Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

Roy, Sheena, D, K, A, C and L

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Wrap Up

I realize that I haven't been keeping up this holiday season.  My blog reading list tells me that I'm not the only one.  I like to have things blogged for my kids to read about later but sometimes I'm too busy living now.  And that's okay.
D had 2 weeks off of school for the holiday break.  It was UH-MAZING to be able to sleep in to 8:00 again.  Ah bed, how I love thee in the morning and yet avoid thee at night....
I was a little worried about what we would do to keep busy but we managed all right.  We went to the library and checked out a bunch of book so he could read.  He's read some but not too much.  Mostly, he disappeared into his room and built things with his Legos.  He did learn to tie his shoes and earned the $5 from his dad.
K and A have been playing pretty well together lately.  They go downstairs and color and play with the toys.  It makes my mama heart swell with pride until the crying begins.
Christmas was good.  We had a pretty low key Christmas Eve.  We spent much of the day cleaning to be ready for Christmas.  In the evening we did a little family Nativity re-enactment.  That's always fun.  We sang some songs and read a Christmas story before going to bed.
Christmas morning the kids got up early enough to open their stockings before we went to church.  That left presents to do after church.  I kind of liked having Christmas on a Sunday.  It was cool to go to church and sing and listen.
My parents came the day after Christmas to spend the week with us.  It is always so fun to have grandparents here.  We feel very lucky to have had both sets of grandparents visit this holiday season (between Thanksgiving and Christmas).
It was fun to be at home (the kids loved playing with the Wii Santa brought for Christmas).   But we did some fun outside things too.  We headed out to visit the local celebrity volcano (Mount St. Helen's) and do some sledding.  It was a good time other than the carsick 2 year old.  We have got to remember she does that before she throws up in the car.  The two big kids had fun sledding and D and K liked it okay too.  My mom and I were a little concerned about having to splint and carry Roy and my dad off the mountain when they broke their legs on the sleds but fortunately we didn't have to try.
There were a million little events and funny things said but as I said before, I was too busy living it to blog it.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2011

How an Attorney's son learns to tie his shoes:


The Parties
  1. Roy D. Pyatt, the Dad (“Dad”); and

  1. D------- Pyatt, a seven year old boy (“D”)


Whereas Dad desires D to learn to tie his own shoes, independently, and without the assistance of Dad or any other adult;

Whereas D desires to earn money to pay tithing, save, and have fun; and

Whereas D desires the aid of “Red Lace, Yellow Lace”;

The parties hereby agree to be bound as follows:


The Recitals are intended to be part of this Agreement and are incorporated herein.  The parties agree that if D learns to tie his own shoes, as described above, on or before Christmas Day, December 25, 2011, Dad will pay D the sum of FIVE and no/100s dollars ($5.00).  The parties agree that said amount constitutes full and fair consideration.

D desires an extension beyond Christmas Day in order to fulfill his obligations under this Agreement.  D is concerned that the book “Red Lace, Yellow Lace”—which teaches children how to tie their own shoes, and upon which he has placed a hold with the Library—will not be available from the library in sufficient time as to allow him to both check out the book and learn how to tie his shoes.  The parties agree to extend the timeframe in which D must learn to tie his owns shoes to January 1, 2012.  In return for this additional consideration, D agrees to make Dad and Mom’s bed for seven days in a row, beginning Saturday, December 17, 2011, and ending Friday, December 23, 2011.  

If, for any reason, D fails to make Dad and Mom’s bed for the seven days described above, the original date of December 25, 2011 will be the time in which D must fully perform his obligation under this Agreement.

Dad agrees to issue payment to D within twenty-four (24) hours after D proves, to the satisfaction of an objectively reasonable person, that he has fulfilled his obligation under this Agreement.  For purposes of this Agreement, the parties appoint Sheena A. Pyatt to serve as the objectively reasonable person for evaluating D’s performance.  Should Sheena A. Pyatt refuse to serve as requested, the parties agree to appoint Jenn Harbertson or Ryan Harbertson to said position, in that order of preference.

DATED this 16th day of December, 2011 by the parties’ respective signatures.

______________________ ____________________

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Family Craft Night and Boogie Down

Tonight was Family Craft Night at D's school and we HAD to go.  It was pretty fun.  There were different crafts in each of the different grade areas.  The kids had a good time making reindeer and the like.  The best part by far was in the lunch room.  There were cookies and hot cocoa but there was also some music.  The dance teacher (D goes to dance once a week in addition to PE!) was leading dances that the kids have been learning.  It was great to watch D out there shaking his bootie to the chicken dance.  Not gonna lie, it was pretty great to see Roy out there too.  He's such a good dad to get out there and chicken dance and Macarena with the kids.  He later confessed to me that he had to watch D to figure out how to do the Macarena.  WHAT?!  Did you or did you not go to high school in the 1990's.  I was unaware that anyone who went to public school and attended at least one school dance could not know the Macarena.  Sometimes I'm surprised by just how opaque his bubble was.
Macarena conga line
Best shot of the flapping dragon formerly known as K.
Shake it chicken boys!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What a crappy day

I mean that quite literally.  It started with the splishy splash sound of urine dripping off my kitchen cupboard to the floor below; moved into a warm bath laxative for a slightly plugged up baby (I hate "fishing" in the bathtub"); and finished strong with a liquid suppository in one very plugged up 4 year old.  Bet you wish you were here today, huh?!

Anniversary dinner at Benihana

Roy and I have been married for 9 years.  Can you believe it?  We had a gift certificate for Benihana that we bought at a charity auction many months ago.  We decided to save it for our anniversary, so last night we got a sitter and went to dinner.
It was so much fun!  I've never been to a Benihana restaurant but I've been to similar styled places.  For anyone who doesn't know, Benihana is a Japanese style grill where they cook your food at the table.  I've gotten to where I like to try foods I don't normally like when I go out.  So when Roy asked if we should share a sushi appetizer I said, "Sure!"
I first tried sushi in college when I had a Japanese roommate make some for us.   I did not like it.  But it seems like every few years I try it just to make sure I really don't like it.  So Roy ordered a nice safe Philly roll sushi.  When it came, I put a little dallop of avocado wasabi on it a popped the whole thing in my mouth.  After the initial desire to promptly spit it out and down my water, I began chewing.  I was doing everything I could to not gag, hurl or otherwise disgrace the table.  I was trying to enjoy it while pondering ways to not swallow it.  Curse you cloth napkins!  I finally managed to swallow most of it except the seaweed wrapper.  That is the worst part in taste and texture.  By this time I'd reached the conclusion that I would have to excuse myself and go to the bathroom; however I did not want to look like I had a mouth full of sushi.  I hid it in my cheek, politely excused myself, and pretended like I didn't know I looked like a lopsided chipmunk until I reached the privacy of the bathroom stall where I could safely dispose of the remainder of my sushi.  I think I still don't like sushi.
On a side note, Roy really does like sushi but was unaware that the green stuff was wasabi and the white stuff was pickled ginger.  He piled both onto his first sushi.  He cut the ginger in half for his second because he thought it was horseradish.  He later confessed that he thought he was going to cry after his second bite.  Somehow he pushed on through and managed to eat 7 of the 8 sushi.  Now he knows better.
Our chef came to our table.  It seems a bit odd to go to a Japanese restaurant to eat food made by a Hispanic chef.  He was very good though.  He made jokes about the juxtaposition of his ethnicity to the restaurant and food style.  He did a great job providing dinner and a show.  Roy and I ordered the noodles to go with our dinners but he let me try some of the chicken fried rice.  Definitely ordering the rice next time!
Every meal came with shrimp.  In the spirit of trying things I tried my shrimp.  I told Roy not to tell anyone but I actually kind of liked it.  Of course, I was really hungry and it tasted mostly like chicken - not much fishiness to it.  Good thing too because I still only had a cloth napkin and I'd already used my bathroom break!
At the end of the meal a few of the Japanese waitresses came to our table to sing a Japanese happy song and light a candle on a Buddha for good luck.  Our waitress comped us some ice cream and we headed out.
It was a great night.  I had so much fun with Roy.  I'm lucky to be married to him and to be celebrating 9 happy years.  Here's to an eternity more!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Visit with Santa

Our dentist's office had a rockin' Christmas party tonight.  We have the coolest dentist office in the entire world.  My kids actually get excited to go to the dentist... even D.  So they were double excited to have a PARTY at the DENTIST!  It was great.
There was a big tent in the parking lot with a DJ, cookies and milk and some kiddie games (beanbag toss, sand pit etc.).  Behind the tent was a small array of animals to pet.  K held a ferret and A pet it.  D declined.  I held a large ball of fur they told me was a rabbit.  There was also a calf, a pony and a llama that the kids got to feed.
After playing the games, eating cookies and milk for dinner, and petting the animals we headed in the office to see Santa and Mrs. Claus.  The kids were very excited!  They all went right up to Santa - even A.  In fact, I think she was the first one up there.  She let Mrs. Claus pick her up (Mrs. Claus, "Ooof"  Me: "Hehe, she's more than she appears...")  Hopefully, one of the doctors (who also happens to be our bishop) will be sending me the picture on email.  It is cute.
We walked through the rest of the office.  They had a bin of fake snow the kids could play with, Christmas tattoos, a raffle and at the very end a karaoke area.  D and K sang "Jingle Bells" and it was awesome!
We had a really good time!  And we got to see Santa Claus.  I think this will be a new tradition for our family.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Randominity: Catch-up Edition

I was going to write a nice braggy post about how awesome my Thanksgiving dinner turned out.  I mean seriously, I spent 2 days in the kitchen and created some amazing food.  That ought to be worth a few lines of bragging right.  It seems a little anti-climatic now that it is December....  Still, thinking about the food makes my stomach growl....  Okay, I talked myself into a post.  If you want to see it, click here.

We went to get our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  The kids had a great time scattering through the trees and shouting about "perfect trees" and the like.  We got it set up with significantly less trouble than last year.  Here's hoping things go better this year!

Roy and I finally got new cell phones.  One small step for the technologically impaired, one large step for us.  Roy's phone is so new fangled it even connects to the internet!  

I got a flu shot on Friday.  Friday night I had body aches so badly I was waking myself up moaning.  I also had a nightmare that I was being stung repeatedly by hornets.  When I woke up I had stabbing nerve spasms running up my shot arm.  What's up with that?
Last night was the ward Christmas party.  The kids did a little program after dinner.  D was a wise man and K was an angel.  K came out on stage when it was her turn the first time but opted to lay on the floor behind the curtain during the finale when everyone was supposed to be out.  D did a great job of wandering with his fellow wise men and giving his gift to the baby Jesus.  

Sorry about the pictures.  My camera is not treating me well, plus it was a dim church gym.

These = crack.  So.Good.  Especially the ones with Kosher salt on them.  Salted Chocolate-dipped Caramels, my new favorite addiction.

I found this recipe for homemade fingerpaints.  They are not edible but they are safe to eat.  We used it in preschool this week to the great joy of all.  Another perk, since it is mostly water and cornstarch it is easy to wash up!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Design Flaw update

Anyone remember this place?
I've been taking a different route for the last while.  I thought I'd lost the house when I finally drove down that street again.
Turns out some things actually can be salvaged!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Feast

This Thanksgiving was great.  I totally went all out.  We had my in-laws coming so it was fun to plan and make some of the traditional things I kind of skip because we don't really eat them.
First off, appetizers.  I got the idea from a picture on pinterest.  After making them I realized waffle cones would have been a much better 'cornucopia'.  That's Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip in the middle.
 I saw Alton Brown's turkey recipe last year but didn't do it.  I knew I wanted to try brineing a turkey this year so it was very fortuitous that my favorite food blog simplified Alton's recipe.  It was AWESOME.

And here is the whole feast.  We used a mixture of red potatoes and russets for the mashed potatoes and Stove-Top provided our dressing.  I made my favorite cabbage and ramen noodle salad, Roy's favorite green jello/cottage cheese salad and our family's favorite crescent roll recipe.  I also tried some new recipes: candied coconut sweet potatoes, bacon-wrapped green bean bundles and cranberry sauce.
 How did it turn out you ask?  Well, the sweet potatoes were loved by all.  Even my FIL who doesn't generally like sweet potatoes had seconds and enjoyed the leftovers.  The cranberry sauce was better than canned but there was way too much of it.  I don't think I'll do the green bean bundles again.  I like my bacon really crispy and you can't do that when it is wrapped around green beans.  The salads and rolls were good. The rolls were a little dark on the bottom because they were on the bottom rack.  That's where a double oven would come in handy.

 I think everyone was well satisfied.  Dessert was good too, layered pumpkin pie toffee cheesecake and Grandma 'Net's Dutch apple pie.
It was a great meal with great company.  I love Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 12

I'm am grateful for Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel.  I'm grateful for my opportunity to be a part of the Savior's church that has been restored to the Earth again.  I'm grateful for the Atonement which makes it possible for me to reconcile to my Heavenly Father even though I'm not perfect.
I'm grateful for the restoration of living prophets and apostles.  I love to listen to their words and feel the Holy Ghost teach me during General Conference.
I'm grateful to have a direction and purpose to my life.  I'm so happy to not wander in darkness, wondering what to believe, who is right or why it matters.
I'm grateful for scriptures that teach the words of ancient prophets and recount the history of God's work on the Earth.
I'm grateful to be a Mormon and have a testimony of the love of my Heaven Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.
To learn more about anything I said, check out

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 11

I'm grateful for family.  I know I've blogged individually about each member of my family, but I'm grateful for more.  I'm grateful to have a family and to have the sweet kids I have.  I'm also thankful for the extended family I have.  I was raised by great parents who taught be high moral standards as well as useful skills, like how to iron cook.  I'm grateful I was raised in a loving home with a mom and a dad who loved each other.  I'm grateful for the sacrifices I didn't recognize at the time but now realize were there.
I'm grateful for all three of my brothers.  They are handsome, intelligent, hard working men.  I'm proud of each of them and the choices they are making with their lives.
I'm grateful for my brother's wives.  I'm glad they make my brothers happy.
I'm grateful for the family I married into.  I always wanted to have a sister growing up.  I was fortunate to marry into a family with 9 sisters for me to get to know and love.  I'm grateful for my brother in laws as well.  I'm grateful for my mother and father-in-law and for the effort, time and sacrifice they put into raising such a wonderful man.   I'm am so lucky to have such a large and fun crowd of in-laws.
I'm grateful for my nieces and nephews.  It is so much fun to see them growing up and be a part of their lives.
I'm so glad I was able to grow up near my grandparents.  I am so thankful for the time I had with my paternal grandparents before they passed away.  It was a huge blessing to live in their home town.  I'm grateful for the memories I have of visiting my maternal grandparents.  I'm grateful I can take my kids to visit them and build a relationship with them.
I'm grateful for all the wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins I have.  Family is truly a blessing and has been an important part of my life.  Thank you to all of you I'm lucky enough to call family!

Monday, November 21, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 10

I'm grateful for friends.
I'm grateful for the friends who have made me who I am today.  The ones who shaped and molded me.  The ones who have know me all my life and still like me.
I'm grateful for the friends I've left behind.  I'm grateful for the ones who make an effort to stay in touch even if it is infrequent at best because life is busy enough.
I'm grateful for my 'new' friends.  I'm grateful to have friends who call to check on me, invite me to play games, bring me treats, wave and smile when they see me from afar.
I'm grateful to have friends near and far who all contribute something to the person I am right now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 9

I'm grateful for D.  He is my first born and my only son.  He is my baby and will always be my baby.  He is the one who made me a mother.  He is the one who is teaching how to be a mother one new stage at a time.
D has always been intelligent.  He was differentiating between cars, vans, SUV's, buses and trucks before most kids can are out of the "vroom, vroom" stage.  We used to spell his name and he would tell us what we were spelling when he was 18 months.  He knew his letters and sounds by 2, was reading beginning words at 3 and was a fluent reader at 4.
Now, he is discovering how much fun numbers can be.  He is constantly asking Roy and I math questions and working multi-step abstract problems in his head.  He loves to learn and I am grateful that he wants to know things.
I'm glad he loves school.  I'm grateful we live in an area where he can attend a 'challenge' program and move at a faster pace than a regular classroom.  I'm grateful he wants to go to school.
D is a handsome boy.  I'm grateful for his big beautiful eyes that women envy and girls will swoon over (but not yet!).  I'm glad he has such great hair and someday he will be too.  I'm grateful for his strong body and coordination that allows him to play and ride bikes and swim.
I'm grateful to have a great big brother for my girls.  I'm grateful he likes to read stories to his sisters.  I'm grateful that he is protective of them and is learning how to take care of girls.
I'm grateful that D is so big and able.  I love that he can take a shower by himself and come out at least 80% clean.  I love that he can get his own snack and pour his own drinks.  I'm grateful that he wants to help and be a good boy.
I'm grateful for D's sense of humor.  He loves jokes.  He makes up his own jokes most of which are creative....  I'm grateful that he does have pretty good comedic timing (must get that from me...right?).
I'm grateful that D likes to play games.  His favorite game right now is U-Build Monopoly.  I'm grateful to have a kid who can play card games that involve more than fish.
I'm grateful to have a son who loves Heavenly Father and has faith in Jesus Christ.  I'm grateful for his desire to do what is right.  I'm grateful for his spirit which recognizes truth and responds with joy.  I'm grateful that D wants to get up early to read his scriptures in the morning before school.
I'm grateful to have such a beautiful, caring, sensitive, intelligent, fun boy.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 8

Tonight, I want to express my gratitude for A.  She is my little chubster.  She my girl who can literally eat ALL day!  I can always count on A to be happy with dinner when the other two offspring are not.  In fact, A is the person in the house who usually expresses the most gratitude -- even for clean clothes!  I am grateful to hear her say, "Tank-oo mommy!"
I'm grateful for A's little voice.  She has been stringing phrases and sentences together and it is just precious to listen to.  She is regularly telling us, "no touch" when we get too close to her toys or "out my room" when she needs some space.  She always tells me she's the "beebee" and I'm the "mommy".  I'm grateful that I can understand her when others cannot.
I love to hear her sing.  She especially likes "too, fwee" which is a preschool song that starts out "1, 2, 3 come learn with me..."  She also sings and does the movements for the Wheels on the Bus.  And she is always singing "lala lala, emmo woo". (Elmo's World)
I love to watch her dance.  She really likes to move her body to the music.  She bounces and sways.  It is adorable!  I'm grateful that her little body works like it's supposed to.
A is my quiet, watchful one.  I'm grateful for her softer approach to life.  I'm grateful for the peacefulness that she has even as a 2 year old.
A is also my exhibitionist.  She gets dressed at least 5 times a day and is still naked by the time Roy gets home from work.  On Sundays, she usually has her boots and sweater off before the opening hymn starts.  I'm grateful she knows how to put her own clothes on and not just take them off.  I'm grateful to watch her chubby little legs pump as she runs away from me.  I'm grateful to see her chubby baby belly sag over her diaper after she's eaten all day. 
I'm grateful to watch her develop and see her intellect growing as she watches and mimics her siblings.  I'm grateful for her hugs and "muh's".  I'm grateful this little Angel is part of our family.

Dryer Balls

I learned a new tip/trick that I'm trying out...  Anti-static aluminum foil balls.  I got the idea from my friend Mel at Testosterone Overload.  I sort of forgot about it for a bit but today is the day!  I just put a load of wet clothes into the dryer without any dryer sheets.  I didn't use liquid fabric softener either.  I wadded up a tight wad of tinfoil about the size of a baseball/softball-ish and tossed it in the dryer with the wet clothes.  I'll let you know how it goes!
(About the noise, it sounds like you would expect a ball in a dryer to sound like... occasional thumps but not anything that would discourage me from using it if it works.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 7

This is a religious post.  Please be respectful if you chose to disagree with any or all of my religious views.
Yesterday, I had some friends over for a visit.  One woman was sharing a story about an associate to whom she looked up to in high school.  This associate has married and has 3 sons ages 2, 4, 6.  Recently, her 2 year old died tragically.  This story has stuck with me over the last couple of days.  I have always feared losing one of my children --even before I had children.  However, I am so grateful for the eternal perspective and promise of an eternal family.  
Roy and I were sealed on December 13, 2002 in a sacred temple by a man ordained with eternal keys.  Our family was promised that we could be together forever if we would live up to the covenants we made with God that day.  I am so grateful for temples and the priesthood ordinances performed in them.  I am so grateful to know that my kids will be my kids forever.  I'm grateful to know that I will be sealed to my parents forever.  I'm grateful that Roy and I are husband and wife for eternity, not just until we die. 
I'm also grateful that temples dot the earth so that all may receive the blessings of the temple.

For those curious about LDS temples, I would encourage you to check out this site's FAQs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 6

Today I'm thankful for K.  She is such a crazy, funny, loving girl I almost can't stand it!  Sometimes I just want to squeeze the stuffing out of her!  I do refrain and settle for a hug and possibly a little tickling.
I was driving her home from Preschool today and the 80's Christmas song, Do They Know It's Christmas, was on.  It ended and another song came on but K wasn't done listening to the "feevah song".  So I turned the radio down and listened to her sing, "feevah whoah duh duh duh duh duh, feevah whoah duh duh duh duh duh, feevah whoah duh duh duh duh duh" until she was "done with the feevah song".  I just loved it!  I was soaking it up and was sad when she was done.  (Side note, Roy sings, "Free the world"  now we know where she gets her lyrical understanding from...)
I love ticking her little body.  She is so scrawny, I can almost put my hands around her waist and touch fingers. I love to hear her laugh and squirm away.  I love that I can tell her to put both hands on top of her head and even though she knows what's coming she still does it.  (I tickle her armpits.)
She still fits on my lap.  I love that her little buns fit in the hole of my legs when I sit cross legged.
I love her hair.  Honestly, she has GREAT hair!
I love her voice and smile.  She is so loving and smart.  Strangers love K.  She is outgoing enough to befriend almost anyone.  She will talk to grown-ups like she is one of them.  Of course, I have to watch what I say because if anyone is going to repeat a story I tell it will be her.  That's a good reminder for me to always watch what I say anyway.
One of the mom's from our preschool was talking to me about K.  It seems one of the little boys in the preschool has a bit of a preschool crush on K and talks about her all the time.  This mom was describing K as beautiful with just enough of aloofness to be mysterious.  She's only 4 so you can imagine what the next 20 years will be like for her daddy!
I am so grateful to be her mom.  I love you K!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 5

Tonight I want to tell you all how grateful I am for my Husband.
He's amazing.
He stays home with the kids every Wednesday night so I can go to Young Women's activities.  He is a great father.  The kids all adore him. He plays games with them, dances and sings with them, rides bikes with them.  He has special nicknames for all the kids and laughs when thinks about them.
He is a good provider who is looking for ways to improve his business and earning potential to better care for our family.
He is a handyman.  I mean, sure, he sometimes thinks he can do more than he can (remember the car?  still spray painted.)  But he almost single-handedly did the entire remodel on the interior of our house.  He also painted the exterior and maintains the yard (except the garden because he somehow things that's my job... why is that?).
He's a safe driver.  Never caused an accident.  That's more than some of us can say....
He is a faithful holder and exerciser of the Priesthood of God.  He leads our family in family prayer and scripture study.  He teaches the Gospel in simple and profound ways.  He is an example to me in spiritual matters.
He is a good companion.  He sometimes even laughs at my jokes.  He tells great stories and remembers events to tell stories about.
Did I mention that he's smokin' hot?  Cuz he is.
I'm grateful to be married to such a great guy who loves me and treats me with the love and respect I deserve and sometimes that I don't deserve.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 4

I am grateful for our house.  There is so much to be grateful for here.  We live in an amazing neighborhood that I love.  We have fabulous neighbors.  We have a fenced yard with green grass and a sandbox.  We have bedrooms for the kids and a spare room for junk crafting in and guests to stay.  It has indoor plumbing, a big plus in my book!  It has forced air heating.  I love that I can set the temperature and it is automatically maintained.  We have a toy room for the kids to play.  We have the space for a nice sitting room.  Someday, we may even have furniture in that nice sitting room area.  I have a private master bathroom and walk in closet.  The main level has hard wood floors that Roy installed himself. 
We have put a lot of time, effort and money into making this a comfortable home where we want to be.  I am so grateful to have this house and to make it our home.  I'm grateful to be warm and dry when it is cold and rainy outside.  I am grateful to listen to my kids playing in their rooms.  I'm even grateful, in a way, to clean it because it is mine and that's something to be grateful for!

Monday, November 14, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 3

I've been planning our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner and it has caused me to be grateful for the internet.  Seriously, how did people cook before Allrecipes, Google and my favorite food blog.  Ooo, and now Pinterest.  I mean, my mom had to actually purchase and read cookbooks.
All I have to do is google (I love how that is a noun and a verb!) "what's for dinner" and I get tons of ideas.
And if I'm ever stumped for a substitution or measurement equivalent?  Google!
I've tried more recipes than not from and their cookbook.
I am so grateful for the ease and convenience of the internet.  It makes my life easier in a lot of ways.  However, it is important to remember not to spend too much time on the internet.  It is so easy to get sucked in to pinterest or blog surfing.  So, while I'm grateful, I'm also trying to be cautious.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 2

I've been thinking off and on all day about what to post for day 2.  I was just cleaning up and tossed D-man's picture from primary.  The front was about walking in someone's shoes.  The back was a graphically detailed illustration of Fart Man: he has lots of gas.  All of a sudden I realized what I wanted to express gratitude for today  --  Primary Teachers!  And other teachers.  Basically anyone who helps teach my children but especially primary teachers.
You can see him dreaming up Fart Man now!
D has had the same teacher for the last year and a half.  She is a great woman who takes time to make lessons and awesome handouts.  I don't know much about what actually goes on in the classroom because getting information from a 7 year old boy is difficult at best but I see cool things when I go pick him up so I know cool things are happening.  I am so grateful for the time and thought she gives to my child.  I know she thinks about him individually as well as her class collectively.  I'm so grateful she puts that time and effort in even though it may seem like it is unappreciated.  And actually, to a great extent it is unappreciated by D because he has no idea what preparation it takes.  All he knows is what's happening in class.
The same can be said of K's primary teachers.  K is a sunbeam.  She is part of a class of like ten 3-4 year olds.  I'm grateful for the 2 women who have agreed to sacrifice 2 hours a week to be in that room as well as who-knows-how-many hours to prepare.  They always have a lesson and hand outs.  They are always smiling when I come to pick up K.  Come to think of it that could be because the kids are leaving.... I like to think it is because they are happy to be there....
A is in nursery for another year still.  I am so grateful for nursery leaders.   I had to teach a lesson in young women's a few weeks ago and A was brought to me because she had fallen and hit her head.  I had to teach with A in the room.  She was on and off and on and off my lap, into my bag, banging around and a general distraction.   I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR NURSERY LEADERS!
I am really really just so very grateful for the teachers who prepare and teach my children for no pay and minimal visible results.  I know there are results and I am grateful these people care enough to make the effort.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Funny things from the game

Roy's watching a football game tonight.  Sports are fertile ground for funny comments.

Roy: "Awww, NO!  Fumble!"
D: "NO!  Not a FUMBLE!!   ....    what's a fumble?"

D: "Come on Oregon!  Get a homerun!"  (it's football)

12 Days of Thanksgiving, Day 1

Today I'm grateful for my health and the health of my family.  We've been dealing with really minor and yet still inconvenient health issues for a week now.  Four out of five of us have contracted the illness D brought home from school last week.  As I was laying on the couch two nights ago, too miserable to sleep, watch tv or anything else, I felt gratitude for the knowledge that this was a short illness.  I have at many times thought about how blessed we have been health wise.  We get the occasional cold and flu.  We've had a few broken arms and many scraps, cuts, bruises etc.  But we've never dealt with long term or terminal illness.  I am grateful to feel good and be strong.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sick Kid

Wednesday night I walked in the door from Young Women's (youth group activity) just in time to see D toss his cookies on my rug.  He was downstairs standing in front of the couch -- about four steps away from the hardwood floor.  FOUR STEPS!  *sigh*
I got my neighbor out of bed to borrow her carpet shampooer.  Thanks Jenn.  Seriously.  And spent the next hour and a half going over and over my rug trying to get the red (he'd had medicine before he threw up) stain and puke smell out of the rug. 
It is now Friday and my rug is still trying to dry out.  The back still smells like puke.  It may never be the same.  I'm still holding out hope that the rug will someday lay flat but that's looking less and less likely with each passing hour. 
I kept D home from school on Thursday.  Then this morning when I called to tell the school he wouldn't be there today either, the secretary told me there were only 8 students in his class yesterday.  8!  And the 3rd grade challenge class that is basically in the same room only had 13 students.  Wow.  I guess the season of sickness is alive and well this year!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Today was a busy day!  D wanted to wear his spider costume to school but I hadn't fixed the arms from trunk 'r treating yet.  I forgot.  So I frantically applied velcro to each arm and a strip of black fabric.  I wanted the arms connected so that when he moves his arms the spider arms move to.  Otherwise, they just hand limply there and it is hard to even tell what he is.  After all that work, it turns out that NO ONE wears costumes to school anymore.  He was fine but changed into his other shirt for PE and decided not to change back.  Eh, okay. 
After we got D off, the girls and I got ready to head to storytime at D's school.  They do storytime for preschoolers the last Monday of every month.  K decided she didn't want to be Wonder Red anymore.  She wanted to be a dragon/dinosaur.  She put that costume on for storytime and visiting Roy's work.  I didn't get a picture!  I didn't think about it but it is the same costume that D wore three years in a row.  It's just in the toy room so they wear it periodically.  A didn't want to dress up at all.
We went to storytime then headed downtown for the Library.  Our books were due 3 days ago.  I seriously LOVE that our library doesn't have fines.  Since the library is right across the street from Roy's work, we went over to say hi.  The secretaries like to see the kids, especially K as a "scary dragon".  We played at the library for a while.  One of these days I'll have to take some pictures at the library because it is crazy awesome!! 
We headed home for lunch and naps.  Then I got started on dinner.  I asked K if she would like "puking pumpkins and bones" for dinner.  She didn't think she would like that too much.  I thought she would and it turns out I was right:
One of the peppers had a bad spot  (not bad considering I bought them at Costco on October 5!) so instead of just "puking", it also had its brains spilling over.  The kids ate them up.  Literally!  I didn't take any pictures of the bones, but they are breadsticks.  I took the idea from here (scroll down 3 pictures).  They look pretty much like mine do.

After dinner, it was time to toss on our costumes.  K made a switch again.  She decided to be a ladybug.  It's great to have options!  I borrowed that costume from a friend 2 years ago.  This is the 3rd year K has worn it. 



Trick-or-treating was fun.  It was really fun.  I loved watching the kids running from house to house, feeling the crisp air of fall, chatting with neighbors.  I was grateful for the generousity of our neighbors.  People had good candy, even full sized candy bars.  A real delicacy for my children who have never experienced such finery!  We just did a small jaunt around our closest neighbors.  The we loaded in the van and headed to Linda's house.  She is one of the secretaries at Roy's work.  She invites us over every Halloween to get special trick-or-treat bags from her house.  She is always so good to the kids and this year was no different.  Last year A threw up while we were at her house so when we knocked on the door, Linda and Pat jokingly got a tarp out to put down.  Fortunately, no one got sick this year!

 After Linda's house the kids trick-or-treated a few more houses before we headed home for bed.  It was a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More about the dead cat and other stuff

This week has been a pretty busy week about more than a dead cat.  But that has tainted my week to an extent that I don't like to admit.  Even still I'm filled with a bit of saddness.  Over a cat.  I never would have guessed it.  I like cats but I've lost family pets before but never been as effect by it as this.  I think there are two reasons for this.
First, I'm mourning more than just the loss of Friday.  I'm mouring the loss of the future and of having a family pet.  This is our second attempt at a cat, our last one having disowned us within the first 6 months of owning her.  We are done for now.  The kids have started the lobbying for a dog but that's not happening either.
The other thing is that I WATCHED HER DIE and IT WAS MY FAULT.  These have been proving difficult images to get over.
I'm getting better but it strikes me every now and then in ways I don't expect. 

Okay.  But like I said, there' more to this week than a dead cat.  I had carpool and preschool this week.  Monday morning, I was driving the kids to school.  They were talking about cartoons.  The 5th grade boy started a description of one of his favorite cartoons with this phrase, "You know way back in the 1900's...." 

Oh my.....

Tuesday and Thursday were preschool days.  It is so fun and exhausting at the same time.  Those kids are energetic.  We started a unit about the Ocean this rotation.  We made a "sea cave" and "dived" for triangles, we learned the letter "O", we made ocean dioramas.  Have I mentioned on here?  If not, I'm mentioning it now because it is the preschool curriculum we are using and it is great.  It cost us $110  for each child (it is a sliding pay -- more kids, less cost per kid) and provides all the materials for each kid to do all the projects as well as all the lesson plans.  If you are thinking about doing your own preschool, I defintely recommend checking it out!

Friday evening was our ward's Trunk 'r Treat.  Since we live in a rainy part of the world, it was more of a church-classroom 'r treat.  Still fun.  
Here's the family lined up for the costume parade.  D is a spider this year (hard to tell in this picture but he's swinging one of his extra legs around.  That's what the black blur is).  A is a bumble bee baby and K is Wonder Red/Red Riding Hood.  (Although she announced tonight that she wants to be something else for actual trick-or-treating.... kids.)
A wasn't too sure about the whole thing.  All the costumes kind of freaked her out.  She wasn't too sure about the trick-or-treating but was okay with the candy.  She mostly walked around the church with a bit of bewildered look on her face. 
K took right to trick-or-treating, making it around the church twice before the rest of us got all the way around once.  This surprises no one.
D is an old pro.  He was "Trunk 'r Treat" ing all over that church!  He was great to stay with the family though and help A out as needed.  She is luck to have such a great big brother to take her under his wing and teach her the ways of candy gathering.

Today D was invited to a birthday party.  We talked a little about the Sabbath day and how Heavenly Father has commanded us to keep it holy.  I asked him if going to a birthday party seemed like a good way to do that.  This conversation happened after I knee-jerk announced he wouldn't be going because it is on Sunday.  Hummmm, better to have held that back so he could make his own choice.  Maybe next time...
I was feeling bad about him not going though.  His friend lives in the neighborhood and D doesn't see him much anymore because of the different school bit.  Plus his friend dropped by about an hour before the party to remind D that the party started in an hour.  He looked truly dejected when D told him he wouldn't be there.  So, D and I walked over a few minutes after the party started to drop off a gift and explain why he wouldn't be staying.  His little friend was having so much fun playing with balloons and a couple of other friends that I felt much better.  I'm really glad we went over.  Now I've met his friend's mom which is always nice too.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Our Cat Friday

Wathcing TV like any reasonable PsychoCat.
Okay, given my last post about Friday you may think we don't actually like our cat.  You would be wrong.  We do like Friday.  She has so much personality.  That is what makes her Psycho the Wonder Cat.  One of her favorite pasttimes is riding in cars.  Or it would be if we would let her ride as much as she wanted.  She jumped into cars any chance she got.  It finally got to the point that if I was in a hurry I would let her ride along because trying to get a cat out of a minivan takes time.  Lots of time.  And sometimes a big stick.  Okay, maybe not the stick part. 
The other day when we went to the zoo, my friend drove so there had to be some carseat manuvering and stroller stowing and such.  Friday was so underfoot the ENTIRE time.  In fact, she jumped in the underbasket of the folded up stroller and I had to shake her loose.  Frustrating -- in a funny cat kind of way. 
This weekend, Friday went for a ride with my neighbor's mom because she jumped in the car and sat on the dashboard.  My neighbor's mom decided, "Sure, why not."  Friday stayed on that dashboard for the whole ride until the end.  She loved the movement and watching out the window. 
There was the time when I took her in the car to Target.  She stood on the passenger seat with her hind legs and had her front legs on the door so she could watch out the window.  She was intensly curious all. the. time. 
Alright, this post keeps switching from present to past tense.  I just don't want to say it but Friday died today.  She was only about 5 months old.  Her love of vehicles trumped her fear of moving wheels and she got ran over.  By me.  In the garage.  Ugh.  I feel terrible.  It was less than an hour ago that Friday was alive and I wish so much that I could go back and re-do that horrible minute when I pulled into the garage.  The thing is, I didn't even see her.  I don't know if she was laying on the garage floor and just didn't move or if she ran out in front of me.  I am sick.  Ugh.
She loved us totally.  She trusted us completely.  She was even learning not to jump people or climb on the table. I remember one morning when I was leaving and Friday was on the porch.  She watched the van pull out of the driveway through the front slats of the porch and moved to the side to watch us drive up the road.  She seemed so forlorn to be left behind.  That was a cat who wanted to experience life to the fullest.  And now she's gone.  URGH.  WHY DIDN'T SHE RUN AWAY FROM THE WHEELS?!  Why didn't I drive in slower or park on the driveway?!  Stupid cat!!
I'm really going to miss her.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Primary Program

Today was the primary program.  The kids did AWESOME!!  Especially D.  This was his first 'normal' year.  He really is growing up.  We've been praying for him and talking to him about not being nervous.  I'm so proud of how well he did.  He sat with is class on the stand the entire time.  He sang every song.  When it was time for his part he spoke directly into the microphone clearly and perfectly.  It was GREAT!  The only thing was his state of undress....  He was completely dressed when he got on the stand but when he got up to give his part his zip-up tie had mysteriously fallen to his navel and the top button on his shirt had dislodged itself from its hole.  He fiddled with his tie - zipping it up and straightening it - until it was his turn.
K was a little less awesome but no less adorable.  K is not my shy one but she was in some sort of mood.  Have I mentioned that K is stubborn.  She decides she is going to be sad and, by George, she's going to be sad.  So she was sad.  She stayed with her class but sat on a teacher's lap.  She got up with her class for every song but did not sing one word.  She would stand on the stand with her arms outstretched toward us like, "Please come get me... I need you!!"  When it was time for her part, she whispered it into the microphone effectively making it incomprehensible.  Like I said, a little less awesome but absolutely adorable.
Since the program, K has been singing Scripture Power which is her favorite song.  Kids.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A little housework

Sometimes blogging is like housework.  Every time I get caught up I think to myself, "Whew.  I'm caught up.  Now it will be so much easier to maintain rather than trying to play catch up again."  Then the next thing you know I have so many things to do it seems like it's better to not bother.  Hint:  It is never better to not bother. 
Another problem with not blogging in the moment is that I'm never as funny when I've thought about it for too long.  You miss the pleasure of my stream-of-conscious dialog with myself because I'm too busy trying to record our family's history.
I think I'd like to make a goal to blog everyday about the day before.  But then I think I won't do it and it seems a very public failure. 
So, if you notice some regular posts, that's just me trying to follow through.  If you don't, that's just me being me.  Either way I hope we can still be friends.

Fall Field Trip!

Today, we went on a field trip with K's preschool group.  We had talked about going to a pumpkin patch but decided to go to this great little farm stand for a mini-pumpkin patch experience.  It turned out to be a great time.  The Red Barn has a large front lawn that was covered in pumpkins layed out in a maze for the kids to run around in.  They have a few animals: piglets, a couple of big pigs, two goats and some chickens.
K really liked watching the chickens scratch around.
The man who was working at the farm stand was AMAZING with the kids.  He brought them each a small pumpkin, gave them granola bars and honey sticks and played with them.  One of the kids knocked his hat off and they ran around the maze chasing and laughing.  He talked to them and they all loved him.  K kept wanting to show him how she could climb on the huge pumpkin they had.  I always appreciate great people who make my kids feel special.
Picture taken by Heather

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wonder Red

K wants to be Wonder Red from Super Why for Halloween.  Today she had a Halloween party after preschool that she was supposed to wear her costume to.  What do you think?
I guess the only pictures I got were when she was climbing the fence.
Alright.  I realize that this looks nothing like Wonder Red.  Still, when I brought the dress home from Goodwill and showed K her only response was, "WONDER RED!!"  Good enough for me.  However, she wants roller skates because that's what Wonder Red wears.  Umm, no. 
The Halloween party seemed to be fun.  I went back to pick her up and have a costume parade around the block.  The kids were all dressed really cute and enthusiastic about everything.  The had put together some foam kits like you see in the craft stores.  One was a ghost on a stick.  K made hers super spooky by only using one googly eye.  Now it is a one eyed ghost.  This apparently started a trend because one of the others copied her.  That's my K.  A regular little trend setter.  Actually, she started the climbing on the fence bit as well.  I don't know if she's a trend setter or instigator. 


Today was the first parent teacher conference of the year.  I really like D's teacher.  She is so nice.  She has been teaching for 30 years.  She does a marvelous job teaching the Challenge 1st/2nd grade split.  D wanted to come with me so I called a neighbor to stay with the girls.
She had one word to describe D, enthusiastic.  "He is a very enthusiastic learner."  This was said without any sarcasm or fateful pauses.  And if you know D you know that he is an enthusiastic learner.  He gets really excited to learn new things. 
D needs to work on keeping his work neat.  He starts out writing neatly and keeping his paper clean.  As his work progresses it gets sloppier and messier as he doodles more and "decorates" his paper.  uh...I have no idea where he gets that from....
I had a few questions for D's teacher.  Roy and I have been discussing D's educational placement.  We are very happy with the challenge program so far and feel like this is the best place for D right now.  However, we have been wondering if he should be in 2nd grade rather than first.  I was able to talk to her about that.  She assured us that D is doing well in 1st grade and that she would not recommend changing him.  He is a good size for a first grader but would be a small second grade.  Although D is at the top of his age, he would be a year younger than some of the second graders.  He also fits maturity wise with the first graders more than the second graders.  Most of these are things I've felt but it is good to have his teacher reaffirm it.
The second question I've wondered about is how he fits in with his peers while they are playing.  She confirmed that he is fine.  He plays well with his peers.  She has raised two daughters who also went through the Challenge program.  She has observed a lot of play time with a variety of kids and expressed her opinion that often times the kids in the Challenge program "play differently".  This makes sense when I watch D interact with his peers.   He has more fun with the kids who are interested in things he is interested in.   Huh.  Now that I type it sounds really obvious.  We all have more fun with people who share our interests. 
 All in all, it was a great PTC.  I'm excited for D to be in this class.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mommy's taking us to the zoo...

The kids have a CD with this song,
"Daddy's taking us to the zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow, zoo tomorrow
Daddy's taking us to the zoo tomorrow.  We can stay all day.
We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo.  How about you, you, you?
You can come too, too, too.  We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo."
It is a very catchy tune.  Sort of like Lambchop singing The Song That Never Ends.  I start singing it in my head nearly everytime I hear the word zoo. 
All this is a long way of introducing the fact that I took the girls to the zoo.  We got a Groupon deal that we split with a friend.  It got us all into the zoo for $23.  That is a really GREAT deal in case you haven't been to a zoo or any other family entertainment place for the last 50 years. 

Today happened to be one of two fair weather days for the next 6-8 months so off we went.  Before we left Roy asked K what animals she wanted to see.  There was the regular list: lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes.  At the end of the list, K added Bats.  She decided those were her favorite animal of the day and we had to see the bats.  Disguisting little flying rats but that's just my opinion. 
The Groupon came with 4 popcorns and 4 sodas.  The girls polished their popcorns off.  In fact it seemed like everytime I turned around they were eating or asking to be fed.  Good thing I packed a few snacks. 

A was so cute.  She wanted to see everything.  She was loving it all.  There is something amazing about watching a little face discover new things.  She walked much of the time and was totally fried by the time we left.  
A growled when we saw the lions.  LOVE IT!!
K got a huge kick out of petting the goats. 
She kept getting down on their level and talking to them; asking about their house and what they were going to do. 
We managed to see almost all the animals before the kids started pooping out.  It was fine though because I had to be back to run carpool for D and my friend had to get her son from the school bus. 

Good news!  After a brief youtube search I have located the zoo song for anyone not familiar with it.  Or for anyone who clicked on the Lambchop link and would like a diversion song. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mexican Dinner

Roy and I have been seeking for adult friends.  Okay, me more than Roy but that's to be expected since he goes out with business people regularly and I eat PBJ with preschoolers.  We arranged with a youngish (like us) couple in the ward to go out on a double date.  So fun.  Except that I accidentally paid our bills before we were supposed to go out so I found out we didn't have any money to pay a babysitter and go out. 
When I was young I used to look forward to Mexican Dinners with the Campbells.  At the time I didn't realize it was probably more because our parents wanted to get together than because they knew their kids would like it.  Now I know better. 
I called our friends and invited them for a Mexican dinner.  The plan was to have dinner and play games while the kids played and watched movies downstairs.  We actually had dinner and talked until it was too late to play games and our kids were bouncing off the wall from exhaustion downstairs. 
It was a lot of fun.  I think it is good to expose the next generation to these timeless traditions.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Daddy's boy

D has been a daddy's boy from the time he was born.  Roy likes to tell a story about one time when D was a baby and got sick.  (Mom, you remember the time -- it was when D threw up on you at the hospital in SLC....)  I had to work the next day so Roy inflated our air mattress and went to sleep in the front room with D.  They snuggled together.  Roy rubbed his back and fed him some smashed carrots.  D threw up, went to sleep and awoke later in the night.  Roy gave him some juice.  The boy went back to sleep and felt better in the morning.  Roy likes to take credit for healing D. 
Of course, the man also claims to have raised D for the first year of his life.  Therefore his word can't always be taken seriously.

Today Roy went to have lunch at D's school.  They've been talking about this for YEARS.  Literally.  They have been planning for the day when D would be in full time school and Roy could come for lunch.  They also plan to make it a monthly thing.  They have both been so excited.
I thought about calling Roy around the time I knew lunch would be finishing up.  Imagine my pleasure when Roy called me.  I wanted to hear all about their wonderful lunch.  Instead Roy announced he'd checked D out of school and was bringing him home.  Apparently the poor boy wasn't feeling well.  He didn't even want his ice cream from lunch.  Obviously something was wrong!
So D came home early today while Roy went back to work.  D lounged on the couch, ate some cookie dough, had some lunch and felt better after a couple of hours.  I like to think I cured him this time.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Crafty Bath Mat

I've been working on this for longer than I want to admit.  Not because it is hard but first because I was intimidated by using silicone and then because my craft room became too messy to use and had to be cleaned.  Now it is finally done and placed in front of my shower.  So what is it?  It is a "Stone Bath Mat" via Lowe's Creative Ideas.  I think it turned out nice.  I am excited to try it out.  I do have a few concerns about the pracitcality of it due to water and moisture issues.  It may be that I have to get a regular bath mat for outside the shower and put this in front of the bathtub to be used for theraputic rather than practical uses.  As you can see, I used three large seashells to begin with.  I really liked the look of the shells.  However, when I tentatively stepped on the mat to try it out one of the shells cracked.  I was worried about them not being able to support standing on.  Turns out I was right.  Fortunately, it was a quick fix to pull the shells off and glue stones in their place. 
I will let you know how things turn out but I'm hopeful right now.  In fact, I can't wait to take a shower to so I can step out onto my new mat!