Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where did it go?

I can hardly believe that 2009 is over...and 2010 is about to begin.

Holy smokes.


Doesn't it seem like we should be riding in flying cars and wearing space suits?

It was a good year for our family, and I am grateful for it.

And I am looking forward to the year to come.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well...we did it.

The presents are wrapped.

The stockings are filled.

Six little children are asleep, dreaming of tomorrow...which I am sure will be here before I know it.

I feel really blessed this year...and even more so because of our friends and scattered around the world.

I hope you have a very merry Christmas.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hot Chocolate Wishes and Birthday Cake Dreams

I can't believe it's happened...but I guess you can't stop time.

Sweet Becky is five.

Becky was very happy to celebrate her birthday with her friends...and she was especially happy to get a bicycle. When you are the third girl, you get a lot of hand-me-downs, so she was thrilled with the first brand new bike she has ever had.

So...time for a top five list.

Top Five Things I LOVE about Becky

1. She is always happy...a ray of sunshine.
2. She has the sweetest dimples...and every time she smiles, it just melts my heart.
3. She is very opinionated and bossy.
4. In spite of how opinionated and bossy she is, her preschool teacher thinks she is shy and retiring. (One of my kids?)
5. She has the best can't help but laugh right along with her.

There are so many more things I love about this sweet girl...but for now...let's just say Happy Birthday Becky.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Got a Shovel?

6 pm and still snowing...the view out the back door.

2 pm

No End In Sight

We got woken up last at 2 in the morning.

One of the kids?

Oh. I just wish.

Instead it was three crazy guys who were stuck in the snow and trying to get their car out of the middle of the road.

It was seriously like a bad three stooges episode, but all in Vietnamese.

Really...I didn't know what they were saying, but it was hilarious (as much as it could be at 2 am) to listen to them scream at each other...and you could just tell they each thought the others were total dorks.

They kept pushing on the car and switching drivers and after I don't even know how long managed to wedge their car up onto the curb.

Troy actually got out of bed to go and help them, but it turns out they had destroyed one of the tires by ramming into the curb, so the car wasn't going anywhere.

All I can say is that I am glad I'm snug and warm at home.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Your Own Blog Book

To answer your questions about the blog book.

I used Blurb.

It's pretty simple.

You download their software and then it "slurps" your blog for you.

The pain of it is that it will put each blog entry on it's own separate page, and if you want something different than that, it's a time consuming process to reformat it all. puts the photos on in whatever size it thinks is best.

When I first slurped my blog...I decided to just do one year, otherwise, I might never been able to finish.

The first time it formatted the book, it was over 300 pages.

After spending quite a bit of time formatting it (some of my blog posts were just a line or two, and I could sometimes get three posts to a page), and changing photo sizes (I wanted all my photos to be bigger) finished book is 189 pages, and it cost $60.00.

The binding and cover are awesome. You can choose to have a dust jacket, but I knew that my kids would mess that up, so I choose to have it wrapped. It's awesome. You can choose whatever color you want as well. I love the black.

The inside pages are thick and wonderful and the photos came out great.

Here's a peek at the inside:

I took photos of the pages with photos so you could see...there are lots of posts that don't have any photos at all.

FYI: Blurb often has coupons online for $10.00 off a book or for free shipping. I was able to get mine with free shipping, which saved me $10.00.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How Happy Am I?

My Blog Book came today!

And it is perfectly lovely...hardcover, tons of photos....totally worth the HUGE amount of time it took to make it look pretty.

woo hoo!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Give New Meaning to the Word Hot

I had a medical test today where they injected a radioactive material into my veins so they could look at my heart.

It was seriously weird. They kept the medicine in a special metal tube and techs called "nukes" come to administer the stuff.

You watch how the treat everything...and then they put that stuff inside you?


Everything is fine.

My heart is working great...but for the next 30 days I have to beware of going into a federal building or airport cause I might set off the security alarms.

Now that's hot.

It Had To Happen...

I mean...with 4 girls...someone had to take the scissors to their hair right?

But seriously...I thought we were gonna make it.

big sigh.

Christmas Tradtitions

I love Christmas lights...and have always wanted to go to the light festival at the regional park...but convincing Troy is was worth $15.00 is a lot easier said than done.

So, with the help of a coupon, we finally got him to go.

Fun times.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It Was the Lie

So, with all the drama, I'm sure you are thinking that the kids did something pretty major to lose Christmas.

But it wasn't major.

It was actually something really small and stupid.

But what really got me was the LIE!

I hate when you ask, "Who did this?"

And the answer from EVERYONE is, "Not me!"

I just couldn't stand it anymore.

So...I held Christmas hostage until "Not me" became "I did it."

Doing something naughty is one thing...lying about it is something else all together.

Meanest Mom, Ever

What's in the bags, you ask?

The kids' Christmas presents.

They are being held hostage until the guilt party fesses up.


Meanest Mom. EVER.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Trimming the Tree

Well, we've had the tree up for quite some time...but we finally got to hang the ornaments tonight. Now it feels like Christmas.

And we continued our family tradition of giving the kids their own each year, so that when they leave home, they will have their own collection of ornaments to start their own trees with.

This year the girls got hello kitty ornaments.

And the boys got star wars.

And really...what would Christmas be without Troy's special Christmas ornament.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It Wasn't Meant To Be

Crazy day.

Troy finally got home after a week of being in Paris...sheesh...his life is rough.

And we ran a couple of errands and went to make our way to our ward party.

I had baked a lovely was yummy! And off we went to the party.

Well..wouldn't you know it, but tonight was the city light parade. Light parade?

Yeah, I know.

It's a bunch of people who decorate their cars, tow trucks and flat beds with Christmas lights...and then they drive down the MAIN thoroughfare and clog up traffic for miles around.


We sat in traffic nearly an hour....waiting for the parade to cross, and when the end was in sight...literally 10 cars away...a police office came and made us move into the turn lane and turn around.

Are you kidding me?

I still can't figure out why we couldn't just wait for the parade to pass. It was so maddening.

So...there we were, back at home...and traffic was still totally at a stand still.


We took it as a sign that we weren't meant to go the party.

At least I had dinner cooked.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cute Production? Clever Marketing?

So...we had Barnes and Noble night, and this year Joshy performed.

It was cute...he performed a little French song...and sang a couple of winter songs.

I especially love how in the down time...Josh tried really hard to see the bell on top of his hat. Ohmygosh. He is so Josh.

But of course...after spending a chunk of change getting the kids books, buying books for their teachers...and supporting spirit night at Baja Fresh...I have to conclude that this was a supremely clever marketing worked. can you resist this face? You'd drop a chunk of change for that, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Where is a Hole When You Need One?

So...I left the car lights on all night.

Thankfully, the car started this morning.

But, as I was running errands, I came out to my car and pushed the automatic unlock on my keys...nothing.


I pushed it a couple more times, and nothing.

Finally...I gave it a little jiggle, and it opened.


As I pulled the car door open, I knew instantly that something was wrong...but I couldn't put my finger on it.

Then it hit me.

This wasn't my car. did I get it to open?

Well, one quick look over my shoulder at the very unhappy lady behind me said it all.


All's Quiet...Thank Goodness

It's been quiet here on the homefront.

We've already had our first big snow of the season...which is the earliest it has ever snowed here since we moved here.

The kids were excited to get out and building snow men and sled.

I have been trying to take it my life -- which is a lot easier said than done.

But...we are enjoying this Christmas season. It's such a festive time of year.

I have high hopes of picking up my camera and sharing it with you...we'll see how that goes.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Just trying to catch up.

I have been meaning to take new photos of the kids...but between photo shoots and life...I just never seem to have the time.

So...finally got some taken.

I know Troy is going to I better preempt -- yes I have a shot of Katie like the other kids...I just like this one for the blog. shhh.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day

Ours was a blast! We had quite the crowd.

But...the saying is true...many hands make light work.

The adult table.

Kid Table 1

Kid Table 2

Kid Table 3

You always need to worry a little when the kids outnumber you 4 to 1.

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

Happy turkey day!!!

Becky is walking around the house saying boggle, boggle, boggle.

And I am so happy that my family is home and as we are busy making preparations for a festive thanksgiving, I am even happy to be hosting dinner.

I have so much to be thankful for today, not the least of which is all of my family and friends.

We are so far from most of you, but we think of you often and miss the opportunities that we have to be close by and enjoy your company.

But, we are also grateful for our friends who do live close by, who have become our family here, and we know that we are doubly blessed to have you all in our lives.

I hope that each of you is happy, healthy, and warm today, wherever you are.

Know that we love you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good Times...All Seven Years

Can I just tell you how much I love this boy?


Josh is seven today and I can hardly believe it.

This honestly feels like just yesterday.

Josh was born seven years ago today around one in the afternoon.

All 10 pounds 5 ounces of him.

I know.

He was so stinkin' cute...and I fell instantly in love.

And as I look back on all these years...I can tell you honestly that Josh has been a great joy.

I know I talk about how crazy he is...and believe me...he IS crazy.

And I talk about how much work it is to keep up with IS a lot of work.

But...he is also sweet and funny and happy all the time.

And I am so grateful to have him in our family. little man.

I hope the last seven years have been as good for you as they have been for me.

I love you.

Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On His Honor

Today was a big night....Joe earned his Webelos Badge as well as his Arrow of Light.

Now...for those of you who have never done scouts...this might not sound impressive. But let me tell you...It IS impressive!

And I am so proud of him.

Some of you may know, I'm not a huge fan of scouts. I would just as soon the boys focus on faith in God awards and do what they can to make sure they earn it.

But...having said that, this is what Joe wanted, so it was my goal to help him accomplish it. And Joe worked really hard -- REALLY hard.

Look at the awards he won tonight:

And...even with that huge pile...he had 3 more they had to fix.
To put it in context, Joe completed over 100 different tasks to earn these awards...from a service project, to a campout, to making his own rocket.

It's amazing and I could not be prouder.

Hurry Up and Slow Down

Today really kicked my butt.

Joe, Emma and Josh all had chess club this morning...then Mikayla had piano lessons and a try out for the all county orchestra. Oh I love dragging all the kids to middle school activities at what should be their bed time!

I feel like I have been running all day.


I thought when the kids were little that I could not wait for them to be older so life could slow down and I could get more things done.


I get less than ever done...and we are busier than I could have imagined possible. What am I going to do when Joe and Emma start middle school next year?


So...if you are struggling at home with a toddler right now...let me just say...enjoy it. It's a blessing.

: )

Friday, November 13, 2009

Like it's 1986

So...i'm coming downstairs this morning...and I hear one of my kids singing.


"'re half way there...whoa....oooo....Living on a Prayer....take my hand....we'll make it I swear....whooaa...ooooo...Living on a Prayer."


Bon Jovi.


But what really blew my mind...was that it was BECKY doing the singing.


You know what this means.

Too much guitar hero and hanging out with the Kunz family.

Andrea...I always knew you'd pass on your rocker ways to one of the kids...I just didn't know it would be mine!

: )

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Well...I did it.

I went on vacation and I totally unplugged from my life.

No e-mail.

No blogging.

No phone calls.

And I survived.

We had a really great time in's a little resort a couple of hours from here with an indoor water park. Just perfect for a frosty fall day!

I have a ton of I will work on getting up some photos to go with the fun we had.

It was super nice to get away!

And I am super glad to be back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 09

Oh man. Halloween was a bust this year...and I have put off posting until I had some photos to share...but of course I still don't have any.

It rained on Halloween and with sick kids to boot, we just didn't get any photos taken.

I have kept the costumes out, and since the kids are home from school tomorrow we are going to try and get a few shots.

I just have to say...this was a most interesting Halloween for me.

Because some of the kids were sick I did many things this year I have never done.

For one, I missed our ward Fall Festival...which I have actually NEVER done since we have lived out here.

How strange was that!

And then...I stayed home and passed out candy while Troy took the kids trick or treating.

I have never stayed home to pass out candy and it was strange.

Can I share a little of what I observed?

Most kids are very polite.

They mostly said thank you and were very pleasant.

Having said that...there were a few interesting moments too.

There were the kids who actually had the nerve to request a specific kind of candy, with one child actually expressing his frustration at the type of candy we were giving away -- he wanted M&Ms and we didn't have any. What were we thinking?

There were many who did not say thank you, and even when out with their parents were not reminded to be polite. Oh. We said "you're welcome" regardless.

There were many children who did not even both to wear a costume...they just showed up in their school clothes with a sack asking for candy.

And many children came to my door wearing a ski mask as their costume? Yeah. Like 10 of them. People! A ski mask is not a Halloween costume.


And...I am not a officially a firm believer that there is such a thing as being too old to trick or treat. I don't know what that age is...but I know it when I see it.

And seriously...when the porch light is off it means we have run out of candy.

We passed out over seven pounds of candy.

But, even with all the craziness...we had a good time at home.

Katie thought Halloween was a blast and thoroughly enjoyed passing out candy to all the children...okay, all the ones not wearing ski masks!

And every time a child would walk up to our door she would smile and say, "Trick or Treat." eek. It was cute.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Oh yeah...THAT mom

Well...I have officially become THAT mom.

Oh, I know.

I've been THAT mom before...but now...there is just no going back.

As you may (or may not) know, I have strong opinions.

seriously. it's true.

And one such strong opinion is the idea that children do not need cell phones.

I mean really...where is your eight year old going that you can't totally reach them in any given situation? more and more of Mikayla's friends have gotten cell phones (some from a very young age)...we have resisted the onslaught.

She is just too young.

And then something happened to change my mind.

That's right she turned 13. wasn't the turning 13...rather it was the seventh grade and track and play practice and her busy social life...I can hardly keep up.

With coaches that cancel practices or have meets that end two hours early, surprise play practice, etc...I could not keep up with whether she was coming or going and more imporantly whether I was supposed to be there.

So...we decided it was time...and we got her a cell phone for her birthday.

And...she is thrilled. (I're shocked.)

The best part about it was when we finally decided to do it...we thought we would do it right. Mikayla was opening her birthday of the items in her box started to ring.

And of course...Mikayla did not hear it at all.

But everyone else in the room could hear the noise and they were wondering where it was coming from.

Mikayla's friends quickly realized what was happening and were screaming at her to open her present.

It was awesome to so completely surprise her.

So...not only does my daughter have a cell phone...but apparently I am now committed to buying all my other children cell phones when they turn 13.

**big sigh**

What was I thinking?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mad Dash

Well...I like to think I perform well under pressure...and I do usually manage to pull things out, but at what price?

We have a Halloween Party tonight...which means I needed to get the Halloween costumes done. After taking a break last year from the family theme...we have come back to it.

We are all going as characters from Harry Potter. of yesterday I did not have any costumes made.

I've now got six costumes done...two more to go.

Phew...hope I'm not too grouchy at the party tonight. lol!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Say Goodbye To My Youth my daughter turns 13.

HOW did this happen?

WHERE did the time go?

WHY, oh why, do I have a 13 year old child?

Seriously...I guess today isn't all about me.

**big sigh**

Actually, Mikayla is the MOST amazing person...and I am so grateful that she is my child.

She is strong and secure in who she is.

She knows where she is going.

And I trust her to make good decisions...even in tough situations.

What more could I ask for.

So...Happy Birthday kiddo.

I love you.

PS. She is a faithful blog be sure to leave her LOTS of love. Think we can get 13 comments?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Moments of Truth

Do you ever have those moments...when something happens...that you KNOW with absolute certainty that something has to change.


I had one of those moments today.

I was driving home from preschool today and Becky was riding in the back with Evan and AJ.

She says, "Hey. Guys. Listen to this. I can burp my ABC's."

"Burp - A"

"Burp - B"

"Burp - C"


How classy is that?

My realization?

Um. Isn't it obvious?

Becky needs some friends who are girls.

And soon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Today Becky's teacher stopped me as I was picking up the kids.

"I just wanted to let you know how happy I am that Becky spoke up in class today."

"Oh? About what?"

"Well, I mean, I am just so happy to see that she is finally starting to overcome her extreme shyness."

No response...just stunned silence.

"Um. Becky? Shy?"

"Yes. She never says anything in class...but I think we are starting to break through."





I think you have my child mixed up with someone else. Seriously.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shark Alert

Josh and I were driving in the car and talking about his day.

The was being sweet and I said, "Joshua Boshua're so cute."

He said, in a very frustrated voice, " said when I turned six you would NEVER call me Joshua Boshua Bop again."

"Yes Josh. But, you said when you turned six you would be the perfect child."

"No Mom. I said the DAY I turned I would be the perfect child."



I think this kid has a future as lawyer.

And really...if he's figuring out the loopholes at this age...I don't think that bodes well for the future.

Look out world.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Life of Leisure

Lest you think I've been sitting around watching tv and eating bon bons...THIS is what I've been doing in Troy's absence.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It Had to Happen

I love General Conference! It always feels like a chance to be reminded of what is most important...and I need that every now and then!

So...Troy is once again out of know what that least one or two calamities.

So, we had the first today when a gasket blew under the sink and we had a little mini flood. I does the house know that no one is here that is even remotely qualified to handle this kind of thing?


Thank goodness for Lyndon and his plumbing know how. That man has saved my bacon more than once and I am deeply grateful!!!!

So...pray that we have gotten the worst of it out of the way...but I won't count on it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Run, Mikayla, Run

Mikayla made the track team and had her first meet this week. She did great! and her team totally won!!!

Yay Mikayla!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

cough. cough.


Fighting ickie sickes.



ETA: totally whining.

we're fine.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Duh, Mom!

Miss Becky and I stayed home from church today. She wasn't feeling well, and since I didn't have to teach (and Troy did) it was easily decided that I would stay home

Well, Becky was regulated to the couch to sip ginger ale and watch cartoons, and she is quiet adept at the remote.

At one point, when I went in to check on her, she was watching Sesame Street. Bert and Ernie (mostly Ernie) were singing a song, and many of the words that I could hear were in Spanish.

"Hummm." I thought. I know Sesame Street likes to be diverse so I didn't think much of least until I went back in to check on Becky and she was now watching a documentary about desert life, which was also in Spanish.

Only then did I realize that she was actually watching the Spanish Language channel.

I asked her why she was watching this channel, she said, "Well...Elmo was on."

Oh. Of course. Duh, Mom!

ps. Becky is much improved. Must have been a fluke.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Magic Hours

It took me a while to adjust to the time when we got back from Greece.

It actually took long enough that I am on an entirely new schedule...and it has taken some adjusting.

I have always had people do you get so much done in the day?

Not that I get a lot done, but others seems to think so. LOL!

Well, I used to get up around 7:30 am. Then I would see the kids off to school and go about my day. Then...after putting the kids to bed, I would stay up until midnight or one.

I can get more done between 9 pm and midnight than I can in the entire rest of the day. There is no one following me around, no one saying "mommy" every 3 seconds, and just a lot of blissful quiet in my house -- something that is in short supply around here.

Well...I have been trying to get up between 5 am and 6 am. And holy like 9:30 pm it's all I can do to keep my eyes open.

I have found that this new schedule actually works really well for the family. We are a lot let stressed in the morning...and it gives me time to organize the rest of my day.

We are also trying not to eat home cooked meals every night.

Troy is wondering where his wife went...and who I really am. LOL!

But...with my magic hours gone...I am getting less done...and it has been hard to get used to.'s working for the family, and right now, that's what is really most important.

big sigh. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cause It Looked Inviting

So...i've been able to go from way too many photos (Greece) to not even one photo (today).

I was getting in the shower this morning. I turned it on to let it warm up a little...and the phone rang.

I went to answer the phone and when I got back...Katie was enjoying my nice warm shower...fully clothed right down to her socks.


And me with no camera!

Oh well...picture it in your know...the part where KATIE is in the shower.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photo Overload, Final Installment (Phew)

Okay...last set of photos.

These are from our tour of Delphi.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Photo Overload, Part 3

More...I know...almost done.

National Gardens

Island Cruise

I was thinking of my friend Amy when I took these bird photos (I don't have what it takes to enter her bird photo contest...but it was fun to try and put her tips into action.)

Temple of Afea

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