August 29, 2012

"Romantic" is Objective

Princes and Princesses.
Knights and Princesses.
Kings and Princesses.

These are probably the most played "imagination" games by my children of all time. They play them so often that most of the time I don't pay much attention to their dialogue.

This however, caught my attention yesterday.

Savannah: "Ya, and then you saw me laying there asleep, and you thought I was so beautiful that you wanted to kiss me."

Joseph: "Ya, and when you woke up and saw me I had blood dripping from my body..."

So if you think your man isn't very romantic, just try to remember that he's wired differently than you.

Very, very different.

It's the whole, "Mars and Venus" thing I think.

August 28, 2012

"After" the First day of School

I've been planning and imagining how this first week of school would go. Organized, disciplined, scheduled... you know, awesome!

Yesterday, I set my alarm for 4:55am with the intent to start getting up at 5am every morning.

At 5:30am I finally managed to drag my shabby carcass out of bed and somehow blundered my way through my workout, and sort of focus on my scripture study.

After a quick shower I woke the kids up at 7am so we would have plenty of time to run through the morning routine with the intent that we could get first day of school pictures and be at the bus stop on time.

Heh, ya.....

Just as we were getting ready to head out the door, Jacob declared to needed to take care of some, eh hem, bodily functions.

The problem is, once those boys go in the bathroom, they don't come out for like, ten years.

So by the time he was done, we were racing against time as I told the older kids to run out to the bus stop, just in case. Since kindergartners have to be taken to school the first week here, I was just backing out the car when I noticed the bus pulling away from the stop.

Blast it all! I didn't get to see them off or take any pictures!

Sad day.

So, when they all got home later in the afternoon, I gathered them up for "after" the first day of school photos.

Not as cool as getting pictures by the bus or anything, but I tried. I really did.

And now that I'm over an hour late for my newly designated 10pm bedtime, I'm going to stop writing and go to bed.

So when my phone alarm goes off at 4:55am I don't throw it through the window.


*yawn*  Dang. I tried to get up with my alarm this morning! Truly I did! But wasn't able to manage it. 6:15am people. Over an hour late getting up.

Getting back into the habit of these early morning hours is brutal. My body is in complete denial. I fear it will be down-right protesting here soon. What if it goes into complete shock then shut-down!

Whoever came up with, "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise", must never have had the joy of sleeping in.

Alright alright, enough whining. I'm trying!

I aim to conquer.

This week is my designated "get my world organized so I can be in control" time.  Hopefully by this time next week, after Labor Day, we'll be a well oiled machine.

Knock on wood... cross your fingers... eat lots of chocolate.

Now I'm off to try and be productive.

August 23, 2012

Actual Conversation

Hubby's been out of town all week for work. As we were packing right before he left, we had discovered that another pair of his jeans has acquired a hole in a most  *ahem* awkward place.

He goes through jeans faster than anyone in the family, even the kids.

And that's saying a lot.

No really, it is. I wear anywhere between ten and twenty different sizes in any given year, usually because I'm pregnant or trying to recover from one. And the kids... well, the word "kids" speaks for itself.

So last night, after informing me that he needed to get yet another pair of pants because he's staying longer for this trip than originally anticipated, we strike up this text conversation.

DISCLAIMER: Hubby's actual pant-waist size has been hidden. Because I'm super awesome like that.

Hubby: Walmart is just across the street.

Me: If you gets pants from Walmart, don't get the tapered ones.

Hubby: You love the tapered ones, especially on me.

Me: Uhhhhh....

Hubby: If its any consolation, right now I have shorts and long socks on.

Me: LOL! You do not!

Hubby: Oh yes I do. Both jeans are dirty and I didn't pack short socks.

Me: LOL, I KNEW I should have thrown a pair in there!

Hubby: That's right, it's your fault.

Me: Yup, it is. For listening to a man's advise ;)

A bit later...........

Hubby: Do I wear ?0 waist?

Me: Hahahaha... yes

Hubby: What kind of leg?
              Straight fit?
              Loose straight?
              Relax straight?

Me: Relaxed boot actually

Hubby: Boot? Uh, you sure about that?

Me: Yup, that's what all your good pants are. Check the tags if you don't believe me.

Hubby: I can't find them in ?0 - 30.

Me: You need a ?0 - 32.

Hubby: You sure?

Me: Did you seriously just ask me that?

Hubby: I guess I did.
             ?0 - 32 relaxed boot it is then.

Me: Good boy.

Hubby: Always.

Me: Luv u

Not that I'm one to brag or anything, but I really think he's be lost without me.

Just sayin'.

August 21, 2012

Savannah Turns Eight

The older I get, the faster time escapes me. Days fly by me in a whirlwind of motherhood induced chaos. Which is a good thing.

Unless it's one of thooooooooooooooose days.

If you're a parent, you know what I mean.

'Nuff said.

But my children seem bound and determined to grow up with or without my permission so I suppose I must let them.

Even if I don't always like it.

In this case, Savannah did not ask my permission to turn eight years old, probably because I might have frantically shouted, "No!"

So she just went ahead and had a birthday anyway. Pish, kids these days, so independent.

What started out like this,

has turned into this.

And it's kind of freaking me out.

But Savannah's birthday has been and will continue to be a bit spread out.

A few days before her birthday, our friend/cousin Topher (my cousin Callie's husband) and their kids stopped by unexpectedly to bring Savannah a birthday treat!

Cool huh! I had no idea these little ice cream cones existed! The kids were beyond excited about them.

A couple days later, Callie stopped by to drop off another birthday present.

On Saturday, Hubby and I treated Savannah to an afternoon with just the three of us. I believe kids, no matter how large or small the family is, needs "one-on-one" time with their parents so they can be the only focus and be given undivided attention.

Savannah picked where we went for lunch - Wendy's. Very classy of course.

Next she wanted to hit this new frozen yogurt place we just discovered called "Orange Leaf".

It really is yuuuummmmmmy.

*sigh* Men.

What can you do.

After that, we went to Barnes and Noble and told her she could pick out one thing, anything she wanted.

Since we had been there just a few days earlier, she already knew exactly what she wanted.

I don't know if you've ever heard of "Monstuz" but when you squeeze it it makes some weird twittery-chirpy type noises.

So, instead of a book, she got a Monstuz. The little pink, white, and yellow one there in the front to be exact.

She loves it.

So does Claira. They're always wrestling over it.

Sunday morning we gave her her next gift. Her own set of scriptures with her name engraved on them. She loves those too! She doesn't know that I've asked my sister-in-law to make a cute scripture holder for them.

Turning eight is kind of a big deal if you are of the LDS faith. It's the age when you get baptized and become accountable to God for your choices. We have been talking and explaining and helping her understand what it all means and answering all her questions for the last couple of months. She's a smart cookie and is very excited about it.

We also got to work on her birthday cake... or rather cupcakes, which was her request.

As always licking everything is a privilege reserved for the birthday child... mostly.

Simple, but pretty. Savannah ooh-ed and ahh-ed.

Callie and kids came over again and we celebrated!

We're also on a hunt for a bigger bike for her. When we find one it will be another birthday present!

Savannah will be baptized on September 1st and it's all she talks about. We'll have a lot of family in town over Labor Day Weekend and we plan on celebrating her birthday again along with my dad's.

I'm thinking I'm going to have to make Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake. I've made it once before and the only this I would change is to double the batch of frosting. *mwah ha ha ha*

My dad has a thing for chocolate, and chocolate cake.

I suppose the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

But, let's be honest. Why would you want an apple when you could have chocolate instead?

Anyway, Happy Birthday Savannah-girl! I love you more than chocolate!

August 16, 2012

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

I tried to think up a clever title that would rhyme with my name instead of using the typical "Mary".

But after several unsuccessful attempts to come up with anything that rhymes with "Serene" other than "latrine" or "green bean", I decided to give up on trying to be clever.

It just wasn't working for me.

Anyhow, you may remember my post "Life on the Home Front" in which I gave a very long-winded and over-worded account of how we've been tackling putting in a yard and flowerbeds since we bought this house as a new construction over three years ago.

Well, we've been working on it slowly all summer long and I am proud to announce that the flower beds in the front, side, and back of the house have been outlined, drip lined, weed-tarped, and bark-ed.

Because I couldn't think of a smart way to say we've put in the bark without messing the flow of the sentence or having you look at me weird as you try to figure out what a dog has to do with any of this.

So "bark-ed" it is.

We also manged to get flowers in most of the front beds, yea!

We only planted perennials this year with the rather ingenious plan that we wouldn't have to keep buying loads and loads of flowers every year.

You call is logical, I call it ingenious.

Let's not mess with my ego.

Although I do plan on adding a few bright annuals next year.

I'm lovin' my rose bushes. Yes indeed, love me some roses!

I have four rose bushes so far and all of them are different.

This one's a climbing rose and I can't wait for it to get huge! I think it's called... Candy Land? Candy Cane... Candy, something or other.

But I also love all my other flowers too.

I'll take pretty flowers over boring bushes any day.

But land sakes why didn't anyone just say, "Serene, before you plant flowers around your house, sell a kidney first so you can afford it"

If I was supremely intelligent I would have just started everything myself from seeds and saved my kidney.

But unfortunately, I missed the "Supremely Intelligent" bus and hopped on the "Weirdly Average" one instead.


Our garden is a whole other story. It's practically a bloomin' jungle!

The raspberries have taken over the entire right side of the garden space and are threatening invasion into the rest of it. Our three rows of peas are making a slight come back for a final round after a HUGE outpouring of produce during mid-summer. Our zucchinis are massive again, the tomatoes are struggling, and the fifteen cucumbers hanging out in our fridge are just the start.The strawberries are in an eternal struggle against the dang grass and the peppers are starting to come in droves.

But it's these giant sunflowers that are the most awesome. Even the ones that popped up in random places throughout the middle of the garden from last years plants. I didn't have the heart to pull those so I left them, and I think they're so cool.

I've decided I need whole other garden plot, just to plant giant sunflowers around all four sides. Like a fort.

And you'd have to know the password before you could enter.

Or bribe me with chocolate, either way is fine.

Because that would be cool.

August 13, 2012

Summer is Ending

Two weeks. That is all that's left... two measly little weeks before these three start school.

And then, my summer is over and school takes control of my life! The homework, the friend drama, the early mornings, the lunches, the horror!! Ahh!

I don't know why, but I hate making school lunches.

Don't judge. I also like musicals. Old ones.

So there.

Anyhow, the truth of the matter is, I'm not all that ready for school to start again. I'm not feeling overly anxious to entrust my children to the care of others for hours of the day. I rather like having them home.

But I think they are ready. They're ready for some structure, for a change of pace, to give their brains some exercise. I confess that any sense of structure around here ended on the last day of school before summer. It was so nice to be free of a schedule! But this last month the kids have been restless.

I mean, I had intended the summer to be a little more fun-mommy-filled! But... how does the saying go? "The road to hell is paved with good intentions. "

Oh man, I'm so doomed.

We have done lots of projects and activities this summer, but the last couple weeks have found my children restless. And if the whine-o-meter is any indication of how they're feeling, then they're definitely ready for school to start.

Still, my house needs a organizational makeover like nobody's business.

At the beginning of the summer, I kept up with it all rather well I think! But my desire for accomplishment decided to take a vacation and leave me stranded, without any heads up as to it's intentions or when it's coming back.


And if I found the time to go and accomplish something, my kids were all like, oh no you didn't! Here's a bowl of cereal on the floor for you! Or, Oh ya? Well here! Have some blood to go along with the screaming, hitting, and kicking! Or, pish, you only think you're going to pick that up, when really, we're just going to follow you around and undo everything you just did, because it's fun! 

A really popular one was, We're going to play out in the water! *change into swimsuit and get all wet*
Ten Minutes later... Okay, I'm done! Can I have a towel and some dry clothes?
Ten minutes later... I'm going to get wet again! *change into new swimsuit*
Ten minutes later... Hey mom! I got a new towel and some new clothes because I'm all done!
Ten minutes later... I want to go swimming again!

485,763,458,934,576 minutes later I'm sucking my thumb in the corner of the room and imagining a world where laundry washes itself, kids wipe their own bums, and chocolate grows on trees.

But still, summer has been great and I'm sad it's coming to an end.

I miss my kids already.

Photo Credit: Heath Robbins


August 8, 2012

One Year Older and Wiser Too....

So, I had a birthday last week.

58 out of my 372 facebook friends wished me a happy birthday. I'm not sure if I'm suppose to feel loved or uninteresting.

At any rate those 58 people are now in my will. They will all inherit five dollars upon my death.

My cousin Callie however, will get twenty.

She came over the day before my birthday to shower me with gifts! A pair of earrings she knew I wanted that would match my new shoes, and probably the yummiest cake I've ever eaten.

Turns out it was to be my only birthday cake.

Hmm.... maybe she should get twenty-five dollars....

Between the seven of us, we polished that sucker off in one sitting. We didn't even light a candle.

The next day moved forward more or less like any other day. I managed to impress everyone with my amazing culinary skills by cooking a well-rounded meal, completely from scratch-ish stuff. I think I managed pretty well considering we hadn't been to the grocery store in three weeks, and it was my birthday.

After dinner, Hubby insisted we all load up in the car so we could grab a treat. This resulted in Hubby and I getting a Jamba Juice, while the kids got to use up their free frozen yogurt coupons they earned from the library's summer reading program.

You'd think they had just won a gold medal (in honor of the Olympics of course) they were so thrilled.

When we got home, my parents video called to say happy birthday. The kids were loving seeing themselves on the computer screen.

Granny and Papa were merely an added bonus.

At this point the kids could barely restrain their excitement since I was going to open the presents they had so carefully and individually wrapped... all by themselves. So with my parents watching from the computer, I opened my gifts.

My gift from Alayna. A piece of wood Savannah had painted earlier that day.

My present from Jacob, two stuffed animals from the kids collection downstairs.

My gift from Joseph, change from his piggy bank.

And finally, from Savannah I received a homemade heart she had cut out of cardboard and covered with tissue paper, with a poem attached.

The poem went like this.

I Love
you Dearly
Mommy, You're
my shining
Whenever you
are far, I *heart*
you Dearly so,
You're the
Amazing star
I ever seen,
And always.
I know.

She gets her writing talent from me.

Just sayin'.

The biggest surprise of all though came the next day. I received a text from a number I didn't recognize, telling me to go look by the mailbox because a little gift was waiting for me.

Hoping I wasn't about to get egged or ambushed, I pensively checked to make sure the coast was clear before noticing a bowl sitting under the mailbox.

There was no name on the Happy Birthday card and when I replied back to inquire who this mysterious gift giver was, they simply replied that some things are more fun to be a mystery.

So I have no idea who left this for me, but it was awesome. So thank you mystery person!

And there you have it! I am now one year older and wiser too according to my friend Gina who called to ask me a freezer jam question because I was wiser.

And due to my newly acquired birthday wisdom, I had the answer for her.

So go ahead, ask me anything, anything at all! Between me and wikipedia, we've gotcha covered.

August 6, 2012

Family Pictures 2012

I'm writing this post from my bed, and not for good reasons like, sleeping in, or napping. Whatever those mean anyway.

At about 4:30am this morning, I could hear Claira crying from the girl's room. Oh, did I mention that she moved out? She did, and we both sleep so much better.

Anyhow, I threw back the covers and stood up, only to discover the room was in motion.

Now, I've been dizzy lots of times, but this is the first time I've ever experienced the phrase, "the room was spinning". It really was. And no matter how many times I blinked, the room continued to swirl around in the most nauseating way.

Sure enough, for the next two hours I was reacquainting my face with the porcelain king. I'd forgotten how much my face hates being in such close proximity to it. Finally the dry heaving subsided and I dozed off on the bathroom floor. Later I managed to drag myself back to bed. But every time I moved or lifted my face, the room would tilt and my stomach would protest.

It would appear the general consensus is that I have an inner ear infection, or vertigo.

I've decided I despise it.

Poor seven-year-old Savannah has been doing her best to take care of the kids while I change diapers from a prone position. So far, there's been no blood or fires, so I think we're doing okay!

My neighbor is graciously feeding them lunch and another friend has offered to take my children off my hands for a couple hours.

Sometimes I do believe angels walk around in the form of human beings.

Still, where is the complaint box? I protest! I'm a mom! I don't have time for all this nonsense! I think I'd be okay if the world didn't spin so much and the nausea wasn't so overwhelming. I mean, come on, I've been pregnant enough to know how to work through such things. But this vertigo thing is a beast!

Okay okay, enough whining. I really want to show you guys our family pictures!!

I'm really excited about them, especially since the were taken by my cousin Callie. She did such a great job! It turns out the day we chose was quite cold and super windy.

But the kids were super-troopers.

Savannah - Age 7

Joseph - Age 6

Jacob - Age 5

Alayna - Age 3

Claira - Age 1

The Boys

 The Girls

Our Crazy Family

My new blog header!

I'm totally lovin' Claira in this one.

In case you're wondering, the letters we're holding are suppose to say "FAMILY". Suppose to...

What people think my kids are like.

What my kids are really like!

Now, I went back and forth, back and forth with myself about whether or not to post these next pictures because I feel a little silly posting just pictures of just myself.

But Callie did such a good job on them and somehow managed to make me look pretty. So I will share.

And now that you've seen all these pictures....

What you think I look like.

What I really look like.

Just sayin'.

Follow Callie on Facebook at Callie Ann Photography to see her gorgeous pictures and keep track of all her specials!
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