Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

When I started blogging, I didn't expect to "meet" such wonderful fellow bloggers. You are awesome and I appreciate your encouraging comments and I also enjoy reading your blogs. And I also appreciate family members who comment on my blog and tell me personally how much they appreciate being kept up to date. I needed this boost to continue blogging, so THANK YOU!

It is 7:14pm and the kids are in bed. It crossed my mind awhile ago to let the kids stay up tonight to welcome in the new year (those who could stay awake long enough), but I came to my senses today and realized that by 7pm I am more than ready for them to be in bed and to have adult time with Matt. I am so glad I never mentioned my silly idea to the kids! Especially since I have no desire to stay up that late myself. I think I'll be lucky to see 9pm.

Zoe is feeling better today. Emily woke up complaining of a sore throat, but she has been fine the rest of the day. I have been wiping Zach's nose all day.

This evening Zoe realized that it is Family Home Evening night as we were playing a game of Trouble (Matt, me, Zoe, and Emily). We were planning on visiting some friends this afternoon, so we didn't plan on our normal Family Home Evening for tonight. We didn't end up going to our friends' home because it has been snowing all day. So Zoe couldn't understand why it was Monday night and we weren't having our lesson, scripture, game, and treat. It's nice that our kids enjoy Family Home Evening and they look forward to it. We do need to get back into our routine since we didn't have it tonight, last week was Christmas Eve and we were at my parents' home, and the week before that we put up our Christmas tree.

Eleanor spent the day in her pajamas. She tends to get neglected in the morning when all the kids are home because she is busy playing and she hates to stop to get dressed and by the time I get Zach and Kate ready for the day, I don't have the energy to fight with Eleanor. I think she would be content to stay in her pajamas all the time. She was happy this evening when it was time to get pajamas on and she didn't have to change!

Kate had fun with the toilet paper this morning. Every once in a while she will venture into the bathroom and discover the roll of toilet paper on the floor, so she tears what she can into little pieces until someone catches her.

Matt got paid some money today, so we treated ourselves to Chinese food for a late lunch, early dinner. I must be feeling better because Chinese food actually sounded good, it tasted good, and I don't feel sick now. The kids always turn their noses up at Chinese food, so they ate tuna fish sandwiches and chips before Matt got back with the Chinese food. Matt and I were able to sit together and eat peacefully...except for Kate who was more than willing to try Chinese food and loved it of course!

So tomorrow is a new year. I love starting a new year! There are a few things I would like to improve on this year like being more consistent with Thank you cards (I'm good at birthday cards, but thank you cards have never been a strength) and I'd like to be more giving to people around me who are in need or who have special events going on in their lives. We are blessed so much by things our friends and family give to us and I want to help others more and let them know that I care and am thinking of them. Often times I will have a thought to do something, but I don't act on it because of finances or I think what I have to offer isn't good enough, so my goal this year is to make those thoughts happen.

I'm getting the feeling that 2008 is going to be a good year for us. I'd really like to end the child-bearing, trailer-living chapter of our lives and move into the raise the children we have, live in our new home chapter. I joke that my new year's resolution is to stop having babies (of course that would be after July!). I feel like if Matt sticks with his job and we are patient that things are going to start falling into place. I really hope that it works out that way. So here is to a great 2008! Cheers.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why I blog

Having a blog appealed to me because it gave me one spot to share what is going on in our family with our other family members, especially Matt's family in Utah. Before my blog, I would sit down at night to write in my journal...and then some of those things I would write about on our MyFamily site and then write the same things to family and friends through e-mail. I started to dread writing about things because it was such a long process. The blog idea would simplify this process and I would use it as my journal. It was a bonus that I could share pictures and movies too. Lately I find myself not wanting to write because things around here are just not that exciting and do people other than our family really want to know every detail that goes on around here? So today I had the thought of digging out my "real" journal and start writing in that again. But then I realized that that wasn't the solution, I just need to stick with my original reason for starting this blog which is to record history and share with family and friends. I have been keeping a journal since before I could read and write. I go through phases in my writing where I'll write every day or once a week or months go by between entries, but I have always kept a journal. This is my strength...and I was quite pleased when I realized this strength of mine because I have always wondered what my passion in life is. It is record-keeping. I love looking back and reading what I was doing a year ago, 5 years ago, and so on. It seems silly at times to write about the everyday things that are going on, but in the future I will appreciate what I have written. It's hard for me to believe at times, but I will not be changing diapers, nursing, feeding children every 5 minutes,...forever, so the record I keep now will be cherished as I sit in an empty house (which really sounds good to me at this point in my life!) and read about my crazy days as a mother of young children. I'm going to do my best to write every night, to recap what went on that day. Details get forgotten so quickly!

So, here is the unfinished igloo that the kids and Matt made yesterday.

Zoe loves to be outside, so she gets excited when Matt has a project outside for the kids to do, like camp Bravo. Emily tolerates being outside. She goes along with the project because Zoe is doing it...and because Matt doesn't give her a choice in the matter. She always has fun and wants to do it again...until the next time comes. Eleanor gets excited about the projects, but then loses interest the quickest. She was the first to come in from building the igloo. Zach wasn't too far behind her as he got tired of standing out in the snow watching his sisters and Dad build an igloo. He lasts much longer outside when it's warmer. Kate gets the privilege of staying inside with me...until she can walk and is woods qualified. And I suspect in the future we will all be outside together, but right now I'm not willing to be outside with a non-walker. Every season has a reason...too cold and snowy, too buggy, too sunny, too chilly. Carrying a child around outside is not fun, especially when you live on a hill! I'm hoping that as our little ones get older, I will like being outside could happen.

Zoe has a bad cold, so she stayed "home" with my Mom while the rest of us went to church. My Mom opted to stay at her house with Zoe because I thought I was going to be in charge of Primary today and staying with Zoe sounded much better to my Mom than taking my place in Primary. But I was pleasantly surprised when the Young Women President and young women showed up the 3rd hour to take over Primary so the Primary leaders and teachers could go to the combined Priesthood/Relief Society meeting. So I didn't end up being in charge and I can use what I had planned for this Sunday next Sunday. :-) And going to the combined meeting made me appreciate my calling in Primary. Primary is much more fun! (Sorry Courtney, your lesson was very good, it's just hard to sit and listen when you're used to singing and playing)
Kate was entertaining as she displayed her ballerina moves, which I have never seen before. She would lift a leg up behind her or off to the side, put it down, and then lift up her other leg. It was so cute, she looked just like a little dancer.

Kate wasn't so cute during Sacrament meeting as she was screeching and trying to crawl up to the stand. I ended up going into the Primary room with Zach and Kate to listen to the talks. It wasn't that long ago when Eleanor refused to sit through Sacrament meeting and now she lasts all through the meeting with no problems. This helps me to remember that Zach and Kate will get past this wiggly stage too.

I love, love, love that Kate goes to bed with her siblings now and she sleeps through the night. It is so nice!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another tooth!

Matt discovered Kate's new tooth yesterday. She has her 2 front bottom teeth, so I've been checking on top in the front, but haven't seen anything. Somehow Matt saw a tooth coming in next to her front top tooth . Shouldn't the front ones be coming in first? I think she's going to look funny with no front teeth on the top and one in on the side. Hopefully her front teeth will come in soon!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I don't like going a week without writing, but we have been busy, busy as I'm sure you have been too! Where did I leave off?...oh yeah, last Wednesday night the kids and I made sugar cookies and Christmas cards for Zoe and Emily to take to school on Thursday. Thursday ended up being a snow day, so they brought the cookies and cards in on Friday. Friday was a half day. Zoe and the other 3rd graders put on a Christmas concert/play that Matt, Eleanor, Zach, Kate, my Mom, my Dad, and I went to that morning. Zoe was a bell (Sol) and she did great remembering her 2 lines and singing the songs. I wish I would have brought my camera!
My Mom watched the kids for me while I went back to the school at 11:00 to help out in Emily's class while they made sundaes. Then I left with Zoe and Emily, which made them very happy because they are always wondering when they can be picked up from school instead of riding the bus. We spent the day with my Mom and I made Matt applesauce cookies that I gave to him today as a gift. He thought this would be his first Christmas without his favorite cookies and he was happy that he was wrong! Christmas surprises are so much fun. :-)
My Dad's birthday was on Friday. My Mom bought him a picture that he really wanted, so that was a fun surprise for her to give to him.

Part of Saturday was spent delivering cookies and Christmas cards to friends (Andrea did you find yours?) and we went to a Christmas party in the evening at Don and Terri's. Matt rents his office from Don and they are fast becoming great friends. Eleanor loved their dogs and Zach loved climbing up their stairs and sliding down on his bum. We ate a lot of delicious seafood and other food and left there very full!

During the 3rd hour of church on Sunday, the primary children put on a Christmas play for everyone. Eleanor was Mary, Zoe was an innkeeper, an angel, and a wise man, Emily was an angel and a wise man. They had a great time performing and it went well...even though I had them sing a song before they were supposed to.

Yesterday was filled with excitement and anticipation for Santa and opening presents today. The kids and I made more sugar cookies in the morning and then I made Kate's ornament. The girls each have a red ball ornament with their name, date of birth, and white dots and Zach has a blue one.

The kids and I spent the afternoon at my parents while Matt wrapped some gifts he had bought and he delivered cookies to some families from church. Matt joined us for dinner and we enjoyed a lasagna dinner with my parents and my grandmother. We watched "How the Grinch stole Christmas" before coming home. We read the last of our Christmas books, including "The night before Christmas" and put sugar cookies out for Santa before the kids went to bed. They were very excited for the morning to come of course! I spent the rest of the evening putting our sausage/egg casserole together and putting the bread ingredients in the bread machine pan to cook in the morning. We put gifts under the tree and I remembered that I hadn't wrapped my parents' gift, so I did that before going to bed. Matt still had more wrapping to do, so he stayed up a little later. I think Christmas Eve is just as much fun, if not more so than Christmas day because of the anticipation for Christmas morning. Plus we are usually together and spending some time with my family. It's always a fun day.

We were up at 5:40 this morning. The kids opened their stocking gifts and waited for 7:00 when my parents would arrive for breakfast. They did really well considering how long they had to wait to open their gifts. We ate our yummy casserole, bread, and cinnamon rolls and then discovered that Zach had unwrapped a few gifts after he was done eating (I guess he had waited long enough!). He opened one of Zoe's gifts, but the gift was still in the box so luckily she couldn't see what it was, and he opened my grandmother's gift. By the time all the presents were unwrapped our house was a complete disaster. But the kids were happy with their gifts and they were anxious to play. Zoe and Emily love their new American girl dolls, Eleanor loves her My Little Pony toys, Barbies, and playdoh, Zach loves his front end loader and race track, and Kate has been checking out all the toys. I have been trying to keep up with the mess, but finally gave up this afternoon! It has been a fun Christmas and I hope your Christmas has been fun, too!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Trying to save some money

In my last post I mentioned using Duncan Hines frosting on my sugar cookies. Well, usually I use Pillsbury frosting and I have discovered that with the Pillsbury frosting my sugar cookies are delicious, but with the Duncan Hines frosting my sugar cookies are okay. I bought Duncan Hines this time because it was cheaper...big mistake! I have learned my lesson.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Before I get to the Christmas hoopla I have to comment on a few things. First, Zoe informed me this morning that the reason she didn't have homework yesterday was because 6 kids in her class were absent. I knew this couldn't be good and asked her if she knew what was wrong with them. She did and it was as bad as I expected...the stomach flu. It was tempting to tell her she would be staying home the rest of the week, but instead instructed her not to touch anyone and Matt added to wash her hands a thousand times during the day, he may have even said a million times, we do not want to be sick!!!!

And secondly, last night was the first time in 10 months that all of our children slept through the night. It was so nice!

Okay, now for the 12 Christmas things about me hoopla that Kristen tagged me to do...

1. The Christmas season starts on December 1st for me. The past few years I have started to listen to Christmas music the week after Thanksgiving, but I just can't truly get into the Christmas spirit until the calendar says you can imagine how annoying it is for me to see Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving!

2. I love having my kids do different activities to countdown to Christmas. My favorite is our numbered bags that my Mom bought for us. She intended for me to put candy treats and little surprises in each bag for each day, but I decided to use a doll instead that we move each day. It's fun to see the doll get closer to Christmas Eve and it helps the kids know how many days are left until Christmas.
The kids love unwrapping a book every night before bed and having it read to them.

3. The Christmas season would not be complete without my sugar cookies. Actually, I should give the credit to Betty Crocker for the sugar cookie mix and Duncan Hines for the vanilla frosting. The most work I do is mix the cookie mix, butter, and egg, bake the cookies, put frosting on them, and then add the sprinkles. I haven't met anyone who doesn't love these sugar cookies. :-)

4. Christmas lights that blink drive me nuts! I think it's because I love looking at the lights and when they are turning on and off all the time it's hard to enjoy them.

5. I love having a real Christmas tree. We always had an artificial tree when I was growing up, but I have insisted on a real tree since Matt and I have been in our home. Matt would gladly switch over to an artificial tree, but he hasn't convinced me yet.

6. For some reason we always end up getting our tree a week before Christmas. I always hope to get it 2 weeks before Christmas, but it never happens. So what did we do for Family Home Evening last night? You got it!

Kate was very happy to have something new to play with.

Our tree is a little on the small side, but it fits perfectly in our little house and it smells so good! We all love it.

7. Our Christmas tree consists of lights, ornaments, pipe cleaner candy canes, and sometimes real candy canes.

8. Christmas is the best when there is snow. It is really annoying when we have a brown/green Christmas and then it snows the day AFTER Christmas. I want snow on the ground and on the trees. I'm hoping for more snow before Christmas...without the rain and ice!

9. Watching the cartoon version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is a must on Christmas Eve.

10. We always had a big breakfast on Christmas morning before opening presents, which has become a tradition in our family. A few years ago we gave the kids the option of eating first or opening gifts first and they chose to eat first. Matt has yet to adjust to this tradition, but he goes along with it every year. We have simplified how much cooking we do to save on time with a sausage egg casserole that I make. It is so good! If you'd like the recipe just say so and I'll post it.

11. We were able to open our stockings before breakfast when I was growing up and we let our kids do the same. We wrap the presents and candy that are in the stockings.

12. I love all the gifts that my children make for me. I keep a few of them up all year long. I even saved some wrapping paper that Zoe made to wrap one of her gifts with a few years ago and she was surprised to see it hanging up on the wall this year. My children have Matt's artistic abilities and I love to look at their creations.

Now here are a few rules for Cindy, PJ, Gabriela, Courtney, and Janae because I know they want to participate, right?!

1. List 12 random things about yourself that has to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.
5. If you want to -- please give me, Andrea, some link-love as the 'Hoopla-Creator'. I love new blog-traffic.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Since I last checked in...

Matt made a new bed frame to put our new futon bed mattress on. It still needs some finishing touches, but we have been sleeping on our new bed the last few nights. :-)

I went Christmas shopping with Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, Kate, and my Mom for cousin gifts, school gifts, friend gifts, and sibling gifts. It is sweet how anxious Eleanor is for Zach to open the gift she chose for him.

Kate has been sleeping in the crib since Friday night. The kids tend to her when she cries before they fall asleep and then Matt is in charge of tending to her when she cries in the middle of the night. She seems to settle right back to sleep after he checks on her. Zach is taking this change harder than Kate. He slept well Friday night and last night, but Saturday night he was up throughout the night. I think part of the problem was the dark he woke up to since the Christmas lights we have in the kids' room weren't on. Zach is our first child to be afraid of the dark.
He takes advantage of any opportunity to push Kate over and lay on her. When Kate is sitting on my lap, Zach wants to sit on my lap, which also goes the other way. One of them cannot be near me without the other one noticing and making a fuss about it. I really hope they outgrow this phase before the new baby comes!

We only had Sacrament meeting yesterday because of snow. We had our Christmas program, which was very nice as usual. We enjoyed cookies and cider after church before heading home in the snow.

I put 50 Christmas cards in envelopes and got them ready to be mailed out or given to family and friends.

Zoe was very disappointed this morning that she had school. I'm sure she was very happy when she heard that school would be getting out early today because of a broken water main in town. They are now happily watching a new Scooby Doo movie my Mom bought for them. And now I have more laundry to put away, and you are up to date.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Does this toy belong here?

The good news for my children is that I spent the day cleaning/organizing their room, the bad news for them is that I'll be following them around for awhile like a drill sergeant making sure they put every.single.toy back where it belongs!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Steel Appeal"

Our family and my mom went to Zoe & Emily's school last night for a steel drum concert. The band members are mostly teachers from the school. The kids had a great time dancing and singing. During the intermission, the kids were able to test out the drums. Eleanor and Emily had a great time playing them. Zoe tried them out, but she didn't stay at it for long. Eleanor was right at home on the drums when the band came back to play. Zach had the most fun jogging from one end of the gym to the other. Eleanor of course made new friends. She is definitely the social bug in our family. She had a couple of the older girls trying out her dance moves and hanging out with her. The night proved to be a success when we got home and the kids got ready for bed quickly and fell asleep right after their heads hit their pillows. :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Say "Cheese"

The kids occupied some of their time on Sunday afternoon taking pictures of each other and things around the house.

Our wall of birthday pictures starting when Zoe was a newborn in the hospital. The top row is Zoe, 2nd row is Emily, 3rd row is Eleanor, 4th row is Zach, and 5th row is Kate.

I bought cheaper frames for their latest pictures and they keep falling down, so here they are individually.

Here is the Christmas picture we had taken of the kids a few years ago.

It came out so perfect! I know, I need an updated picture, but at this point I guess I should just wait until the summer.
Matt cut off the kids' picture taken when he noticed them taking pictures of pictures. I think they're going to enjoy the digital camera my Mom bought them for Christmas!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Baby pictures

Zach is not convinced that there is a baby in these pictures! We are having 1 baby and the baby looks healthy and active. Seeing the first ultrasound pictures always makes the pregnancy more real...feeling sick just doesn't seal the deal for me, but these pictures do.

Matt and I are celebrating our 11 year anniversary today! We actually celebrated Friday night when we had a peaceful and delicious dinner together at Pizzeria Uno and then we went Christmas shopping. We have had 11 great years together and I'm glad we have many more years plus eternity to look forward ! I love you, Matt. :-)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

10 months old

With all of the mischief this morning I forgot that Kate is 10 months old today! She has really changed a lot in the last month. She is no longer a clingy, mama's girl, yay! Of course she still has her moments, but I am able to leave her with family and friends now and she loves to crawl, cruise the furniture, and explore. It is amazing that she has changed so much so fast! I must admit that I am liking it. I love being able to go out without a baby, especially since it is cold outside now. I will enjoy my 7 months of freedom! You can win Kate's heart by giving her food. She LOVES to eat. She better be tall and active because the girl can pack in the food. She only has 2 teeth, but she'll eat just about anything. She has mastered the sippy cup. She's getting better at not completely soaking herself when she drinks.
It's fun to watch her play with her siblings and laugh with them. She dances to music and claps when she sees other people clapping. She points when she wants something or she holds her arm out. And of course she is cute, cute, cute! We love you, Kate.

While I was in the shower...

Kate crawled into the bathroom and fell asleep on my towel.

Eleanor got the paints down from the top shelf in her closet, filled 2 cups with water, and painted...herself.

Zach painted himself.

This day is already proving to be interesting!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Back to school

It finally quit snowing sometime last night, so Zoe & Emily are back to school. They weren't disappointed at all when I woke them up this morning to get ready. I think they had their fill of snow days...and I did too. I did get a nice break yesterday when Jenn called and invited the girls to go over and play. I made the pie while they were gone, Zach played on the computer, and Kate took a nap. I was even able to rest and read a bit before Kate woke up and the girls came home. But you wouldn't have guessed my pretty easy day by the end of the afternoon when the house was a disaster with toys and Christmas decorations everywhere and everything the kids did annoyed me. And I think trying to figure out where to put our decorations and needing to clean every spot that I wanted to put something was annoying me too. I was one happy Mom when Matt called to tell me that the young men's activity he was going to was canceled, so that meant I was free to go out to dinner and go Christmas shopping with my Mom. The break I was hoping for was going to happen, yay! It was quite delightful and our shopping was very productive.

Today I have been cleaning. I have had no desire to clean and still don't, but it needs to be done.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

As I suspected

Zoe and Emily have another snow day today. It is still snowing. The kids are already out playing in it this morning. Here is Zach getting ready to go out.

I get him all bundled up and then he goes out for 5 minutes and then comes back in. Then he gets mad when I won't get him dressed to go outside again as he watches the girls play in the snow.
Speaking of bundled up, here's a picture of the girls Saturday night at the parade.
Did I mention how cold it was?

Here are the girls getting ready to slide down our snow covered lawn.

And Eleanor walking through the snow.

Today will be less hectic than our laundry day yesterday. We have plans to make a pumpkin pie (Matt didn't get his fill over Thanksgiving), dig out the Christmas decorations, and decorate. We may even fit in "It's a Wonderful Life". We'll be busy, but it will be a fun busy.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Snow and more

We are getting snow today, so the girls don't have school. It is snowing lightly right now, but it's supposed to get nastier as the day goes on. I suspect they won't have school tomorrow either since it is supposed to snow tonight and snow showers are predicted for tomorrow. Looks like I have some laundry helpers today (hahaha).

Matt and I had our first date night alone together in about 10 months on Friday night. It was so nice! My Mom nervously agreed to watch all the kids for us (bless her heart!). Kate was very good and the other kids were on their best behavior too. Matt and I ate dinner at Taco Bell, we got some Christmas shopping done for Zach, and we enjoyed some ice cream before coming home. It felt good to be out as a wife and to have a complete break from the kids. :-)

We went to the Creche exhibit Saturday afternoon. The theme this year is Christmas from around the world. The had the nativities grouped together in the different countries they are from. Everything looked very nice as usual. Zoe and Emily sang in the children's choir. Eleanor practiced for an hour with the choir, but then refused to get up and sing during the performance. Zoe's teacher from school came to hear the girls sing and Jenn & Andrea and their kids came too. That meant a lot to us. The children sounded wonderful!
We watched the live children's nativity before we left. It was fun to see the children in the play since I know a lot of them and I haven't seen them in awhile.
Matt took Kate and Zach home and then my Mom treated Zoe, Emily, Eleanor, and me to lunch/dinner at Governor's. It was so yummy! And it was nice to eat out with just the older girls. Then we watched the parade of very cold weather! When we left the car to watch the parade it was 19 degrees and when we got back into the car it was 17 degrees! We had layers and layers on. Eleanor wanted to go back to the car before the parade was over because she was so cold, so my Mom happily brought her. In our rush to get out of the house in the morning I had forgotten to pack Eleanor's boots, so I bet her feet were pretty cold. We tried to keep her feet bundled up in a blanket, but she kept taking the blanket off from her. I think the parade was shorter this year, which didn't disappoint any of us! The people driving the Harleys braved the cold and showed off their bikes decorated with Christmas lights. I'm glad they did because they are always fun to see.

Okay between laundry and children it has taken me a few hours to write this!