Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Family Pictures

I was feeling that itch again.  The one where I lie in bed at night obsessing about clothing.  This is not something I generally spend more than about two minutes on over the course of a day.  But here I'd be, mentally running down a list of the kids' clothing and what I have (that's somewhat cute) that might match.  Do we go all matchy-matchy?  Do we just try to coordinate?  How many colors?  Can I do this without buying anything?  Will the kids cooperate?  How do I bribe them to smile?  Then there's shoes to try and match, and hair to do.  Ah, family portraits, how you haunt me.

Here we are, recorded for all to see:
We drove around our town looking for a new "backdrop" and decided the cemetery had some amazing fall colors.  But then, you know, we were taking pictures in the cemetery.  I started joking about leaving my Wuthering Heights costume at home.  Ryan took it from there, saying we ought to have our picture taken in front of the headstones. 
"I See Dead People.  Merry Christmas."

O Christmas Tree

Monday, November 28, 2011

We Are Thankful

Early on in the month of November, we had a family home evening lesson on being thankful.  (November-Thanksgiving-we should be thankful....Not a huge surprise that should be the topic, right?)  We talked a little about the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers, and only 1 actually taking the time to go back and say, "Thank you."  Our activity for the evening was to think about all the things we are thankful for, and write them on the leaves I had cut out earlier in the day, and stick them to the front door where we would see them everyday, hopefully reminding us to be thankful for all of our blessings.
We are thankful for clothes, family, love, numbers (this was one of Elizabeth's), fall leaves, blankets (one of Maddie's), parents, the car, books, music, and Ryan's job.  And several others things that I am not remembering right now. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

This year we did something a little different.  The first Kannely grandson was due the day after Thanksgiving, and when he was ready to make his appearance, Ryan's mom said she was headed to see him (and his parents too obviously).  This would make for a tricky holiday dinner if she wasn't there to make and host it, not knowing when exactly Baby would come.  So, we offered to host this year.  
This was our snack lunch at noon, since the big meal was served at 2:30.
Coloring time
Rick and Kim brought a banquet table with them, so we pushed the two tables together for a giant square-ish table.  Even so, it was a little squishy with 14 people crammed in.  It was good 6 of them were on the smaller side.
(Megan and Elizabeth finishing off the cranberry sauce)
The weekend before Thanksgiving, I was watching America's Test Kitchen on PBS and the whole show was dedicated to traditional Thanksgiving dishes.  One of the tips was to cook the turkey upside down for the first two hours, to keep the breast meat from going dry.  So, we tried it.  Flipping a giant, hot bird isn't as easy as it sounds (and it doesn't sound all that easy), but the results were great.
Here's the result of one of the projects the kids (and some adults) did- some very colorful hand turkeys!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Featured Blogger

Today I am the featured blogger at Multiples and More.  Click here to read my interview. 

For those of you visiting, thanks for stopping by!

(Added later- my interview)
The featured blogger this week is Danae of Our Little Women. Danae is the proud MoM of 8 year old Emma, 6 year old Elizabeth and 3 year old twins, Annie and Maddie. I love her blog and I love the story behind the title even more.
What made you decide to start a blog?
About 4 years ago, we didn’t (and don’t now) live very close to any of our extended family and I was often being pestered for pictures of our girls. It seemed like “everyone” had a family blog, so I decided to start one too. As it turns out, the blog has been a great way to record our family adventures and the funny stories that pop up all the time with 4 small children. When I started the blog, we only had our two “singletons” so I was able to record my journey of being pregnant with twins. I’m not sure I really need to remember waking up at night feeling like I couldn’t breathe from the pressure from the twins, but it’s been recorded anyway!
Were you surprised to find out you were pregnant with twins?
That doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. I had some persistent “spotting” at 8 weeks, so I went in for an ultrasound. The technician snooped around for a while and then says, “There is a heartbeat right there…. and another heartbeat over here.” As this information sunk in, my husband Ryan started laughing hysterically and I think I went into panic and shock. I wasn’t sure I was necessarily ready for child #3 (I had just begun thinking I might be ready for another baby and voila!) and we were going to multiply that by 2.
How did Emma and Elizabeth adjust to having two new sisters?
Pretty well. They love their baby sisters very much. (Often we were worried about the twins receiving too much love… 3-year-olds are only so gentle.) Having Mom and Dad’s attention spread thinner than usual was harder to adjust to. Elizabeth started having accidents again, and Emma was a bit moody. There were days that Ryan would get home from work, and all 5 females would be in tears. It got a lot better when Annie and Maddie were sleeping more at night and I felt like I was able to give more attention to the older girls again. It’s amazing what sleep can do!
I love the story behind your blog title, can you share the meaning with everyone?
We have 4 daughters. This is something that strangers are kind enough to point out when we leave the house as a group. It’s touching how their sympathy reaches out to Ryan with words of encouragement like, “teenagers,” “boyfriends,” “hormones,” and “bathrooms.”
A few months ago I wanted to move our blog to a new address (something without our last name in it) so I had to think of a new name for my blog. Well, I love to read and the book, “Little Women” came to mind. In the book, the March family had 4 girls, and I have 4 girls…. It was perfect. This is the story of my own Little Women. However, our stories tend toward the humorous rather than the touching.
What are some of your favorite family activities?
We like to have fun and do silly things together like have crazy hair day (even Dad sometimes participates), or play card games (Uno, anyone?). We like to go to the park, go for walks and read books together. Right now my two eldest girls and I are reading book 1 of the Percy Jackson series. The kids love to help cook, so we will make cookies or cupcakes and leave them on the doorsteps of neighbors and friends.
What would you do with an extra hour in your day (no kids, no chores, no anything)?
Oh my goodness. So many choices! I would love to read a book, or talk uninterupted on the phone to a friend, exercise without someone climbing on me, or do one of the craft projects I’ve bookmarked to do “someday.” Although, those craft projects usually take more than an hour.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

1st Hair Cut

I came to the conclusion that it was time for Annie and Maddie to have a hair cut.  I put it off for a long time because once the baby curls are cut- they are gone for good.  Once Emma and Elizabeth had their curls cut off, they never came back and I was sad.  My babies are 3-years-old now and their hair was decidedly long:
Annie went first.  I sat her up on the table and put a movie on the laptop.  Ryan was there to help make sure she didn't tilt her head.  I cut off a couple of inches and then moved on to Maddie, who spend the whole of Annie's haircut asking when it was her turn.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Breaking Dawn

Ok, this post is pretty much me bragging.  You've been warned.

Ryan and I went on a date last night.  We drove with another couple to a city an hour away, ate dinner at Panda Express with 2 more couples and then saw Breaking Dawn part 1 in the movie theater.  Yep, we were 2 out of the zillion people going to the movies last night.  The grocery store parking lot across the street from the theater was full.

We got to bypass the long lines of people waiting outside the theater in the bitter cold, and past the people in their tents who are clearly waaaay more enthusiastic about the Twilight series than I am.  We were given green Special Engagement wristbands and walked in for a 7:45 pm showing before the movie was officially released at midnight.

Neener neener.  I am way cool.

Actually, I'm not that cool.  But we do have connections.  :)  So does our Bishop and his wife, and about 5 other couples from church aside from the 3 couples we came with.  There were practically enough there for a ward activity....  And then a bunch of other people I didn't know.

The movie was pretty good.  There were a few cringe-worthy moments, but perhaps not as many as other Twilight movies.  The sparkly vampire thing was kept to a minimum.

I could tell Ryan really enjoyed the movie because he kept saying things like, "Really," "You'd better not complain the next time I choose a movie, " and, "I can do that" anytime powers of super-human strength or speed were displayed on the screen.  He also joked around with other husbands about taking blackmail photos of them there at the movie.  Sheesh.  Secretly, though, I KNOW he loved it and was just afraid to admit it.

On another note, I found this picture on Pinterest.  Ryan thought it would make an awesome t-shirt to wear to the Breaking Dawn premier, but I never got around to making it:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Good and the Bad

It was another one of "those" days.  During my morning shower, Annie and Maddie ate something near a dozen cookies (together, not each) from up on the kitchen counter.  Maddie took her yogurt at lunch down to her bedroom and spilled it over her floor.  The little sweetheart made sure she hit her area rug in addition to the hardwood.  And the wall.  And the floor in the hall (my first clue something was up.)  And once I got them in their room for nap (again, and again, and again, and finally locked in), my van inexplicably started honking.  Repeatedly. 

Maddie had stolen my car keys.

I think it must have happened after I took Emma and Elizabeth to school, had carried Maddie inside and dumped my purse on the floor before going back to grab Annie.

On the bright side, Annie has begun a new way to address me.  She will curtsy and call me, "Your Highness."

I like it.  I think maybe all the girls should address me as, "Your Highness" when they want something.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Who-ville Pancakes

The other day I got a call.  Would we mind dressing up like "Who girls and boy" and being video taped setting our table for Christmas dinner?  In other words, would we mind looking absolutely ridiculous for the sake of our ward Christmas party a month away?  This would be one part of the new Grinch movie someone was putting together for the ward Christmas party.  We were left to our own devices to make ourselves look like "Who's" and what to put on our Christmas table.  So we found the nice place settings, fancy glasses, candlesticks and tablecloth, and made our hair look kind of crazy and made our 4 minute movie clip.

Once that was all done, we had a very nice looking table and it was dinner time.  Rather than put it all away, we got out a bottle of Martinelli's cider to fancy-up our hum-drum pumpkin pancake dinner.
I am curious to see how this Grinch movie turns out. 


Ryan's livestock obsession is getting a little out of control.  What started as a few quail in our backyard has quickly multiplied into something like 50+ quail.  They are no longer in our backyard however, but have moved to the high school.  Batch #2 are now old enough to lay eggs, so he's getting 11+ eggs every day.  He's figured out how to hard boil these at school to supplement his lunch.  But he's been dying to make the itty bitty quail eggs into deviled eggs.

So, we finally did.
(The store bought chicken egg in the picture to give you an idea of size.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Last Saturday we had some family over to celebrate Annie and Maddie's birthday.  There was food and fun and lots of visiting. 

Just some of the decorations I made for their birthday.  In the right hand corner you can see the cardstock "chandelier" that hung from the light fixture. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Twins Turn Three!

Last week we celebrated 3 years since Annie and Maddie joined our family. 

On Thursday, after we took Emma and Elizabeth to school, we had a full day.  We painted finger and toe nails.  We watched a Tinkerbell movie.  We read books and sang songs.  And most importantly, they helped me make (healthy) pumpkin cupcakes.   

Emma and Elizabeth insisted that Annie and Maddie wanted Chinese food for dinner, so we made dinner-time entertainment for others at a local Chinese place.  (Annie sat by dad and Maddie by mom, then switch, then switch again, Annie had to go potty twice, spilled water, twins stood on chairs, kids wanted more food, musical chairs again...)
When we got back Annie and Maddie opened their gifts and we sang Happy Birthday to them.
Happy birthday girls!  I love you so much.

Falling Leaves

We had our first real frost last week.  Two of the trees in our backyard thought that was the signal to drop all of its leaves.  Over the course of two days, those trees lost about 80% of their leaves.  
Ryan and the girls went outside after school to rake up play in the leaves.
The rakes did get used- to make a big pile to throw up in the air, and bury sisters. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hand-Me-Down Clothing

Last night someone brought us three bags of hand-me-down clothing.  This friend has a daughter about a year older than Emma, and are kind enough to pass down clothing when it has been out grown.  I like to "proof" the clothing before the kids see it, so I can weed out anything I choose. 

Alas, I did not get to it before the kids got up this morning and zero-ed in on the new clothing.

I didn't say anything when Emma left for school in a leopard print shirt, purple knit pants and a plaid frost-free vest (the vest did have some purple in it).  But I made a mental note that I definitely needed to go through those bags while the kids were at school.

So, I did.  I put away about 1 1/2 bags worth of clothing in Emma's drawers, closet or the summer clothing box, and the rest went in the "give-away" pile.  The rest was either too wide (Emma is super skinny), too worn or let's just say it doesn't-fit-my-idea-of-attractive to stay.

Emma skipped inside after school and went looking for the clothes she left all over her bedroom floor.  She soon came back again, asking what happened to a particular pair of pants.

(Before I go on, this older friend of Emma's takes dance classes and some of the things left at our house are clearly dance costumes.)

This specific pair of pants she was looking for were bright turquoise, shiny and had some black mesh over some parts.  They also matched a skirt (turquoise under, black mesh over and trimmed in fuchsia sequins) Maddie had adopted and worn most of the day.  There was also a matching leotard and fingerless black mesh gloves.  The skirt stayed for the dress-up box, but the rest got laid to rest in the give-away pile.

"What?!?!" Emma cried, "How could you?  That was my favorite!  You are so mean!"  Then she ran back to her room in tears.

Ryan looked at me and said, "Are you sure it's not too early?"

"Yes, it's a little bit soon for PMS," I said.  "I think."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Crafts for fall

I wanted to put up a picture of the pumpkins the kids made before I forgot about it.  Again.  They made these a couple of weeks ago...
The ones in the middle were my idea- and are made from egg cartons, orange paint, construction paper, hot glue, and black Sharpies.

The pumpkins on the ends were made from construction paper; tutorial found here at Craftaholics Anonymous.  Some of ours ended up a little wonky- but I figured it just adds to their character, right?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Twins

I was amused this year to see we had some matching costumes.  Emma and her friend Luci were (somewhat) surprised to see they had chosen the same character to dress-up as for Halloween at the Trunk or Treat.  
 Two studious, brunette girls who like the Harry Potter series....  Hm, probably not too surprising they both chose Hermione. :)

Emma and Elizabeth both got to take their Halloween costumes and had junk food and candy-filled parties at school yesterday.  So instead of going trick-or-treating and getting even more candy, we were fuddy-duddies and went to a dinner party.  Maddie and Kennedy were both Snow White.
Ryan brought home two FFA jackets after school yesterday for us to wear to the dinner party.  Ryan has been an Ag teacher and FFA advisor for how many years now- 7+? -and I finally wore the FFA emblem. 
I don't have anything against the FFA blue and yellow.  It's just since I am neither a high school student or FFA advisor, opportunities just don't come up much.

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween!