Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm sorry, but this is officially the cutest baby ever.

Don't believe me? Look again.

Still not convinced?

I rest my case.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Swimsuit giveaway

The Meanest Mom is having an awesome giveaway. You should check it out here. Really.

It's for a new swimsuit.

Unfortunately for me, the swimsuit giveaway is not accompanied by a body makeover as well. *sigh*

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why I love Kindergarten

Anne Marie and I went on a field trip today.

It was fun to spend the whole day with my child.

I loved watching the way the kindergartener's interact with eachother. You can already see the way they will eventually separate when they are in junior high.
That part was sad, but very real and interesting.

But I was reminded of why kindergarten is such a magical world.
If you look at the girl in the background of the picture, she is someone we met on the bus today, for the first time.

Anne Marie and this girl talked back and forth, played and had a great time.

Anne Marie enjoyed herself and said to this girl "Hey, do you want to be friends?"

The other little smiled and nodded happily and they kept on having fun.

There was no sizing eachother up, no feeling jealous or mean to eachother, just "Hey, do you want to be friends?"

Sometimes I wish I was still in kindergarten.

Sometimes I act like I'm still in kindergarten.

Only without snack time or recess.
Or short toilets.

Kindergarten rocks, wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Speaking of...

I am possessed occasionally with small amounts of brilliance when it comes to my blog.

VERY occasionally

Yesterday, for instance, was not one of those times.


However, you would expect total adoration, acceptance, standing ovation type stuff from your one and only, right?

Instead my conversation with Jeff concerning my post yesterday went like this.

Jeff-"Your blog today was funny."
Me-"What do you mean funny?"
Jeff-"You know, weird"

Thank you.
And speaking of weird.

So there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Lately I have had very strange dreams.

Dreams that make me question my sanity as well as a number of other things.

But really, I don't think they mean anything.

One dream for instance, I had a very 80's short feathered do that hasn't made an appearance in my life since 1986.

That wasn't the most disturbing aspect of the dream, but it was bad enough.

Another part of that dream had Jeff looking exactly how he did when I met him.
-Elvis hair
-Round glasses
-Colored jeans with shirt tucked in
-Glowing with youth and optimism

And no, I do not wish for him to wear colored jeans again, but it was nice to see him that way anyway.

My point in all this is nothing really.

Sometimes I think dreams mean things, other times they are just our brains way of destressing. Nonsensical brain jibberish that helps us relax.

And sometimes they are a way of looking back (Elvis hair and colored jeans) and looking forward (dreams about future children and retirement).

Sometimes they are just plain weird-like the recurring dream I have where I am pulling wads and wads of gum out of my mouth-never ending wads of gum.

I love the glorious dreams where I can fly, or I'm singing on stage, or I'm running really fast.

The way our brains work amazes me, so complex, so mysterious.

Just one other way that our bodies are a perfect example of the Masterful genious of He who created them.

And even better than dreaming at night? Day dreams, the ones we control. The wandering of our brain into scenarios of happiness, for the most part. I could day dream all day long. In fact I do sometimes. (Those are the days Jeff,when you get home from work and I have done nothing :)

Right now I'm daydreaming about waffles and homemade syrup.

I do love the dreams that become reality. I do I do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Boy

Charlie is my first boy.

He opened up a whole new world that as a mom with 2 girls, I had never known before.

I remember my friend Teresa telling me how in love she was with her boys, and until I had a son of my own I didn't quite understand the feeling of wanting to make out with my newborn. (You all know what I mean)

Then Charlie came along and all I could do was stare into his eyes and decide then and there that no girl would ever be good enough for him.

Well today, this little stealer of my heart is 7 years old.

A year away from being baptized, a year away from cub scouts, a year closer to eventually leaving me to go on a mission, then college, then to marry some girl who I'd better like almost more than I like him!!


Today Charlie enters a world where he doesn't need help to clean anymore.

A world where he is growing more and more dependable, honest and mindful of his Savior and the gospel in his life.

A world where he is so loving and kind to his little sisters that it almost makes me cry.

My son, who was once described by my friend as more beautiful then most girls, with his long lashes, sandy hair and wicked dance moves, is 7 years old.

Seven years ago I sat and marveled at this little life that Heavenly Father had entrusted us with and hoped that I would be up to the task of raising a son.
A son who would one day be a husband and father, who would lead his home in righteousness and love, who would provide for his family and preside over his home.

Could I do it? Could I teach him all he needed to know so that he would grow to be as strong and faithful and valiant as his own father?

Would I be able to share with him the love of his Savior and Heavenly Father as well as the love of his parents?

Charlie is ever surprising me, and not in the ways I would have thought when he was 3.

He is strong, and caring and is learning to not follow the crowd. To set an example for others without losing the spice in his personality.

I watch him and know that he will surpass me in intelligence, wisdom, faith and love, and I am grateful. Grateful for my son.

And while I have lost the urge to make out with him (he is waay too slobbery now), I love him more now then ever and will only grow more attached everyday.

Happy Birthday my boy, I love you!


Friday, March 20, 2009

You saw casual wear.

This is active wear.

There has been evening wear, but I couldn't find my camera.

All I can say is: "Houston, we may have a problem"

How will I tell him someday that they don't make pink and purple leotards in his size?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I adore my children. They are like ooey, gooey, carmel filled treats.

I'm pretty sure that they are the tastiest things on the planet.

Of course the most scrum-diddly-umptious of them all is Nora. We all think so.

There is not a finger or toe or ear or cheek or section of leg or tummy that has not been nibbled, kissed, squished, squeezed and hugged on that little girl.

I crave the top of her head.

I love her sqooshy little dimpled bum.

Her fuzzy almost non-existent hair needs constant patting.

Her fingers spend equal time in her mouth and mine.

I feel incomplete if her cheek is not pressed up against mine at all times.

If it wouldn't break, I would be in her crib cuddled up next to her right now.

All of my kids have endured this from me. They all still would if I could get away with it. But I have learned to fight my cravings to slobber all over my kids with hugs and kisses. Simply because they like it for only about 2 seconds now.

Too bad for me.

But a shift has occured.

I am no longer the only one who craves nibbling on another family member.

Yet, whereas my nibbling was gentle, albeit a little slobbery, this little carnivore digs right in.

Nora has decided that the other humans that inhabit her domicile are in fact a food source now.

It started with her taking bites out of me during her regular feedings.

It progressed to biting the unsuspecting arm of anyone who was holding her.

No amount of startled yells, or stern "No!"s seemed to stem the tide of uncontrollable biting.

We were very concerned at Nora's urge to eat her family. What could be happening?

Well, we finally discovered what was sending her into fits of biting frenzy.

It's a little hard to see buried under that protruding tongue.

Welcome tooth number 3!

We are glad you are finally here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Burn, Baby, Burn

If you know anything about me, I tend to take a while to learn some of life's lessons.

Or I repeat things hoping for a different outcome. (Isn't that the definition of insanity?)

When I was 17 I went tanning for the first time. Ouch.

It was a painful, itchy, trip to the ER experience.

I decided to stay away from tanning beds.

As I got older I tried tanning again with more success.
I started slowly, built up my tan and didn't burn in a tanning bed again.

As I started to get older older, like in my 30's, I began to worry about skin cancer, aging, what have you.

But living in Rhode Island in the winter time, I realized I needed some sort of sun, artificial would have to do.

Then we moved to Utah where it is sunny all year long, so I no longer needed to tan.

Then when we moved to Washington, I got pregnant right at the beginning of winter so I dealt with the winter blues as afffectively as I could.

I cried a lot.

So as this winter seemed to drag on and on, I thought, I should go tanning again, get some rays to help lift my mood.

Most bad endings start with good intentions.

I seemed to forget that it has been 4 years since I stepped foot in a tanning place and that I was beyond pasty white from living in overcast, rainy, doesn't get over 80even in the summer Seattle.

So to lift my spirits, I went, got my little tour, blah blah blah, "do you burn easy?" "You don't? ok, go in this one for this long, blah blah blah"

Remember, the last time I went was 4 years ago. They were just starting to get fancy. So when she said 8 minutes I thought, that should be fine.

Well, it wasn't.

(Sorry about the angle, did you know it's really hard to take a picture of your own back?)

So now I hurt, but worse then that, I itch.

I itch to the point where I seriously sat poised, ready to stab myself in the leg with one of Jeff's epi pens.

But I'm too big of a chicken. And I'm glad I didn't, cuz after I stabbed the chair cuz I was curious what would happen, I saw how big the needle is.

Poor chair.

It really shouldn't have to take such abuse.

So now instead, I'm doped up on 2 Benadryl and a lot of itch cream. Which is just as hard to put on your back by yourself as it is to take a picture of your own back.

So please, I am uncomfortable enough, no comments on how stupid tanning is or what was I thinking.

Cuz I wasn't thinking. Obviously.

And now I'm off to sleep. And hopefully not itch.
Thank you very much.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog friends

I am one happy camper.

I have been blessed during all of our moving around to make many great friends.
I don't feel it has ever been an issue.

Heavenly Father in all of his love and kindness has provided me with a pretty good ability to make friends.

And I love my friends, all of them.

Well, now I am making friends in other states without having to move there.

They are my blog friends.

If you are unfamiliar with this term, it generally means you have somehow stumbled across someone's blog, or they have come across yours. You start leaving comments for eachother because you feel a certain connection after viewing their blog.

Pretty soon, you say, "oh yay, Marci left a comment", or I wonder what Nita is up to.

It's a whole new world of friendship for me, and I'm enjoying it.

There are some down sides to it, of course.

The biggest being that you find yourself concerned for their welfare, crying at their sorrows, finding joy in their joy-and yet you can't physically give them a hug or bake them cookies.

But I am thankful for all of my friends, those I have met and those I have not.

And once I can figure out how to send cookies across the country, there will be one less downside to the wonderful world of Blog Friends.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Charlie at 3 years old.

That's a cute little guy you say.

Yes, he was cute. And funny. And precious. And adorable.

He still is.

Why am I showing you this? Because Charlie is the key figure in a story that I may have told many of you, or all of you, cuz I forget what I tell to who.
Possibly because I talk too much and think people are way more interested in what I have to say than they really are.

Admittedly I'm a tad narcissistic, why else would I have a blog?

What was I talking about?

Oh yes, my story, which you have probably already heard.

When I was 6 months pregnant with Anne Marie,oh, about 6 years ago now, we were still living in Rhode Island.

Plane trips home to Washington only happened about once a year because they were
A. Expensive and
B. Not fun

However, around the 2nd trimester of my 4th pregnancy, I decided it was time to go home. cuz I'm crazy like that.

Actually, it's because my mom and sister had come out to Rhode Island to visit and then me and the kids flew back with them to Washington. So I figured I only had to go it alone one direction.

At the time of travel, Charlie was 15 months old. A time of fun and cuteness and bliss with most toddlers.

The same was true with long as you didn't try and tell him he had to sit in one place for more than 30 seconds.

But with Grandma and aunt Maile to help, and a healthy dose of Benadryl, the trip from RI to WA was pretty ok.

While in Washington for our 3 week visit (you have to get the most out of 1200 dollars spent on plane tickets), Charlie learned that he could scream.

And I don't mean scream cuz your foot just got rolled over by a tractor or you saw a scorpion in your bed. That would be acceptable.

I mean scream for no apparent reason simply because you can.
I mean scream like a seagull being sat upon.
I mean scream like the teapot someone left on the stove.
I mean scream like you have a death wish because someone will surely throttle you if you don't shut up!

Yes, Charlie had found his voice, right before I travelled back to RI with 3 children under 6 and being large with child.

And in case you were wondering, it is 7 hours in the air plus switching planes at some gigantic HUB in Cincinnati, or Chicago. Somewhere BIG.

Knowing I was about to embark on such a journey, I purchased a massive bag of Dum Dums. I figured I could keep his mouth busy with lollipops enough that he wouldn't scream. HA!

As we settled into our seats, and I strapped Charlie into his FAA approved carseat, he quickly realized that he was unable to move.

In a car that's fine cuz you can see out the windows, not so much in an airplane.

He began to cry, and then to whine, and then to wail at the top of his lungs, until finally the only sound coming out was his now signature high pitch scream.

What's a mother to do?

So as fast as you can say sugar rush I began cramming lollipop after lollipop in his hands. Pretty soon, he would cry just seeing the lollipop coming.

I then attempted to stroke his head, tell him it was ok, to which he would respond by smacking me and crying more.

As desperation settled in on me, I knew that I could at least change it up a bit. If I could get him to cry instead of scream, at least our ears could stop bleeding for a few blissful moments.

So I pinched him.

I know, I know, gasp, shock, how could you, etc.

Desperate times my friends.

After all the huffing and sighs from those around me, the evil glares from the people across the aisle and the stewardess telling me my child was disturbing others and could I please try to calm him down, I lost all grip on good parenting.

At one point I even attempted to stand up with Charlie just to change the scenery. But at 15 months old he was already 32 pounds, and I was 6 months pregnant, that didn't last long.
So, in a last ditch effort,I pinched my child, he cried for 30 seconds, and then began to scream again.

But what a blissful 30 seconds it was.

In fact, it relaxed me enough that at one point I even fell asleep with him screaming. I liken it to falling asleep between contractions while your in labor, your body just gives up for a few minutes from the fatigue.

Now of course there are always the really nice people on the plane, and the really nasty people.

This wonderful couple in front of me had their own perfect little child who didn't make a peep, yet they were full of encouraging smiles and nice words to me.

The nastiness came from the blonde girl behind me on the second leg of the trip.

She huffed and sighed and turned the volume up on her headphones.

But the kicker came as we were getting off the plane.

A rather decent gentlemen remarked "Poor kid, I bet he's glad to get off the plane"
See, there are nice people out there.

Blondie however, decided to voice how she really felt, loud enough for me to hear.

"Yeah, well, he like screamed like, the whole way, I totally thought it would like, never stop, blah blah blah"
(I added valley girl speak for emphasis on how annoying she was)
Now of course a person's gut reaction is to retaliate. To say something like "Hey, you little skank, would you have rather been you or me during this trip?" Or, "didn't your mother ever tell you that if you can't say something nice than to shut your trap?!!"

You know, things like that.

However, something about her made me hold my tongue and just smile.

What could it be you ask? What could have kept my sharp rebuke from exploding out of me while slapping her silly?

Well, you see, she was 7 months pregnant.

With her first child.

And my restraint was not due to her "fragile" condition or even respect for another pregnant woman.

No. I realized in a split second that one day this woman's child would be throwing his or her first fit.

The kind of fit where you hope the ground swallows you up because you are so mortified. Mortified that all the parenting books you read and bad examples you carefully remembered to avoid and all of your own self assurances of "my child will NEVER do that" have failed you and now your 3 year old is writhing on the ground and screaming because they wanted pink instead of blue, or no nuts instead of nuts.

At that moment, she will remember me on the plane, pregnant, my 2 sweet girls and one screaming little boy, my kind knowing smile,and wish that she could go back and be nicer to me.

Compared with that, there was nothing I could have said that would have been a stronger teacher or slap in the face.

So here's to blonde girl and all others like her.

May you have your own children to scream, barf, throw tantrums and pee their pants in public.

To which I will say "Welcome to the club."

(And by the way, this is my 100th post. Yay!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Some things never change

This is the Kate and Julia standing in front of Julia's bed 4 years ago.

These same two girls are now 9 and 11.
Kate will be in middle school next year.
I bought Kate her first pair of heels (low heels)for her last week.

What is happening?

Kate can fit into most of MY "skinny" dresses and shirts.

Julia's hair is long and lovely.
She can make pancakes, spaghetti and mac and cheese (just to name a few)all by herself.

Their favorite colors are not pink and purple anymore.

They've both been in plays, sang in choir and are learning to knit.

Many things have changed.

But one thing has not.

They're still this good of friends.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

*Please note*
This is not our house. It is the house I would aspire to have. We snapped a picture of this beauty on our way to Oregon last year.

Can you see her?

Can you see the little old woman in the rocking chair?

There, on the porch.

She has about a jillion grandchildren around her and they're listening to her read a story.

You can't see them?


Well, can you see the little old man staring at her adoringly?

See, he's standing in the doorway.

You should be able to see his grey, bushy eyebrows from a mile away.

You can't see him either?

Well, maybe my picture is off kilter, or out of focus, or, wait..

I see the problem.

This picture doesn't include the vision I have of my future with Jeff.

It only shows that house as it is now.

Sorry, so embarassing.

It seems so real to me, that I forgot you all can't possibly see it yet.

See, there's me and Jeff, our 6 kids and their kids, and possibly even their children's children.

There's homemade icecream on a hot summer day.

There's a hammock swinging back and forth precariously as numerous children attempt to pile onto it.

There's the gentle "creak" of the porch swing.

There's my head resting on Jeff's shoulder and the happy sigh as we look over what our love has brought us.

There's is the sound of the wind in the trees, the soft whisper of turning pages of a good book.

There's a baby crying somewhere and the sweet voice of one of my daughters comforting her child.

There is joy, and hope, and love and sweetness.

There is the wrinkled skin of my hand, innertwined with Jeff's.

He kisses my forhead as the sun goes down.

The sounds of children slow down as everyone piles into their cars to head home.

"Where are your shoes? Can you go find them please? Will you get her pajamas on her so she can fall asleep on the car ride home?"

"I love you Mom, I love you Dad, this was a great day."

"Do we have everyone? Ok, let's go"

We sit for a few more minutes, waving to them all as they drive away.

I stare into Jeff's eyes for a moment, remembering in an instant all the years we have spent together.

As the stars come out and the breeze slows to a timid whisper, I know it is time to go in.

Jeff starts heading into the house holding the door for me,"Are you coming?" he asks.

"Yes" I say, "I'll be right there, I just need a minute."

So he waits there for me.

And I sit.

I sit and remember every laugh and squeal and happy sigh of the day. I memorize it, capture it, and hold it tight.

When my heart is filled to the breaking point, oozing with the peace that comes at the end of something special, when I can look around and know all is as it should be, then, then I say, "Alright, I'm ready."

And hand in hand we head back into the house, just the two of us once again.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I love you guys.

I love that you laugh so easily.

I love you that you still feel the tender love of a parent for me.

I love that Mom is retired so that you can be together.

I love that you raised me with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love that you feel real joy for the happiness of your children and grandchildren.

I love that you taught me to work hard.

I love your jokes Dad, and I love that Mom laughs at all of them.

I love that I live closer to you now.

I love that my memories of you both are happy.

I love you both.

Thank you for loving me back.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The only words I have are: This is what happens to a boy with an older sister.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pictures from my phone that just may make Peter and Teresa drool

Dick's is a Northwest institution.

They have the BEST hamburgers, handcut french fries, best ice cream.

They only serve hamburgers and cheeseburgers.

Their burgers only come one way, if you don't like what's on it, you'll just have to scrape it off.

They only take cash.

There is only one Dick's (I think) that has dine in, and that's the one we ate at near Queen Anne

This was the first time eating there for the kids that were with us.

Anne Marie loved the hamburgers. She wants ketchup on everything now.

Even Nora loved it.

(yes I know I'm feeding my baby a french fry, get over it)

Wait,I'm sorry I just told you to get over it.

What I meant was, don't worry about what I'm feeding my baby, please.

I promise she'll grow up to be healthy and happy.

All better? Great.

I ordered the special.

It was special because it had lettuce and relish on it. Yum!!

(And no that is not a weird camera angle, I really do have man hands)

I honestly took these pictures for our friends in Utah who are from the greater Seattle area.

They love Dick's as well, and I wish they could have sat down for a good burger and fries with us.
Jeff got us all scoops of ice cream afterwards.

That's one of the many reasons I adore him. He gets me ice cream.

I had rocky road

I wish I had some rocky road right now.

Don't you?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I am Alive

There are no pictures, I repeat, there are no pictures!

My camera battery needs to be recharged and I've been too drained myself to take any pictures.


Thank you for caring about me.


But I'm fine.

No, really, I am.

Let me give you a run down on the past 5 days and then all will be made clear.

Let's see.

Friday morning:Cleaned my house so that it could be ready-ish to go get Maile's 4 kids who were coming for the night. (didn't get much done)
Friday afternoon:Picked up my kids from school,early release, and drove to Gig Harbor where my children and I participated in a service project for Maile who was really sick with what turned out to be bronchitis, but only inches away from pneumonia.

Friday night:Drove back to Maple Valley with all 10 kids, ate Pizza for dinner, acted silly, had fun, fell asleep in 2 seconds.

Saturday morning:Got up made waffles for 10 children, got 10 kids ready and went with 10 kids to Charlie's basketball game.

Saturday mid-morning to early afternoon:Watched Charlie play basketball, dropped Jeff and 9 kids off at park while NOra and I made a run to Costco to get supplies and lunch then headed back to park where we all ate lunch, played some more and then left.

On the way home from park called Maile and convinced her that I should get to keep her adorable children for one more night. She said yes, I said hurray!

Picked up some movies, headed back to our house.

Saturday afternoon to early evening:Kids played outside, watched movies, ate dinner, ate cookies, ate paper. Wait, that was just Nora.

Saturday evening was spent putting kids to bed, consoling one child who became uncertain around 9:00 if he really wanted to spend the night again.

It worked out just fine.

Saturday night around 11-passed out cold from exhaustion.

Sunday morning: Made more waffles (if you're wondering why so many waffles, my wonderful friend Trisha gave me a recipe for homemade syrup that is so to-die-for that we pretty much come up with any excuse to pour it on stuff)

Jeff and Kate go to church because the rest of us were too tired and really, trying to get 12 of us out they door by 9:30 pretty much was not going to happen.

Kate and Jeff get home around 12:15, we pack everyone up-which took 2 hours, left for Gig Harbor to begrudgingly return them to their parents.

Spent evening in Gig Harbor, drove home around 9, everyone falls into beds utterly exhausted.

Monday morning we all slept thru alarms, snoozes, baby's crying, everything. Eventually my kids made it to school by 10. I then picked up my other adorable niece Sadie and she came and played for the afternoon-super fun because she likes me now and doesn't look at me weird anymore when I tell her I love her.

Monday afternoon:I finally got around to cleaning up post 10 children running around, eating, playing, shredding paper, dominoes everywhere, shoes everywhere, dishes everywhere, etc. etc.

Monday night Jeff and Keno and two of our neighbors went and picked up a piano from my lovely aunt who so generously donated it to the cause of musical education for my children, whilst I stayed home and cleared a spot for the placement of future angelic musical instrument.

Tuesday morning: Had to be ready when my kids left for school so that Anne Marie, Henry, Nora and I could get to Seattle by 10 for Nora's appt. with the TEDDY study.(She has the markers for juvenile diabetes, no biggie yet, we're just keeping an eye on it thru the study while helping them to try and discover what causes juvenile diabetes.)

Tuesday afternoon:Met Jeff for lunch, then rushed back to get Anne Marie to school, then spent the rest of the afternoon, with my lovely neighbors, preparing phone directories for all the women at church, then went to a dinner/church function for the women at church, arrived home at 10:30.

Wednesday morning:had to leave by 9:30 to get Henry and Nora to their doctor's appts. for Nora's immunizations and Henry's rash on his face.

Arrived home half an hour ago to a few phone calls expressing love and worry for my silence on the Bloggernet.


Bored yet? Me too.

I have some good posts I'm saving up, but as you can see, the past 5 days have really left me no alternative but to neglect my blog. So I am sorry, truly.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go make bread so that my children can have sandwiches tomorrow in their lunches (sorry about today Charlie, think of it as snacks for lunch:)and take a shower so that I'm ready for Kate and Julia's All District choir concert tonight at 7.

Oh, and clean up the puddle of spit up that just erupted out of Nora.

I'm outtie.
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