What a cutie!

You would never guess looking at her face what a trouble maker this one is. She is so busy and gets into everything!

Just the other day I caught her just in time. She was sitting on the floor with a pencil in hand and a open book, (which happened to be a library book.) Just as she tucked her little head to begin her serious pose for coloring I was able to swoop in and grab the pencil.

Nothing seems to be safe or out of her reach anymore. I just wonder what is keeping her in her crib! Here's hoping that we have awhile before she learns that trick!


Our Little Climber

I had never considered the possibility of having to pull one of my children off the top of our piano, but that is the situation in which I found myself over the weekend. As I was busy in the other part of the family room, Abigail climbed onto the love seat, spanned the gap between the armrest and the keyboard of our upright piano, and clambered up next to the music stand. As I turned around at the sound of laughter from the other children. Anthony was closest, and, luckily, was quick enough to first stabilize and then carefully pull her off of the piano. She has now made it three times (that we know of) onto her new favorite roost atop Piano Mountain.

Does anyone know how to baby proof a piano?


Day 5

Today has turned out to be a bummer of a day. A snowstorm has forced us to cancel our plans and we are stuck at home once again. This must be the last day of a very long week. We are all struggling to maintain our patience and the house is looking very lived in. (That's my nice way of saying it's a disaster!)

I started the laundry early this morning in hopes of getting it done before the heavy snow fall began. After 4 hours of endless trips back and forth in the snow, our 5 loads of laundry were home and clean. My main project for the morning was accomplished!

Our afternoon plans unfortunately didn't fare as well. The primary children in our ward had made plans to go visit a nursing home this afternoon. We had spent this past month working on songs to sing for the residents and last week during Sharing Time each of the children made a Valentine Card to hand out. We are hoping to be able reschedule and will just set the cards aside for another time.

The kids have still managed to make the best of the day and have enjoyed some outside time in the snow and are looking forward to our movie dinner night!

Yes, we survived the week and I think the kids had a lot of fun even with our bad weather and a very tired mommy!

Games I'd let my kids play #3 - TwoThree

Target pratice + Arithmetic = Parent approved game

Why are they all #1?

We always hear "the rules" from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note ... these are all numbered '1' ON PURPOSE!

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes, and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. A headache that lasts for 17 months is a problem. See a doctor.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. [Jeremiah shakes his head an deletes this point at the request of the women in his life. "You girls read into this too much."]

1. If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

1. If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine. Really.

1. Don't ask us what we're thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or monster trucks.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round is a shape.

1. Thank you for reading this; Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know men really don't mind that, it's like camping.


Day 4

After a late night of staying up to watch the Lunar eclipse, Trevor was the last one out of bed this morning. Even with a little later start to our day we still managed to be sitting at Denny's by 8:30am waiting for our breakfast.

We loaded the kids up this morning without telling them where we were going. Since we wouldn't let them eat first I think most of them figured it out. Thank you Auntie Sammy for our Christmas present. We sure enjoyed our breakfast and the kids had a lot of fun.

Trevor thought it was so cool that he got away with using two straws!

Abigail started out with some appetizers. Yummy cheerios!

Can you tell the food is about to be put on the table?

After our breakfast we left daddy at the bus stop and we went to Target. Not looking for anything in particular, the kids enjoyed looking at all the things they wanted to buy. Natalie even tried to convince me to buy her a toy and then she would pay me back. The only problem with that was the fact that she didn't have any money. The joys of teaching children money management!

The chilly winds kept us from making any more stops and we spent the rest of the day at home. A lazy afternoon of the kids working on their play they've created, movie time, and nap time.


Day 3

Believe it or not, the kids requested a "stay at home day", so that is exactly what we did! We let daddy take the car and we've spent a quiet day at home. Well, as quiet as it can be with five children running around!

Michaela chose to spend her time reading, and reading, and reading. She finally brought her nose out of her book to sit down and have some lunch with us.

After spending some time playing in their rooms the other kids decided they wanted to play with play dough. We already had some blue and yellow made up so I made one more batch of red. (If you are interested in our easy play dough recipe then see below.) The kids sat at the table and played for over an hour! Thankfully, Abigail was content to play with the play dough toys since she would have just eaten the play dough!

Anthony decided he was working with clay and making mugs.

Natalie made a pie for me to eat.

Trevor couldn't decide if he was making banana bread or fixing something with his tools. I love his tongue action!

Abigail was happy to be allowed to sit at the table with the big kids. Can you find her peeking through the slats of the chair?

Play dough:
1 Cup flour
1 Cup water
2 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar
1 Tbsp. Oil
1/2 Cup salt
Food color of your choice

Stir all ingredients over medium heat until they are the consistency of mashed potatoes. Cool and have fun!


Day 2

Today is the day the kids have been looking forward to. If the activity from today had been planned for later in the week I think my children would have wished their vacation away! Knowing that we had to leave at 8:30 this morning I found several piles of clothes on the floor after kissing the kids goodnight. They were not so carefully set out for a quick change in the morning and I had children in my room before the sun again today. This is getting to be quite the habit!

While the kids were getting dressed and making their beds, Jeremiah snuck out with Trevor and came home with bagels and cream cheese. Yummy! I could start my morning off like that every day!

By 8:30 we were loaded up in the van and driving to Shrewsbury for our playgroup at Pump It UP. The kids were so excited I thought they were going to burst. Anthony and Natalie had recently been to birthday parties at Pump It Up and after hearing all about it, Michaela and Trevor could hardly wait to experience it for themselves. Picture 2 big warehouse size rooms full of air-filled slides, jumping cages, and a climbing wall. Now add 25 energy filled children and you can probably get the picture. It was fun and chaos and chaos and fun all mixed together. I couldn't believe how fast that hour went by and the kids were not ready to be done. Thanks to Jill for organizing the playgroup and letting us all come!

These aren't the best pictures, it's really hard to get photos of moving targets! Michaela and Anthony didn't even stay in place long enough to get photographed!

Can you tell what Abigail is saying? As soon as she sees the camera she says "cheese". I would prefer a smile but at least she was looking at the camera.
Natalie spent her time doing lots of jumps and tricks that she wanted me to video. We didn't really get any good ones because she always started before I had the camera ready.
Trevor was hard to keep up with and didn't waste any time jumping right in! All that jumping and running wore him out and he was asleep at 6:30 pm.

We were back in the car and on our way home at 10:15 and decided instead to go to the library. I told the kids they could each get 2 movies and as many books as they want. I think maybe next time I will have to say they can get as many books as they can carry. We almost couldn't make it home with all our books!

It is so fun to see Trevor sitting at the little table in the library with his nose stuck in a book. He loves the Magic School Bus books and picked out 4 of those books and 2 Magic School Bus movies. After checking his stuff out he sat at the table and looked at each book, studying each and every page. Looks like we will be doing lots of reading this week!

I even checked out a few books for myself and I feel silly to admit that I didn't realize Mary Poppins was a book before it was a movie. I checked out the first 3 books in the series and even found a few minutes this afternoon to start reading the first one.

Stay tuned to find out what other exciting things we end up doing this week.


Day 1

Today is the first day of winter break.  Although I enjoy having my children home from school I can't help wondering who thought it would be a good idea to throw in a week off from school during the winter.  What yucky weather!   So, our goal this week is to not drive each other crazy and keep the house standing.  Oh, and the kids want to have fun too.  Yikes!  Looks like I've got my work cut out for me.

We started off our week of vacation by letting the kids have a sleep-over last night.  This is one of their favorite activities and they have been asking for it for some time now.  After getting P.J.'s on they all came downstairs with blankets and pillows to make their beds on the living room floor.  We made popcorn and watched a movie and then told them it was time to settle down.  By this time it was 9pm and they were getting started with their story telling and it was another hour before we heard silence.  It was a late night for us all and then an early morning since they woke each other up before the sun was even up.  

The kids have been a bit grumpy today but not to bad and it was worth it to see how much fun they had last night.  It was a good activity for the rainy stay at home day that we are having today.  

We will just have to see what the rest of the week has in store for us!  


My little Sunbeam

Trevor was so excited to go to primary today. All week long he has been working on his first talk and was so excited to stand up to the microphone and share what he had learned about Samuel the Lamanite. He did such a great job and delivered his five sentences with great confidence. It's always fun to see the little sunbeams come in and participate in primary. Way to go Trevor!


Another Rainy Day

Today I did something I've never done before.

I blew bubbles.....in the house!  What a rebel I am!

After endless days of cold weather, snow, or rain, we are tired of being in the house.  Today is laundry day so that means a stay at home day with lots of trips back to the laundry room.  Trevor has been so good playing and we were just cleaning up the playdough when I came acorss some bubbles that had been tucked away since last summer.  

While standing on a chair in the kitchen (over the lineloum floor) I started blowing bubbles and pretty soon Abigail and Trevor came to see where they were coming from.  

Trevor quickly told me I was breaking the rules because bubbles were for outside.  Guess that's one of the perks of being a mom.  You can bend the rules a little bit.  

Trevor and Abigail had so much fun letting the bubbles fall down around them and popping them but it was Abigail's squeals of delight that chased away my rainy day blues. 

It was well worth the little mess it made on the floor but I will be so glad for warm weather when we can play outside once again!


PBJ du Jour #4 - Banana and Chocolate Chip

Local football team let you down flatter than a pancake? Here's a sandwich that will pick you right up again.

You need to start out by lightly toasting the bread that you'll be using. Spread a light layer of butter or margarine over both slices of bread while they're still warm, followed by peanut butter. Depending on how chocolaty you want your sandwich, sprinkle chocolate chips on one or both slices before toasting them again. Once the chocolate chips have begun to soften in the toaster, spread them out and lay the bananas on top of the layer of gooey chocolate and peanut butter.

The big draw of this sandwich for me--the melted chocolate really makes this sandwich seem more like a dessert--the peanut butter and melted chips are so rich. The banana and chocolate combination has long been a favorite of mine, and, with the banana firmly set in between the two slices of bread, I don't have to actually touch the banana.

This is sandwich also gets the Tamara seal of approval. She says, "It was yummy!" (Her sandwich is the one pictured. I actually only went with a half sandwich this time.)


Car Update

So, I feel that I am now getting to the point when I can calmly talk about what happened last week at the dealership. It may not have been a nightmare, but I was super hacked off as I drove away.


I was driving away at five o'clock. That's right--I had been there longer than the sales rep who sold me the car! But the screwiest part of the story--the part that had me driving away with steam coming out of my ears--was that the minivan hadn't even been fixed.

Okay--not all the way, at least. The parts for the fixes that Brendan, our salesman, had promised us had not even been ordered! How was the minivan going to get fixed without the parts on site?

Tomorrow will make two weeks since the date of purchase, and the fixes agreed upon before driving the vehicle off the lot have yet to be made, and Brendan isn't as eager to please as he was when we first went in to see the minivan.

I'm upset-upset with Brendan, and upset with me for not handling the situation more effectively.

Future Mechanic?

Trevor wanted me to take a picture of his Lightning McQueen that he jacked up. Maybe this kid can grow up and fix my car someday...