Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Pick a Favorite Today

Is it illegal for me, as a mom, to say that today this was by far and away my favorite kid?

Sure, he had his moments.  But they were fleeting. My ears are still ringing from the din of my four other little "dears".  Today was hard.

Thank goodness for my sweet little Eli.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Little Model

I just found this photo. My friend Shelly took these of Julia a while back. She need a model for some stuff her sister had knitted. This may be her only modeling job, but I think she did great.

To a Real Bed

Well, the time has come. I knew it would be soon enough, and here it is.  I put Harry and Julia in beds tonight. They were really tired and did not get a nap today because we spent all day at Lake Tahoe.  Therefore, I did not get much militant bedtime resistance.  I haven't heard anything so far, so I am assuming sleep has won out tonight.

I decided to take the leap for one simple reason, they both can and do climb out of their cribs. Julia started doing it last week and for the past few days, especially Sunday morning at 6:50am, she has come into our room to wake us up....{{grrrrr}}  I think that Harry has worked up the courage to do it from watching his sister repeatedly escape from her crib. As of today, he has solidly gained this ascending/descending skill.

Frankly, I am glad we are entering this phase of life. I am tired of those stinkin', rotten cribs.  Right now there are cribs and the bunk beds in their room.  Those are getting 86'd tomorrow.  I will be able to put the train table in there and arrange things nicely.  

I had ordered some door locks from, but they didn't fit.  But I do have a plan.  The door has a lock that will be difficult for them to undo (I hope), so I will just lock them in when it comes to that.

The next week is probably going to be a little nutty until we get them trained, but since I don't have much going on, I am ready for the challenge.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Simply the Best Time of Year

I adore autumn. It is the best time of year, and now it is knocking on the door. Summer is fiercely holding on, with its last gasp of heat...but it just can't stay much longer.

Soon, the air will get crisp. The leaves will explode in an array of beautifully magnificent colors. There will be a crunch at my feet and something special in the air. It is the time of bouquets of sharpened pencils, brand new sneakers, fall sports, and college football. 

I love the coziness of the hearth when it starts to get colder.  I feel like baking and sewing. I turn on the baseball games to watch the playoffs and all of the wackiness that happens. Sometimes, we even go to a game and it is a blast.  I remember when we first moved into our house in Las Vegas and I was busy baking something while I watched the Red Sox make their miraculous comeback against the Yankees in the 9th inning and then winning the entire series. Good times.

But this doesn't even compare to college football.  Since Rinar and I are both graduates of the University of Utah, we just love watching their games. We are not fanatics or anything, but we still enjoy going to a few and watching what we can on television. It is just one of those awesome American experiences, that you can only really truly experience in autumn.

So tomorrow school officially starts for the public school world.  Even though I won't be putting my kids on a bus or have them wearing a new backpack, I am still excited for this new time of year.

Welcome autumn. Have a seat. Rock a while.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The New Mrs. Stops By

Remember how my brother got married back in March?  Well, they ended up staying in Oregon through the summer. They have now emerged from marriage hibernation and headed back to Utah to get on with life this past weekend.  Yep, the irony...they have no kids, but no time.  I have no time because I have kids. You know what I am saying here?

Anyways, I digress. 

Reno is actually on the way to Utah from Oregon.  So they stopped by for the weekend.  They put on their Uncle and Aunt hats and really did a bang up job being cool Uncle Jamie and charming Aunt Leah.  The kids had a lot of fun with them.

I actually got a babysitter for Friday night and we went out to a nice dinner together at the Lodge and then followed it up with a mean game of miniature golf.  On the first hole, Leah got a hole-in-one.  I am sorry to say that it kind of fell apart after that, but she did have moments of brilliance. I suck at miniature golf, but I did my best.  Of course, Rinar won {yawn!}.

On Saturday, after some fun girl shopping in the morning, we took everyone to King's Beach on Lake Tahoe.

The kids really had a fun time. It was a bit crowded, but not horribly so.  Leah took this picture of Julia chill-axing on a raft.  We stayed for a few hours and then headed home. It was quite a lot of fun.

Stop by again sometime, you two lovebirds.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Love To See the Temple

The kids have violin lessons downtown and I had an hour and half to kill.  So I thought, hey, my little ones look so cute and are all dressed-up, why not go take pictures at the temple?

Plus, they were really happy...

A Boating Trip at Lahontan Reservoir

A few months ago, we won a bid at our ward's Boy Scout Auction Fundraiser to do a day of boating.  Pete D. has a boat and he took us to the reservoir south of Fernley, about an hour from our house.  Dana and Ken and their family also have a boat, so they took Crystalin and Scott and their family, all fellow ward members.  

It was a day of boating, something we have never done before.  We decided that in order to maximum our fun quotient, we hired a babysitter for the day and left Julia and Harry home.

Eli was the very first person to do a water sport.  Does he look scared?

  He is not!  He was just very unhappy that he had to wear a life jacket.  But things got better quickly.

 Eli loved it.  He was in his element.  When he was done with the boat, he spent hours just playing on the sand and playing in the water.  He barely said five words to  me all day. He was in heaven.

Raef and Zach also loved the water sports.  They got several turns on this contraption.  Then they did knee boards and a big, flat intertube that you hold onto for dear life.  It was loads of fun.

This is my best action shot of the day: Summer and Luke going airborne.  They are cousins and they sure had fun.

Crystalin and Tessa had fun, but they weren't quite as lucky. They were the first ones to fall in. But they did it with a smile on their faces. It was good mommy/daughter bonding time.

Pete's son Eric is the guy who looks like the pro.  He could really ski.  Rinar also did a great job on the one-foot board, but seemed to have a hard time on the wake board.

A day at the lake is a great way to spend time with the family.  And we didn't even take home a sunburn.

Eli clunked over about halfway home.  It was 5:30.  We put him to bed and he didn't move until he woke up the following morning.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

In Yo Yo Yosemite

Insanity has struck again. We left early this morning to do a quick trip to Yosemite. It only takes a little over 2 hours to get to the entrance to the park, but the bulk of the driving that will eat you alive occurs once you are inside those hallowed, $20 gates. The road is windy and people drive slow, slow, slow. It feels even slower when you are starving and need a sandwich.

But it really was a beautiful day and overall I did enjoy the drive.  Here we are at about 9000 feet, getting ready to enter the park.

Once we finally arrived at Yosemite Valley, it was just spectacular. It reminds me of Zion... in grey.

After a $60 lunch, in which Rinar and I were pretty much the only ones who actually ate anything, we headed out to nature. **Remind me next time to pack some sandwiches...sheesh!*** There was a beach area along the river and the kids had a ton of fun playing in the water. The river was shallow and very slow, so I did not feel nervous about letting them get right in.
Eli told me to hurry and take the picture because the water "is freezy".

They were all improperly dressed and got soaked and sandy simultaneously. But they sure were happy.

This kid did not want to leave. It took a bit of cajoling and some muscle to get him headed in the right direction.

As a side note, most of the people who were at the park were foreigners. They watched us like we had just landed from the planet Mars. One guy at lunch even his chair turned around and was staring at us. Is it really sooooo strange that I have five kids?  And on a separate, but rather astutely keen observation, I can pick out a foreigner a mile away. They always wear strange shoes. Has anyone else noticed that? Anyone? Anyone?

On the way out, we got this picture.  We are so glad we got to go in yo' forest, if you know what I'm saying.

We drove a bit and then stopped for dinner in Walker, California.  There was a neat little burger joint. The food was okay, but the dining area was awesome. I knew I would like it because of a proliferation of sunflowers in the front. It was a magical English garden, well-shaded, and adorned with a plethora of birds. The kids could run around and explore while we waited for the grub.

Overall, it was a great time. Next year I would like to do the Half Dome hike with Rinar, Raef, and Zach. We will leave the little ones home.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Make-up Artist

Dear Julia,

I know that you love make-up. You love to sneak into my bathroom and fish around in the top drawer for goodies you can apply to your face and your legs and your brother's face, and hair, and shirt, and legs, etc.  However, the carpet does not like lipstick! Neither does the stool! Neither does the wall! The carpet and walls especially do not like lipstick.

Your mother

Fidelity Luau

We hosted Fidelity's work party on Saturday. I tell you, when you host a party, it forces you to clean your house and finish up the odds and ends that need to be done.  I was glad for the motivation. And now I am glad that the party is over.

But the weather was impeccable, everyone was able to make it, and it was fun hanging out and relaxing in an informal setting.  Plus, there were a lot of lawn games happening.

Kevin and Marilyn

Gwyn and Ben playing some horseshoes. Gwyn is Jim's daughter.

Mara was checking out the yummy veggies.

For some reason, Julia really likes Mara's husband Aaron.  Rinar really likes him too. He does a great job at work.
I am wearing a vintage muumuu my grandma gave me. She got this dress in Hawaii in 1969, on the way back from Guam.  I love it. I am standing with Wendy, Brandon's wife. She is an amazing cake decorator.

This just cracked me up. Mara was kicking the pink all with her killer heels.  Toes were painted and everything.  Even with the heels on, she looked like a soccer player.

Adam stuck around for the party, before he headed back to Sacramento.  Aaron brought his Bocce game.  They loved it and played many rounds..

Kevin and Brandon. Two more stellar employees. These two were actually missionary companions back in the day, and are still best buddies. They work together and their wives hang out as well.  It is really cute.

Jim and his wife Karen. He is a new hire and has been doing well.

I didn't post a picture of everyone, but we love them all, regardless.

Farewell to Adam

Adam left last Sunday, but not before he cooked us an English staple of pasties. It is a meat pie. It was quite delicious, despite the fact that I messed up the pie crust.  We enjoyed it anyway. But we especially enjoyed having him be a part of the family for the week. The kids loved him and we were able to do lots of fun things together.  

We got Adam hooked on a couple of our favorite shows, Burn Notice and Storage Wars.

He took a picture with the kids and then put it in a frame for us to keep.  Since I never get rid of stuff that is framed, I guess he is enshrined forever.

Later, it was time for bed.  I realized I had no idea where Zach was. He wasn't in his usual locations.  I finally found him zonked out on the couch. He had been reading a Fablehaven book. There are 5 in the series and he rereads them everyday. But it was a long day, with soccer camp and everything, so I guess he was just wiped out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

An Idea For Your Children's Artwork

I sprung for a babysitter yesterday and took the afternoon off to do my favorite thing: Goodwill.  What else?  I did really well.  I was very happy with my new treasures.  When I perused the art section, I came across a framed Picasso poster that looked pretty darn groovy. I wasn't sure where I would put it, but I just couldn't pass it up. I mean, it is Picasso, right?

The poster was too small for the large wall where I wanted to put it. It needed some companion pieces. Then I had an epiphany.  I put some of my kids old artwork in frames I have acquired over the years at thrift stores (of course).  I then hung them on either side of Picasso.  Children's artwork looks very sophisticated next to modern art like this. I got the one frame (on the lower left corner) yesterday as well at the Bargain Bin. It cost $1. I still have room on the wall to the right to continue adding my kids pieces. 

Since we hosted a work party at our house I felt under pressure to actually finish up a few projects.  This next one is something I brought up from Vegas: two lamps I got at the Goodwill near my house there.  They are brass and were quite shabby. I just really loved the shape of them.  

So this morning I whipped out the Primer/Paint spray paint.  Did you know they do that now? I saved a whole step because I didn't even have to prime it.  Sweet!   A little spray here and there and five minutes later, the lamps go from this.... this.  

I did purchase new lampshades at Walmart. They look sleek and smart now. What can I say? I love me some spray paint.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Challenger Sports Soccer Camp

This has been a fun week for the boys. They have been participating in a soccer camp put on by some British imports.  Luckily, we have had the pleasure of hosting one of the coaches at our house for the week. I always like to make new friends. Our latest friend is Adam P. and he is from Liverpool, England.  It has been enjoyable learning about his culture and trying to understand his accent.

Adam coaches the five year-olds.  Cute, huh?

Raef was practicing his mad soccer skills.  He is wearing a soccer shirt that Rinar brought back from Brazil many years ago, where he served a mission for our church.  That shirt is almost 20 years old. Rinar happened to be in Rio de Janiero when they won the World Cup.  Since Raef was put on the "Brazil" team at the camp, it seemed so perfect to break that sucker out.

Zach is on the "Ireland" team, so he wears green. He seems to be having a lot of fun, making friends and learning coordination.

Here is the big group of older kids.  They have some really neat coaches who are fun and respectful.  It has been a worthwhile week of soccer camping if you ask me.

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