Saturday, October 17, 2009

a couple of projects

I made myself a little message board for the laundry room door-- maybe I will actually use it! :)
I ordered this vinyl saying back in February, and finally painted the board and put it on there today! of course, those of you who know me, know that I just had to add a little something!

Here's the other end of the board! :) Now, feel free to come visit us and actually see them hanging up on the wall!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Someday my prince will come...

Tonight is the Princess Ball at Leonardo's. We looked around for a prince, and we found one! Here is Princess Bekah with her handsome escort.

Princess Ellie and her favorite guy!

I can't believe how grownup the girls are getting!

Monday, August 24, 2009

I did it!

Today, I flexed some of my creative muscles. Okay, I totally copied right out of the Pottery Barn catalog! :) I didn't want to pay 60 bucks for this cute topiary, so I headed to Hobby Lobby today and grabbed some stuff. After school, the girls helped me put these together. They turned out pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself. And I only lost a little skin off of one finger from the hot glue!

We did it!

We surprised Andy! It is his 16th birthday soon, and as usual he said he didn't really want a party, blah, blah, blah. Well, we thought 16 was too big a birthday to just have a cake at home, so we pulled together a supermassive 16th birthday party! One of Andy's best friends gathered lots of intel for me and I was able to invite a bunch of kids from school as well as all of the youth from church. It was a great night of glow-bowling and muse! Andy getting ready to blow out his sixteen candles.
Opening presents.

Birthday smile!

Andy running around right after he walked into the bowling alley and we yelled surprise! He just started running around high fiving people! Happy Birthday, Andyman!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What we have been up to for the last few weeks (Or why I am driving around with a bra in the door of my car)

Seriously, you know your life is busy when you can't clean the car out. Okay, so here is the story. On the way to pick up a family in our ward from the airport a couple of weeks ago, my bra was driving me nuts! When I am already tired, stressed, etc. it just takes a little bit of pressure on my shoulders (like from bra straps) to spiral me into a major headache. I figured it was late at night, and we all wear so many layers now, that no one would notice. Of course, I couldn't find a good place to put it so I tucked it into the pocket in my door. This was the day after Mom and Dad P came to visit. So I was pretty busy the next few days with them, and trying to get stuff ready for school etc. They left on Monday and we started really trying to get ready for school. Open houses, orientations, supplies, pictures, and all kinds of excitement. Wednesday was the big day! That night we went to the baptism of our friend, Nina. She is an amazing person and we loved getting to know her! Sadly, she left on Friday for Georgia to learn how to fly a new plane. Ellie cried herself to sleep that night. I spent any time I wasn't doing school stuff with the kids trying to do Eagle project stuff for Andy. I bought paint, weed-killing cloth, lava rocks, brushes, cleaning stuff, food, water, garbage bags...Of course, not all in one trip. I think I went to Lowes 6 times last week and Walmart too many times to count! Saturday morning we hauled everything over to the church and by noon everything was done! I am so grateful for all the support and help and encouragement, financial and otherwise that we received. We have a great bunch of youth in our ward. Andy and Rachel turned right around and went to Stillwater (1 1/2 hours away) for a fireside and a tri-stake dance. By the time everyone was home and in bed I was ready to die of exhaustion. Sunday was it's usual mishmash of church, choir practice (both before and after church) and dinner with some friends. My house is a disaster. I have been putting off changing the oil for like 7000 miles. So, tonight after picking the kids up from soccer practice and throwing dinner in the oven, I went to get the oil changed. I noticed on the way that I still had a bra in my door, and I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the oil-changing guys. So, I stuck it in my purse. I wonder how long it will live there? (By the way, I do have other bras, so it's not like I have been running around braless. But who would even notice? Who looks at a frumpy 40-year old mother of four with bags under her eyes the size of suitcases?) Anyway, stay tuned for adventures of Tami's traveling bra.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Day

Today was the first day of school! For the first time in 8 years, I have no one at home during the day! Well, except for the puppy that we are still trying to potty train! This is a picture of Ellie and Bekah after school in front of the Grizzly. (They are Glenwood Grizzlies)
Here is Ellie, our cute new 3rd grader at her desk in her classroom! She is getting to be so grown-up that she didn't want me to take a picture of her with her teacher this year!

Here is Bekah, our newest Kindergartener! She loved her first day! She actually goes to school in the part of the building that was the original schoolhouse! It is little and red and very cool!

I actually took a nap today! With no one interrupting me, poking me, or asking if I was going to get up yet! I think I could get used to a little solitude!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chaos reigns!

I don't know why I ever thought that summer would be less crazy! Is it because I feel like I need to get everything done that I didn't get done during the school year that I am still nuts? Or could it be that I still have many cupboards and closets that I literally took the contents straight out of the box and shoved into the cupboard and slammed the door? Or could it be that I feel like I should take my kids to the pool every day and create great memories for them while trying to do everything else to keep the house going? Oh, and Vaughn is going to be gone for like the next 4 weekends. All I know is I am going to Target for some retail therapy tomorrow! Because I don't have enough STUFF in my house! :))

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A new blog

I started another free to pass it on to your friends, neighbors, the lady whose teenager is throwing a tantrum in the checkout line... Hopefully, it will be a place for those of us in the throes of parenting hormonal teens and/or preschoolers (like me) to swap ideas or favorite methods of torture. Come check it out!

Friday, March 27, 2009

An addition to the family!

No, I am not pregnant! We do, however, have a new "baby"!

This is Sugar, Rachel's new puppy. She is a West Highland Terrier and she is about two months old. She showed up on our doorstep on Rachel's birthday, along with Daddy! (Yay!) We are enjoying being a complete family again, and also the antics of the puppy. She drives Sara nuts.

In other news, you can see, if you look really hard, that Rebekah has lost her first tooth! She was so excited to have a visit from the tooth fairy! It has been a very eventful couple of weeks.

Currently, we are awaiting the arrival of a huge snowstorm later today. Don't worry, I stocked up on bread and milk! It is parent-teacher conference day for all the girls, so they are all having a pj day. I have stew in the crockpot and bread rising on the counter and we are nice and snug. The little things in life are really what make it so great! Hope you are all well!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

When being positive is a bad thing...

That would be when you are in the clinic with your child (the only one not to have the flu yet) and they are doing a swab to test for flu. Of course it was positive! Actually, maybe it was a good thing, because Rachel was able to get the very last box of Relenza left at Walmart and is feeling so much better today. So now we are four for four on the flu front. Andy and Rachel have both had the stomach flu. I am hoping that Ellie and Bekah skate out of that one. Whine, whine, moan, moan, gripe, gripe, murmur, murmur. Okay. I feel much better now. Although, I have still not come down with anything...Keep me in your prayers!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Top Five Ways to Spend President's Day

This list is not for the faint of heart!!!
Of course, those of you who know me, know that I am your classic overachieving mormon girl supermom wannabe, so I did them all! But you may not want to try this at home!

Idea number one:

Drive your husband to the airport. :( It was nice to spend a few hours together as a family this weekend! Vaughn sent me this great picture of an airport cop on a Segway (Paul Blart?)

Idea number two:

Take your son to the ER for IV fluids due to hyperemesis, otherwise known as puking up your guts every 30 minutes all night long. Actually, you won't be taking your son to the ER, since you are on your way to the airport (see Idea Number 1), so you will have to call one of the three people you know to have them come and rescue your son, who you thought could hold out until you were back from the airport, but alas, got sicker and sicker. Thanks so much Carol (our bishop's wife) for dropping everything to spend part of the day with someone in the ER that you AREN'T EVEN RELATED TO!

You can tell Andy is trying to be positive but he was pretty darn sick.

Idea number three:

Give your daughter a bath in the jacuzzi tub to try and break her fever, which she is on day 6 of, due to influenza, not the stomach kind, just the good old make-you-and-your-mom-miserable-for-10 days-kind. Rebekah was also a participant in this fun, but was just starting to get better. (On a side note, do you give the ibuprofen to help them feel better, only to have them run around like lunatics and not get any rest until the fever hits again? Or do you just have them stay feverish and feeling yucky until bedtime, but at least holding still? All these years being a mom, and I still don't know which is better.)

Idea number four:
Wash everything you can get your hands on with the sanitary setting on your washer. No explanation necessary. Also, Clorox wipes, Clorox hard surface spray, baking soda, peroxide, flamethrowers, and just torching the house are great options for cleaning.
Idea number five:
Enjoy a piece of cheesecake from Olive Garden.
I know, I know. Who would even think of Olive Garden on a day like this? Well, it was on the way to the airport, and we ate very quickly. No matter which way I cut it, I wasn't going to get home to take Andy to the ER for about three hours, so 20 minutes for lunch with my hubby before he left us for another month didn't seem like asking too much. I will admit that I was stressed about the kids the whole time and it wasn't even the black tie cheesecake, because they were OUT! (Could this have anything to do with me? See previous post--Hmmm.) And I think you will agree, that after a straight 8 days of feverish kids, plus the puking, plus all the driving, medicine giving, and nursing around the clock, I deserve some chocolate!

Luckily, we are all on the mend. Although Vaughn came down with strep about 2 days later, and Andy is in the throes of influenza as we speak. Not the stomach one! However, due to my previous experiences with Ellie and Bekah, I figured it out much sooner and got him to the Dr. today. He just started showing symptoms last night, so they were able to start him on antivirals.

I plan on blowing up the house tomorrow. I can't think of any other way to kill all the germs. Amazingly, I am still relatively healthy. Sane, no. But still in one piece.

I actually feel really blessed that we live in a time where we have ibuprofen and popsicles, or things could have gotten really bad! Perhaps you can see why I haven't posted for a while? Hopefully, things will get better and I will be able to send all of my children to school next week, every single day. *Sigh* It really is the little things that make us happy, isn't it? :)

Hope you are all well. If you aren't, I hope you get better soon! If you are, I hope you stay that way!

Friday, January 30, 2009

My other love...

Those of you who know Vaughn know that I have an amazing husband! I could not love anyone more, but anything else... I must confess! I love chocolate! And since I am currently without my husband, this is a way to medicate my pain! Also, a way to reward myself for getting through my crazy, ice-stormed, housebound, grouchy kids week. I walked right into Olive Garden and asked for a whole Black Tie Mousse Cake to go. Yes, the whole thing. It's much cheaper that way. :) I am thawing a slice for tonight and saving the rest for other chocolate emergencies. Like when my sis comes to visit next week! I must have looked particularly desperate, because the counter lady put in not a fork, but a SPATULA! What, she didn't think I could eat it fast enough with a fork? What was she trying to say to me? Oh, well, only two more hours to bedtime and then some chocolate bliss (or at least as close as I will get to such a state until I get to see my hubby again). Call me if you need a piece!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Salty Caramels

A couple of you asked me for this recipe-- I totally stole it from my SIL Laurie's blog. She is a fabulous chef! We spend lots of time talking about food! :) Anyway, here is the recipe-- I think we are making another batch tonight or tomorrow.

Mary's Caramels
2 C heavy cream
1/2 C sweetened condensed milk
2 C sugar
2 C light corn syrup
1/2 C butter
kosher or sea salt for sprinkling
Combine cream and condensed milk in a double boiler and scald. {We did this step in the microwave.} Combine sugar and syrup in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Let mixture boil with lid on for 2 minutes. Remove lid, add butter. Gradually add cream mixture a tablespoon at a time to boiling syrup, stirring constantly. Do not let boiling cease. This process should take approximately 20-25 minutes. Cook to 230 degrees or until a firm, soft ball is formed in cold water. {This usually takes about 20 minutes after all the cream is added.} Remove from heat and pour into a buttered, shallow pan about 11x16. Sprinkle lightly with kosher or sea salt. Wait till cool and firm, then cut with a buttered knife into small pieces, wrap with waxed paper.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Puppies and Papertrails

This is what happens when your 5-year-old gets hold of your brand new stack of sticky notes. She spent quite a while doing this while I was cleaning the kitchen the other night. By the time I noticed, it was too late to do anything but take a picture! I asked Bekah what I was supposed to do when I needed a sticky note, and she said to just grab one off the floor, of course! She thought she was being so helpful by putting them within easy access! This is what happens when your 13-year-old gives the dog a bath. Poor Sara is so abused and loved to death by everyone in this house. You can see how resigned she is to her fate. She does look really cute, though!
We are plugging along. I came home to an interesting smell yesterday. Apparently, while I was getting my hair done, Andy decided to bake some cinnamon rolls. You know, the Rhodes kind in the aluminum foil pan. It would have been great, but he put them in the Microwave! for 30 minutes! I guess after ten minutes, he was notified of the smoke spewing from the microwave by Ellie. He decided that he had made a mistake and decided to try another batch, this time shortening the cook time to 10 minutes--but wait, they went right back into the microwave! Needless to say, our house is still smelling a little bit like a fire. :) I think we are going to have some serious cooking lessons for the next couple of years. Hopefully, we will have a smoke free week! (Why doesn't any of this stuff happen when Vaughn is here? Hmm...)

Monday, January 5, 2009

The most wonderful time of the year!

That's right, the kids go back to school tomorrow! :) I am not ashamed to say that I am happy to send my kids to school! We are driving each other nuts after 3 weeks of moving, unpacking, Christmasing, and "vacationing". I think everyone, especially mom, can use a little time apart. We also sent Vaughn on his way today, to do his instructor refresher course. I thought it would be fun to make him a little treat, so I attempted homemade caramels last night. They turned out pretty darn good! My sister-in-law put the recipe on her blog a few weeks ago, and I was happy to try it! The kosher salt sprinkled on them is fabulous! I also thought it would be fun to try and show what my kitchen looks like. It is still pretty bare and not very organized behind the cupboard doors, but hopefully, that will change soon! I love the red, but I don't know how well it shows up on the computer.
We had our first dinner guests last night, and it was fun to have a little more room than we have had in the past! We have a few pix on the walls and most of our stuff is put away. I just feel like I have a lot of decorating and homemaking to do to make it really comfy. Hope everyone is having a good new year. I hope to get our family newsletter out soon, but we might end up doing Valentine's cards like last year!