October 30, 2009

Why do I bother?

You know,

no matter how hard I try,

despite all best efforts, all my sweat and tears,

it would appear that I am not raising children,

but puppies.

October 28, 2009

Easily impressed. Sorry, can't help it.

Call me a mother.

Call me easily impressed.

Or maybe I'm just easily impressed because I'm her mother but I love her drawings.

I think we'll have to take out a second mortgage on the house in order to support Savannah's paper addiction.

But she just LOVES to draw. She loves to cut and paste and draw some more.

She was writing the alphabet long before she could read it because she liked to "draw" the letters.

Here is her latest family portrait. If I had kept every single family portrait this girl has ever drawn, I would probably be able to fill the bathtub full with them. I love that we are all holding hands except for Alayna... because she's not tall enough yet.

I don't know what is considered "normal" or "average" when it comes to kids and all their many stages, but I seriously was impressed with these next two drawings.

It has a princess, who is holding a heart. A prince who looks like his hands are over his heart, and he has on some stylish shoes. It has castles and clouds, and look at her name! I had never seen her do that before!

I love this one.

Its got the scary background, two pirates with mean faces and swords. A treasure chest and a key. Her name is even written so it would be scary. At least that's what she told me.

In truth, her figures look almost EXACTLY like mine did when I was her age. I think its cute that she tells me she wants to be an artist just like me when she grows up.

Although part of my passion for drawing was fueled by my older brother Caleb's drawings when we were kids. We use to draw together all the time. Then he hit puberty, his voice dropped an octave and he quit drawing with me. He USE to say to wanted to be an artist. But now he just spouts Mandarin Chinese and has a business management degree. Ick. But don't worry Caleb, I still love you.

I don't know why I'm including this next picture, but I love it. I can't seem to make myself throw it away yet, although I have no idea why. It just makes me happy.

I was thinking maybe some "how to draw" books would make a good Christmas present. Do you think? She's always asking how to draw things but I'm TERRIBLE when it comes to drawing cartoony things.

And on a completely random note, I found a pretty good sized fake jewel from Savannah's princess collection in Alayna's diaper today.

At least now I now what she swallowed yesterday before I could fish it out.

Yup, that was random, and no, I didn't save it.

October 27, 2009

Brothers... definitely

brothers together

brothers forever

best friends together

best friends...


I look down into Joseph's tear-filled eyes.

"Mommy, Weetub (aka Jacob) ate all my tator-tots!"

"He did! Oh no!" I replied sympathetically.

"Yea, he ate this many!" he declared with feeling as he held up his finger in the shape of a hook.

"That many?" I looked shocked.


Then Jacob looks over his shoulder at us and in a deep and menacing two-year old voice defends his actions.

"Bwa ah ah ah ah ah!"

Who knew two-year olds could laugh like that?

Now, what was I saying before?

October 26, 2009

You know, I've never seen that before...

I mean, I've seen the Windex commercials were it shows birds slamming into the sliding glass door because its so spotless. But its not something I had ever personally witnessed.

Yesterday, I had just finished my first lesson as the new fourth Sunday Relief Society instructor. We gathered up the kids and our many church bags full of diaper, bottles, books, and teaching material, as we did our best to heard our crazy crew out to the car.

I dropped all the bags in a big heap in the car and turned back to find Joseph pouting by the church doors. Going back to get him, I teased him and chased him around a bit tyring to get him to go to the car on his own. (NOT an easy feat in 5 inch heels I might add)

Suddenly and without any warning, a swarm of birds dove right in front of me and pitched it high to try and make it above the church. It happened so fast I barely had time to flinch.

With a loud WACK I turned to find a little bird laying on the ground in front of the church doors. It took me by such surprise that I just stood there for a minute dumbfounded as the little birds eyes flew open and shut and its breathing was forced and shallow.

I really didn't know what to do. I didn't want to just leave it there but I obviously wasn't about to take it to a vet or home with me. Luke told me to just move it to the bushes but I was terrified to touch it.

What if it suddenly jumped up and bit me or pecked at me or something? But I finally gathered the courage. It didn't move at all as I moved it off to the side over to the bushes. With nothing else to do, we went home.

Luke was convinced it was a conspiracy, perhaps fowl play. (hahaha get it)

Kind of reminds me of a time as a young kid when I found an almost dead bird and begged my dad to give it a blessing and restore it to good health. LOL! Well, he wouldn't and I buried it in a shoes box in out backyard.

But it was first time experiencing the whole bird hitting the window thing. Have you ever seen something like that before? It was a little Alfred Hitchcock-ish.

Kind of reminds me of the time my dad came home from work with a dead bird stuck in his front car light....

October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday

I quite randomly remembered this incident that happened when I was 10 years old. Its actually quite funny but at the time, it was rather traumatic for me.

The Whitcomb family was getting ready to move. Their family was good friends with ours. They had 4 kids. Their oldest was a couple years older than I was, his name was Drew and we were good friends. I remember my siblings teasing us about liking each other but in my totally naive way, the thought had never occurred to me. I just looked at him as one of my best friends.

They came over for one last dinner before their move and afterwards all of us kids decided to play a game of hide-and-go-seek in the dark, one of our all time favorites.

I had a small glow in the dark disk that fit in the palm of my hand that I was carrying around with me. I don't know why I was, I just was. So there.

During one of the games, Drew and I ran to my sister's room and crouched down in the corner as I tried to hide my glow in the dark disk with my hands.

"Here. " Drew whispered, as he placed one of his hands on top of mine, "Let's hide it together."
Truth be told, my first thought was, well that's just silly, I can hide it just fine by myself.

But as the minutes slowly ticked by it suddenly struck me like a ton of bricks. It was just a trick to hold my hand... and he thinks that I want him too because I'm letting him!

Of all the sneaky.......

I suddenly felt like I was committing a grievous sin. Sitting here in the dark, holding hands with a boy! I was mortified! (Kind of how I feel now when I first look at myself in the mirror when I wake up)

But I also didn't want to hurt his feelings. (because I use to be nice like that) So I racked my brain as to how to get myself out of the situation.

Gathering my wits that I must have left somewhere on the intelligence table, I finally told him that we should sneak out of out hiding place and go somewhere else and with that I broke contact.

I don't remember what happened after that up until we stood outside and watched their family drive off.

"Mom, I need to talk to you." I was scared to death! Surely I was going to get into trouble, I just knew I would.

I can still see in my minds eye my mom sitting in a chair while I sat on the floor in front of her just bawling as I related what had happened and apologizing profusely, swearing that I had no idea what he had been doing!

You see, I was a good girl and didn't ever want to disappoint my parents or do anything wrong. (I know, some people, right)

Now, I can only imagine her amusement as she tried not to laugh at my distraught form. I remember being surprised when she told me it was okay and that I wasn't in trouble. I was stunned and so relieved! (kind of how I feel now when I discover that the big wet spot on the baby's bum in not from a leaky diaper, but from the big glass of water that one of the boys had just spilled all over the floor)

I sure hope your first hand holding experience was better than mine!

October 21, 2009

More and More....

Here I go again, being all homemaker-ish. Do you think its curable?

I FINALLY got around to making Mock Jam using green tomatoes. I made a batch of raspberry and a batch of strawberry flavored jam.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that you would never know the difference. The taste is a tad different. But I can see how when you eat it with something you would probably never know the difference.

I know, I know. (sigh) I'm just so accomplished.

How's my tomato mountain doing? Well thanks for asking.


HA! Tricked ya. I still have PLENTY left despite all the ones we've recently given or thrown away. And no, the four-wheeler in the background is not ours, as much as the kids wish it was.

But I can see why people look for jars at D.I. or any other used items store. It can get pricey to buy enough bottles to take care of your garden produce. And next year we hope to be able to have enough berries to freeze, bottle, and make jam with.

I'm starting to think I should request bottles for Christmas!

Okay, so Luke, even though I told him not to just yet "but you know how men are. They think no means yes and get lost means take me I'm yours" (name that movie!), went out and pulled up some of our carrots.

These are my favorites so far. Do you think maybe our ground is cursed?

For some reason they strangely remind me of my toes. Hmmm.... Could be all those long toe jokes my in-laws like to crack.

Personally, I think they're all just jealous that my second toes is longer than my first. Yup, that's what it is, pure jealousy.

Wouldn't you say?

October 20, 2009

Crazy Hair Day

While I could very easily be talking about myself, I'm not. I'm talking about Savannah. Its "crazy hair day" at school today and she couldn't have been more excited about it.

I did my best, I really did. But as you can see, hair styling is not a strong point of mine. I am completely incapable to getting pigtails even.

But who cares right? After all, it IS crazy hair day! Well, I care! I try but the part in her hair is never straight, her pigtails, no matter how hard I try, are NEVER, EVER even.

You would think someone who has a degree in the understanding of dimensions and negative space would be able so get those dang pigtails straight.
But alas, my children... correction, my girls must suffer for my disastrous shortcoming.
Well, I guess Alayna won't have to worry about the humiliation for a while.

But really, is there some magic trick that gets taught somewhere about how to get pigtails straight? Some secret book that gets circulated through the cool mommy club?

Because right now, I'm feeling very left out.

October 19, 2009

I love books

Reading and art. My two loves. Well, outside of my family and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As a kid I LOVED going to the library. I loved spending hours walking through the hallways of shelves trying to find books that I wanted to take home.

As much as I loved reading as a kid, I wouldn't take a book home unless the pictures interested me or I liked the artwork in them. I would pick a book and flip though the pictures. If I liked what I saw at a glace, it came home with me and my mom would let us check out as many books as we wanted.

I have always loved the whimsical realism of some illustrations. It made the story so much more enjoyable for me. These are a few that I have never forgotten.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Baba Yaga (Okay, I know this picture is creepy but I was always to fascinated by the detail in this picture! How long do you think it took someone to get it done? You gotta admit its fascinating.)

Holly Claus

I had never thought about being a children's book illustrator until one of my art teachers said I should be since I love the world of fantasy so much. Maybe someday I'll pursue it, I would like to. I've been thinking about taking another art class.

Anyway, some books I could spend hours upon hours staring at the artwork while making up different stories in my head. I loved it, truly loved it.

Its probably the fault of my parents who I saw reading ALL the time. While other friends were getting stylish clothes and cool toys that would break in a month as presents, we got books. Books for Christmas. Books for birthdays. Books just because they thought we would like it.

I once asked my dad how he seemed to know at least something about everything. His reply, he just likes to read a lot.

I use to read all the time. Although I don't really get much of a chance these days. But couple weeks ago I broke down. I finally just HAD to read a book!

I started scouring though all my friends books on Goodreads (its like on online book club) seeing what everyone was reading and picked out a few.

But I have a problem. Once I start on a book that I like, I have a hard time pacing myself because I just have to know how it ends! (I read the first Twilight book in less than 12 hours) I'm terrible at pacing myself. I try to, but I'm not very good at it.

This is what happens when reading takes up my free minutes. Don't judge me too harshly, I'm only human!

And now its my turn as a parent to try and teach my kids how to read and to love it. I've been taking them to the library a lot lately and letting them get as many books as will fit into my bag. I love watching them read.

I know it looks like I staged this photo, but I didn't. It makes me laugh.

So how do you fit reading into your day? I really want to know because I need to learn how to pace myself with a book. If I read at night I tend to read all night long.

And what about your kids? Savannah is getting to the point where she'll sit and listen to longer stories with less pictures. Know of any good series?

(sigh) I love books. Do you love books? I love books. Have I mentioned that yet?

October 17, 2009

Just Barely Overheard

Savannah: "Well I'm beautiful because I'm royalty!"


"That's not your castle Jacob!" she said pointing to her carefully crafted couch cushions, THAT'S your castle!" she added pointing to a corner with absolutely nothing in it. "Only two people allowed. We are married (referring to herself and Joseph) and you're not!"

Me: (sigh)

October 14, 2009


Not cool. NOT COOL! I protest! I object! I... oof, I need to lay down for a moment. (sniff) I thought mommas aren't suppose to get sick. I second my objection and that makes it unanimous... so there.

But that's not what I was going to post about today. Today was... what was it? Oh yes, now I remember, gifts.

We are taught that everyone is blessed with gifts. And that we all have different gifts and talents that make us special and unique. We are also taught to appreciate our own gifts and not to compare ourselves to others.

But I admit, I'm comparing. Man, some people just get all the good ones.

Won't be make the perfect member of the bishopric someday?

Hahaha... ha.... sorry. (cough) Mormon joke.

*Yaawwnn* Anyone else feeling strangely tired?

October 13, 2009

Hard Work and Instant Gratification

You know, I've been thinking, perhaps I should lay off the cupcakes for breakfast.

Anyhow, I've been busy busy busy, loaded down with a million little things and plenty of big ones. Probably nothing exciting for you readers but for me, WAY exciting, like awesomely exciting! Here's a few highlights.

First up, tomatoes. Yes, back to the old mountain of tomatoes. So I've tried my hand at bottling and guess what? SOOO easy!! But VERY time consuming. I always wondered why my neighbor would take the whole day to do one vegetable at a time. One day was corn, another beans, another tomaotes! Eek! Now I know.

I found a recipe for Italian stewed tomatoes since I cook with them a lot.

FOUR HOURS later, I have six bottles. Haha, seems kind of ridiculous for only six bottles. Oh well. I still had a bunch of ripe red tomatoes left so after making a batch of Pico de Gallo, (thank Brittany, SO good!) I went ahead and bottled the rest and got six bottles of bottled tomatoes.

I know, its silly, but I feel the strangest sense of accomplishment just looking at these 12 jars. It was a lot of hard work to get those 12 bottles done! Not as much as when I look at the next picture but still, I feel so.......... strangely accomplished!

Now I'm going to try the mock jam using green tomatoes. Who knew it would be so exciting?

I feel all... homemaker-ish.

Here's another totally, awesomely cool thing. (well, for me anyway)Luke picked the pumpkins that we grew in our garden and he and the kids carved them! It was so fun.

Eh hem, excuse Joseph's weird outfit, I just don't know what to do with that boy, especially when he dresses himself. (sigh)

Here's a better view of Joseph's outfit and a good look at Jacob's face, which is what Luke was basing his pumpkin's expression on.

Savannah got to gut her first pumpkin.

You know, I'm even in a weird enough mood to save the seeds to try and bake and turn them into a snack. I remember them as being pretty good!

We took them out to the front porch and put little tea candles in them but it was just too cold for Joseph so he scurried back on inside, his sleeveless sweater tag flapping in the wind as he went.

And now for a little instant gratification.

I know, I know, we shouldn't seek for instant gratification for it brings no lasting happiness... unless you're talking about sod!

Luke finally gave in, said he was sick of all the dirt and we got enough scrap sod (cause its was cheaper) to do the whole back yard! This way the kids will have a nice backyard to play in come spring and we won't have to worry about them playing in a big muddy mess.

(sniff) Its just so beautiful! I helped Luke unload one pallet before the kids were complaining about dying of starvation so I had to go take care of them. By that time Luke's brother showed up to lend a hand. Good thing because my back was very angry at me. (sigh) I'm getting old.

Um, I would just like to say that those rolls of grass are heavy!

I finally had to force Luke to come in last night once it was finally NOT last night, but this morning.

Well, excuse me while I go revel in my instant gratification.

October 9, 2009

Oh gracious she is cute!

Sorry, but I just had to post this, I just had to!
Seriously, she makes me so baby hungry. But don't go getting any ideas now.

I would have cut myself out of the picture except I knew you'd want to look for those alien craters (see post below). So go ahead and click on the picture to find them!
I should have a prize or something for whoever can find all of them! Hahaha!

Flashback Friday with a Present Day Twist

I was sitting in the glider, rocking Alayna, when Jacob approached me.

"Mommy, what's that?" he asked pointing at my forehead. He stood there staring intently, his forehead wrinkled in concentration. It only took me a moment to realize what he was pointing at.

As a kid, my older brother Caleb use to tell me that the chicken pock scars on my head were really alien craters from when the aliens had landed. I guess they were really tiny aliens.

In my mind as a kid and for a while as a teenager, I thought that when people looked at me it was the only thing they saw. That I had these gigantic gaping holes smack in the middle of my forehead.

Gee thanks bro.

I thought they were so painfully obvious that once I was introduced to the world of make-up, I tried to hide them by "filling" them with foundation in an attempt to make my head smooth. I tried it several times but you know, it never did work.

Caleb use to tease me about them relentlessly. I do seem to recall he enjoyed making me squirm over it.

Now, of course I hardly notice them and when I do, they don't bother me a bit.

So I looked at Jacob, and at the other kids who were also staring at me intently now, Savannah with a slight look of concern and I said, "Those are alien craters where the aliens landed while I was sleeping! Who knows what they took when I wasn't looking!"

Jacob stood there for a moment staring, then said in complete awe, "Awians? Ohhhh."

Haha, I'm not sure he even knows what aliens are!

Besides, who wants a perfect complexion? How boring would that be.

October 7, 2009

Hero Worship

Savannah's backpack and shoes.

An adoring fan.

Who's your hero today?

She scored a 9.9

Luke and I decided to take all the kids with us yesterday for the trip down to Utah and make it a family day.

So we loaded up the kids, and the spare clothing, and their pajamas, and the snacks and drinks, and the books, and the throw-up bowl and sacks, and the all the baby needs (diapers, binkies, bottles, blankets, bibs... why does everything start with a 'b'?) and we started off on the three hour drive to Primary Children's Hospital.

About half way, Savannah made use of the throw-up bowl and Joseph needed a pit stop. Otherwise it was pretty uneventful.

We arrived at the hospital. And, in a nut shell, this is what happened. The doctor came in, looked at Alayna's head and scar for a minute then said, "Well, she looks good! Any questions? See you in six months." I kind of felt like raising my hand and asking, "next time, can't we just send digital photos?" Oh well, at least she's doing perfect, of course. I'm not surprised. After all, she does have brown eyes.

After that we were trying to decide where to go for lunch and if we should take the kids to the zoo or not. In the end our tendency to be cheap and stick to a budget, and the fact that it was pretty darn cold outside won out and we went to Wendy's for lunch (hey, we got them Kids Meals! It was a big treat!) then went over to Temple square, since that's free.

The kids still had fun. And, of course found things to collect. Flowers, broken branches, tree leaves.

At one point, Joseph handed me a little round leaf and said, "Here mommy. You hold this for the prophet."

Oh, the kids all got stickers at the hospital. Joseph thought his was quite smashing on his face.

After snapping a few shots of my family, a senior sister missionary stopped and asked if I wanted one of our whole family. I should have thought to show her how to use them zoom.

Uh, hello? Can you hear me all the way up there? How many fingers am I holding up?

Oh well, perhaps its a good thing. My nose was pink from it being so cold and my hair was flat from the wind. And yes, on occasion I can be vain like that.

Just after this picture, the sister missionary told us the next viewing of the "Joseph Smith" movie was about to start. So we sprinted over to see that. It was really quite an amazing video of the Prophet.

When it was over, Jacob was feeling a little jipped that the movie was all about a Joseph. He walked around for quite a while afterwards insisting that there was a "Weetub Miff" aka Jacob Smith. Haha!

After the movie we headed back to the car since we were parked in 2-hour parking and headed home. That was a bit harder for the kids, but we made it back alive and in one piece... barely. We had to stop off about an hour from home for food, potty breaks, blow-out changes... you know, the usual.

And now that I have this post written, I don't have any more excuses. I better go clean before someone comes over and calls the health department on me.

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