Thursday, May 31, 2007


Pictures from yesterday:

The Human Pyramid The kids were goofing off after school. Although they had fun, they realized making a pyramid was harder than they thought.

Biscuit explosion

I was making a large batch of biscuits for dinner. There is a lever on one side to lock the head in place and a lever on the other side to turn the mixer on and adjust the speed. I went to lock the head in place by pulling the lever all the way forward. I pulled the wrong lever and turned the mixer on full speed. This took all of 1 1/2 seconds to spray my dry ingredients all over the counter, all over the floor, and all over me. I've had this mixer for several years and have never made this mistake before. Whoops!

Expired Banana

I had a box sitting on my kitchen counter for about a month. When I finally moved it there was a banana behind it. Isn't this the grossest thing you have ever seen in a kitchen?!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What can I find in the laundry?

Ever since the time I didn't catch the package of kool-aid left in a pair of pants before tossing them into the washer, I have been very careful about checking pockets.

This week doing laundry I have pulled from my children's pockets:

plastic fork
ziploc bag
ponytail holder
bobby pin
$5 bill (which I kept)
bionicle piece
plastic lizard
m&m wrapper

The $5 bill was a bonus. Usually I only get loose change. I use to get quite a bit of change each week until the kids realized that I keep whatever I find in the laundry. Now I usually only get a penny or two, once in a while a quarter.

PS (added 5/31) Also found in laundry:

half of a popsicle stick
used band-aid

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I took several pictures yesterday so I could share some of our Memorial Day with you all. One was of Thomas being hogged tied so he could practice escaping. I thought it might not be a good idea to publish a picture of my son tied up. Another picture was of Kim asleep on my bed after being tired from work. I didn't think she would appreciate another embarrassing picture of her posted on my blog. The last set of pictures was of the family in the hot tub. I took three pictures. The first one shows a nice picture of someone's backside. The other two pictures . . . well let's just say . . . it is next to impossible to get a picture of a family this size where everyone is looking a the camera, let alone smiling.

So I looked through my old photo album and found this picture of me as a baby. My brother Larry is holding me. Aren't I cute?!

Is It Summer Yet?

It was very strange sending the kids off to school today. It feels like it should be summer. Kim is working, the kids have been swimming, and we've started the BBQ season.

I'm not sure if I am ready for summer or not. I'm definitely ready for a break for homework. Yes, we will read and do things this summer to keep our skills up, but I am ready for a break from the daily hours and hours of homework (and the one child who complains and moans every single night about homework for the same amount of time he has to do it, and shall remain nameless). I think teachers today give too much homework to elementary children. It might be fine if I had one child in elementary school, but I have four.

The kids take about two weeks getting use to being around each other so much. There is usually quite a bit of quarreling. I am hopeful that with all of them being a year older, they will not take too much adjusting time.

I am also ready to not get up at 6:30 in the morning. It wouldn't be so bad if I went to bed at a decent hour. That rarely happens.

Ready or not, I have just over a week to go. Then . . . school's out!

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Kiss

We had an irreverent moment in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. It was one of those times where you really need to laugh out loud but you have to remain quiet, so your whole body shakes trying to hold it in. Every time I think about it, I still laugh out loud.

I am sitting in Sacrament Meeting with Niko on my lap. Kim is on my left. I thought I smelled something stinky. Wondering if it was Niko, I decided to have someone smell him (other than myself, of coarse). I hoisted him up with a little too much oomph towards Kim and smacked her right in the face.

Well, he wasn't stinky but he did have to go through the rest of church with a pink lipstick kiss mark on his bottom.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


At 5:30 am this morning Todd and I were awakened by Kim standing at the bottom of our bed. "The door alarm is going off downstairs and I don't know why!"

I'm surprised it didn't wake the whole house up because it is so loud. Kim's bedroom is the closest to the door. She said she was pretty freaked out. She didn't want to go check the door in case someone was breaking in.

So . . . basically what happened was . . .

We have a small alarm on the top of the sliding glass door in the basement that goes into the backyard. It is really to let us know if our two year old goes out the door more than to know if someone is trying to get in.

The alarm is two pieces, one placed on the door frame and one on the door. When the two pieces separate by the door opening, the alarm goes off. Early this morning, one of the two pieces fell off, and the alarm went off.

Everyone got a nice shot of adrenaline.

Dear Lyle

Dear Lyle,

It was great to hear from you. Sorry I didn't let you know about my blog earlier. Hope you and Teresa are doing great.

Love you,

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Changed the Settings

Well, I know that there must be people reading my blog because I see the counter go up everyday. I'm just curious as to who is actually reading it.

I had my settings set wrong before. Only registered users could leave a comment. I've changed the settings now, so anyone can leave a comment, even if you are not a registered user.

So I ask . . . if you are reading this blog entry please leave your name in the comment section so I can satisfy my curiosity. And please feel free to leave comments anytime, any day.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Best Present Ever

Have you ever used a Ticonderoga pencil? I love them! There is nothing better than a brand new, freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencil! They write better and erase better than any other pencil out there. They sharpen easy but the leads will not break easy. Once you have tried one you will never want to use anything else.

Ask any member of my family . . . I am very protective of my Ticonderoga pencils.

I have received a lot of great birthday gifts in my lifetime. At this point in my life I usually buy what I want, give it to Todd, and ask him to wrap it up for my birthday. Once in a while there is a surprise gift. A year and a half ago Todd bought me a box of 48 Ticonderoga pencils. I cried. Not just because I love the pencils so much, but because Todd gave me a gift I wasn't expecting and that he knew I would love. I thought it was the best birthday present I have ever received.

Kim Goes to Prom

I love this picture.

Kim and Jeff

On the Wrong End

There must be a reason why two year olds still need help getting dressed.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Pile of Dirt

We live here in this big, beautiful home. We have truly felt like this is where we need to be. It really is great that being in the right place is such a nice place to be.

I lived for a quite a few years in the house where my dad grew up. There were six children in his family. The house was quite small, but had all of the basics. Many of the rooms were add ons that my grandfather built. There was a fruit orchard and always a large garden.

For most people the world of home ownership has changed over the last half century. Homes are bigger. You can buy grass already grown and just lay it in your yard. Most of the fruits and vegetables come from the grocery store. Yes, there are many more things I could list.

So, yesterday as they are delivering three truckloads of top soil to our front yard, I wondered what my grandmother would think of us paying good money for a big pile of dirt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


We have a DVR attached to our TV. It comes in quite handy for recording shows. It is very easy to record as compared to the old VCR recording days. Also, we are very rarely able to sit down and watch a show at the actual time it comes on. We also love to skip commercials.

There are two shows I record everyday, Martha and Oprah. I don't necessarily watch them everyday, but I do check them out each day to see what the shows are about. If I am interested I'll watch the show or the parts that I am interested in. More times than not I watch both shows.

My favorite time to watch TV is late at night in bed. My mind is always racing at the end of the day. There is so much running thru my mind that I have a hard time falling asleep even if I am very tired. Watching TV helps free my mind so I can fall asleep.

Last night before going to sleep I watched Oprah. Her guest was Dr. Oz. He answers viewers health questions. One of the things he talked about was people having worms. He even showed a dead tape worm that must have been over 8 feet long.

I woke up several times last night hearing a low grumbling. I'm not sure if it was my stomach or maybe I was snoring. I was sure it was a bunch of worms in my body having a party. As I woke up and listened, the sound was gone. Then after another minute I would come to my senses and realize I must have been dreaming. Then I would roll over and go back to sleep.

I am quite a vivid dreamer. I have a lot of dreams about what happened in my day, especially what I am thinking about or watching before I go to sleep. Maybe tonight I will watch Martha Stewart so I can dream about baking a cake.

Sweet dreams to all.

What a Good Looking Bunch of Kids

This is in front of the courthouse on the day Marie was adopted.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Happy Birthday to Kim!

Okay, so I couldn't wait until tomorrow. I was looking at the pictures of Kim and could hardly wait to post them. I will probably be too busy tomorrow baking cake and buying presents to blog. So . . . look to the right and smile and giggle with me.

Happy Birthday Kim! I love you! I am so glad you are my daughter. I am so glad I am your mother.

I hope you have a great day!

Check Back Tomorrow

Look for tomorrow's post. It is Kim's birthday and I hope to post some cute and embarrassing photos of her.

Answer to Question of the Day

The answer to question of the day that was posted on Friday, May 11, 2007:

Sweet Marie is the child that was born in an ambulance. It kind of suits her personality, eager and ready to get where she wants to go.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Snow on a Warm Spring Day

It snowed at our house today, the kind of snow that lands on everything and makes the world a wonderland of white. No, it did not snow outside, but rather on the inside.

Last Saturday Thomas made a trip to Lagoon with his friend and his friend's family. He won this big, huge octopus that is filled with tiny Styrofoam balls. You know the ones I mean, the little white balls that stick to everything with static electricity.

Okay, so you are probably getting the picture already, but I will finish anyway.

For the first couple of days the octopus lay on the laundry room floor because there was a small hole in it. Some how the octopus got moved into the family room where it sat for several days until some of the kids discovered how fun it was to jump on and watch the snow spew out of the octopus and gently drift to the ground.

There is "snow" in every room of the house. Just when I finished vacuuming the family room, including the couch, chair, and dog bed, in comes Niko who has some on his head and diaper. Bear, our dog, has it all over his fur. He lays down on the family room floor. Jay gets up from the couch. He must have had some on his back because now there is more "snow" on the couch.

I haven't even tackled any other room yet and the "snow" is everywhere. I had to take a break to write this blog to help me see the comedy in the moment. Now I must return to shoveling snow.

Still Queasy

Things to avoid when your stomach is still queasy from the flu:

Being too aggressive with the tongue scrapper.

Hearing the crunch of previously hit road kill under the tire of your car.

Watching someone pop their arm back into the shoulder socket.

Holding your hand out to catch the chewed string cheese from the mouth of a child who bit off more than he could chew.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beggars Can't Be Choosers

It is no fun to be sick. For the last couple of days I have had the stomach flu.

I'd like to thank my family for all pitching in and taking care of things while I was throwing up and curling up in bed.

I asked Todd yesterday morning to send the kids in to me so I could check them over before he took them to school. He said he would just pin a note on them saying their mother was sick and their father got them ready this morning.

No, he didn't really pin the note on them, nor did he send them in for me to see.

My first glance at them was after school. Three of the four little kids were wearing the same clothes they had worn the day before including shirts, pants, and even socks and underwear.

Although things were not done the way I would have done them and the house is quite messy, I am still thankful everyone pitched in. The kids were dressed and fed. Homework got done. Everyone is still alive.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The RC Willey Yard Sale

Twice a year RC Willey has a yard sale. It is another great place to find a bargain.

This past Saturday we purchased a new desk for our office for $135. The original retail price for the desk was $1,150. Sometimes the items are scratched or damaged so you have to check everything out carefully. Sometimes the items are returns and they are in great shape, like our desk.

On Saturday we also purchased 2 matching night stands for our bedroom.

Our most memorable RC Willey yard sale experience was a few years ago.

We were in desperate need of a new mattress for our bed. Ours was 15 years old and we were not sleeping very well.

Every time we went into RC Willey we would look at mattresses. There was this one mattress we were very fond of. We loved to lay on it, but the price was $2,400, about six times the price of our current mattress.

On Friday night before the yard sale, you can walk around the parking lot and see what they will be selling the next day.

We went Friday night. I could hardly believe my eyes. There it was, our mattress! Actually there were two of them, one king size and one queen size.

The next morning we arose early, around 3:30am, to go and stand in line for the 8 o'clock opening. We met our friends, the Aiellos, there at 4:00am with our chairs and an umbrella.

Yes, I said umbrella. It was raining. We sat in line for two hours before anyone else even showed up.

We got the King size and our friends got the queen.

What I have enjoyed more than the mattress itself is the fun memory of sitting in the rain with Todd, Mike, and Lynette at 4 o'clock in the morning and the thrill of getting a really good bargain for something we really needed and wanted.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Home Owner

While driving down the road with a car full of kids, I decided to make the most of my time by striking up a conversation about money. I asked each of the kids, "If you could buy anything you wanted, and it didn't matter how much it cost, what would you buy?" I was intrigued and impressed with all of the answers, but with Justin the most.

Justin proudly stated, "I want a Home Owner!"

"Wow, you want to be a home owner?" I said.

Justin added, "Yes, I want to be a home owner!"

We talked more about money, how to earn it, how to save it, and how to own a home. As we continued in car, I kept thinking about Justin's response. I was so impressed that he was already thinking of home ownership at this age. Out of all the younger kids, he is the most practical and responsible with his choices.

A few minutes after our conversation ended, Justin said, "Wait mom! It's not called a home owner. It's called a Hummer. When I grow up, I want to have a Hummer.

Thanks for the laughs Justin. I still think you are very practical and responsible.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to Me

I got to sleep in this morning. Yea! As I lie in bed reading my scriptures I was happily interrupted by my family singing, "Happy Mother's Day to You." Then came the breakfast in bed. Most of the children climbed on the bed with me and a couple of them squeezed themselves as close to me as they could.

What a great way to start the day!

Ouch, My Tongue!

Although I am using this to add additions to my journal, there are definitely moments when the thoughts running around in my head are things I can't add to this blog. It would probably make me more sane to be able to type it out, then to leave it running around in my head. But there are times when it is best to just bite my tongue.

One of the things I always tell myself and my children is . . . if there is something that is bothering you or a stress to you, take care of it now. Do what you can to make it better and then let it go.

Today I will not heed my own advice. I will just bite my tongue.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Where is the Grass?

While driving Justin home from a friends house he said, "It was sure nice to be on grass again."

Living in this big new house has been really great. Now that it is springtime we look out across the acres to a yard filled with dirt, rocks, and weeds. What a big project! We have begun getting bids on some of the work, but much we will do on our own in order to stay on budget.

I too look forward to the day when our yard is filled with grass.

Question of the Day

One of my children was born in an ambulance. Guess who?

My New Journal

I am really enjoying this blog. It gives me the opportunity to jot down a few things running around in my head each day (well, almost everyday). Just going back and glancing over the titles brings back memories.

I have never been very good at keeping a journal, but have always wanted to. It is just hard to sit down at the end of a long day and write with pen on paper. But almost everyday I sit down at the computer for a few minutes to check emails, pay bills, etc. It only takes a few minutes to write a blog about something I have been thinking about.

Today I will print out my blog entries and slide them into the back of my journal.

I am glad I started this blog, my new journal.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Ford Mustang

Why am I so mesmerized by the 2007 Ford Mustang? Look over at the picture on the right. That is a picture of my sister and me (I'm the one in yellow) in our family car many years ago.

I am a sentimental person. I love pictures and anything old that use to belong to my parents, grandparents, and ancestors. I have many happy memories in that car.

The 2007 Ford Mustang is a sleek version of that old car. It looks so similar, yet smooth and modern. It is a beautiful car. Take a look.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


I'm not much of a car lover. Well, I am a little mesmerized by the 2007 Ford Mustang. But that is another story. I'm not much of a car lover. But the other day I was stopped at a stop light and I happened to glance over my left shoulder and notice a Lexus. It was fairly new. It was cream colored on the outside and had a tan leather interior. Just as I was thinking, "that's a nice car," a passenger in the back rolled down his window to flick the ashes off of the end of his cigarette. Yuck. I knew the whole car smelled like smoke inside. Now the car didn't impress me so much.

Happy Birthday to Todd!

Happy Birthday Todd! I love you! I hope you have a really great day.

As soon as I write a few words in my blog I'll be off to Marie Calendars to buy pie. Todd wants pie instead of cake this year. Yum. And less work for me.

How am I going to keep those pies chilled for the day? Please reference a previous blog titled "Ketchup or Milk." Although it has been a few days and the fridge is not as full as it was, there is still no where close to enough room for two Marie Calendar pie boxes. It is time to clean out the fridge.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Cold Cereal

I didn't have time to eat breakfast before going to Jay's annual review at the school (9:10 am). When I got home and put Niko in the bath tub around 10:30 am, I decided I was hungry. I started thinking about that last box of Recess Puffs cereal. The more I thought about the cereal, the hungrier I got. After about 15 minutes I decided to run to the kitchen to fix myself a bowl. After getting my bowl out of the cupboard, I reached for that box of Recess Puffs on the shelf. It was empty. I searched all around the pantry hoping to find one more box hidden away somewhere. No luck. I settled on some Golden Crisp.

We love cold cereal and we eat a lot of it at our house. It is one of my favorite grocery shopping bargains to find. Every so often Albertsons has a sale on name brand cereal for $1.00 to $1.20 a box. I always stock up. I have been known to buy 100+ boxes at a time. I can feed a family of ten for under $2.00 at breakfast.

I love a good bargain!

The "Puffy" Dress

I spent most of yesterday sewing. I usually only sew when the kids are gone or asleep. It is quite a trick to keep two little kids occupied and distracted when they are usually my shadow. I took several breaks to load the dishwasher and the washing machine, feed kids, and be a taxi service. There was also the time I had to stop to wash chocolate cookies off of Niko from head to toe. The cookies were another distraction for him and Marie while I was sewing.

My project is Kim's Prom dress. The dress is beautiful. It is purple (kind of) with silver embroidery and rhinestones all over the bodice (top). It also has this beautiful tie all the way down here back that laces up like a corset.

The part that I am working on is the skirt. It is the same purple satin as the bodice with organza over the top of it. The skirt "was" an A line skirt. We decided it needed to be more puffy, but not too puffy.

I was pretty lucky to find the exact match of satin and organza at the fabric store, and on sale too.

Yesterday I sewed the lining and six tiers of "puff" to the lining. I also finished the top organza layer, complete with french seams.

Today I will work on the satin layer, put all the layers together, and then add a zipper and the waistband. I just have to find time between a meeting at the school, Niko's visit, picking up kids, baseball, and scouts. Oh, yea . . . I guess I should probably feed my family and do some laundry too.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Anxiety on a Saturday Morning

I woke up this morning at 6:40 worrying about one of my children and couldn't go back to sleep.

The cursor is just sitting there blinking at me. I guess I really don't have anything to write today.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Two Birds With One Stone

I look down on my shirt to see the spot from a little boy who was giggling so much he couldn't control the drool. The spot helps me remember another spot from last week . . .

This same little boy frequently hugs with all his might. If he is really excited, he will squeeze as he rubs his head into your face or chest. One morning last week he gave me one of those wonderful hugs. With all his might he wrapped his arms around me and wiggled his face into my shoulder.

At the end of a long day of which I made several appearances in public, I recalled the exuberant hug from that morning. I happened to look across my shoulder and notice a big glossy spot of snot.

Was it a hug of love and adoration for mommy or was he just wiping his nose? I choose to believe it was a matter of killing two birds with one stone.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ketchup or Milk

Our fridge is so full! It's hard enough to keep it stocked for ten people. Then comes the leftover containers. Now we add supplies from the ward dinner last Saturday. I probably should have skipped the trip to the grocery store or at least skipped the two gallons of milk. There was only room for the second gallon of milk or the ketchup. Both are quite necessary. We need the milk for drinking and putting on cereal. The kids will put ketchup on almost anything. What should I do? . . .

All ended well, kind of. As grandpa opened the fridge, the sour cream fell out and spattered all over. Later that same day, Todd opened up the fridge and out came the cheese sauce. The container broke. He consolidated the sauce into a smaller container. And . . . tada . . . room enough for both the milk and ketchup!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Give me a Break

Help! I need a vacation. I think June of 2019 will be a great time. I'll start planning now.

As a mom, there is no time off. Even if I manage to get away for a couple of days, I still end up worrying about the kids.

The best time off is when grandma comes to visit. When we come home there is not a dirty dish or a dirty article of clothing in the house. Grandma even irons all the shirts, something I personally do not do. The kids have been fed and spoiled by grandma. Although sometimes there is an incident like a self imposed haircut by Marie, it is all worth it.

Well, I must sign off for now. Niko is asking for a chorus of Eensy Weensy Spider. After our song I will fix lunch and get Marie off to school. I guess I'll just have to settle for mini vacations for now. During nap time today I will sew, which I love. It will be my vacation. And I will be happy.

Family Finances

Yesterday I payed bills. Ninety percent of the bills seem to be due around the same time each month. It is a little overwhelming sending off that much money all at one time. We do not, by any means, bring in enough money to support a family of ten in a house this size. Yet each month I am truly amazed that there is always enough money. I keep waiting for the day when we will have to dip into our savings to pay the bills. But that day just doesn't seem to come.

Yes, we are careful on our spending and we have done a few projects to help us get ahead. But I think it all comes down to a few words . . . Tithing and Fast Offering. We have truly reaped the blessings.

Life Is Too Short To Be Offended

If I come back and read this post in a day or two and it sounds like a rant, I will probably delete it.

Let me preface my comments by letting you all know that this reference is not about any of you who read my blog. Nor am I the offended or the offender.

Life is too short to be offended.

Someone I care about unintentionally offended a friend. It has really affected their friendship. She is sad. The person who was offended was someone I have been very impressed with from the moment I met her. She is polite, fun, and caring. Yet now she shows a different side that makes me sad too. She seems to have lost some of the very qualities that seemed to make her such a great individual. I hope she soon remembers who she wants to be.

So here are my words of wisdom for the day.

Talk it out, even if it is difficult. The friendship/relationship is worth it.

Say you are sorry like it is your fault, even if it isn't.

And . . . for the third time . . . Life is too short to be offended.