completely clean it up. After some coaxing, I asked him what happened and he told me. I said, "Why didn't you use your brain when you tried that?"

He replied, "I don't know. I didn't know that would happen."

Wendy said in defense of his brother, "Mommy, our brains are smaller."

Sarah said in defense of all kids, "But they are bigger than a dinosuar's"

Later that day Wendy found a plastic clip. She asked me where it came from and I replied, "I don't know."

She said, "But I thought you knew everything."

Wow! Such high expectations. I'm working on it, Wendy. It will take me a while to know everything.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Ok. I'm feeling better. It seems like just when I finish with the morning sickness (which happens to be evening sickness for me), I get a nasty cold that goes from sinus to chest to throat. I think I'm on the mend.

Ok, so about the car. On Wednesday I took my husband to work and then went to the stranded car to call AAA and get it towed. When it arrived at the repair shop, I told the guy what I thought was wrong and then while it was there I had them check out a couple of other things that I knew needed to be checked. We've always had a problem with our engine coolant light coming on and in the summertime, on super hot days, the car overheats. Also, the brake light never seemed to go off when we released the parking break. I thought they would be minor fixes, but it turns out that something was wrong with the breaks, the coolant sensor was broken, and, I happened to be right, and the shifter cable was broken. So all three repairs together is costing me $860.31. Lovely. But I like to think that by the car actually breaking and causing us to have to take it in to the shop, resulted in money and possibly lives saved should the brakes have failed on my husband or me one day. So it's all good. I'm not complaining. Cars are miserable. It's just a fact of life. I think it is still better than dealing with horse and buggies.

Last night I took Emily to her Achievement Days at church which is the 8-11 year old girls that get together twice a month to do fun and spiritual stuff. Last night the leader just had an improvised plan and brought some games for the girls to play. I asked her if she needed help and she invited me to come and play. We played Uno, Twister, and Da Vinci's Challenge. When we were leaving Emily was kind of quiet. I asked her if it was weird for her for me to be there. She nodded her head, but I could tell she didn't want to hurt my feelings. I guess she likes that time to go hang out and be silly with her friends without her mother around. I totally understand. I just hope I don't get called to be the Achievement Day Leader ever. She would be so disappointed!

I guess that's all for now. Today was uneventful. We attempted some more cleaning. Hopefully the car will be ready tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Car Problems

This is going to be a lousy post, but I just have to vent a little....

My husband's car is broken :(

I absolutely hate dealing with car trouble.

My husband was helping a guy out with his computer and when my husband went to leave, the car wouldn't come out of park and the gear shift is all floppy. From my research, it sounds like the shifter cable is broken and it's not a difficult fix, but of course it still costs money. Not exactly what I wanted to spend the money from our first paycheck on. My biggest fear is that the repair shop will try to take advantage of me and charge me more than necessary. Anyway, I'm armored with my knowledge of gear shifts and shifter cables and hopefully will be able to recognize if they are trying to pull a fast one on me. The car is still at this person's house which means I get to go take my husband to work tomorrow at 7 AM, and then go to the broken car and wait for AAA to come and tow it while sitting in our van with all the kids.

The good news is that it got me to renew my AAA membership. It's been expired for 6 months. I have to wait until tomorrow to get it towed to avoid having to pay an extra $40 for the tow. Thankfully it's not a problem to keep it at this person's house until tomorrow.

Why do these things always happen right before Christmas? I was all ready to do some Christmas shopping. Ug.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home Sick

I stayed home from church today with snotty, coughy kids. Emily was the only totally healthy person in the family, so my husband stayed with her during Sacrament meeting and then left her there and then Primary president brought her home after church. (The Primary president lives in our neighborhood.) This morning in bed I realized that we totally forgot to attend the Primary activity on Friday night. It was supposed to be a good one too. Emily cried because we forgot. She was so looking forward to it. I told her it was her job to remember these things. I seem to be very forgetful lately.

I have a sore throat and aching body. However, the aching body is not from being sick. I did yard work yesterday and my body is paying the price for it. My body hasn't experienced that much exertion in a long time. The yard looks dang good though! We derednecked it a bit. Took the toys out of the yard, pulled some weeds, pulled the dead tomato plants, mowed the weeds in the grass, threw away the old newspapers on the walkway, and edged the sidewalks. I was looking forward to admiring it as we drove past it on our way to and from church today. It didn't happen. I admired it from my window instead.

I just finished watching a sappy Hallmark channel movie, The Flower Girl. I'm a sucker for Hallmark movies.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Catching Up

Sometimes life passes us by, especially in the heat of morning sickness, and things can get a little out of control:

The past couple of months I just simply haven't cared what my house looks like. Actually, I cared, but I didn't have the energy or will to clean it. Any perfectionism that was left in me in the midst of raising six kids completely vanished. Things didn't get put away. Floors remained unvacuumed. Dust collected. Sheets failed to get washed. Dirty dishes sat on the counter. Etc. Now that I'm feeling better and with the Christmas season around the corner, I decided I was going to clean the entire downstairs today before my husband got home from work. We made progress, but only completed the family room. I considered it a huge accomplishment. I cleared the counters, spot cleaned the carpet, vacuumed the couch and chair.... My kids helped. It looks good. I hope to make progress on the kitchen tomorrow.

While we cleaned, we took breaks. This was our hot chocolate break:

Sarah was a good sister and shared.

Rachel doesn't speak much, but she is good at letting others know what she wants. Her current vocabulary:

Uh oh.
Ga gone.
Anghhh!!! (while pointing to something)
Ba bong.
(And more grunting noises that I don't know how to phonetically type.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Going Public

Ok, so it's time. I'm going public. I will be 13 weeks pregnant tomorrow. My due date is May 19th. I went to the doctor today and he couldn't find a heartbeat with his handy little Doppler instrument. I was freaking out! He did a quick ultrasound and there was a heartbeat beating at 164 beats per minute. The little sucker was facing the wrong way and the doctor couldn't get the Doppler to detect the heartbeat. Despite the brief panic, I was lucky to get this great picture of my thumb sucking little guy. (I think it's a boy. Doesn't it look like a boy?) I'm not convinced he isn't missing his left arm either. At least he has a handsome profile. Hopefully he will grow an arm in the next several months.

Monday, November 09, 2009


Tonight I was in charge of the Family Home Evening lesson. For the past several years my husband has always been in charge of giving the lesson, but mostly because of my laziness and my enjoying being a listener. Last week we adopted a more structured Family Home Evening (FHE for short) task schedule. Here are the responsibilities:

Opening Hymn
Musical Number

We've always had these things included. It's just that now somebody is in charge of each one and and we all know a week ahead of time.

The past few weeks we've focused each lesson on a gift of the Spirit. Tonight's gift was the gift of wisdom. I bought a pomegranate this weekend out of curiousity and because of an article I saw in Better Homes and Gardens (BHG for short). I decided to try and incorporate it into my lesson. First I explained that the gift of wisdom is being able to understand things, especially spiritual things. We can pray and ask our Father in Heaven for understanding if we earnestly desire it.

I asked my audience of midgets to pretend the pomegranate represented wisdom. Bradley was confused as to how a pomegranate is wisdom, but my husband told him to just keep listening. It was an analogy. I handed the fruit to Emily and told her that I just gave her wisdom because she asked for it. Then I asked her to put the pomegranate on the cutting board. I proceded to cut the fruit as my BHG magazine instructed me to. Inside were hundreds of little juicy seeds. I explained that these seeds were further knowledge and wisdom. I explained that wisdom can continually be poured out to us if we seek it. The kids were so excited to pick the seeds out and taste them. Sarah exclaimed, "Look at all this wisdom!"

(Unfortunately I have no picture to show.)

Thankfully they enjoyed the taste of the juicy seeds and hopefully will have a desire to seek the real deal. I think it may have actually been a successful lesson. And it was all because I was curious to see and taste a pomegranate. Without the lesson, the fruit would've surely sat on my kitchen counter and rotted over the next couple of weeks and I would've missed out on all that wisdom.

James 1:5-7
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

I just think it's really cool that we can ask in faith and receive understanding. We can pray to understand specific gospel principles and come to know that they are true and real. It works.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Traditional Fashion

First of all, let me just say I have an awesome husband and children. I went to a church activity from 10AM - 1PM on Saturday. Since it was in another part of town, I told my husband I was going to do a little bit of shopping at the mall because Emily recently alerted me to the fact that she has very few pairs of pants to wear and that she is cold. Since she is my oldest, she doesn't receive a whole lot of hand-me-downs. I wasn't all that successful, but I made good use of my time alone and browsed the mall, ate a pretzel, and savored a Barq's root beer. When I returned home, the kitchen was a disaster (as I half expected), toys were all over the playroom, and the house didn't look much different than when I left it. I gave my husband three jobs to complete when I was gone. 1) change all the analog clocks to the correct time, 2) vacuum the HVAC air filters (They should be replaced but I didn't have new ones.), and 3) wash out the three empty 6 gallon buckets that had been sitting in the yard the past week. Although I was disappointed I had dirty dishes to wash, I was happy to see he completed his tasks. Then I went upstairs to change my clothes and get Rachel up from her nap. When I reached the top of the stairs, I nearly fainted when I saw that the hallway and my bedroom were immaculately cleaned!! My husband even took down the princess poster and pictures that had been hanging on our wall since the bedroom switch last January. The kids' room and bathroom were also clean. They just left one hallway with some junk that I am in charge of finding places for. Anyway, it was awesome. I was so impressed that my husband was able to round up the troops for 5 hours of intense cleaning. It was a true lesson in service for them, all to make Mommy happy. And it did make me VERY happy.

That evening we took the kids to McDonald's to reward them for their good cleaning with ice cream cones. While at the shopping plaza we went to go search for some good deals at Kohl's for pants for Emily. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of deals on good pants in the size 7-16 girl's section. I don't like paying more than $10 on a single item of clothing except for dresses. I'm also disappointed in the selection of jeans. I just want some decent denim without all the bling, peace signs, skulls and cross bones, and other unnecessary decorations. Of course Walmart has some basic Faded Glory selections, but I'm trying to deviate away from my children having an entire wardrobe from Walmart. Anyway, I found 2 pairs of black yoga pants at Kohl's for $6.60 each on the clearance rack. Yay.

While we were there, I also browsed the holiday dresses. Emily is advancing to a size 8 and I never seem to mind spending money on church dresses since I have 3 more girls to wear them. However, the selection of dresses is often disappointing beyond size 6x. I'm just not ready to dress my little girl like a hoochee (nor will I ever dress her like a hoochee). My mother never let me wear black dresses as a child or youth. She told me that I would wear enough black as an adult. I didn't understand then, but I understand now. I wish I could still wear a pink dress with a poofy mesh lining and sash. I think it would look silly if I wore that to church at age 33. My mom was right. Emily pointed out a dress that I found unattractive. I think she liked the glitter. I told her, "No. That looks skanky." Then I wished that I hadn't used that word because I didn't want to have to define it. But then she simply replied, "Yeah, it does smell pretty bad." No definition required.

So I think I am going with this one from I just love online shopping. There's a much better unskanky selection.

When we arrived home and got out of the car Sarah looked like this. She denied picking her nose. Her denial was unconvincing. I think she dug a little too deep.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Artwork of the day.

At least it's on himself this time. Not that I encourage self-destruction and tatoos, but it should come off easy enough in a bath or two. Yesterday I caught him standing on the kids table drawing on my white cupboard doors that disclose my TV in the family room. When I said, "Jason, no!" he so innocently replied, "But Mommy, I teacher." My cupboards were his whiteboard.

Bradley's Birthday

Bradley made his own cake.

Little Sister always loves to watch present opening.

My parents gave him a Zero Gravity Nano. Now Bradley has to think of something new to ask for from Santa.

I decorated the cake. The last polka dot cake of the year.

7 years old.

Rachels is trying to figure out how to get all those Mini M&M's off without anyone noticing.

Rachel licked the #7 candle and took a bite. It didn't taste good.

It was a good birthday!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Today was Bradley's birthday. I am beat. Pictures coming tomorrow.....

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Artwork of the day.

Jason felt he needed to give life to this knot that constantly stares at him at the kitchen table. I think it kind of looks like a squid. I guess I forgot to put away the black dry erase marker.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Here are my gaggle of geese:

Jack and Jill.
Then went up a hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

Mary. She had a little lamb.

Little Miss Muffet. She sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey.

Peter Peter Pumpkin eater.
I'm sure Peter could've done his own artwork on his face with orange marker, but his daddy did it for him.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

And I'm Mother Goose, or probably better yet, The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe. My children did good. They brought me home 16 lbs. of candy.