Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cherry Blossoms

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I get for spring.  I love spring.  There is sunshine, and the dead and brown world begins to show life again.  The spring temperature of the great outdoors reaches levels that allow me to do more than dash from one climate-controlled bubble to the next.

The cooler temperatures and shorter days of fall seem to be acceptable.  There is the excitement of Halloween, Thanksgiving and birthdays to look forward to, and then Christmas to decorate, plan and wrap for.  But once New Year's passes and school is back in session, I am dying for spring.

Earlier this week we loaded up the brood and took a drive in the minivan to see if there were any cherry blossoms.  We found a few early ones!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Peace and Quiet

It's parent-teacher conference time: meaning long evenings with daddy at work.  I put the twins to bed at 7:30, but told the older two girls that they could read or play quietly in their room until 8 pm.  I figured this would give me a good chance to get the kitchen cleaned up and rid the living room of popcorn seeds.

First there was the pitter-patter of 8-year-old feet to the bathroom.  "MOOOooooOOOmm, I know I just went like 4 minutes ago, but I had to go again!"

Then it was the clomp clomp of slightly smaller feet.  "Mom, I only have 3 stuffed animals.  I need 1 more to make 4."  (Good math Elizabeth.)  So she ran down to get one, and came back with an armful.

(Threats of the bedroom light going off if anyone came out again.)

Moderate amounts of giggles and sounds of fun emanated from the hall, which was fine since I could still hear the twins playing in their room too.

Then I started hearing THUMP-thump, THUMP-thump, THUMP-thumps.  I entered Emma and Elizabeth's room to find Emma's new jump rope being put to use.  Ok, guys.  Really?  How is this quiet?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Emma's Special Day

Yesterday was wonderful.  One of the best yet- the day my first born was baptized.  We were so blessed to have so many of our relatives come for the day to celebrate with us.  Our small house was filled to the brim, and we will be eating left-overs for a couple of days but I wouldn't have it any other way.
 We did build-your-own burritos for lunch, and bbq pork sandwiches for dinner.
 Aunt Janelle ended up at the kids' table.  And little Alex grabbed Maddie's pink sippy cup....

 Emma and Ryan in their white clothing.

We started in the Relief Society room, but the family and friends of the two girls getting baptised became too numerous for that smaller area.  So we were escorted to the chapel, where just our family members took two entire rows.  Emma's school teacher came, and many of our friends.  Emma's baptism and confirmation was done by her dad, with Bishop Linde, Bishop Ricks, her two grandpas, Uncle Michael, James W. and Uncle Ron in attendance for the confirmation.
Afterwards we headed back to our house for dinner.

 The party winding down.  The twins went without their nap yesterday, and did quite well.  Towards the end of the day, I broke out the binkies though.
Today Emma went to church in her new white dress and shoes.  She looks so grown up.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mayhem

While unloading the dishwasher this morning, the twins were in the kitchen "helping."  They haphazardly stacked all the cups together, and dumped the silverware in the silverware drawer (they can't see into the drawer when the dishwasher is open, which blocks any chair that could be pulled over). 

While I was putting the plates and bowls away in a cupboard, I heard words that sounded strangely like, "Poke. Poke. Poke." and then an, "Ow."  I turned back around and discovered Maddie stabbing her twin's arm with a fork.

On a positive note, Maddie added a new word to her vocabulary.

----
Later I jumped in the shower.  I was feeling selfish about the bathroom's warm air, so I locked the bathroom door as soon as I was in.  For some reason if the door isn't locked, then it is open and I freeze.  I know bad things happen when I am in the shower, so I hurried.  Fast.  But that didn't stop Mayhem from visiting.  (Like those commercials for Allstate Insurance, where the guy in a suit wreaks havoc around him.  I swear he visits here way more than he should.)

So I leave the bathroom less than 10 minutes after I entered it and Annie is sans a diaper.  But she does have big girl underwear on.  Two pairs, actually.  And Every. Single. Item. of clothing that was in the twins' dresser is on their floor.

Arg.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Springtime

Dear Springtime,

I've missed you and your sunshine dreadfully.  I was so happy to see our daffodils bloom Monday morning, seemingly right on cue.
 I was getting desperate for springtime color, so I had taken to making my own:
 (If anyone else would like to make their very own tissue paper cherry blossoms, click here.  They are super easy and cost me $1.)
Saturday night at about 7:30 pm, I got a text from my mother-in-law reminding us of the "Super Moon" that was due to rise around 8 pm.  After putting the kids to bed, Ryan and I grabbed our coats, shoes, and the camera and headed outside prepared to be amazed.  We were not at that time.  Due to the cloudy conditions, this picture was taken around 9 pm, when the moon was slightly more visible.  It was really bright from what we could see of it. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Way Back When

One night over dinner Ryan and I regaled our captive audience with tales of all the things that are new since we were born.

"I remember getting our first computer."
"Yah, and playing exciting DOS games like... Pacman."

"I remember my parents getting their first microwave."

"I remember the first cordless phone."

"Remember how chunky those first cell phones were?"

"I remember when we first brought home a VCR."

"Back when I was little, we didn't have CDs or DVDs."

This conversation apparently really dated us in our children's eyes.  Ever since then I get questions about other things that Emma or Elizabeth think might be new since I was a little girl.

"Mommy, did they have paper when you were little?"

"Daddy, did they have cars when you were a kid?"

"Did you have a tv?"

"When did they start making books?"

"Did you cook on a stove or over a fire?"

In Emma and Elizabeth's eyes, our lives must have been like Little House on the Prairie when we were small.  Perhaps this qualifies the grandmas and grandpas for the status of remembering Noah's ark.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What Isn't For Dinner

The other night while trying to come up with dinner ideas, I ran across an open bag of bought frozen rolls.  I couldn't honestly remember the last time I purchased any.  (Maybe in the last year...??)  I was just going to quietly chuck the bag in the trash, but the hubby thought we should give them a chance.

I left them thawing on the counter for a bit, and while they were losing their frozen state, rising they were not.  So Ryan tried the "quick-thaw" method with a pan of hot water in the oven.  We would have nice, warm, fresh rolls after the kids went to bed.

Fast forward to snack-time the following day.  I was making brownies for our company on St. Patrick's Day and preheated the oven.  When I opened the oven to put in the brownie batter, the most sorry excuse for a pan of rolls met my eyes.  They looked like half-baked blobs of pancake batter.

So I pulled them out of the oven and baked my brownies.

Later when Ryan got home, I pointed out our pathetic forgotten rolls which I had just left on the stove.  Ryan reheated the oven and finished cooking them so we could have them with our dinner.

Aren't they attractive?
We all tried a bite or two, and later they finished the journey I laid out for them when I pulled them from the freezer- to the trash.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sunshine!

We went to the park because it was such a nice day.  

Annie and Maddie tried to go up the slide.... and didn't quite make it.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Erin Go Bragh

We had our traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner of corned beef, boiled cabbage, carrots and potatoes.  I threw them all in the crockpot at lunch time, so the house had that distinctive corned beef smell when everyone came home.  I also whipped up some homemade (green) lemonade and brownies (not green).
 We all showed our Irish spirit today with our green shirts. :)
The chocolate brownies were not very festive, so I made some mint flavored whipped cream and frosted my brownies.  Yummm.....

A Visit from the Wee Folk

We got another visit from our Little People friends.  Emma and Elizabeth took time before bed last night to make a couple of leprechaun traps.  They were sure they'd be able to catch one so they could get their hands on a pot of gold.  There were lots of serious faces and plans of what they'd do with the riches once they caught their leprechaun.

Last night came and went, and this is what we found this morning:
 The foot prints started in the kids' room and led all the way to the kitchen and beyond.  There were foot prints in the bathroom, living room, on the tv, on the dishwasher, the front door and numerous other places.
 I think the leprechauns were insulting Emma and Elizabeth's first trap attempts.  There's nothing like foot prints inside the trap to mock you.
 The other trap was checked too, I guess.
 We were left with some Rolo's to ease the pain of not catching a leprechaun.
The kids were beyond excited this morning to find the green foot prints all over the place.  (I mean Christmas and birthday excited.) They were hoping they would be led to a pot of gold, but aside from the Rolo's, all we got was a carton of green milk.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baptism

(This is mostly for those of you related to me and mine.)

Emma's baptism is coming up on March 26th.  Email me (or facebook) for time and place if you are interested in coming.  We are planning on having a get-together (with food!) for those who are driving over for the day as well.

Hope to see you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sleepers

Now that Annie and Maddie have their toddler beds, they have free reign of their room at all times.  So far this hasn't been a bad thing.  I had several visions of emptied dresser drawers running through my over-active imagination, but so far, this hasn't come to pass.  (Knock on wood.)  During sleep time, I hasten to add.  They've been emptying out their dresser drawers once a week at least for the past year +, but only during waking hours. 

What they have been doing, is both falling asleep in Annie's bed:
Like their pjs in the second picture?  Well, Emma and Elizabeth were wearing some of my old t-shirts and Annie and Maddie wouldn't give us peace unless they got mommy's old t-shirts too.

Ryan has been moving Maddie back to her own bed before we go to sleep.  Figured it would be silly to let one kick the other awake any earlier than they've been waking up lately....

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Great to be Eight

One night, several years ago, there was a new mom with a small, squalling, dark-haired baby girl.  This mom rocked her little girl back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  And while she rocked her, she sang:

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
So long as you LET ME SLEEP!"

That little baby girl grew.  She grew and she grew and she grew.  She grew until she was 3 years old.  She cut all of her beautiful long hair off.  She refused to try to potty train, and take naps.  And she would always steal her new little sister's binky.

But when that little toddler finally crashed for the night, her mom would sneak into her room, stroke her hair and sing this song,

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living.
I'm glad you aren't a baby anymore."

That toddler grew.  She grew and she grew and she grew.  She grew until she was 8 years old.  She occasionally cleaned up after herself.  She loved to read.  She would help with her younger sisters.  She could carry on intelligent conversations.

Her parents both were ecstatic to think that someday she would be fully house-trained.  :)  And wondered what the next 8 years would bring.
I made the banner last night- cut out all those letters by hand, after a really long day.  And then I realized too late the blue paper was a wee bit too busy to see the letters.  Emma liked it though. 
Emma was awake at 6 am and kindly woke Elizabeth up on her way out of the bedroom to see if it was time to open presents up yet.  (It wasn't.)  But it was after school. 
She quickly made herself comfortable on the couch with her new book from her great-grandma.

We had Chinese take-out for dinner, followed by the movie "Barbie and the Mermaid Tale" (A rental- thank goodness.  Not one of the better Barbie movies by my standards.).
Lastly, it was cake time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Scones and a Disaster

The other night scones were sounding really good.  A quick search on Google pointed me in the direction of this recipe for jam filled scones.  They didn't sound too difficult, so I got the flour, sugar and butter out and away I went.  The sounds of food being made attracted Elizabeth's attention, and pretty soon my helper had pulled her chair up to the counter and was demanding I let her help. 

Sadly, around this time my measuring cup met its end:

This measuring cup (along with with its counterparts- 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 cups) was among our first wedding gifts.  I'm telling you, once you get almost to that 10 year mark, your stuff starts falling apart.  The towels and kitchen stuff are all showing wear....
The good news is, the scones were amazing.  Unfortunately the scones were not as pretty as the picture attached to the recipe, but those scones probably didn't have 2 and 5-year-olds helping make them.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wishes

We had the opportunity to go to the 1 year birthday party for a very special boy Tuesday night.  (I wrote a little about Cannon and his diagnosis of Menkes disease a while back in this post.)  It was a grand and memorable celebration.  Somewhere in the vicinity of 80 people turned out to wish Cannon a happy birthday.  After enjoying cupcakes, ice cream and other goodies, we all braved the freezing temperatures to send off approximately 60 wish lanterns after singing the Happy Birthday song.  The floating lanterns represented wishes everyone wrote for the birthday boy.  The written wishes were for a time capsule to be opened at a later time.
It was beautiful.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

The elementary schools here celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday for a whole week.  During that week, the kids have dress-up days, activities and "Drop Everything And Read" times. 

This is Elizabeth's Wacky Wednesday ensemble:
 She asked for her hair to look like that.

Emma had Inside, Outside, Upside Down day:
Emma's ensemble includes a short sleeved shirt over leggings, an inside out shirt and capri- length leggings on her head.  She had a pair of old shoes for her hands that she grabbed on her way out the door too.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pinewood Derby

Last Friday morning at play group I was asked if we were going to the Pinewood Derby that evening (family version).  Ryan was given his racer to personalize a couple weeks beforehand, but alas, with all of the sickness and other stuff going on, we'd forgotten the date was coming up.  I sent Ryan a text, and he was certain he could whip up something after work.   While I was out getting my hair cut.  (Seriously, it's been like 9 months and I needed it.)

So Ryan set to work with his saw, power drill, acrylic paints and my hair dryer with ALL of his little helpers.  The girls picked the colors, and some super sparkly, glittery finish to gloss over the whole thing.  Ryan got a casing from a 30-06 and put it on front to give it a more "masculine" touch.

There were 25 entries, Little Caesar's pizza and pop- recipe for a serious Derby party.  Note to self though- we may need to spend a little more time on next year's model.  We weren't the absolute worst, but almost.