Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ah, the joys of family

Here's our family photo from the Botanical Gardens, an overall unpleasant experience! With impatient children and impatient photographer (sorry Amber, maybe patient Tyler can email us his patient versions!) we gritted and tried our best to look our best. And just to be clear, this IS the fixed one with Photoshop pasted-on heads, clothing color changed to match, and smirks into smiles, and it still sucks. But you can't argue with the best, and this is the best! Doesn't take much to be the best when taken from such a pool of inadequacy, so let this be a life lesson to us all: hang out with mediocre people and strive for excellence!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Scream for Ice Cream?

My babies only know a few signs, just the essentials to get by before speech invades their little world. "More," is perhaps the first and most important! To them, it means just, "Gimme FOOD!" usually accompanied by an adorable little squeak of, "Mo? Mo?"
Well, my bowl of homemade cookie-dough ice cream didn't stay mine for long, as Baby caught sight of it and started with her simple signing, fingers clapping and desperate eyebrows knit together, quickly advancing in speed, then to begging, loudly, "MO? MO?"
And when she finally got hold of it, she smiled wildly and said, "Col'!"
And as with all things good, one bite is never enough. I guess it's a great way to stay on a diet: always share with your toddler. The chubby looks cuter on her cheeks, anyway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

You know that Primary song, "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!" that the kids sing? I never sing that, I don't wear a missionary badge, a lot of my friends and neighbors don't even know this very important thing about me. So now at least online I can wear my "badge" in the signature lines on the forums I visit. You can too! Here's the PHP code to use on bulletin boards:


No annoyingly flashing blinkies, just beautiful and simple like Christ himself.
Listen to the song here

Early Thanksgiving

Troy's sister Amber and her husband Tyler came to visit for Thanksgiving, a week early. Have you seen holiday airfare?! So we had our Thanksgiving dinner the Saturday prior with a Texas-smoked turkey, real AND peeled mashed potatoes, almost lump-free gravy, appetizers, non-soggy stuffing, green bean casserole, and what my kids call "can," otherwise known as cranberry sauce. For dessert, Tyler's Dream Bars, 10 pies, homemade ice cream, and strawberry shortcake. It was wonderful to have my assistant aka Amber cleaning behind me as I cooked, and I've never had so much fun in the kitchen. It's amazing how drudgery takes the fun out of everything. We had a great weekend, a few ups and downs with a trip to the emergency room, but what holiday weekend would be complete without some family drama? Overall it was wonderful to have them all to ourselves to reminisce and get to know them better.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Sunday after church we went to the Austin Zilker Botanical Gardens for some photo ops. The kids LOVE posing, especially when they can zip around from location to location rather than sitting in one spot.

Of course, we had our fair share of bloopers, too!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Prettier than your wedding!

Olivia, who is always searching for girly things, fanciful, imaginative, or beautiful, wanted to see when I got to be a princess, so I showed her my wedding photos and wedding dress. She was appropriately impressed, as any 4-year-old girl should be. A few days later, on Thanksgiving, she saw my pumpkin cream pie and exclaimed, "Mommy! That's prettier than your wedding!" Obviously we have some priorities to straighten out.

Easiest recipe ever found at

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sick of being sick

I am so sick. I've been sick for a long time. The nitty details are not only boring, but disgusting, and somewhat private, so I'll spare repeating them. However, after over a week of nausea, and almost 2 weeks of general malaise and stomach cramping, I'm sick of being sick. What a waste of time. And despite some weight loss, I don't recommend this diet to anyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New School Year

Yes, they really did bring apples to their teachers on the first day, but I included chocolate cookies to lessen the cheese factor. Taya is in 4th grade, and Levi finally started kindergarten this year! He'll be 6 in 2 weeks, but he's still the smallest kid in class and unfortunately behaves that way as well. He loves school, adores his teacher, and regularly engages in social activities such as pushing, shoving, or hitting friends for no reason. When he's not doing that, he shows affection with crushing hugs or fiddling with their clothes and hair. He's lovely, of course.
They are both still in karate and hating it (don't tell them, I'm trying to brainwash them that it's cool). Taya is really enjoying piano lessons and practices on her own cheerfully.
Somehow the extra time I was hoping to have while they were at school hasn't really materialized as I'd hoped and knew it wouldn't! With 4 kids it'll always be hard. But the school year is still new, and as the routine regularizes I'm finding it's easier to keep the house clean and stay caught up on spending time with my kids and working out. I've lost about 25 pounds since last June, and it feels great!
Of course a new school year brings illness with it. I spent over a week getting to know my toilet better, I even put a little chair in there to hang out just in case. Finally got some Cipro (miracle of miracles), and everyone else seems to be taking turns in the same, bathroom. Hopefully no one else will have it as long as I did, and hopefully no one else will need extra pharmaceutical help to kick the toilet habit.
With just 2 kids at home this year, Olivia is loving having more mommy time, and she needs it! As a middle child so close in age to her brother, she feels left out a lot. Her mood and attitude have improved, and since she's starting kindergarten in just a year, this year with her at home almost alone will be a special one. Julia is just getting old enough for them to play together a little bit, except for the times when she's screaming about new teeth charging in. She had 6 for quite awhile, and she has 3 new ones with 3 more threatening to ruin our peace for awhile longer yet.
It's amazing how busy we can be yet still be so boring!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A big family on a big trip!

Here we all are, July 2007. Julia just turned 1, Olivia just turned 4. Levi is starting kindergarten in the Fall, and Taya will be in 4th grade. We have a new school in our neighborhood, and while I'm really excited having to walk them there instead of having a bus at our front door will be a challenge! She's always been bused to school, and I thought I'd love a school so near us. However, I'm coming to realize having to wake everyone up and walk them there will be a big challenge, plus having 2 to get ready in the mornings, plus 2 more tag alongs, is going to be much more chaotic than I'm used to! Normally I dread the start of school, but this year, because I'll have 2 in school (finally), and 2 at home, it feels like it will be so much quieter during the day. I want to spend quality time with the kids. I want to have my really clean house back. I want to get my classes written. I want to sew again. Right now I don't do any of it because I feel so wiped out all the time just being surrounded by so many needs constantly, that even in my free time I can't get anything done! I wonder if it's just a fantasy? Part of me feels like it will be even more chaotic with homework and evening activities. Somewhere along the line my metamorphosis into "soccer mom" started without my permission! Though none of us play soccer...maybe I'll get a bumper sticker that says, "My karate mom can kick your soccer mom's butt!"

Our monster road trip is over now! We started in Austin and drove through New Mexico, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Salt Lake to see my best HS friend, Boise, flew to Seattle to see my family, drove from Boise to Rexburg to see Troy's family, I taught a 3-day seminar in Malad, Idaho, South Weber, Utah to see Troy's best HS friend, Silverthorne, Colorado to see my oldest brother, then back through Amarillo to Austin. It took 3 weeks! But it wasn't quite as horrifying a drive as we anticpated. The kids watched DVD in our new car player, and the baby spent a lot of time playing with her toes. I've noticed crying isn't as stressful when you can't do anything about it! Our families were great to see, and everyone was happy and obliging, unless I mention those few troublesome moments, which I won't. We had a good time, and don't tremble in fear at the thought of doing it again now that we have a DVD player in the car! And to our credit, we haven't used it once since we got home, though the kids have begged. They watch enough TV at home!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Baby is Big

My Julia turned one. With each child that sneaks up on me faster and faster. She walks and even talks a little. I already miss my baby, that fleeting and miraculous infant stage. On the other hand, if it took any longer for them to grow up I would surely go insane.