December 31, 2012

Overheard in Primary

I was helping out with one of the younger classes in Primary when the teacher for Jacob's class (he's my five year old) leans over to me and whispers,

"So Jacob comes up to me and asks, 'Did you bring suckers?' 

I said no.

So he asked, 'Did you eat suckers?'

I said no.

Then he said, "'Cause you smell like suckers'."

I just feel the need to admit my relief that she didn't finish with, "then he licked me to see if I tasted like suckers." Because of all the kids, he would totally do it.

I want to celebrate this small victory.


Can I just throw in a "You know you're a mom when..." moment?

*clearing throat*

You know you're a mom when:

You open the drawer that holds all your make-up only to discover your foundation sponges have fresh baby boogers smeared all over them, the face powder has been thoughtfully and painstakingly emptied all over the entire drawer, your eyeliner pencil tips have all been bludgeoned to death, and your eye shadow butchered and mixed to create the most obscene colors!

And that's when you notice your mascara is missing......

I thought I heard the rustling of a guilty, run-away diaper.

*deep intake of breath*

Sorry. Just had to get that off my chest.

December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Christmas Eve... what did we do all day? I can't seem to remember that far back!
It's true. My mind is going... going...
Wait, I do remember for lunch, Alayna put a banana in her turkey and cheese sandwich.


Perhaps I was so traumatized that my mind is trying to block out the days events.
I'm feeling fairly certain that the kids all hung out together and played and fought, and played and cried.
Come evening, the anticipation for Christmas was starting to settle in.
For dinner, we did our traditional "soup in a bread bowl". But instead of doing clam chowder from a can ('cause I'm pretty great like that) like we always do, I decided to up my game and shake things up a bit.

Soup mix in a bag!
It just might be a new tradition.
We also made some homemade sparkling juice.

I'm all about being fancy like that.

While I was slaving over a hot stove to make this terribly difficult meal, the girls decided an appetizer of freshly fallen snow was in order.

I'm surprised they had any room for food after that!

Well, all my slaving and hard work paid off as we sat down to a fancy one-course meal!

The kids seemed to really like it.

After our five-star meal was finished, Savannah insisted that Santa needed cookies and Rudolph needed carrots.

However, in the history of my cookie-making career, I have yet to make a successful batch of sugar cookie dough.

Plus it seems to take forever.

So I did what any good mom would do.

We melted up some chocolate chips, dug out the sprinkles, and crushed some candy canes.

I'm sure Santa didn't mind.
Besides, the kids thought it was greatest thing since animal crackers were invented!

 Oh ya, I'm awesome. I'm sure that's what Claira was saying right here. "Aaaahhhhh!"

That interprets into, "You're so amazing and I'm so glad you're my mom, because cool moms use animal crackers to make Santa's cookies, and they make soup from a bag."

Yup, I can understand everything she says.

I made sure to do my motherly duty and help clean up the leftovers.

I'll all about sacrifice.

Savannah insisted that Rudolph needed chocolate on his carrots.

Rudolph thought they were surprisingly good and may request that all his carrots be served that way from now on.

After cookies were set out, we watched the Nativity with the kids to help them remember the reason we celebrate Christmas.

Let's skip over the part where the kids broke out into a fit of tantrums and go right to the cute stuff.

Once the kids were all tucked away into their beds, Santa paid a visit.

On the kitchen table he left a breakfast gift...

under the tree he left presents...
and on the floor he left unrealistically placed footprints.

However, the next morning, when the kids discovered the footprints....

To Be Continued

December 24, 2012

Keeping It Real - Sunday Edition

As I finished doing my hair yesterday for church, I remember thinking to myself, "Huh, your hair actually turned out nice for once! We should totally take a family Christmas picture so you can remember this rare moment."

With that happily vain thought in mind, I set about to getting the rest of the kids ready for church... which quickly made such fanciful thoughts flee without any chance of returning.

I don't know what the deal is, but I think someone added an extra part hyper and two extra parts grumpy to our water.

I'm not sure where to begin.

Besides all the craziness of bathing and dressing five children for church, there is also the great hunt for evil run away shoes, and the doing of six different hair styles each before the children are happy. Not to mention the joy of everyone suddenly "starving to death" just as it's time to leave.

I swear hearing a car engine is a trigger. It seems to make my children think they are hungry... again.

On the drive down to the church, the boys were so hyper they were practically shaking the car.

Threats (loving threats of course) were left unheeded in the hype of the moment while the girls remained blessedly, however temporary, calm.

When we first walked into the chapel to sit down, the kids instantly scattered  and decided to all sit in different places. So I hunted down each one and glared into submission (lovingly... of course) until we had some semblance of order, however short-lived it was.

The hardest thing about having 1:00pm church is Claira. It lands smack-dab in the middle of her nap time.

And it's brutal.

When she gets tired and upset, she's a screamer, and a hitter, and a biter. So yes, I am a little more lax with her at church. I certainly don't allow her to run around the chapel, but I do allow her to leave the bench as long as she stays near by.

Well, at the beginning of the meeting, all the primary children went up onto the stand to sing a few songs to the congregation. Claira decided she wanted to join her siblings.

 It started out well enough, until her two brothers noticed her presence and decided it would be cool to pick her up, chase her, and generally just follow her around.

Soon the boys were playing hide-and-go-seek right there, on the stand, in front of everyone and were jumping up and down steps and all out acting as though they were at a park.

I just about died of mortification.

When the children were done singing, I took Claira out of the room... daddy took the boys.

Soon I was back on the bench with the girls but Claira wouldn't hold still. After climbing up, down, over, and under, she finally landed in the lap of some friends a couple rows back. At first she seemed perfectly content to sit there and eat their marshmallows, but once she was passed to their kids who wanted to hold her, she put on the biggest pout I have ever seen and soon started to wail.

Out I went again and ran into Hubby (not literally) and we traded children.

The first meeting went way longer than usual, by half an hour. Soon Alayna had ants in her pants. She just couldn't hold still any longer. At the end of the bench she was bouncing up and down and laughing out loud... very loud.

She was definitely drawing attention to herself, and consequently to her toes sticking out of her incredibly holey black tights. She thinks shoes are over rated.

She also took to announcing which lipstick colors she liked on women around the congregation. She was especially fond of the hot pink one girl was wearing.

Alayna is just a month shy of being four years old.

Heaven help me.

I hate to admit it, but I was down-right relieved when church was over.

I should have known better. The rest of the afternoon was filled with fighting, screaming, and crying. Even Hubby and I were grouchy at each other.

And so as I sit here typing this on the computer at 1:00am, I'm contemplating all sorts of torture (lovingly of course) for whomever poisoned our water.

I will cross my fingers and toes that Christmas Eve will go much, much smoother and happier.

Merry Christmas Eve!!

P.S. The person I've been working with at SimonKids is apparently out of the office until Wednesday. So I won't be able to announce the winners of the giveaway until I hear back from them. Sorry!

December 20, 2012

The Great In-Law Christmas Party

We've been doing a fair amount of traveling lately. So much so that my washing machine hates me for forcing it to work over time during the holidays, (I'm certain of it) and we've put over 600,000 miles on our car.
Since I never exaggerate and I've written it on the Internet, you know it's true.
Last weekend was the annual in-law family Christmas party.
There are nine children in Hubby's family and they were all coming with their families. Not to mention Hubby's parents and grandfather. So, it has become a tradition to reserve this party-type building so we can fit everyone. Also true to tradition, we were about an hour and a half late to the party.
Wouldn't want to break our streak now would we? Besides when you write so elegantly that you use phrasing like, "party-type building", you're off the hook for a lot of things.

The kids love it though. Endless food, racquetball, air hockey, a movie projector, a play room... did I mention endless food? 
There is something about being around Hubby's family that instills within me, a sense that I'm completely normal.
Lovely Lane. (I told you I'd be posting this one)

Mike and Hubby.

Seriously, who knew they'd be willing to be themselves in front of the camera? It's always an unusual and interesting experience.

After lunch it was time for the gift exchange!!

There was a whole lot of excitement going through the ranks.

Since there are a gazillion grand kids (literally), my ever-so-brilliant sister in-laws came up with the idea that we would do a book exchange for all the children. So each child gives to another so they all get to open something.

Michelle... or Byrn... (Dang, now I can't remember which one!) made this awesome "book holder".

They still need to add a few of the new babies names but this is a super fun and easy way to keep track of the books!

After the book exchange, starting oldest to youngest, each of the siblings handed out gifts to the family whose name they drew for that year.

Hubby's sister Haylee and drawn our name this year.

Since the biggest box in the room was for us, the kids were beyond excited.

I'm fairly certain they were hyperventilating..

It was a mini air hockey table! Everyone was begging to try it out but Hubby said no.

He was not the favorite uncle of the hour at that point.

Then there were gifts from Grandma.

Towels with each grandchild's names embroidered on them.

I loved watching this soon-to-be family. (Mike and Marcy were married on Tuesday!)

My little nephew. Look at that adorable little face!

Admit it, you totally want to pinch those cheeks.

My sister-in-law Bryn helping great-grandpa open his gifts.

The newest grand baby. Isn't she precious? Haylee waited ten years for this little one, so she is precious indeed.

And here you have it! All 28 grand kids. I think it's up to 28 now anyway. They are all in the picture minus one who just woke up from a nap and showed no interest whatsoever in sitting for a photo.

Not bad eh? I'm just sad you can't see cute little Zander behind Breanna's head. But if you look closely behind the girl holding the little baby, you can see a bit of his adorable bright red hair.

Pretty crazy.

After gifts and pictures, it was "go-play-out-in-the-snow" time!

Don't worry, I would never participate in such a ridiculously cold activity.

Especially since to this day, I don't own an ounce of snow gear. Maybe someday I will but until that day comes, I'm perfectly content to sit tight, be warm, and sip hot cocoa.

Still, I felt bad that we didn't bring any of the kids snow gear. Luckily everyone was willing to share their extras.

Alayna was graciously given an extra set of snow pants... size 2T. I should mention that she wears 5T clothes.

I wasn't quite sure how this was going to work with her sparkly shoes, then uncle Matt came to the rescue with some boots.

Joseph however, had no interest in going outside. He wanted to stay and play air hockey with dad!

Now dad, let me tell you how to play.

First, you do NOT get on top of the board, like this.....

and second, do NOT put your hands all over it, like this.....

Thanks for that visual there Captain Obvious.

We came home that night.

Sunday dawned with the kids itching to try out their new air hockey game!

I don't think Cliff and Haylee could have found a more perfect present.

Thank you so much guys!

The End.

December 18, 2012

Overheard in Primary

Not being a "typical" Sunday primary meeting since the kids were all preparing to do a quick nativity at the end of church, all primary aged children (3-11) were together practicing.

At one point, the teacher at the front of the room pulled out a world map, pointed and said, "This is where Jesus was born."

A boy sitting in front of me who clearly struggled with a lisp, said rather incredulously, "In Towkey?"

I couldn't hold back the giggle (yes giggle) that escaped from me.

The boy then turned back to me and with large expressive eyes explained, "No! There really ith a plathe called Towkey!"


In an effort to keep the attention of the huge room full of young children, the music director tried to play some music games.

One game was played where they would sing a song while passing around a crown. Whoever had it when the pianist stopped playing got to choose how they sang the next portion of the song.

One child said, "Like a goat!" So they sang part of the song with bleating voices.  After that, Joseph got the crown and apparently unable to think of anything original, when asked how they were going to sing the next part, he repeated, "Like a goat!"

The music director then pointed out we had just done that, to which Joseph amended, "I mean like a lamb!"

One of the older boys who seems to like being in charge, stated importantly, "What? A lamb? A lamb is just a male goat!"

I pretty much lost all self-control at that point and gave in to the laughter.

December 17, 2012

*CLOSED* Giveaway - Books from SimonKids

I'm starting to feel a little panicky.

Every year I tell myself I will be ready for Christmas early! And every year we get down to the week before Christmas and panic sets in when the realization hits that I am so not ready.

Wait, we only have one present for each child?

Wait... what are we suppose to bring to your family party?

Christmas cards? What are those?

Treats? Oh... sorry. I ate them all already.

Wait, which of your siblings do we have this year?

I think we forgot to send so-and so their present last year. Eh hem....

I am fairly certain that I am the world's most unorganized person.

So once again, I will be one of those annoying last minute shoppers you see standing in a ridiculously long check-out line.

But at least I found some really fun books for my kids. I am a big believer in owning books, lots of them. We always got books on Christmas growing up so when we first got married, Hubby looked at my boxes and boxes of books with huge eyes and I'm fairly certain he thought he had married a hoarder.

Okay, so maybe I am. I'm a book hoarder.

There, I said it! I've finally come out of the closet. I AM A BOOK HOARDER! Whew! Glad I got that off my chest.

Still, even if you are so amazingly put together and ready for Christmas (go ahead, pat yourself on the back and feel a little smug) you will be super excited for this giveaway!

SimonKids (Simon and Schuster Publishing) have generously offered to give FIVE of you totally awesome readers FIVE books each!

Pretty cool huh!

The fun thing is, I have no idea which five books you will get. No clue. It will be a surprise all the way around!

Want to be one of the FIVE lucky winners?

Here's how to enter:

Simply sign up for their newsletter HERE, then come back and tell me in a comment that you did just that! That's it! I won't even be the one picking the winners. They will randomly choose the five winners based on the submissions and will tell me who they are! So be sure to leave your comment so we can match up the entries.

Good luck!

And you're welcome. I will expect my chocolate gratitude bar in the mail from you this week. 
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