January 30, 2012

    Thank heaven for these shopping carts.  It may be like driving a bus through Walmart, but it's the only way I can get my grocery shopping done and still have three unbeaten children when I leave the store. 

January 29, 2012

   This is the view from my kitchen window. It is right above the sink.  It is one of my favorite things about this house.  I can see down the street through the neighborhood.  I especially like it on nice days because there are often golfers out on the course.

   Apparently that sand trap can be quite a problem; that's where I usually see them. There's something very relaxing about watching the golfers. 
   The first picture doesn't really show it, but I can also see our neighbors' front door and drive way quite well.  I don't mean to be watching them, but I can't help that I'm at the kitchen sink a lot during the day.  They probably think I'm spying on them.  I suppose it doesn't help that I'm taking pictures with a telephoto lens through the window.

January 28, 2012

    Usually a scene like this would provoke a "Baiwey, NOOOO!" from Ryan.  I have to warn him all the time that if he sets up something to play with in this room, he's going to have to deal with Bailey.  This is one of the rare times that he's decided it's okay to share his fun with her. 

January 27, 2012

Ok, so I forgot to take a picture yesterday.  Please enjoy these pictures from August 2008.  We had a lovely day on the beach of one of Michigan's lakes.  It was the perfect place for kids because the lake was really shallow for a long way out.  We only went there a couple of times, but really should have gone more often!

Look closely.  Do you see Jeff and the girls in this picture?

January 26, 2012

    I caught the boys playing "muscle guys" in the loft.  It involved no shirts (of course), wrestling, grunting, and air-punching with sound effects.  It was all very tough and manly, until they stopped dead in their tracks to watch this:

January 25, 2012

   Shelbi has asked to take piano lessons for a couple of years now.  I always told her I'd do it when we moved to Texas.  Well, I was finally true to my word about 5 months ago.  She has done remarkably well.  She's about to graduate to the third set of books.  At this rate she'll pass my piano skills in no time. 

January 24, 2012

Highlights from Bailey's birthday:

The stage is set.  (Ignore the boys' messy bedroom in the background.)

Traditional dinner at Red Robin.  The kids love to eat here on birthdays.  Usually the servers will sing to the birthday child, but we didn't make them do this tonight. The good thing about Red Robin is our kids are never the loudest.  Although the more kids we have the less this is true.

Of course the older kids were much more into the present-opening than Bailey was.  

Luckily Bailey has grandparents because otherwise she would have only received very boring, practical gifts.  The boys wanted to give her elaborate bouncing ball noisy toys, but Bailey has already inherited plenty of those from the other 4 kids.

The cupcakes were a hit.  When she was done, she was actually pretty clean because she made sure to eat every crumb and bit of frosting on her tray and hands.

I don't know.

January 23, 2012

A story without words:

January 22, 2012

King Ryan and Queen Sydney.  Perhaps we need some more manly dress-ups.

January 21, 2012

The boys think this is a huge treat.  Sometimes I "let" them watch cartoons in my bed for a half hour before it's their bedtime.   The rule is "No crazies," or they have to go to bed. What they don't know is that I like it more than they do.  It gives me thirty minutes of peace to clean up the house before bedtime. 

January 20, 2012

    This is my happy place most days.  The kids' lunch is over and cleaned up.  They're happily playing somewhere, careful not to make any trouble because they know I can just put them down for a nap if they do.  I like to eat my lunch in peace.  And I especially like to do this newspaper puzzles page while I eat.  I like it so much, in fact, that Jeff got me a subscription to the Michigan newspaper we used to take and has it sent to us in Texas just for the puzzles page.  I'm a little nerdy, but I'm okay with that.

January 18, 2012

    Erik's birthday falls right before Christmas, so this is his big gift-getting time.  For his birthday he got a Star Wars wii game.  I'm pretty sure that if this was the only gift he got for his birthday and Christmas, he wouldn't have noticed.  He loves it.  I don't know how good he is at it because I don't really know how to play it.  But that doesn't stop him from wanting to play it all the time.

January 17, 2012

    For my birthday, I told Jeff that I wanted a new pair of pajama pants.  He bought me three pairs of pajamas.  For Christmas, I asked for some new slippers.  He researched these slippers thoroughly and told me "they got good reviews."  He obviously knows the way to my heart.

January 16, 2012

   I'm crazy about this baby.  She's good for my self-esteem.  She's always happy to see me, she snuggles into my shoulder when I hold her, and she always smiles back at me.  She even gives me a courtesy laugh when I think I'm being funny.  I could probably have a whole blog devoted to pictures of her.  (And don't you just love her skinny legs in leg-warmers???)

January 15, 2012

    This picture represents months (years?) of frustration.  November of 2010, I made up my mind to have Ryan potty-trained by Christmas.  Didn't happen.  The new deadline became by the time the baby was born, late January.  Didn't happen.  Certainly he could be trained by his third birthday, March 19th.  Nope.  By the time we went to Utah in the Summer?  Not even close.  I threatened to not let him go trick-or-treating on Halloween if I had to change one more dirty diaper.  That was obviously an empty threat.  Well, I bought this froggy pillow pet as one of the many promised incentives.  I wouldn't say that this is what finally motivated him.  Who knows what made it click for him.  But this week he has stayed dry and earned his reward.  Whew.

January 14, 2012

   Except for the wind, I really can't complain about Amarillo winters.  We get snow here and there.  I think Amarillo was about the only place in the country that had snow on Christmas.  But mostly we have mild days that are perfect for picnic lunches on lazy Saturday afternoons.

January 13, 2012

   A few weeks after Ryan was born, Jeff had to work on a friday night.  I had three little crazy kids, a new baby, and a messy house (I imagine).  I needed something to entertain us that night, so I rented "Enchanted."  It was a big hit and movie night was born.  Nearly every friday night since then we have watched a movie together.  I admit to sneaking away to my bedroom to "fold laundry" when the chosen movie has been "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Squeakquel," or something similar.  But for the most part we look forward to this night.
    Last night's movie was "Winnie the Pooh."  Shelbi decided she was too mature for this movie and watched some Disney Channel show upstairs, but the rest of us enjoyed it thoroughly.

January 12, 2012

  Yesterday (the 12th) I was in charge of our church Relief Society dinner, so not a lot of picture taking took place.  It was a good night, but a lot of work and I'm glad it's over.  Most of my day was spent making these cake rolls for the dinner.  This picture was taken when I was back at home, finally able to enjoy my own dessert time.

Here are some cuter pictures to make up for this lame one...

January 11, 2012

No I don't serve my kids moldy sandwiches.  It is green applesauce.  One day Ryan smeared his applesauce on top of his sandwich to get a laugh from his siblings, but now I think he just likes the taste of applesauce and PB&J together.  He's a strange one.

January 10. 2012

   This isn't technically a photo, but it's still pretty cute!

January 9, 2012

And this is why I hate having tile floors all over my house.  Sydney tripped after dinner as she was taking her plate to the sink and it shattered EVERYWHERE.  You can see the little white pieces of plate went all the way to the foyer, the family room, even in my bedroom.  It took Jeff and I a good half hour to get this mess cleaned up. We even had to move the couches. 

How did she trip, you ask?  While she was busy not eating dinner, she tied one end of her scarf around her ankle and the other to the chair.  Then she forgot what she had done and tried to walk away.  Luckily she wasn't hurt.