Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hand Me Down Clothes

My kids get so excited when another bag of hand-me-down clothing comes home with Daddy.  There is a lady with twin girls a couple of years older than my twins at the school where Ryan works, and they've been so kind in sharing their clothes when they are outgrown.  Annie and Maddie had a fashion show with their new threads.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Snippets From My Day

This morning I took Elizabeth to the doctor's office.  I took her in to prove Elizabeth has enough wheezing to warrant the use of an inhaler.  It would be nice to have when we are out hiking or camping, or even one of those middle of the night, "Mom (wheeze wheeze) I'm having trouble breathing (wheeze wheeze)."  I'm not very kind at 2:30 in the morning.  Early Sunday morning, I plugged Elizabeth into the nebulizer, and sat on the opposite end of the couch so I wouldn't breath in the albuterol.  After a game night with friends and getting to bed late, the last thing I wanted was to get jittery myself and not be able to sleep.

As it turns out, the Elizabeth's cold has gone into bronchitis.  We got the inhaler, and more medicine and tubing to take home.  

Before we left the doctor's office, Ty apologized for practically ignoring us at Costco a couple of weeks ago.  As he was talking to a sales person at the Verizon counter and had two kids with him, we kind of figured the most polite thing would be to leave him alone after saying hi.  I told him he should feel bad.  Can't you see we are totally more important than discussing cell phone problems?  (haha)

Then Ty asked if all of our kids didn't like asparagus.  I figured he was referring to this picture I posted on Facebook last night:
(Maddie trying to "sneakily" give that pesky asparagus away.)

Maddie is the only one of the family who doesn't like that particular vegetable.  All of a sudden, Annie disappeared from the table, and I heard something going on under the table.  Once I saw what was happening, they stopped.  I grabbed the camera, and told them to do it one more time.  I'm sure I'm teaching the kids it's ok to be naughty as long as they are cute about it.  Annie loves asparagus, and was happy to eat the left-overs.

After dinner tonight, Emma wanted her eyebrows plucked for the first time, mostly in that "unibrow" area.  She's a bit of a wuss, and Elizabeth kindly offered to let Emma squeeze her hand when she was hurting.  After a while, Elizabeth excused herself to lotion her hands and arms.  (Annie and Maddie were applying copious amounts to their skin while my attention was on Emma's face, and had plenty to share.)  When Elizabeth came back to let Emma squeeze her hand again, Emma complained she couldn't get a good grip.  (Touche' Elizabeth.)

When Ryan got home from work, Maddie was howling on the stairs while I read Hook's Revenge to the other girls.  He surprised me by arriving home a half hour early.  (Before 8!  Yay!)  I was only too happy to let Maddie fuss about not getting "her spot" on the couch, away from me until she could calm down.  Ryan was kind enough to listen to her sob story (told yet again) and help her to calm down.  Then he held her while she listened to the last few pages of the chapter.

It must be nice to be the dad and come home to the frazzled mom and be a calming influence.  I know I am grateful for him.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Ryan surprised us today by bringing home masks that look like they belong to Mardi Gras.  The theme for Prom this year is Masquerade, and the prom committee were selling masks for revelers dancers.  Even though none of us are going to prom, we still had fun with the masks.
 (top- Emma, Elizabeth   bottom- Annie, me, Maddie)
 We've been dealing with some spring time colds.  Elizabeth has been struggling with her breathing, so the nebulizer is one of our family room decorations again.
Elizabeth liked her mask so much, it stayed on all evening.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


I spend a couple of mornings a week in Maddie's classroom, helping out.  5 and 6 year olds are so funny.  I had to take a picture of this paper of what the kids "know" starting the unit on caterpillars and butterflies.
Some of the sentences are pretty standard- they eat leaves, climb trees, and turn into butterflies.  My favorites are:

-Whatever they eat, that's the color they turn into.
-They are little animals and turn into a round raccoon.
-They eat ham with cheese and egg.

I don't know how teachers don't just burst into laughter at some of the things kids say.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

One Decade Old!

This is only a place holder post, until I get the pictures from the camera uploaded to the computer.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Wise Birthday Party

James and Tiffany's kids all have their birthdays in April.  They decided to do a combined party for all the kids, and we were invited.  After dinner, there was a pinata for the kids.  I think the dads get just as much of a kick out of the pinata as the kids do.  Maybe for different reasons, however.  Ryan had one line of the rope, standing up on the tree house.  Job had the other, and that pinata got some good swinging.
 The kids were lined up, youngest to oldest to take their turns.  So out of my kids, Maddie went first.
 Elijah's scout bandana got some good use tonight.

Emma was the very last one of the thirteen kids.  After her, all three of the birthday kids got a couple more tries without a blindfold.  By the time Elijah was done, the candy was ready.

Then it was cake and presents, and play time.  It was so nice to get together with people.  It has not been happening as much as I wish it would.

Museum Open House...

...And Asparagus Festival.  I didn't even know we had an Asparagus Festival before today.  It was a let down as far as that went- the asparagus from the one booth there at the museum was all gone by 2 pm.  As we still have asparagus in our fridge, we weren't disappointed.  We actually went for the museum open house.  We've lived here for almost 11 years, and we had never been to our local museum.  
There were free paletas, so we had some after our tour.  The kids had watermelon or strawberry flavored paletas, Ryan had coconut, and I had cookies and cream.  Mmmm.

Emma was at a MESA convention/competition.  That's why she wasn't in the picture.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Balls of Fluff

Today is hatching day.  Well, maybe just round one of a couple of weeks of hatching eggs.  The kids get very excited to see the baby chicks.

 Once Ryan got home, we set up an old swimming pool with shavings and a warming lamp for the cute balls of fluff.
I have to enjoy them when they are small and cute, and you can hold them.  Once they are grown up, I find I have to arm myself against attacking roosters.  We currently only have two roosters, but they can be wicked.  I don't consider myself a violent person, but I've had to beat down the white rooster a few times.  And I don't feel bad about it.  I hate it when he tries to attack me from behind.  When he went after Maddie, I chased him for quite some time trying to beat him.  I'm sure it was amusing for the neighbors to watch me running all around the field with a 1 x 2 stake after that darn bird.

Monday, April 13, 2015

In which Annie masters using the telephone

I ticked Annie off.  Truthfully, I'm not exactly sure what is was that made her mad, but something did.  I probably did something awful like tell her, "No more snack.  I'm going to make dinner now."  You know, something atrocious like that would set anyone off.  Especially when it follows things like, "Eat over the table," "Stop dropping crumbs on the floor," "Only nice words, please," and, "You don't need any more crackers."

Annie shouted at me, "You're mean!  I'm going to call Dad!"

I had to ask, "What number are you going to call?  Do you remember Dad's phone number?"

Annie looked insulted.  She told me what she remembered, which was close, but forgot the two 5's in a row.  I made sure she got it right, and she called her dad.

Annie got right to the point, "Mommy is so mean!  You need to come home right now!"

To his credit, Ryan did come home relatively quick after that.  I was happy to have him home. But today when Annie was mad I wouldn't let her play games on my phone, she went back over to the counter, grabbed the phone and called her dad.

This is going to be a "thing" now, I guess.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

In which the kids learn how to insult each other silently

Ryan is currently teaching a group of Special Ed kids as one of his horticulture classes.  This is the second year he's had this type of class, and he's done a good job.  This is also the second time he's had a deaf student, and Ryan's goal is to learn one word in sign language a day.  He's worked up a pretty good vocabulary.

One day Ryan came home with a couple of new words to share around the dinner table.  "Pig" and "dirty" are very similar signs, both essentially waving your fingers under your chin.  So, "dirty pig" is an easy sign to make, and Ryan showed all the girls how to insult each other.  They started incorporating the sign for "beautiful" as well, so then we had, "beautiful pig," beautiful dirty pig," and just plain, "dirty pig."   They spent the entire evening signing, "dirty pig" to each other, and of course, after a while, the kids started to feel insulted rather than thinking it was funny.

Today at church, Maddie was either feeling ornery or she was trying to be funny.  She looked up at her dad sitting on the stand during the sacrament (you know, the time you should be the most reverent out of all 3 hours at church), and started signing "Father you dirty pig."

Ryan started cracking up.  Quietly, of course.  It wouldn't do for a member of the bishopric to actually guffaw during the sacrament.

Annie figured out what Maddie was doing, and started signing too.

Ryan leaned over to Bro. Weaver and whispered to him what his kids were doing.  Then there were two guys on the stand staring at my not-so-reverent offspring with big smiles.

I got the girls to fold their arms again, and wished the floor could just swallow us all.  It would have been so much easier to have stayed in my bed this morning.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Last night we went to the high school to watch a match between high school and Emma's middle school staff.  It was the most brutal game of basketball I have ever witnessed.  I had to thank Ryan at least twice for not playing.  Two guys had to be helped off the court (one with a broken ankle) the first half.  It was insane.  Another guy was hit so hard, his contact fell out.  I have to say the middle school staff started it, playing rough from the beginning.  The second half, it was no holds barred from both sides.
 The firefighters and police played a game of tug-of-war for the half time entertainment.  Police won.
The high school staff won, by two points.  Watching this game solidified my stance of why I stay away from sports with flying balls.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Couple of Smiles From My Day

When life gets busy and stressful, sometimes it's good to just document the happy things.
 We played Book of Mormon Go Fish (and a Gadianton Robber masquerading as the Old Maid) tonight.

The kids also picked a whole lot of lilacs.

The house smells amazing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


 The sticky notes the kids got for Easter haven't been all used up, which surprises me a little.  I am still finding them everywhere.

Today, Annie had her little pad of notes and had me sit down so she could draw my picture.  This is what she saw:
I suppose I can forgive the stringy hair, but adding smile lines, freckles, and pimples is a low blow.
At least Ryan has more blemishes than I do.  But no smile lines.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Target Practice

With Spring coming early, the wild rabbits have made their appearance early.  They've been leaving their mark- on the onion and pea starts.  This, as you might imagine, doesn't not make Ryan happy.  There have been a couple of times that Ryan has hunted those garden-eaters with the BB gun.  He's killed a couple, which is impressive considering how few times he's tried this year.  Last year, I think he tried to go hunting about every night for a while.

The girls wanted a chance to shoot things. 

You might be able to see some beehives in the background of these pictures.  It's a hobby Ryan picked up last summer, which thankfully doesn't require a huge time commitment.

Monday, April 6, 2015

More About Eggs

Our neighbor, Dan, gave me a robin's egg when I was walking back to the house after the bus picked the girls up this morning.  He knows Ryan likes to incubate eggs, and he suggested adding it to the mix of chicken and turkey eggs.  I thanked him, and didn't really think that would be a great idea.  If it was to hatch, it would be brutally crushed by any of the other chicks.  But it was a very pretty egg, and I added it to the latest eggs being collected.
When Ryan saw it, he almost ate the robin's egg, thinking it was Easter candy.  Can you imagine if I hadn't been there?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

You would think that listening to General Conference on Easter Sunday would be the perfect way to spend the day.  It should be.  What could be better than listening to the prophet and apostles teaching us how to become more like the Savior?  

Well, only if you don't have younger kids at home and can actually pay attention, is it the perfect way to celebrate Easter.  That's not the case here.

The Easter Bunny brought the kids some candy, but also pens, sticky notes, hair things, etc.  The EB was trying to cut down on sugar consumption.  Besides, those non-consumables last longer.  But between the fun of yesterday, and the candy the kids did get today and the excitement of it all...  I don't know how much listening was really done.

 We did have a nice tea party, though.
 And the kids wrote so many notes to me and their sisters.  I've found sticky notes almost everywhere.  During the morning session, I had sticky notes, a pillow, and Ryan's head on my lap.  I am a popular place to be.
I must find old men's voices very soothing.  I fell asleep, which doesn't happen very often during the day.

We had lamb for Easter dinner.  We are getting near the end of the lamb we had butchered last year, but it's been very good.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Hunt is On

We spent today with Ryan's family to watch Conference (sort of), eat lots of yummy food (including way too much candy), and let the kids do an Easter egg hunt with the cousins.  

It's tricky to try to watch General Conference surrounded by so many of the younger folk, who would rather play with their cousins rather than sit quietly.  Go figure.  This was one of the quieter moments.  (We are glad Charlotte is warming up to us all.)
 After the morning session, we ate our Easter "dinner," and then turned the kids loose for the hunt.
 The kids had to line up, youngest to oldest before running outside.

 Ryan was in charge of taking pictures.
We kinda sorta attempted to watch the afternoon session of General Conference afterwards, with even less success than the morning session.  I don't know that I remember anything from it, but helping the kids on a sugar high stay out of trouble is a full time job.  That's what the Conference issue of the Ensign is for, I suppose.  Maybe when I read it, I will find snippets that I did hear.  :)

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Traditions

It isn't Easter without dyed hard boiled eggs.  We used our own eggs again this year, and just used regular ol' food coloring and vinegar.  We were invited to color eggs with my in-laws and all of Ryan's siblings.  The girls and I opted to stay at home so that Ryan could dye eggs with us.  

We are ready for the Easter egg hunt!

Tales From A Public Restroom

What is it about public restrooms?  My children hate them all.  I guess I should be amazed that they manage to use the restrooms at school at all, because trying to get them to use the toilet when we are out and about is nearly as bad as pulling teeth.  (I've pulled out at least one tooth, I'll have you know.)

Yesterday we were driving home from Seattle, and we made a pit stop at a McDonald's.  All four girls followed me into the restroom, and Maddie came in with me first.  Annie waited outside the stall, and then the twins switched spots.  The toilet was one of those evil automatic flushing ones, and I had already covered the sensor with a strip of toilet paper.  Annie was not in the mood for a new toilet, and she was not going to give in without a fight.  I decided to show her the toilet was fine (privacy is over-rated, right?), and sat down.  In the middle of "going," the toilet flushed, spraying my entire backside with the flushing water.

All I could do was laugh.

Annie, on the other hand, was not amused.  In fact, after that display, she would not, could not sit on the toilet.  She could barely be restrained from leaving the stall with me not-nearly-covered-up-enough.  "Don't you open up that door," I hissed.

We were only about an hour away from home.  Annie insisted she didn't need to go, so I just had to hope for the best.

Seattle Trip

The girls and I are apparently distracting when Ryan is trying to do his homework.  We are on the home stretch with just a few more weeks of this madness to go.  To give Ryan time to just work on stuff without feeling guilty for ignoring us, or have us interrupt him all the time, I took my girls to Seattle for a couple of days.  My mom came too.

We walked around the Seattle temple.  It was good to stretch our legs for a bit before going to my grandma's house, and it's always good to visit the temple.
 We spent the afternoon and evening at my grandma's house.  When it was time for bed, the girls all decided they were going to crowd into the living room with me, instead of spreading out.  So, not only was I sharing the oh-so-comfortable hide-a-bed, but I had to hope I didn't need to get out of bed in the middle of the night because I was going to trip over someone.  I guess I like the fact the girls like and need me, but sheesh.  I woke up a couple of times crowded to the edge of the bed, and once because Emma elbowed me in the ribs.  Ryan says it's good for me to have a taste of my own medicine.  (He says I crowd him, or some such nonsense.)
(I was super silly and forgot to get a picture of the girls and their grandma and great-grandma this trip.)

Our first stop on our Seattle day was at a Top Pot donut shop.  Those donuts are gooooooood.  
Then I plugged in the "address" for the Fremont Troll (there is no address anywhere online) in the GPS, and away we went.  We found the troll, and then had to drive around a while trying to find a parking spot.  And then, I had to parallel park.  {insert crying sounds}  I could parallel park my tiny Geo Metro back in the day, but I've had to parallel park my van about twice, and I am no good at all.


Moving on.
 The girls posed with the Troll.  Elizabeth has the most interesting poses.
 Then I had to get in on the fun.  I am usually pretty boring when it comes to taking pictures, so I decided to mix things up.
The kids thought I was funny, and had to try to pick the troll's nose too.

 Then we drove down to Pike's Place Market.  While I am not worried about losing the girls from them wandering away anymore, they still aren't quite ready for a day of looking at a bunch of "stuff" at Pike's Place.  We wandered for a little while, and then they were done.

The Gum Wall was interesting though.  We brought our own gum to add to the gross-ness.

The girls decided they wanted to get their treat/souvenir from Target that was across the street.  Nice, girls.  We drive all the way to Seattle and you want to go to Target.  Ah well.

Then I had to drive out of Seattle.  That is just terrifying to this small-town girl.  I can do the freeway all right, but one way streets, traffic lights on the sides of the street, steep, narrow streets with lights at every block...  And no idea where I'm going.  But I survived, and the van escaped unscathed.