Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas Time

Every year, same time, but usually a different place. This year's Christmas Eve get-together was at Lani's house. We had fun celebrating Grandma's birthday and exchanging Christmas presents.

Lani and Jeff. Lani is pregnant with a girl! Expected arrival will be some time in May.

Obviously, matching my clothes did not make it high on my priority list. Oh well.

Nordel does not like the Yankees, FYI.

Lyf and Angie...

Gramdpa and Grandma...

Here is the recipient of my purse, Mary Jane. And she loooovvvveeesss her Kelly Bag.

Jayde with Harry. She loves holding my babies.

Ooh, so exciting, opening presents.

And the fun continued on Christmas Day. Eli was in no mood to wait. Let's get the show on the road!

And what you have all been waiting for...Raef opens his present from Santa Claus...

Kelly Bags

I have been busy in the weeks leading up to Christmas because I pulled out my sewing machine (my gift from Rinar last Christmas) to make some gifts for Christmas. I decided to make bags. It is kind of ironic, considering the fact that I have only owned a handful of bags in my lifetime. I think I just get annoyed at how expensive they are.

Please! If I were to add up the cost of the 5 purses shown in these pictures it would probably cost well under $15 to make all of them, even less than that, most likely. It is the time that is so costly. But I started to get the hang of it, so it came a lot easier with each new endeavor. I am especially enamored with ruffles right now. They are just too cute. The picture of the green purse doesn't do it justice because it has lots of ruffles you can't see and it is much brighter.

I even put my brand label inside. I have such an original name for my creations. They are called Kelly Bags.

I really enjoy making them. I have a few that I am planning on doing for some people. Who knows, it might be you. It doesn't hurt if you slather on the praise. I may be more inclined to whip one up for you. They make great scripture bags as well.

I love, love, love Erin's blog called Sutton Grace. I added her to my link list. Anyways, she loves to re-purpose things. It has helped me to rethink how I do things. Today I was at DI and I saw a whole stack of purses. But most importantly, I noticed the straps and hardware on the out-of-style bags. Guess what I bought today? I am so excited to get to work.

No Christmas Cards

Just in case you were wondering...I didn't do them this year.

But in fairness to me, I think I get a pass this time around. Look for one in the mail next year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Little Ones Say Merry Christmas...Sort of!

My little ones wanted to give everyone their Christmas present early...

WARNING: Exuberant m0ther with annoying voice will be heard throughout the video!!

They have been smiling now for a couple of weeks. Don't they look great? Rinar and I are very blessed to have them as a part of our family.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Diatribe on the Christmas Cookie

Oh, how I loathe that delectable little devil. It sneers at me and mocks me. I can hear its evil laugh echoing down the hallway. It calls to me in its tempting, diabolically subtle tones like the Sirens on the ocean shore. Yet, unlike Odysseus, there is no one to tie me up, to keep me away from their perilous call.

And they never come alone: they are a phantom pack, a school of pirahnas, a regiment of soldiers relentlessly marching towards me to the cadence of "Eat me!!!!"

They know my constitution is weak and will power is an abstract concept.

And they look so pretty. But it is a farce, a sham. I know what they are made of...butter! sugar! sugar! butter!

Just eat one, I say to myself. Okay two, no, five. Yes, five at 5 o'clock...8 at 8...9 at 10. Oh, the headaches, the blubbery middle, the stretched seams.

Everyone tries to placate me. "You just had twins. You look great.", they say.

But I know the truth...

And so does that gosh darn cookie(s).

Friday, December 18, 2009

Observations on a Violin Recital

This was the end of year recital for Zach and Raef. They worked really hard this year and have progressed nicely with their instruments. During the summertime, I decided to have Raef switch from the violin to the viola. It was a fairly easy decision to make, except for the fact that we had to switch teachers as well. It was sad to say goodbye to Catherine Snow. She has been an incredible mentor for our kids. However, I needed a viola teacher. Raef needed to do his own thing. So now the boys are taking their lessons from Jennifer Peterson.

Now, I have a few observations about the recital last night. There were 30 kids that performed so the room was packed! We got there 20 minutes early and there was nowhere to sit. What is interesting is that the newcomers to the violin scene, the 4-5 year old kids who can barely play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star had the most family members there. I think one little girl must have had 10 family members there to watch her. (I only knew this because when she finished, the entire row got up to leave as Zach was getting ready to play his piece.) Believe me, after they have been subjected to a million mini-concerts whenever they come and visit her, they won't be so exuberant about recitals in the future. I happen to know this from experience because anyone knows that if you come to visit my house, plan on being assaulted with the last 10-15 songs we have been working on. And now since Zach has taken up the piano, there is even more to share with everyone.

As the recital started, my kids were vocal critics to all of the performances, much to my chagrin. First off, they wouldn't stop talking and I hope no one heard what they were saying. But even if people didn't hear what they were saying, they probably didn't need to, because their faces said it all.

"That sounds bad."
"She's not very good."
"That song is not right."
"Those notes are wrong."

When you train your child in the Suzuki method, they have heard all of the songs and played all of the songs hundreds, if not thousands of times. Therefore, when it is played bad, you can't hide it from a 7 year-old. Don't get me wrong, not everyone was bad, but there were a couple as you would expect in any recital for little kids.

The most memorable was a girl that was playing Waltz by Brahms. It was the waltz that would never end. She got lost in the song and since it is very repetitive she didn't know how to end it. Amazingly enough, the pianist was able to follow her mostly. It was funny because I can totally relate. That has happened to me many times while I practice with my kids. Luckily it is just practice and we can stop and I can yell kindly correct them.

Near the end of the recital, Zach couldn't take it anymore. He just sat there and covered his ears.

And now without further adieu, here are the performances you have all been waiting to hear...and if you want to cover your ears, you can at least do it in the privacy of your own home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Letters to Santa Claus

Dear Santa Claus,

What i want for christmas is a LEGO ben ten alien
road rippers and
alvin and the chipmunks
the squeakquel
the movie and
Leapster with a batman
Leapster game.


This is Zach's letter to Santa Claus. He is getting suspicious of Santa Claus and has on several occasions grilled Dad about him. Zach has this crazy idea that Santa and Dad are the same person. Can you imagine?!? I asked him where he thought of that but he just squinted his eyes at me. He thinks he is on to something. I don't know where he gets it. If you notice, one of the items on his list is the new Chipmunks movie. I told him that Santa can't give him that movie because it is in the movie theaters. But Santa can do magic so Zach feels very confident that he will get that movie for Christmas. Of course, everyone knows that Santa can't break copyright laws. Duh!

As for Raef, I can't find his letter right now, and I am too tired to look. However, it was short so let me share his list with everyone. He wants 2 Wii Mario games, 10 books, and $5. Raef really, really, really loves the Wii. Of course, he knows that we don't have video games in our house. So he is just hoping for the games that he can take to his friends houses when he visits. He already spent his hard earned money on a Super Mario Brothers game. It cost $42!!! Whoa.

What will Santa Claus bring this year? Will the kids get the stuff on their list. Wii have decided that sometimes wii can change our minds on what wii will and won't buy for our kids. But wii are excited for this Christmas because wii are pretty sure the kids will be happy with what they get. I guess wii shall see how it all goes down. I will keep all of you posted.

I also have a letter to Santa...

Dear Santa Claus,

It has been a long year and I have a list of things I want for Christmas,
if it isn't too much trouble...

1. 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep (if you could stop by our house around 4am and warm up a couple of bottles, that would be great)

2. A house-cleaning elf.

3. Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men, but especially peace at my house.

4. Could you please show me where I put my rebate slip and envelope? I would like to get my $20 back, now that I finally found the box with the UPC label that I thought I had thrown away a month ago.

5. Would you mind take my belly fat with you? A couple extra pounds on you wouldn't be noticed. With all those cookies you eat, your pants are probably elastic. Mine aren't!

6. Perfume: Romance, Happy, or Pleasures. One of the 3 would be great...Sunflowers is almost gone and Le Diapere is sooooo last year!

7. Sacred Christmas music that actually talks about the baby Jesus. I say bleh to snow, chestnuts, bells, reindeer, hippy psuedo-Xmas songs and no offence, but Santa songs also. You don't seem like a vain guy so I think you wouldn't mind a lot more songs on the radio about Jesus than about you. It has got to be embarrassing for you sometimes, don't you think?

8. I could use 2 extra arms, but I would settle for one. You know why.

9. Kleenex. I get pretty blubbery when I watch cheesy Christmas movies and music specials. It is quite embarrassing, actually. I actually welled up listening to "Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella". I am really not sure why.

10. Superglue...I mean, I have a toddler and a Christmas tree. Need I say more.

Fly safe on Christmas night. I believe in the magic and wish you the best of luck with all of your deliveries. I am afraid that my kids are getting suspicious and think you don't really exist, but I know better. I hope I can teach them to always believe in you.

Lots of Love,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Babies are Blessed

Our babies were blessed on Sunday. Rinar did a wonderful job. It was a beautiful event. My mom made Julia's blessing dress and it was simply gorgeous. When Rinar brought her down from the dais after her blessing he held her up and she looked like a little angel. I was told that in the circle she was so serene and just looked at Rinar the entire time. Doesn't that just melt your hearts? Harry enjoyed his blessing too. He slept through the whole thing.

Rinar's siblings, sans Aislinn, were able to come and participate. Unfortunately, Rinar's parents were in Hawaii and couldn't make it either. But we were fortunate enough to have my parents come up from Tucson for this special day. Cody came with them.

After church, we had dinner at our house. I made club sandwiches and French dips also. The French dips were a big hit. It was a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Guess I Ought to Blog Something

I have been in a blogging funk. Sorry, Grandma(s). I have just been so busy trying to get my life back to normal around here. My house is in complete disarray and I am trying to re-array it.

I almost have all of my Christmas decorations up. Rinar just needs to put some on the outside of the house. I cleaned up a lot of corners and stacks of clutter downstairs. This weekend I also purged all baby clothing, separated it, and put things in proper bedroom spaces. I cleaned out three bookshelves and re-put things in new places. It is all so convoluted because when I was pregnant we moved all of the kids' bedrooms around. Raef and Zach's new room is pretty set, but the other two are just sketched out. They both need to be painted and redecorated and everything. So I am just trying to take it one step at a time. Lots of little things add up to big things. I am a big believer in that.

On top of trying to restore order to my home, I also have to nurse two babies, change loads of dirty diapers, and shuttle kids to music lessons and such. My one saving grace is that I started a little dinner group co-op. Hence, on Tuesday and Wednesday I don't have to cook. I have a lovely meal delivered to my doorstep. Then on Thursday I cook for me and the two other families. I have been able to be more thoughtful about my cooking day and plan for it without the burden of daily cooking duties. It has truly been a huge blessing.

Harry and Julia are doing fantastic these days. They are growing like crazy and are sleeping longer at night. Last night they did 6 hours, from midnight to 6:30am. Hence, I slept for about 5 1/2 hours uninterrupted. It was great. Each night it gets a little bit longer, so I would guess that within the next 2-3 weeks they will probably sleep 8-10 hours. I look forward to normalcy.

We had a wonderful double Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day we spent it with our good friends Stan and Amy O. They have 4 kids about the same age so it worked out well for all of us. It was a very traditional dinner that was a breeze to put together because we split up the cooking duties. Then on Friday we went to St. George to have Thanksgiving with Rinar's family. We have been doing this for many years now and it works out great. There is no conflict with other family functions with all of his brothers and sisters.

Here are a couple of random photos from the last couple of weeks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Violin Recital

Here is their recital numbers from Saturday...


There were lots of visitors today. Catye and Josh left this morning. Then after church, Rinar went to the Riviera Hotel to pick up his Uncle John. He was here for a math convention. It was fun to visit with him, eat pancakes together, and have a mini-concert for him. John also played a few piano duets with Zach, so Zach was in heaven.

It is always a pleasant surprise when you get a visitor, especially family from far away who make the effort to stop by. It is what life is all about, I think.

This is really surprising...the last visitor of the day. Sam B. visited us from North Carolina. He is the father of one of my close friends from my childhood; Sarah. He stayed for a few hours and we had a really nice visit.

He is here for a month doing a project with his work. Thanks for visiting us. We had a blast.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese's Revisited With the Family...and Other Stuff

We have had a few visitors these past couple of days. Lyf and his five beautiful girls came down yesterday to stay over. They really wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese's. They don't have that restaurant in southern Utah. A couple of years ago Bethany and Bryn stayed at our house during the summer and we took them there. They had a memorable time and so they made sure that we went again with the entire family.

Let me just state unequivocally that Chuck E. Cheese's is no fun with a one year-old. Avoid it at all costs. Eli wanted to get on to everything and would get really mad when he couldn't. Plus, you have to stay right with him so that he can avoid all the mayhem that usually follows a one year-old around unmercifully. It is exhausting. For example, I thought I would let him try skeeball. Yikes. He threw the ball like a baseball into other peoples lanes, he didn't want to let me help him throw it, and then he climbed up on the ramp to put the balls in by hand. This automatically tilts the game. Not a problem for our game, but when he tries to go to the adjacent lanes for the same fun, it gets dicey. I guess that is why I sat at the booth with the little babies (who slept the entire time, in their carriers, away from all people and germs, covered by a big blanket) and ate my salad.

The other kids had a blast playing all of the games and cashing in tickets to get lame little prizes that they go ga-ga over everytime.

We came home and put the kids to bed. Except for Kate and Eli, the other 6 slept in a couple of tents we put in the backyard. Then Catye and her friend Josh arrived. They decided to visit us from Tucson. We played 8 and Back at the kitchen table and at 10:30 we could still hear giggling from the tent. I guess it is to be expected. But they sure did have lots of fun.

Today we went with Lyf to see the airshow at Nellis AFB. Well, at least we tried. The line was so long to get a shuttle, we wimped out and decided to watch from afar. After about 45 minutes, Lyf decided to go ahead and try again. We didn't have enough time because the boys had a violin/viola recital. Oh well...maybe next year for me.

It was fortunate that we had over an hour to kill before the recital, which was just down the street and about 30 minutes from our house. Why? Because Zach's violin was not in the car. ARGH! Hence, we briskly made our way home so the kids could change and to retrieve the violin. Honestly, Zach!
They did great with their pieces. I did take a video of each performance and I will try to post it tomorrow.
Catye and Josh babysat for us this early evening so we could have a date. So Rinar and I went to a nice dinner and then did a little bit of window shopping.
It is was a pretty good day.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Book Festival

Yesterday we went to the Target Book Festival downtown. It was a lot of fun. They had free hotdogs, chips, water, and snow cones and booths for crafts and such. There were also lot of authors there, mostly kids, who were selling and signing books they had written.

The Nevada School of the Arts was set to perform and so Zach came with his violin. It was great. They all got up on stage and played some Suzuki numbers. You can Zach second from the left.

Mayor Oscar Goodman made an appearance and we stopped to get a picture. It may shock many of you to know that I really like him as mayor. He is very approachable and has done a lot of good stuff for Las Vegas. Plus, our first picture with him accidentally got erased so he was kind enough to do a mulligan.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Special Call

This moment must be documented into the annals of my personal history.

For the first time in my life, my little sister Catye called me. No lo creo! I know, it is quite unbelievable. But she really did call me.

I feel special.

Catye is the girl on the

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Gorgeous Babies

Thanks a million trillion Corrinne. These turned out so beautifully. I am very grateful. I am so lucky that I have such talented friends.

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