February 28, 2012

Ryan always wants to play computer games, video games, or games on my phone.  He makes a big fuss when I deny him these things, but eventually he'll go off and find something to do.  I'd much rather have him come up with somthing like this...

...than stare numbly at some tv/computer/phone screen.

February 27, 2012

    Hand washing the dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher after dinner is one of those rare chores that I actually like doing.  I used to be a leave-them-dirty-in-the-sink kind of girl, but these days I put on some music and people generally leave me to my work.  Tonight's playlist included some Goo Goo Dolls and Gotye (thanks Jill!).

February 26, 2012

     After the super annoying, windy day we had yesterday, today was absolutely lovely.  The sun was shinning and the trees were calm.  While Jeff put up chairs after stake conference, the kids played on the church lawn.  Ryan looks positively giddy.

February 25, 2012

    Okay, so I forgot to take a picture today.  I meant to take a picture of me out in the dang wind that nearly blew me over, but just didn't get to it.  Maybe this sweet picture of Bailey from this time last year will make up for it.

February24, 2012

    I'm not exactly sure why, but Ryan has four or five pairs of gray sweatpants.  A couple of them look just like this, with white stripes down the sides.  All of them are just a little too short.  But boy does he love them.  Apparently to him, gray sweatpants are the new black.  They go with everything.  I've given up on caring.  At least he dresses himself.

February 23, 2012

      This was the sight I saw everytime I looked down today.  I don't know what her problem was, but Bailey would not let me put her down, much less be more than five feet away from her.  At one point I went out to do some quick shopping.  Jeff said she was perfectly fine the whole time I was gone, but once she saw me again it started all over.  She's rarely like this, but it's hard to remember that when she has a day like this.  I tried to convince Jeff that it was "Take your baby to work night," but for some reason he didn't believe me.

February 22, 2012

     This picture may look like your average lunch at Burger King.  But it's remarkable because Erik is actually wearing the crown.  Erik is a no-nonsense kind of guy.  He certainly has his goofy moments, but he's careful to not have too much fun and silliness.  For example, at the grocery store, when offered a cookie at the bakery, he will always refuse.  Same with the stickers the old people give out at the door at Walmart.  If I offer him a dessert with or without frosting, he'll always take the plain one. 
   This guy on the other hand...

February 21, 2012

    In my kitchen I keep a dish towel draped on the oven door handle for easy access when I need to dry my hands.  When it's not there, I can inevitable find it here:

    I don't understand her fascination with it, or why she usually has it around her head or neck like this.  Silly baby.

February 20, 2012

    FHE at the library.  If only we had a Macey's grocery store to get ice cream comes at afterwards (a tradition when I was growing up).

February 19, 2012

       Do you know this trick?  By brother Jeff told me that if you put a wooden spoon across a pot of boiling potatoes, the water won't bubble over.  I'm not sure the science behind this, but it really does work!  I've been making potatoes for years and years, and cleaning up the mess it makes afterwards.  But not any more.  I'm going to try it with boiling pasta next.

February 18, 2012

      Saturday night bathtime.  Good times, good times.

February 17, 2012

    I've never been one to buy Girl Scout cookies.  I guess I never gave it a second thought when they'd approach me at the grocery store entrance.  But last year Sydney was a Girl Scout and she was responsible for selling the minimum amount, 75 boxes.  Jeff sold about half of that amount to his friends at work, by mom was in town and bought a few boxes, we spent an afternoon in front of Lowe's selling cookies, and we ourselves bought about 15 boxes.  So really Sydney only sold about 8 or 9 boxes by herself.  So I'm not really sad that Girls Scouts don't fit into our schedule this year. 
       Today when I saw a mom and a few Girl Scout out in front of Walmart, I felt their pain and couldn't resist buying some boxes from them.  Plus, have you tried the Caramel deLites?  They're delicious!

February 16, 2012

It is nearly impossible to get my boys to eat their dinner in a reasonable amount of time.  It isn't uncommon for them to still be sitting at the dinner table, with a full plate in front of them, 45 minutes after dinner started.  Tonight I threatened them by setting the timer and telling them they better be done when the 8 minutes was up, or else!  Of course when the timer went off, they were still just sitting there.  I had to have something to do when the timer went off, so I made both boys put their noses on separate walls for two minutes.  Erik thought it was pretty funny, but it worked like a charm for Ryan.  After the two minutes he gobbled his dinner right up.  Is this cruel and unusual punishment?

February 15, 2012

Usually when Jeff gets home in the morning after working a night shift, he'll go right to bed for the day.  But today he decided to stay up and go shopping and to lunch with me.  I suppose he figured he could come home and sleep all afternoon.  Perhaps he wasn't counting on Bailey finding some old pots to bang and scrape across the tile floor and Ryan pulling out all his noisy toys to play with right by our bedroom door.

February 14, 2012

  Happy Valentine's Day!
    Rice Krispie treats for Sydney's class party...
    Flowers from Jeff...

       "Noodles and Sauce" for dinner...

     Kids modeling their Valentine sweatshirts and hats from Grandma and Grandpa Larson...

       Ice cream after piano lessons.
    It was a super romantic day.

February 13, 2012

    On nights like these I'm really glad Jeff is home.  Shelbi was having issues with her math homework.  I'm not bad at math, but Jeff is so much better at explaining it to Shelbi than I am.  He speaks her language.  So it's nice to say, "Go ask Dad."

February 12, 2012

    Today Sydney had a fever and cough, so I stayed home from church with her.  It seems like any time we have a sick kid on Sunday, Jeff is working so I have to figure out how to get any of us to church.  It was about heaven having a (relatively) quiet house for three hours while Jeff and the other kids were at church.  The fact that it snowed a little made it even sweeter.  We don't get many snow days here.  The only thing that could have made it better would be if Jeff didn't have to work later in the day.

February 11, 2012

Out with the old:

We "inherited" these dressers from my mom when we got married.  They were second-hand when she got them.  I used them as a girl growing up.  I thought for sure that they would fall apart in the moving truck on the way to Texas.

We bought this coffee table at a garage sale across the street from our first apartment in Provo.  It used to be dark brown wood on top with blue legs.  We sanded and stained the top a lighter color and painted the legs black.  Back in the day it looked pretty good.  If you look closely, you can see all the crayon marks Shelbi added as a baby.  After so many of our newly walking babies have fallen and crashed into this coffee table, we decided to retire it as a coffee table and have been using it for the kids' tv stand.
  Also not pictured are the couches we got from College Terrace apartments.  My sister Jill and her husband were apartment managers and alerted Jeff and I when the apartments were replacing all the sofas.  I remember going to the parking lot and sorting through the stack of cushions, trying to find the least worn- out ones.  We were thrilled to have two matching couches to replace our DI (thrift store) beauties.

In with the new:

(Imgaine this as a full-sized sofa.  They mistakenly delivered a love seat when we really ordered a sofa.)

February 10, 2012

    When I was a little girl, I could spend hours and hours playing "house."  A new doll for Christmas was the best thing ever.  Naturally I thought all girls were this way.  But Shelbi and Sydney have never been that interested in these things.  Occassionally they'd make a big mess, setting things up to play with their dolls, but never spend much time actually playing.  I'd love a little girl to buy dolls and make doll clothes for.  Maybe Bailey will be my first?

February 9, 2012

  I made sugar cookies today. When I got back from Relief Society tonight I found these cookies on the counter:

  Ryan, of course, denied any involvement.  But he cracked under the pressure when I took his right pointer finger and told him it still smelled like frosting (12 hours later).  I should be a cop.

February 8, 2012

    I'm not sure why it takes me so long to put things up on the walls when I move to a new house.  We've been here a year and a half and things still seem pretty bare.  And it's not like I don't do it because I don't know what I want to put up.  I already have plans for both of these empty walls.  In fact, I already have some of the stuff just waiting to be hung up.  Dumb, I know.  I guess I've been rationalizing my reluctance because we're some day going to have these wall painted.  I'm making a goal right now to have these projects done within the week.

February 7, 2012

   Remember when I said that most time this blog would be about pretty ordinary things.  Well, today's one of those days.  This is a picture of the girls doing their homework at the kitchen table.  I must say that homework this year has been so much more manageable than last year.  Last year I had to write down every book Syd read, how long it took and how many pages.  This year she's just responsible for reading 20 minutes a day and they take her word for it.

February 6, 2012

     This was my life today.  Bailey and Ryan both have colds/coughs. This tissue box was nearly full at the beginning of the day and you can see that there's only one left.  I'm hoping today was their worst day for this virus.

February 5, 2012

At the end of the day, I realized that I had yet to take any pictures.  It was a day full of playing tag-team at church, Super Bowl watching and coughing/runny-nosed kids.  I mentioned this to Jeff and he offered the picture he took today:

   This is his dinner that wouldn't fit on just one plate.  I made chicken wings, bean dip, rice and frog-eye salad.  Super Bowl fare (sort of).  And he decided that it wouldn't be complete without some leftover pizza from last night.  I think he said he took this picture to send to my brother Justin.  They have a strange relationship.

February 4, 2012

    The four hour ride home from Oklahoma City.  Shelbi insists that she can't ever fall asleep in the car.

February 3, 2012

   Over the years, we have been the beneficiaries of a lot of hand-me-down furniture. As poor students for so long, we've been grateful to have it. But the time has finally come to replace it.  Amarillo just doesn't have that make options for furniture shopping. So we up and went to Oklahoma City this weekend on a shopping excursion. Probably sounds like torture to a lot of people, but Jeff and I love to shop. Since we would also have five kids with us, we had to bribe them with a night of swimming in the hotel pool to make the trip worth it to them.

February 2, 2012

    Of all my kids, Bailey's the one baby who will sit and play with actual toys for an extended period of time.  As babies, the other kids didn't ever seem very interested in their toys.  I always just thought that babies don't actually play with toys.  But Bailey will come into her "room" (the computer toom) and pull out a bunch different toys and actually be entertained.  The mess is definitely worth it.

February 1, 2012

    I had a super fun day of disinfecting Shelbi's room.  It's involved lots of vacuuming, cleaning the vacuum, vacuuming some more, and cleaning the vacuum/filters, again.
   Over the weekend, she woke up with tiny bites all over her body.  It almost looked like chicken pox.  We're not sure exactly what caused it.  She recently brought the class guinea pig home for the weekend.  It stayed in her room.  When she took it out to play with, it ran under her bed.  She was a little afraid of it, so it was under there for about an hour.  I'm thinking that's the culprit. 
   While I've been treating her room with pest-killing products, she's been sleeping in Syd's room and there haven't been any more bites.  I'm hoping it's confined to her room and that I got it all.  I'll be seriously bugged (ha!) if all that work was for nothing and we have to call an exterminator.

January 31, 2012

   Shelbi and I went to an instrument fair put on to give kids entering middle school a chance to try different instruments and get excited about joining band.  I'm not sure Shelbi's cut out to be a tuba player, but anyone who tried all the instruments got entered into a drawing for a free iPad.  I think that was her secret reason for wanting to go, but she actually really liked playing the flute.  What fourth grade girl wouldn't? 

p.s.  I don't think there's any way you could have convinced me to "try" all the instruments after seeing the way the kids spit into them, trying to make music.  No matter how much disinfectant you use.