Saturday, June 30, 2007

Butterflies Galore

I must admit I am not much of a bug person, not even butterflies. But I have seen the most amazing butterfly exhibit at the zoo. I may be a changed person. The cost of admission to the zoo was worth seeing just the butterfly exhibit. These pictures don't do it justice. There were hundreds of butterflies flying all around and they landed on us too. My favorite was the blue one pictured below. It was just so incredible!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Someone is in Denial

My sister and I were having a conversation about grey hair. I had told her how I found a grey hair on my head during church on Sunday and that Kim had found a second one. She said she didn't have any grey hair. We then talked about how some people turn grey at a very young age, even in their twenties. I then asked my Dad when he turned grey. He said that he had some chemical in his body that was keeping his hair from turning grey. He said his hair had a little grey on the sides but the top was still brown. He also said he didn't think his hair would ever turn grey.

Someone is in complete denial.

Maybe a trip to the eye doctor would be in order here. Hee, hee, hee. He is so totally grey. I don't think there is a brown hair on his entire head.

A Visit From My Sister

My sister and her family came to visit yesterday. They will be here until tomorrow. We just kind of hung out yesterday eating and visiting. They brought their Wii (pronounced wee) with them and everyone has had a blast playing it, including Todd. Kim brought some friends over to play it too. I think it made the house hot from so many people jumping around. We just couldn't get the house cooled down last night. The bigger kids were up until midnight playing. Fun.

Today we are off to the zoo. I'll take the camera.

I'm trying to convince my sister to start her own blog.

More Chicken

On Wednesday for Grandpa's birthday he wanted to buy fried chicken for dinner. When he went to the store they said they wouldn't have any ready for 30 minutes. Grandpa decided to buy the roasted whole chickens instead.

We started dinner. I was scooping out salads and Todd was slicing and breaking off chicken parts. I looked over at Justin who had a very long face.

Me: What's the matter Justin (I was thinking he was worried that there were not going to be enough chicken legs left for him)?

Justin: It's that thing.

Me: What thing?

Justin: Never mind.

Me: If you don't tell me, I can't help you.

Justin: It's about that thing we talked about (as he looked over at the chicken, tears now welling up in his eyes).

Me: (Now I'm catching on.) Oh, you mean about the chicken we eat is actually a real chicken?

Justin: Yah, it makes me sad.

So we had a little talk about how Heavenly Father placed chicken on the Earth for us and how it is okay for us to eat it. Thomas wanted to tell him about how he killed a chicken once but we encouraged him to save it for another time.

Grandpa, who apparently didn't catch on to what we had been talking about, decided to join in the conversation by telling Justin how they cut off the head of the chicken to kill it, how they still walk around with their heads cut off, how they pluck the feathers, burn off the stubble . . . well, you get the idea.

Todd made sure he gave Justin a piece of chicken without any bones or a resemblance of a body part. And he gladly ate seconds and thirds.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Before and After

We always shave Bear in the summer when he starts to shed. He looks so different. I always think of him as a fairly big dog but after he is shaved he looks so tiny.

The big kids were trying to convince Marie that I came home with the wrong dog. She had to come ask me to make sure it was still him.

Bear went outside for a few minutes and didn't want to come in. He must have been cold from loosing all of his fur because he planted himself in the hot dirt on a very hot day.

I think he must be a little embarrassed too because he usually hangs out wherever the family is. Ever since we came home he keeps disappearing for long periods at a time.

Things That Make Me Smile

  • "I love Mom" written in sidewalk chalk

  • A good night's sleep

  • The smell of Todd's skin

  • A To-Do list with most things crossed off

  • Comments on my blog

  • A clean house

  • Blue Butterflies

  • Freshly brushed teeth

  • Fresh sheets

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'm Back

I'm back. No I didn't go on vacation or anything spectacular like that. I just haven't been on the computer for a few days except to check the email and post a couple of pictures. It feels like I haven't written in a long time.

We really try to spoil our kids on their birthdays, probably a little too much. We start with breakfast in bed, hanging streamers, their pick of dinner, cake, presents, sometimes friends . . . you get the idea. It is exhausting. I wouldn't post that today except for the fact that Thomas doesn't read my blog. Yesterday was his birthday and we celebrated all day. Today he is having a party with friends, so we are still celebrating.

It probably wouldn't be so exhausting if we didn't have so many kids. But we have a birthday once a month from March to September. Plus we have to throw in Todd's birthday, Grandpa's birthday (which is tomorrow), Father's Day, and Mother's Day (yes, that day is exhausting too, but that's another story).

I don't mean to sound like I am complaining. I am happy to be exhausted. I enjoy making a big deal out of special days. Even though it is a lot of work and I feel exhausted, I wouldn't change a thing.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Riding Horses

We all went riding horses (actually mules) this morning and had a great time!

A Conversation with Jay

My conversation with Jay this morning:

Jay: Should we let girls get in the car first and out of the car first?

Me: Yes, that's good manners to let girl's go first. When you are grown up you should open doors for girls, stand up when they walk in a room, stand up when they stand up, and help them sit down at the table. Boys should take care good care of girls.

Jay: Cool. I could be nice to the beautiful girls.

Me: You need to be nice to the ugly girls too. (Yes, I know. I could have worded that a little bit better, but he got the idea.)

Jay: Okay.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Harry Potter

I am a Harry Potter Fan. When the first books came out my brother Larry gave us the first three books for Christmas. I didn't read them with all the kids and Todd. Everyone was excited to go to the first movie and I went along. I was hooked. Since then I have read every book (except the first one) and have seen every movie. So now we are anxiously awaiting the 5th movie, The Order of the Phoenix, which comes out July 11th and the 7th book, The Deathly Hallows, which comes out July21st. Fun, fun!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kisses, Sprinklers, Macaroni, and Driving Permits

Oh, to be young again, when everything is made better by a kiss. Niko comes running in to the office so distraught because he hurt his elbow. One kiss on the spot and he smiles and runs away like nothing ever happened.

All of the sprinkler pipe is in and quite a few of the heads. We are getting 3 quotes for cement curbing around the flower beds on Thursday and Friday.

Niko was dipping his macaroni in his lemonade at dinner. It must have tasted good because he kept doing it over and over again.

This is such great news I should have mentioned it first . . . Kim got her driving permit yesterday. Yea!! And something funny . . . She had asked a friend if they would take her picture when she got her permit and he said no. Well, I must say that I am on his side because I have never heard of someone getting their picture taken for a permit before. I definitely didn't have to. You are probably getting the idea already. So she gets up yesterday, straight out of bed, puts her contacts in, and off we go. She was wearing the same shirt she wore to bed, her hair was in a ponytail, and she didn't even have lip gloss on. We filled out all of the paper work, she took the written test, we paid our fees, and then . . . the lady asked her to step over to the picture counter. You should have seen the look on her face as her eyes bulge out and her mouth drops open. "What?!" I just smiled and laughed as she frantically takes out her ponytail, runs her fingers through her hair, and digs for the lip gloss in her bag. Well . . . Kim is one of the most photogenic people I know. She rarely takes a bad picture. This is no exception. The picture turned out great! When you are over seventeen in Idaho and you get a none Driver's Ed permit, it looks almost like a driver's licence, picture and everything. Hee hee! I'm still laughing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day and More Rambling

Breakfast in bed (pancakes with boysenberry syrup), a picture to hang on his office wall (prayer at Valley forge), and spaghetti for dinner were our attempts at helping Todd have a good Father's Day.

Sacrament meeting was amazing yesterday. The Young Men and Young Women sang one of my favorite songs. I will try and post the words to the song soon if I can find them. The speakers were great too, a High Councilman and his son who just returned from his mission.

Yesterday it was cold enough to wear my "frumpy sweater," as I like to call it. I have a black sweater that I have worn for many years. When it was new it quickly became my favorite. I wore it a lot. Now it is falling apart, but I still love it. It is very thin in places, frayed on the edges, holes in the armpits, and the arms are stretched to twice their original size. I use to wear it to church and out to dinner. Now I wear it around the house and even to bed when I am really cold. It will be a sad day when I finally have to let it go.

Also this weekend I found out a certain person had the qualities and traits I assumed they possessed. I also discovered another person did not possess all of the qualities and traits I believed them to have.

I think I need more sleep.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Weekend Full of Guests

We had a few extra people at our house this weekend, some youth and a bishop from Bend, Oregon and also Kim had a bunch of friends over. I enjoy Kim having her friends over often. I'm glad they feel comfortable enough to come here too whenever they need a place to hang out. Yesterday, one of them made a cookie for us that said "Thanx" for letting them always "raid" our home. Thanks for the cookie. It was yummy and is almost gone already. There was a little bit more cookies on it, but some of them got eaten before I thought of taking the picture.

Yesterday we walked around and in our old house. The new owner has been fixing it up with new windows, paint, etc. It looks really great. It was kind of a strange feeling walking through it. After being in this big house, all the rooms that seemed so big at the old house didn't seem so big any more. I think the biggest thing is the ceiling height. The old house had ceilings that were 7 1/2 feet upstairs and even less downstairs. Todd even hit his head a couple of times going into some low doorways in the basement. So we over compensated ceiling height in this new house . . . 10 feet upstairs and almost 9 feet in the basement. No more head bumps.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

More Ramblings Today

Okay, I'm back. I had to fix lunch and now Niko is taking a nap. So I haven't vacuumed yet.

Ramblings . . .

Women over the age of 65 should not wear short shorts. Yes, there is a reason that is running around in my head and you should be glad you were not there to see it. I try not to be too critical about what people wear but there are just some things that . . .

I was clipping Jay's toenails today and got hit right in the eye with one. Ouch, and more important, gross.

Yes, we got a new vacuum. The debate has been to fix the old vacuum, buy a central vacuum (because the house has already been plumbed for it), or just buy a new vacuum. It would probably cost as must to fix the old vacuum as it would to buy a new one. It would take a few more days to get a central vac installed, which we might still do. So we decided to buy a cheap vacuum to get us by. We have company coming tonight and we really needed to get the floor cleaned. It is a youth group from Oregon, 2 boys Thomas' age and their leader will be at our house and the rest of their group will be spread throughout our ward.

After the fish incidence with Justin I decided I had better make sure he knew about hamburgers and chicken. He is definitely a meat lover and would do almost anything for a hamburger. We got the sad face again. This time he almost cried. He said it made him sad but he was still going to eat hamburgers and chicken.

We put Niko to bed last night. About ten minutes later I saw him sitting with the other little kids watching TV. I always dread the day when the kids figure out how to climb out of the crib.

17 year olds can still embarrass me in the grocery store.

Today Niko had a visit with his birth mom, the first one she hasn't cancelled in a couple of weeks. I always have to take diapers and wipes when he goes. I decided it would be easier for me and more responsible for her if she had to bring them each time. I gave her a new package of each. As I dropped him off I noticed the van she was driving (borrowed from her uncle and damaged from an accident) was filled to the brim with her worldly possessions. I almost felt bad because I didn't know if she even had room in there for a package of diapers. She must be living out of that van.

There is still a lot more ramblings going on in my head but I think I'll stop for now.

No It Is Not A Gofer

Todd and Thomas are out front digging trenches for the sprinklers. I just got a new vacuum and I really want to try it out so I will blog later. There are quite a few ramblings going on in my head that I should try and get out.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vacuums, Bugs, and Fish

Still no vacuum. Niko had speech therapy this morning and the carpet was still messy so Jay played the human vacuum. He went around with a little cup picking up all the little pieces of fuzz and stuff all over the carpet. He did a great job. Thanks Jay!

Yesterday as I was taking Kim to work I noticed there were quite a few bees flying around at the end of our road. As I was driving back home with the windows down I felt something hit my throat and fall into my shirt. I was so sure it was a bee. I reached into my shirt and flipped it out onto my leg (glad that I wasn't on a busy road). I stopped in the middle of the road to throw it out the window before I got stung. Well, it wasn't a bee. I don't even know what kind of bug it was. It was bigger than a bee and it was black and red. Ewwww!

Justin's Cub Scout group went fishing yesterday. They had practiced casting a week ago and Justin could hardly wait to go fishing. Scouts was at 4:30 in the afternoon and he must have asked me ten times during the day if it was time to go or how long until it was time to go. About 4:00 he starting telling me how he was so excited to have a fish to play with and feed and take care of. Oh . . no . . .

Somehow we had failed to explain the concept of what fishing was about to Justin. So as carefully as possible I told him about the hook, catching the fish, the fish dieing from being out of the water, and the reason we go fishing: to eat.

You should have seen the sad look on his face. He couldn't believe it. For a few moments he looked as if he never would want to go fishing. Then the thought of holding the fishing rod, casting it into the water, and trying to catch a fish on the end was enough to regain his excitement. He was ready to go.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Two Birds

Two birds have been trying to build a nest in our front entry way. For several days Todd would go and spray it all down. But each day the birds were more determined. Now we are afraid there may be eggs in the nest so it will stay for now.

Every time I go out on the front steps, these two birds circle around the front yard waiting for me to leave so they can return and check out their nest.

Still No . . .

Still no vacuum.

Still no new sewing project.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Not Afraid to Talk with Women

Okay, if you are a male person please be forewarned that below are a couple of female pregnancy comments. If you are not comfortable with that kind of thing, stop reading now.

So I hear my husband, Todd, was out in the hall at church talking with a bunch of women about pregnancy. They were all telling their experiences and he joined right in about mine. He told one of my greatest "war" stories.

On the morning Kim was born we were at Target buying film for our camera. The film was in the back of the store, of coarse. I sat down for a minute because I was having a contraction. As I stood up there was a gush of water. And yes, I was wearing white pants. We left the store as fast as possible (laughing) and Todd made me sit on a plastic bag in the car. I was told, "When your water breaks it is usually just a trickle, very rarely does it gush. It probably will not happen to you." I guess I was one of the lucky rare ones!?!

Todd says he likes to talk with women because they talk about more interesting things than men do. Todd . . . a man who would rather talk about pregnancy than sports.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Now What?

I'm not very comfortable about writing down what is running around in my head today and having people actually read it. So I will write and then I will decide later if I will really publish this blog.

Watching Thomas walk around in his "boot" made me think back to the days I had to wear one for a while. I also began to think about where I was two years ago before the whole foot thing happened.

Two years ago I weighed 50 pounds less than I do today. I was eating healthier, doing cardio for 60 minutes (30 min. on the StairMaster, 20 minutes on the bike, and 10 minutes on the treadmill), 5 times a week and I was also lifting weights 3 times a week. I was pretty faithful for over a year. Then came the day when I decided to push myself a little more. I didn't have any extra time so I decided to increase my difficulty level. I went up a level on all three cardio machines on the same day. It felt great until just a few minutes after I left the gym. My foot hurt so bad I could hardly walk.

I had foot pain in the past but as I had lost weight and got in shape the pain gradually was gone, completely . . . until that day 2 summers ago. I went through months of having my foot taped by the doctor, getting shots of cortisone in my foot, ultrasound, wearing a brace while I slept, and finally ending up having surgery. I had crutches for a short while and then a walking boot similar to Thomas' boot for quite a while. But no exercise during all of this.

I have not had any foot pain for quite some time now. Yea!

So how do I get back to where I was two years ago. It seems like such a long road from here. I know that I was much healthier then, but more than that was how it kept me sane. That's what I need at this point in my life. I remember having more energy, being in more control, and being able to handle the everyday stresses easier. I truly believe exercise makes people feel better and handle life better. I want that.

Now what?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Girl's Night Out

The boys went on the ward Father and Son Campout . . . so us girls had a night out watching a movie in the park.

The Return of Peanut Butter

Friday, June 8, 2007

Rambling and Peanut Butter

Okay, I'm going to try and write this really fast while they are all eating breakfast.

I think besides my brain being numb when all of the kids are around, sometimes there is a bunch of stuff running around in my head, just nothing of significance, more of rambling . . .

Our vacuum died.

Kid interruptions right now: Erica splashed cereal in my eye . . . The house is cold . . . Niko is eating my cereal . . . Can I go get my blanket . . . Look at this cut on my finger . . . Can I take a bath . . . Can I have some more cereal . . .

Okay, that didn't last very long.

Our vacuum died. I really want to clean the floor. It is driving me crazy.

If I was writing my laundry list this week in my blog I would add 2 gummy worms.

What is almost as important as milk and ketchup to our family? Bread and Peanut Butter. We are out of both. I will either have to convince Thomas to babysit while I go to the store or we will go without for a little while longer. I don't think I want to make a trip with 5 kids to the grocery store.

I was going to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch yesterday. That is when I made the no bread and peanut butter discovery. We have quite a good food supply but peanut butter is something we don't keep enough on hand. I decided to make pancakes for lunch. I think this must be a first. We have had pancakes for dinner many times, but never for lunch. I almost had the peanut butter thing solved. Most of the kids are happy with just syrup on their pancakes but Kim loves peanut butter on hers. The only peanut butter she could find in the house was in the form of mini Recess Peanut Butter Cups, which she chopped up and pushed into her pancakes.

Other pictures from yesterday:

Niko's favorite outfit: Only a diaper and sunglasses

Kim and Amy in the Hot Tub

Niko tries to get a sip of Grandpa's soda.

There is definitely a little bit of rambling going on. I will try and get my thoughts together this summer. But there are no guaranties.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

School is Out

Life goes on. Will I have time to blog this summer? I hope so.

After writing the above sentence I have had 5 different children come into the office with a question or comment. One even got me off the computer for a whole half of an hour by asking to check their email “for just a second.” I may have to find a different time to blog like early in the morning.

Speaking of early morning . . . Almost everyday I have to drag the little kids out of bed to get ready for school before the are ready to get up at about 8:00 or 8:15 am. I was so excited to sleep in this morning. There was no alarm for Kim or Tom at 6:25 am and I knew the little kids would sleep in. So . . . on my first day to sleep in (I was hoping until 8:30 am) the kids were up at 7:15 am.

I also am wondering if I will know what to write this summer. When I am taking care of kids all day sometimes I feel brain dead, like I’m going through the motions but my head is numb.

Our calendar seems to jump from one extreme to another. The days are filled completely up or there is hardly anything on them at all. Today we were suppose to take Niko to a visit with his birth mom but she canceled. Kim was suppose to work today but the water park is closed due to weather. The only other thing scheduled is for me to pay bills today. And I think I’ll urge some children into cleaning.

I am really antsy to start another sewing project. I don't know if that can happen in the summer. Maybe I will try just a small project that will tide me over until fall. We will see . . .

Wow, this blog is longer than I thought. When I sat down to write I didn't think I had anything to say.

I was about to close this blog when Niko came into the office and decided to see what would happen if he flipped the power switch on the power strip. Thank goodness that blogger now automatically saves your draft every minute. I'll just make one more quick check to see what I lost.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Senior

We went to the high school graduation this past Saturday and Kim spent three late nights in a row hanging out with her graduating senior friends. It brought a reality check to my life . . .

I can hardly believe Kim is going to be a senior in high school. It is hard for me to think about her moving on in her life in the next couple of years. Actually, I try not to think about it because I become so emotional when I do think about it. She is an amazing young women and I enjoy having her around. It will be a hard day when she heads off to college.

I guess that is all I can write for now. It is hard to see the computer screen through my tears.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Bumps and Bruises

To all my children who received a bump or bruise this week:

If someone accidentally splits your lip open, you should ask him to kiss it better.

Maybe you should stick to baseball.

Even though the Bag Balm was originally meant for cows, it really will help with the chapping.

Don't forget to duck your head before sticking it in the dryer.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The End of Baseball Season

It is almost the end of baseball season at our house. Thomas and Justin are our players. Tournaments started today with single elimination. Justin's team lost. Thomas has another game on Monday because his team won today. Thomas didn't get to play today and will not play on Monday. After a couple of hours in the doctor's office and 3 x-rays yesterday we found out Thomas cracked one of the bones in his big toe.

He was playing football at mutual on Wednesday night and someone landed on his toe with their knee. He was in a lot of pain and couldn't move his toe or walk on it. He now has crutches and a walking cast/boot. So although he is done playing baseball he still gets to go to the games to support his team.

It is great to watch the boys play, but I am definitely grateful to not be running them around to practice and games all week long.

Friday, June 1, 2007

For Now

I always seem to feel like I can never catch up, do enough, or do it good enough. But for now I don't think I can do any more.