Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Salon Girl

It was time for Miss Julia to get a haircut.  She seems to end up with the same hairdo everyday because I have to keep the hair out of her face. I was ready for something new.

Here she is right before her big appointment, holding a pink princess book.

She was an old pro. Julia got up on the chair and sat so still and quiet.  She was soaking it all in. When the hairdresser told her to put her head down, she did and didn't move. When she needed to look right, she did, etc.  I was amazed. My little girl is growing up.

There you go. She got a trim and some new bangs.  It frames her face so nicely.

We did a little bit of shopping at the grocery store and she pushed the mini cart around and was so stinkin' adorable.  

It was a good day for her. She got a haircut and did really well with her potty training.  Life is good.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I'm "Coughing"

Poor Eli.  He had a rotten "cough".  He kept telling us he had a cough and that he needed a cough drop.  

"You're coughing?"

{cue cough}

"I need a cough drop."

{cue cough}

I think it is hilarious.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Orange You Cute!

When I was young, I had an obsession with oranges. I would eat them incessantly.  Apparently, my dietary obsession was so extreme that my face would be stained orange. My mom would scrub and scrub my face before church on Sunday, but to no avail.

I was reminded of this when I saw my Harry Bob sitting on the ground in the kitchen opening a fairly large orange all by himself.  No one, including Rinar, will eat an orange unless I peel it for them.

What can I say? I am just so proud of my boy. Finally! Someone who likes oranges as much as me...I mean, likes them enough that not even an orange rind will keep him away.

Good job, Harry!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Give Your Kids a Hug

I was trolling around the internet last night and came across this blog, Pack of Fixations. I cried buckets... buckets.  My friend Lindsay posted something on her Facebook account about Kelly and Ryan Pack the day after the accident happened. I think they were friends in high school.  

The Packs were driving home from a family thing on Christmas Eve when they were hit head-on by a huge suburban!  Kelly was injured the most severely, but there precious 18 month-old, Colum, didn't make it.  

Finn and Colum Pack

I think about my five children and how they can drive me insane, how I sometimes want to just float away to some tropical island, where the only sounds are seagulls and waves crashing on the sand.  Oh, how I need to be so grateful that I have all of my kids. They are safe. They are sleeping peacefully right now and in the morning they will drive me crazy once again.  I know I am very blessed for all of that craziness.

I thought I would share this with you all.  The Pack's are really struggling right now.  You have got to read her story.  All I can say is...whoa.  But the worst part is that the driver who brought all this misery into the Pack's lives is uninsured, so not only did they lose their little boy, they are going to be in financial ruin.  Please, click on the link and make a donation to this family.  I am sure that any donation would be greatly appreciated.  Pass their story on to your friends and families.  Share it where ever you can.  Hopefully, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

And while you are at it, give your kids a big hug.  I know I will.

Monday, January 23, 2012

You Got To Get Small

Eli told Rinar to come sit down. They had to talk.  Eli told him that he needs to grow small.  How small? He needs to be 3! Then Daddy can wear Eli's clothes and go to his birthday party. Then once he grows small Daddy can grow big again.

Just one of those really sweet moments.

If you want, you can watch it here.

Ever since Eli attended Raef and Zach's birthday party, he is anxiously looking forward to his own. He will get presents and puzzles and cake. Eli is very excited for his party.  Oh, how I love the machinations of a 3 year-old.

For Real Snow

Finally, our first real snowfall. We got a few inches on Saturday morning and this is the second layer.  Rinar, Raef, and Zach woke up early this morning to clear our double switchback driveway.  Unfortunately, we don't have any salt, so I guess I am stuck at home today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Make a Bath Eli

Rinar let Eli make his own bath tonight.  Whoops!

Raef is shocked, SHOCKED I tell you.

Party Like a 10 Year Old

Raef and Zach turned 10 last week.  Wow! I have been a parent for like, a decade.  So, of course we threw a party for them.  It was a big success.  I had the boys clean up the house.  They were surprisingly motivated because they had good motivation.  Then they decorated.  All you need is a bag of balloons and some scotch tape and eager boys and voila! 

I wasn't sure when to schedule this shindig because of kids' schedules so I asked around at Cub Scouts on Tuesday and it seemed that Friday night would be the best time. Kids are way too busy on Saturday.  I made some calls, sent out an evite, and we were on the way. No sense in dillydallying.  I like waiting until the very last minute.  I even remembered Wednesday night to ask my friend Wendy to make cupcakes.

Aren't they awesome?  She did Mario for Zach and Legos for Raef.  Wendy is uber-talented.  If you need a special cake or cupcakes in the Reno area, she is the one to call.

One less thing I had to worry about.

I set up some activities for the boys.  I had made a scavenger hunt for outside, but the weather changed quickly and I decided to keep it all indoors. Instead, I whipped up a word search and told them that when they finished, they would get a prize. It was full-sized Skittles candy bag and stuff like that. They loved it and pretty much everyone did the word search.  

Then I had lots of office supplies and instructions on how to build weapons.  It was a huge hit. The book is called Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction and my boys totally love it. They are at the age where they love to construct things.  The other boys did too.  It made it even more fun because once they built their pen bow and arrow set and catapult they had a war and were running all over the house having lots of fun.

Back row (left-right): Aleks, Adam R., Porter, Ryker, Adam D.
Middle: Raef, Trevor, Ethan, Anders, Gus, Brenan
Front: McLean, Ryan, Jaden, Zach, Tucker

I also had stuff for them to make their own pizzas.  I kept them coming in batches so kids were constantly eating.  Plus, with the Doritos, licorice and cookies, the kids seemed pretty well fed.  What can I say? I am a stickler for healthy food.  And surprisingly enough, they ate all the cookies!

These are the boys my kids wanted to invite. I reminded them of a few they forgot, but I didn't really make suggestions beyond that.  There were a few boys that couldn't come, but it was neat that so many boys were able to celebrate with us, even with the wild fire evacuations the day before.

Trevor and Raef

Ethan and Julia

Happy birthday Raef and Zach.  You are on your way!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Washoe Drive Fire

Yesterday was a bit exciting for our family. After lunch, I got a call from my neighbor.  She told me there was a fire at the bottom of the hill, about two miles from our house. Reno has not gotten any moisture all winter, so it is very dry outside. And then the winds were completely nuts, with 80 mph gusts.  A fire was not good news.

But I just kind of blew it off and kept doing my stuff. About 30 minutes later, I looked out the window and I was astounded. Right at our tree line I could see tons of dark smoke billowing menacingly close.  I was like, oh crap.  So, I started packing a bag and calling people to warn them.  Then people started calling me.  It got a bit hectic. I was able to get us all out of the house in about 30 minutes.

Here is the beginning of the fire.  The road to the left goes straight to my house, and I actually was running on that road Wednesday.  All of the wind was constantly blowing northwest, towards Reno.

This is the intersection at Rinar's work.  They had to close the freeway because that is where the fire was.

There was just nothing to stop the path of destruction because of the winds. Luckily, our house was to the west of the fire, at the beginning, so we were just out of harms way.

I had a whole bunch of people from church calling to check on me and offer their houses as a place of refuge. The only problem was that their houses were in a lot more danger than mine and they didn't know it. I ended up going to the McDonald's for a few hours because it had a playground. There were actually quite a few refugees there. This was the view from the parking lot.

The houses at the bottom of the hill are all houses in our ward.  I started calling all the people who checked on me and told them they needed to pack their bags and get out of there. They couldn't see what I could see because of all the smoke.

Gratefully, the winds died down and no houses were lost in that neighborhood.

We were able to go home at night.  I was really happy about that.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


We actually got a little bit of snow on Monday and the kids made the best of it.

And then she was done.

Tough Mudder Phoenix

Warning: This blog may contain several rants.  You have been warned.

Rinar decided to do the Tough Mudder in Phoenix this last weekend. His brother Nordel joined him, in addition to other Fidelity guys from the west that Rinar has worked with over the years.  We decided to make it a weekend getaway.  

We flew in on Friday and went to the Mesa Temple in the morning. Then we met up with Nordel and Brooke, and my sister Heather, who lives in Scottsdale.  We ate dinner across the street from the Suns stadium and then went to the NBA game. The Phoenix Suns were playing the New Jersey Nets.

My animosity of the NBA has been cemented after this game. First of all, the game was totally lame.  It was like NBA D League.  Our tickets were ridiculously expensive, and probably some of the worst in the entire stadium.  There were people constantly in front of the court, so that 30-40% of our view was obscured.  This included the usher and this cameraman.

I mean, look at this view. The cameraman and producer stood there for about 5 minutes of the game. Yes, this was my view.  Awesome, right?  But don't worry. It was, like, totally worth it.  Our section won t-shirts, as long as we stood up and danced around like a bunch of buffoons.  I didn't, but I still got a t-shirt somehow.  Do you know what it said?  "We Want Tacos"

I thought it would be a Phoenix Suns shirt.

Then I decided to model it for our section just like the cameraman would.

Cool, huh?  And the usher actually told me to move.  It is good to see he is so concerned about it.  Do you think he said anything to the cameraman?

The next day was race day. It was on the outskirts of the Phoenix area in Mesa, at some desolate proving grounds.  Nothing was out there, including roads to actually get you to the event. Rinar's wave went at 9:20. We got to the freeway exit at about the same time and sat there for, like, EVER!  I also found out that parking cost $10.  Yes, you had to pay to park in an abandoned, gravel mosh pit, in which you still had to walk a considerable distance to the entrance.  We didn't even make it to the parking lot. We parked outside and then walked in. (At least I didn't pay for parking.) 

Then we had to pick up our tickets.  Tickets? What? You need tickets?

Yes, correct. In order to be a spectator, prepaid tickets cost $20 (plus fees).  If you pay the day of, it is only $40.  Luckily, we prepaid, so we would be able to pick up our tickets, no problem.

Oh wait...yes...wait, and wait, and wait. We waited and extra 20 minutes to pick up those prepaid tickets. 

Finally! We were at the race. But Rinar and Nordel had been out there for one and a half hours.  The course s only 12 miles long.  So Brooke, Heather, and I walked and walked and walked.  

Could not find them anywhere.  Heather had to leave to go back to work.  

I watched these people go over this wall. I thought I should get a picture of something.  You know...$20 (plus fees) and all.

After Heather left, Brooke and I walked to the end of the course and watched these people go over this wall.  We sat on a comfortable piece of dirt and gravel for about 10-15 minutes.

Then my phone rang.  "Hi, I am calling for Rinar. He is at the finish line. They just finished the race." did I feel about this; totally and completely pissed, angry, sad, disappointed and absolutely furious at Tough Mudder, the biggest rip off on planet earth.  It may be fun for the participants but  it sucks if you want to watch.  I actually cried at the finish line, I was so upset.  

Worse. Race. On. The. Planet. Do not go as a spectator unless you want to be totally ripped off by avaricious, money-grubbing scoundrels.

But at least the dirt tasted good. 

There you go...Rinar is a Tough Mudder. Congratulations.

There was actually a tattoo parlor at the finish line. I should have gotten a tattoo saying, "You thought the Tough Mudder was tough, try trying to watch it."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

An Almost Perfect Day

Yesterday was such a good day. I decided to try potty-training Julia and I had quite a lot of success. She tinkled 5 times and even had a good bowel movement to end the day.  I was jumping and squealing for her success.  All of the kids joined in to celebrate with her. And every time she went, I gave everyone a piece of chocolate.  This really helped everyone get on board with her.  Julia loves praise, so it really seemed to work well.

Then, after dinner I gave all of the little ones a bath and put them in their pajamas.  We had to go to Cub Scouts and it started at 7:00pm, which is when they usually go to bed.   The boys did the dishes and got ready.  We had lost Zach's Cub Scout shirt for the past several months and I was bummed that I was going to have to buy another one.  As I was walking out of Eli's room, Zach presented himself to me in his newly found shirt.  He was wearing it, he was ready, and he found the shirt himself.  I was so elated.

Raef and Zach have finished their Bear requirements for Cub Scouts and then after carefully going through all of their requirements for the Religious Knot award doing Faith in God, Rinar and I realized that they had both achieved all the requirements for this reward.  Yippee! Something else I could check off of their list.

It would seem that the whole night was going to get derailed when Julia started crying non-stop after we put her to bed. She was in misery and kept pointing at her ear.  I gave her the white onion treatment and some Tylenol.  She was up pretty late and cried a bit, but finally settled down and fell asleep around 11:00pm.  When she woke up this morning, she was her old self again.

It was almost the perfect day.  It is amazing how excited us parents get when the kiddos put their poopies in the potty. It is better than Disneyland.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Get Ready

Don't you love the stripes?

Rinar stayed home with all the kids today, except Raef. Everyone was coughing and spewing germs. We didn't want to share that with the rest of our ward members.

We start school again tomorrow. Raef and Zach are going to notice a sizeable increase in their work load.  They are going to have more writing and reading and just time to study.  They need it. They will be 10 soon and  have really matured academically.  I think that they are ready for new challenges.  I look forward to seeing what this year will bring.  I have spent several days cleaning out the school room and rearranging things. It is a fresh new look for a fresh new year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Plethora of Books

Our bedtime routine for Eli is quite simple. One of us goes in there, lays on the bed with him, and reads him a few books. Then we might sing a song or two, turn off the lights and lay with him for a few minutes, then say goodnight and he goes to bed.

Well, a few nights ago he went in his room first, picked out a "few" books, and then told Daddy he was ready.

"Daddy, come read some books to me!"

It is a good thing it was only 8:30.  Rinar had plenty of time to get it done before midnight.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Julia, Don't Forget Who You Are

Julia likes to put lipstick on her "mips".  I just put the clear stuff on, but she really likes her mips.  

And that brings me to the point of the blog.  What is going on here? Marie Osmond was on a talk show the other week and I was floored at what I saw.  It was Marie, but it really wasn't.  Why?  Why, Marie, have you succumbed to the most horrific plastic mutilation you can do to yourself?

There is only one lady I know who has those kind of lips.

But they seem to work with her face because those are the lips that God gave her.

I just cannot understand why women think that if they plump up their lips to C Battery size, it will look attractive. It is horrible and I abhor it.

Do you remember her?  She used to be beautiful and now she looks absolutely frightening.

And here is someone who I always thought was gorgeous.

But look at what she has turned into...

These women don't seem to know who they are.

I can't help but think of my little Julia.  I have a big job ahead of me. I have to teach her the most important things in this life.  One day she will read this blog, so I am going to address this to her. are a child of God.  He created you in His image. He made you just the way you should be. You are incredibly beautiful, smart, and just plain lovely.  Don't ever forget this. Don't forget who you are.  Your beauty will emanate from the inside out because of the love of God you carry in your heart.  A prophet of God has taught... 

In our world, moral character ofttimes seems secondary to beauty or charm. But from long ago the Lord's counsel to Samuel the prophet echoes: "The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

Know with every bit of your soul that you are created in the image of God and that you are His child. Thomas Monson continues, "We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power."

Julia, you don't need puffed up lips, a tighter tummy, fancier clothes, bluer eyes, or blonder hair to be beautiful. The world will tell you this, but it is a big, fat lie. 

Just remember who you are and you will be the most beautiful woman in the world.

Monday, January 2, 2012

They Are Not Rabbits

This was a sweet moment. Eli laid down with Rinar on the couch for bedtime and then he fell asleep. This doesn't happen very often with our kids, so we cherish the moments.

And in other news...Rinar caught something out of the corner of his eye when he was eating breakfast with the kids. He saw some coyotes near our front door. He grabbed the camera and caught a couple of them on film heading out of the back of the house into the wilderness.  There were actually three of them.

I guess I need to keep a good eye on my little ones when they go outside. I don't want them to get mistaken for very large rabbits.

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