10.31.2008

10.29.2008

A Sneak Peek...


It's okay. Go ahead and say it. "Shellie, you are a friggin' genius."

And #3, the king of all videos on Halloween week...

Even though it's more funny when my bro imitates it! Warning: there is a little colorful language for you sensitive types...

10.27.2008

Not that I ever win anything,

but here's a shot at it anyway. Check out this chick's photography, and the giveaway she's got going. Cute stuff!

Halloween Week Video #2

An oldie but a goodie...

A Perfect Day...

Catching up on photos from our Cali/D-land trip. I really don't want to LIVE in Newport, really I don't, because I would take DAYS LIKE THIS for granted. And we'd never actually get to the beach that often because we'd have too much going on... right? Better to have to drive for 6 or 7 hours to get there, to really really appreciate it. Yeah, I'll keep telling myself that.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this guy loves this kid. And vice versa.
Allison just has it all, doesn't she? Beauty, brains, athleticism, the ability to tan, gorgeous natural hair color... is it wrong to be a little jealous of your own daughter??
The kids LOVED playing this beach-wave-freeze-tag.
Manda is just so darn photogenic I can't stand it.

Halloween Week Video #1

I know you've seen it, but it needs a watching anyway this week...

10.26.2008

Coming along on my to-do list!

Get pumpkin for "Ghoulish Golf" game.
Finish last certificate for the costume prizes.
Send cardstock with Nick to work to print certs.
Sort Halloween prizes for each game.
Set up visiting teaching appointments.
Figure out some time to go visiting teaching.
Phone meeting coordinating materials for possible design job.
Get lawn mower fixed? Sigh.
Find judges for the costume contest for the party.... hmmm...
Alter my costume.
Figure out amount, and write tithing check out.
Get more helpers committed to run games for the Halloween party.
Follow up with Rachel re: Chili and cornbread bringers
Get all the supplies gathered for the carnival games. Fishing poles, ladles, baby pool, limbo set, door decorations, etc.
Locate the wireless microphone so people can hear us while we're in the courtyard.
Find replacement bulbs for Christmas light strands for luminaries...
Carve our pumpkin. Maybe buy a couple more??
Figure out how exactly to run the Cupcake walk, the costume parade, and the Trick-or-treating in the cultural hall.
Help out with preschool Halloween party on Thursday the 30th. Maybe dress up like the Queen again??
Pick up kids from school on Thursday, get them dressed in their costumes, and drive to Scottsdale for Halloween get-together with the cousins.
Halloween day! Decorate the church, get everything set up, and probably clean the church bathrooms that will most likely be filthy when I show up. Pick up kids from school, get everyone dressed in costumes and get to the church by 5:30pm.

Clean house. Re-watch Heroes episodes because I'm totally lost. Take markers away from Josh daily. Get Josh to take a nap every once in a while. Breathe. Try to sleep.

10.23.2008

Captain Hook


Well - the cat is out of the bag - we're all going to be Peter Pan characters for Halloween. But I need HELP - in the form of a Captain Hook HAT for Nick.

Anybody have one I could beg, borrow, buy or steal? Or have any idea how I could make one?? No luck on Craig's List...

And come on, you don't really want him to end up having to wear his Cap'n Jack hat, do you?

10.22.2008

Aspirations. They rock cool.

Allison wrote this essay a few weeks ago in school. Both Nick and I were surprised at its length, and how well she did. I love the way her little mind works. For anyone who cares to read it, here's the text, misspellings and all.

"When I grow up I want to be a teacher. I want kids to learn. I want them to get tests right. And so that's why I want to be a teacher. I would take them out for recess. Make shure people are stille smart. Teachers teach spalding and teach math. ask questions that are cool. I would do snack with them. It would be really really cool. We would have lunch. It is cool in 1st Grade. And have cake for Birthdays. It would be so cool at crithmas. And do valntines. We even would learn about pennys dimes and nickels. and do spelling words. We would have school rules. My name would be Ms. Carter. Welcome to 1st Grade. We would do science. If you act up you will get set to the priceubuls office. But if you act up in the priceubuls office you will get in ist. I love school. We would have a real class pet. We would do crafts. We would take notes. We would do races. It rocks cool. We would read lots of storys. Pick floors to. We would do speshil. We would play on the playgrond. We would do all of the Calendar. And eat lots of lunch.

Things that make you go hmmm.....

A President's pension is currently $191,300.00 per year, until he is 80 years old.
Assuming the next president lives to age 80, Sen. McCain would receive ZERO pension as he would reach 80 at the end of two terms as president.
Sen. Obama would be retired for 26 years after two terms and would receive 4,973,800.00 in pension. Four point nine MILLION.

Therefore, it would certainly make economic sense to elect McCain in November.

10.21.2008

Overscheduled.

I'm totally starting to feel the ramp-up for the season. Holy cow. Here's my to-do list for the next ten days.

Return last Magic Tree House book to library.
Finish certificates for the costume prizes. "Most original" "Best Family Costume" "Scariest" "Best use of fake hair" "Most creative, but we couldn't figure out who you were" etc.
Send cardstock with Nick to work to print certs.
Sort Halloween prizes for each game. Figure out what we still need.
Set up visiting teaching appointments.
Figure out some time to go visiting teaching.
Meet with a friend regarding school fall carnival in two weeks.
Phone meeting regarding possible printing/design job??
Get Nick to put seed and fertilizer on the lawn, and fix sprinkler head.
Get lawn mower fixed? Sigh.
Buy clear coat spray.
Find judges for the costume contest for the party.... hmmm...
Come up with look/design postcards, brochures, booklets, etc... so they can be printed as mock-up samples for November 8th.
Find Manda a tank top to wear underneath her costume.
Hope and pray that Nick's costume gets here on time.
Figure out Josh's costume. Thrift store trip? Possibly. Ugh.
Buy washers and magnets for FHE boards/tags.
Go pick up produce basket at 11am on Saturday.
Make sample FHE board for display at church on Sunday.
Be here for carpet cleaner on Saturday, move furniture back and forth, and back again.
Attend ASU game on Saturday night.
Figure out amount, and write tithing check out for Sunday. You'd think this one wouldn't be that hard...
Get helpers committed to run games for the Halloween Hulla-boo-loo party.
Get signup sheets back, and follow up with people bringing chili and cornbread and cookies and frosting and the stuff for games.
Visit each auxillary on Sunday to announce the party.
I think we're supposed to have the missionaries for dinner on Sunday. Double ugh.
Send out blast email to everyone in the ward, begging them to come to the Halloween party and bring at least 1-2 bags of candy with them.
Get all the supplies gathered for the carnival games. Fishing poles, ladles, baby pool, limbo set, door decorations, lots and lots of PRIZES for each game, and MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE that I can't think of at the moment.
Find CD player so we can have spooky music playing at the party.
Get roll of tickets from Ashlee to hand out to each game player for carnival games.
Contact Brother Bill regarding popcorn machine. Maybe.
Locate the wireless microphone so people can hear us while we're in the courtyard.
Volleyball on Monday morning, 9am.
Start taking Allison to school at 7:30am instead of 8:30am next Tues, for special program she's starting.
Start going to bed earlier and getting organized in the morning so I can do previous each Tues, Wed, and Thurs for the next several months.
Make milk jug ghost luminaries to line the handicap walkway and around the tree in the courtyard.
Buy white Christmas lights with white cord for luminaries.
Babysit kids during Gymnastics next Tuesday?
Buy and carve a pumpkin.
Make "Where's Wanda's Wart?" witch for the game.
Figure out how exactly to run the Cupcake walk, the carved pumpkin contest, the costume parade, and the Trick-or-treating in the cultural hall.
Help out with preschool Halloween party on Thursday the 30th. Maybe dress up like the Queen again??
Pick up kids from school on Thursday, get them dressed in their costumes, and drive to Scottsdale for Halloween get-together with the cousins.
Halloween day! Decorate the church, get everything set up, and probably clean the church bathrooms that will most likely be filthy when I show up. Pick up kids from school, get everyone dressed in costumes and get to the church by 5:30pm.

Clean house. Re-watch Heroes episodes because I'm totally lost. Take markers away from Josh daily. Get Josh to take a nap every once in a while. Dinner group? Maybe.
Breathe. Sleep.

10.19.2008

DONE!

This was the original idea.
And this is the final product. Don't you dare say you like the other one better.
Not bad, methinks. But next time we'll charge more on this kind of project to discourage the whole issue of holy-cow-too-many-sets. Deirdre cut about 330 blocks for this project, so tell her thanks when you see her. She's probably still got sawdust in her lungs.

Will someone please take a picture of the back of theirs and send it to me? I didn't do the "Give Thanks" on mine.

Ode to my dishwasher.

Oh stainless one, all made of steel,
I'd like to tell you just how I feel.
You make my life so very easy,
Scrubbing our plates that are crusty and cheesy.
You were so quiet, I hardly knew you were there,
Until you broke - and then I was in despair!
The repair guy came, and charged us a lot,
Now you're running again, with your water so hot.
Many hours you save me, each and every week,
I'm so happy now, I could just squeak.

10.13.2008

Manda

As I was filling up the sink to do yet another pile of dishes today (our dishwasher's been broken for more than a week), Manda pulled up a chair alongside me to help.

"I'm a good helper, huh mom?"

For sure!

"Doing dishes can be one of my chores, okay?"

Sounds fabulous to me.

I then left Manda with scrub brush and bubbles up to her elbows to go put Josh down for a nap. THEN I got sidetracked by emails in my office (I swear, that's the first time that's ever happened) From downstairs, I hear:

"Hey MOM! Can you help me with the dishes please??"

Okay, okay...

A few minutes later, as she's washing, and I'm re-washing, and rinsing, I say:

"Manda, you are so good at doing dishes! Should we tell Daddy what a good helper you are?"

"Okay Mom. Why don't you write it on his blog so he can read about it?"

Sounds good to me.

10.11.2008

The Force was with her.

So if you haven't been to Disneyland and seen the Jedi Training Academy in action, I totally recommend it. We've seen it a few times, and this year, BOTH OF MY GIRLS GOT CHOSEN TO BE JEDIS! We were SO excited! They did their little light saber practice routine, and then each kid got to battle either Vader or Darth Maul. Once Manda saw this guy, however, she bailed on the whole thing and decided to come over by us and just watch.

Allison, however, was a master at it! You gotta love her fighting stance here.She was SO PROUD of her jedi certificate, and carried it around all day long.

Catching Up... Birthdays

This year we got smart... each girl got to ask for ONE gift. Each girl got ONE gift from us, and guess what, they're still liking them! A little preschool party,
a lunch out, a little birthday money from Nonnie and Papa (all blown at the school book fair), and a trip to Build a Bear workshop, and we were done! Woohoo! No theme, no invitations, no decorations, no party. Fab! (We won't count the trip to Disneyland, as that, I guess, was way more work than a party would have been...)

Thanks to Grandma and Poppy for the Build-a-bear animals. Allison loves her dog named "Emily" - - and loves to dance with her during the cheesy B-A-B song on CD.
Manda's bear is named "Alexa" and is SO her, with denim skirt and Hello Kitty panties!

Catching Up... The Price is RIGHT

A couple of weeks ago we had our ward activity - - "The Price is Right"! It was SO fun, too bad only like 20 people showed up...! :( That's what I get, I guess, for holding it on the same night as a presidential debate. I'm hoping that was the reason, anyway, and not that people just don't want to come to our activities...!

Our games were GREAT! Rachel, Julie, Emily, Jackie and April all put a TON of work into them, and into our showcases! I won't even get STARTED on the work that was put into the BIG WHEEL and PLINKO by none other than Rachel the Great! Things to add next time? A pricing game before PLINKO, and a "ding" for the Cliffhanger game. And maybe a couple of commercial breaks, to give the backstage crew time to rearrange sets!

Our Rod Roddey wannabe, complete with sparkly jacket, was FAN-TAS-TIC. Our poor Bob Barker I think was overwhelmed by the 8-page script (oops) I handed him, but he did a great job too - he is SO good at impromptu jokes and has fabulous timing... my favorite of the evening was during the showcase when we were all waiting for one of the contestants, Adam, to place his bid and "Bob" called out to him... "Adam... Adam... Where art thou, Adam... ?" It was classic. And so appropriate, too, that the two people in the showcase showdown were the ones who had shown up wearing PIR-inspired T-shirts. Adam's said "My First Word Was PLINKO."

My Bishop's Beauties were fabulous too! Thanks to Kim, Lindsay, Jackie and Emily for the total cheese factor. I swear, Jackie and Emily should be in some comedy act somewhere.

I only got a couple of photos, and unfortunately they are BAD! Either my camera was on the wrong setting, or the battery was dying. If anyone else has photos, please pass them onto me!

Where did we go wrong?


As I was watching the girls snarf up their french toast this morning, I was suddenly disgusted by their table manners... or lack of such. When did french toast, pancakes and such become finger foods? Why is there so much finger-licking going on, or wiping hands and mouths on shirts versus the use of napkins? Why has it become commonplace in our house to eat standing up, leaning on the counter, or worse, eat a bowl of cheerios on the couch while watching TV? And why, oh why, did we never institute a rule of everyone sitting down at the same time at the same place to eat, and asking to be excused when they are finished? I have an inkling as to why food is such drama for Allison - - because we've never taught her the proper way to eat! Come to think of it, I don't think Allison eats anything BUT with her fingers (okay, maybe rice, corn and ice cream are exceptions)!

I'm appalled with myself that I was trying to teach my SEVEN-YEAR-OLD how to hold, and cut food with, a fork today. Yet another way I've failed as a mother, I guess...

10.05.2008

10.03.2008

10.01.2008

Five Years Old.

I figured I should write this post now, considering it's Allison's birthday tomorrow!
FIVE things I love about Manda:

She's smart.
She's pretty much willing to eat, or at least try, anything we give her. Most of the time willing to take medicine, too.
She's a good helper in the kitchen. She always runs to put her apron on. Not one of the cute ones, rather the butterfly one that's all stained.
She loves her brother. And her Daddy. And most of the time her sister. And sometimes even me too.
She's got a great laugh.

FIVE things that drive me crazy about her:

She tends to use her shirt as a napkin. Note shoulder of shirt in picture above. Every single one of her shirts has stains. Good thing she doesn't have a little sister we have to pass clothes down to.
She can figure out ANYTHING electronic and open up ANY package. And for that matter, FIND anything we thought we've hidden from her.
She remembers EVERY conversation we have with her, including every half-hearted promise made to her.
She has a hard time calming herself down when she gets into a tantrum.
She wakes up WAY too early every day, and often gets her sister awake as well so they can get some early TV watching in before Mommy wakes up.

FIVE places she loves to eat:

Sweet Tomatoes
Rubio's
Thai food place with Daddy
Taco Bell
McDonalds, of course

FIVE things she tends to say:

What the?
Stupid Doodie-head!
She started it.
I'm bored with _____.
Pinky promise?

FIVE things she likes:

Big Purple Blankie (especially when she's tired.)
The white cheese.
Wearing skirts. Always has.
Snacking All. Day. Long. She usually has two or three separate breakfasts, at separate times, with separate people.
Being like her sister.

FIVE of her best friends (other than Allison and Josh):

Madison
Jasper
Amy
Cooper
Jonas

FIVE fun things she does:

She tells corny knock knock jokes that don't make sense.
She likes to prove how smart she is by addition problems. "I know what 4 and 4 is!"
She loves to set the table for dinner.
She makes cute cards and "projects" for Daddy. I heard her also today getting a cheer ready for him jumping around and yelling "D" "A" "D" "D" "Y!"
She makes her own cheese crisps in the microwave. And her own cold cereal, with milk. And her own PB sandwiches. And her own hot chocolate. And her own Crystal Light lemonade... are you sensing a pattern here?

FIVE things she's looking forward to:

Getting out of her carseat and riding like a big girl.
Being in kindergarten at Allison's school, and having Mrs. Gardner as a teacher.
Buying her lunch in the cafeteria.
Our family costume for Halloween.
DISNEYLAND!