Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jeffster

Halloween is never far from our minds, at our house.  Emma and Elizabeth let me know what kind of costume they would like for next Halloween (on average) every 3 weeks.  It changes each and every time, so I am not going to start any projects just yet. 

This week Emma wants to be Mother Gothel, and Elizabeth wants to be Rapunzel.  Last time Emma wanted to be Rapunzel and thought Elizabeth would make a great Maximus and Daddy should be Flynn.  Other times the girls wanted to be fairies, rock stars, a doctor, spiders, witches, etc. etc. etc.

So the other night, after we put the kids in bed ('cause we actually can talk then), Ryan starts in on what he thinks a great costume for us would be: Jeffster-
I suppose since we were Chuck and Sarah from NBC's tv show "Chuck" last Halloween (you can see a picture of us here- if you scroll down a bit), Ryan thought we should keep with the theme. 

Would that make me Jeff or Lester? 

(And how dare Ryan suggest I could be either of those creepy dudes.  Ew!)

Miffed at my refusal to go along with his "great" idea, he thought I'd only be happy if he dressed like Sir Percy Blakeney:
Or even better, he could be the man of my dreams, Mr. Darcy:
I giggled to think of Ryan dressing in either of those costumes.  At least I would have an excuse to get myself a costume to go along with either of those two options.  :o)  It could be so fun! 

But then I told Ryan, if he really wanted to be the man of my dreams, it would be the easiest Halloween costume ever.  He wouldn't even need to dress up at all.

He is already.

Besides, if I wanted Mr. Darcy, I'd have to be a) fictional, and b) willing to go without cars, epidurals, the ability to own property of my own, modern health care, flushing toilets, sunscreen and jeans.  I'm not willing to go there.  Ever.

And can anyone picture Mr. Darcy changing diapers?  Helping with the dishes?  Joking around, trying to cheer me up after a long day? 

Yah, me neither.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Getting Tangled Again

On Tuesday, Ryan took my minivan in to get the brake pads replaced.  Ryan bought the brake pads at a local auto parts store, and then asked the auto shop class install them.  He brought my wheels back to me quickly that afternoon, after school and before parent teacher conferences started.  (Not that I had any plans to go anywhere.  I just could leave the house if I wanted to.  To buy milk at Safeway, or some such crazy outing with all the kids.)

When Ryan walked in, he found me like this:
 That's Rapunzel's hair, left over from Emma and Elizabeth's birthday party, and some crepe paper.

I think they got the idea from their new favorite movie-
And, perhaps, from the Rapunzel party games from two weeks ago.  Either way, Annie and Maddie spent a good 20 minutes tying, untying and retying me up again.  Anything to keep those kids happy!  Especially when they don't take their naps.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Huntin' for Candy

I'm not really sure how a celebration of the resurrection of the Savior turned into a day (or weekend, in our case) for finding and pigging out on as much candy as possible.  I felt like it was really taking our attention away from where we should be focusing this year.  Maybe it is because I have two children who are old enough to understand, and we were just missing it completely.   We did have our Monday night Family Home Evening lesson about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  However, with Elizabeth's birthday mid-week and Easter egg hunts galore over the weekend, we kind of missed sight of Easter. 

I think maybe next year, the Easter bunny will visit on the Saturday before.  This way we can enjoy the "fun" activities, but also be able to set Sunday aside for the important spiritual message of Easter season.

To start off our huge candy-gathering weekend, there was an egg hunt at the park for the non-school aged children after library story time on Friday.  This prepared Annie and Maddie for the whole rest of the weekend.
 (I forgot to hunt down the Easter baskets before I left Friday morning.  On the other hand, I still had gift bags out from Elizabeth's birthday that were very accessible.)
 Maddie was impressing me by how many jelly beans she could cram in her mouth.

On Saturday we were invited to two Easter egg hunts.  I'd said yes to one, and yes to a birthday party.  I didn't realize the birthday party was going to have an Easter egg hunt as well.  Honestly, the Easter Bunny didn't need to come by our house after all that.
 (Ta da!  I found the Easter baskets!)  Annie and Maddie by this time were real pros at finding eggs.
Elizabeth did quite well herself.  We asked her to share with some of the other kids who didn't get as much.  That's one thing I can say about Elizabeth- she isn't selfish.  She was happy to share. :)
 The kids got together and swapped favorite candy.  And ate, and ate, and ate.

After this, we went to the birthday party.  Our whole family was invited.  We were the largest family there, so between the egg hunt and the pinata, we brought home a serious bucketful of candy.  That was after we tried dumping handfuls into other kids' buckets.... 
Easter morning came.  The kids had Eggo waffles and candy for breakfast.  They thought they'd died and gone to heaven.  My mom instincts were cringing at the amount of sugar digested over the course of the weekend.  However, this was the nicest Sunday morning in I can't remember how long.  The kids were all pleasant and there was absolutely no whining or fighting or procrastinating when it was time to get ready for church.

I'm curious- if I give them candy for breakfast next Sunday, do you think they'd be that nice to me again? :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Elizabeth Turns 6

My second born has now reached the ripe old age of 6 years.  Some days this amazes me.  My chubby little baby has grown into a great big kindergartner who loves to run and play.

This year Elizabeth asked for a rainbow cake.  So I made one- complete with Skittles.  After all, you can't taste the rainbow without Skittles. :)

Ryan had to work late, so we hung out and had dinner while we waited for Daddy to come home.  
 Pizza and root beer- a feast worthy of our Elizabeth.  (Don't ask about the root beer bottle on her head.)
 Finally daddy came home, and Elizabeth was so excited to finally open her gifts.  Many of the pictures were blurry until I changed the camera setting to "sports."

Lastly, it was time for Elizabeth's rainbow cake.

Rainbows are delish.

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring

My tulips bloomed.  I am in heaven.
I won't bore anyone with any more pictures of our tulips.  But aren't they gorgeous?

While I was outside enjoying the sights of spring, the twins caught my eye.  Not in the usual way, running away or hitting each other with sticks, but this:
Awww.

(Annie standing on Maddie's toes I thought was a nice touch.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The low-point of the day

The Dear Husband is not here this evening.  He's bailed on us to be a part of the union bargaining team for our school district.  The usual 2-3 hour meeting has stretched to 5+ hours tonight, to deal with budget shortfalls for the upcoming school year.  So, I did homework, dinner, the Between Time (ugh, what to do with the troops after dinner but before bedtime?) and finally bed time alone.  All I can say is, Ryan had better not die anytime soon and leave me to do this on a regular basis.  I cringe at the thought.

Anyway.  So during that Between Time, I pulled out all the stops.  Popcorn, movie, a craft project for Emma...  (Please just don't fight!)  Our dinner of macaroni and cheese, and a vegetable, was seemingly not doing it for us tonight.  After the popcorn was gone, demands for more food were made: Marshmallows!  String cheese!  Candy!  Chocolate chips!

I gave permission for the string cheese.

Emma later found some candy she'd been given at the birthday party on Saturday.  I said a little was ok, so long as she shared. 

("MoooOOOOoom, she gave more to the twins than to me!")  At this point, the fighting began, and I kinda felt like I'd let them have enough snacks.

Maddie kept following me around saying, "More?  Cheese?"  I told her no, and that we were all done.  I turned around to do something, and then I felt a surge of pain in my rear end. 

She bit me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tangled, pt 2

In all, we had 12 kids in our house for the party.  6 friends, 4 of my own, 2 cousins, and a partridge in a pear tree.  (Joking!)
 We started with coloring pictures of Rapunzel (printed off the internet) until everyone arrived.  Then we made "lanterns" with construction paper, stickers, crayons and string.  (I like crafts- gives the kids something to take home.)
 Next we got "Tangled" in Rapunzel's hair -aka yellow streamers bought at the dollar store.  They LOVED this one.
 The twins couldn't just stand by and not participate.  Luckily mom and dad could partner up with them. :)
 I had the kids roll up their streamers so their partner could get wrapped up too.  But I did have a couple extra in case some of the streamers didn't quite make it.  'Cause there were a few...
Next was pin the frying pan on Flynn.
 Also a hit.  (har har har)
 Then it was lunch time!  These were "boats" made with blue jello and oranges, reminiscent of Flynn and Rapunzel watching the floating lanterns.

We had sandwiches with bagettes and cheese (and lunch meat).  
 Cake time!

Lastly it was time for gifts.  (My girls liked this party.  Obviously.) 

Whew, I'm glad it's over.  But it did go really well.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tangled Party

Today was Emma and Elizabeth's combined "friend" birthday party.  Since we are totally enthralled with Disney's Tangled movie, we had a Rapunzel party.  Most of my ideas came from the Supermom Moments blog, and Family Fun magazine online.  I had a lot of fun planning this party.  
The invites, made with my new Silhouette.
 Decorations and more decorations...

 Party favors.
The cake.  I looked at all kinds of nifty ideas online for a Rapunzel themed cake.  I saw many amazing tower-type cakes, but when it came down to it, I'm not going to spend that much time on a cake.  So I stacked two cake plates, and look!  A tower. :)
 Rapunzel's long tresses on the front door to greet guests.
I hung some lanterns too.  I used ribbon, instead of using some of Ryan's fishing line.  I almost used the fishing line.  But then that little voice inside my head said maybe living in a house of all girls, perhaps Ryan would not appreciate his "manly" objects being used for my craft projects.

I'll post pictures of the party and activities later.

(Here's the link to see the party and games.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stupid English Language

Last night while I was getting the kids to bed, Emma pipes up and asks me, "Mom, what's a void?"

Um, how to explain a "void."  I quickly did a check in my head to figure out what book she would have encountered that word, but was coming up short.  "Well, it's a place where there's nothing."  (Oh, I think quick on my feet, don't I?  Who wouldn't be able to understand that?)

"A void is what?"

"Just somewhere where there isn't anything."  (That should clear it up, right?)

"No, mom, that's not what a void means."

"Oh really.  And what does it mean?"  Miss smarty pants thinks she knows it all.  Humph.

"It means to stay away from!"

Daylight starts to glimmer.  She doesn't mean "a void;" she means "avoid."

Obviously.

And more....

Saturday dawned a bit too early (thanks to the kids), and frosty.  Once we finally dragged our tired selves outside (at about 9 am), I thought frost on the car said it was rather too chilly for a walk along the beach.  So we drove to Fort Clatsop- the Lewis and Clark fort.
The kids thought it would be fun to be pioneers.  For a day.

The nice park rangers gave Emma and Elizabeth each a little booklet to fill out so they could become Jr. Park Rangers.  They took it very seriously.
Emma and Elizabeth got their booklets completed and here they are being sworn in as Jr. Park Rangers.  They got certificates and badges to wear.  They wore their badges ALL day.
Afterwards we drove north to Astoria for lunch. 
After going across the bridge to Washington, we directly turned around and drove to Portland.  We were going to meet up with my in-laws for dinner there.  Or not, as it turned out.  :) 
We made good time to Portland, so we took a walk at the Portland temple before dinner.
 The twins found a drinking fountain.  They thought they were in heaven, and it took us a long time to tear them away.

 We took some time to do some duck watching.

Then it was dinner time, and the in-laws were still a few hours away.  We found our hotel, then went to the grocery store for some dinner.  We got the Albertson's deli meal deal- chicken, coleslaw and rolls.  Plus some strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.
 "Cheers"- fried chicken style.
 Whipped cream makes anything a dessert. 
 After dinner we put on bathing suits and went swimming.  Twin toddlers, a wishful 5-year-old swimmer and an 8-year-old who kinda swims and two adults...?  It's exhausting for the two adults.  The kids all needed to jump in, and someone needed to be there to catch and hoist up for the next round.  My arms were pretty sore the next day. 

There was a man there with his teen aged daughter and a couple of her friends.  Before they left, the man came over to tell me how much he enjoyed watching our family.  (Glad to provide free amusement.)  Then he went on to say that he admired our tenacity.  (Were my children just insulted?  I know we are energetic, but sheesh!)

At 8 o'clock, we packed our sogginess off to our room for baths.  I bathed all the children, and Ryan put the pjs on them.  That's when the phone call came that the in-laws had finally made it.  I was still semi-wet and running around in my bathing suit, so I quickly jumped in the shower shortly before they came in. 

The kids were all still very hyper from seeing Grandma and Grandpa, and aunts, uncle and cousins when everyone finally left our room at 9:30.  You'd think since it was already at least a hour and a half past their bedtime, the kids would just be too tired and fall asleep. 

Right.

So I laid down with them while Ryan showered.  3 of the 4 were mostly asleep when Ryan was done, so we headed back to the bathroom to watch more episodes of Castle while we waited for #4 to head off to dreamland.

Saturday morning found us at Ryan's aunt and uncle's house for breakfast, and getting the kids acquainted before we left them.  We got the kids set up with a movie downstairs, and then tiptoed out.  Emma and Elizabeth were fine with playing there for the day, but the twins (who function better on a predictable schedule) were extra clingy. 

Ryan and I joined his parents and siblings for Dave Ramsey Live in Portland.  We were there extra early, since it was general seating.  We saw the pre-show, plus all 5 hours of the regular show.  My rear end was complaining about the unusual inactivity after about 2 hours.  But Dave Ramsey is energetic, enthusiastic and had us laughing throughout.  We left with renewed enthusiasm for saving and investing, and paying off our house. 

I have to say though, that Ryan and I felt like we had a good handle on being frugal.  We by-passed the concession lines selling $3.75 bottles of water and $4 little hot dogs.  We snuck in our own bottles of water under our coats (since they were searching purses.  Lame!) and Ryan even managed to bring in a box of crackers during intermission.  :)