Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advent Calendar

I did it. I started and finished a Christmas project in 2 hours. Thanks to scrapbook afternoon at the Braithwaites. I have been so busy, I was so excited to have an afternoon to do something fun. I had this idea to make an Advent Calendar. I wanted it to be boxes, because I want to put a slip of paper in each box, and everyday when Kyle gets home from school, the kids will take turns opening boxes, and on the slip of paper will be something fun we get to do that day. (Don't worry, I am going to slip in the papers during naptime right before Kyle gets home so I know what I'm in for that day) I remember doing it when I was little, and it was fun. Some things I'm putting on the slips of paper: make a gingerbread house, decorate sugar cookies, drive around and see Christmas Lights, deliver Neighbor Gifts, Paint a wooden ornament, see Santa, write letters to Santa, Christmas Movie Marathon night, etc...(I need lots more ideas if you'd like to post any!)
How I made it: I bought packages of small square paper mache boxes (total cost: $7.00). I also bought 1 star box($.69). I found coordinating Christmas paper that I already had (Making Memories Paper and Crate Paper - SO CUTE!) and used a square punch to punch out all the squares. (You could just use a paper cutter too). I glued them on the top of the box. Then, I got out all my letter/number stickers. I used Making Memories and American Crafts Thickers - love those new things - and numbered the boxes, making the star 25! I put magnets on the back of the boxes(with glue dots - love those too!), and stuck them on my magnet board. I have a hard time putting holes in the wall strictly for a Christmas Decoration, so when I was thinking this up, I decided to do magnets, since I already have a magnet board on the wall. My kids can't wait until Saturday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So much to do, so little time...

You know when you have so much to do, you just don't even know where to start? That's me today. My list is so long, and I am not motivated, and it all just seems so daunting...I know what I want for Christmas: A clean house...we're talking spotless from top to bottom, windows clean, dusted, you name it...too bad it's only a gift I can give myself...With a clean house, I'm motivated to do everything else, the family seems happier, things go smoother...what is it with a clean house?

Okay, okay, no more putting off the inevitable...off to work...sigh...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday Haley!

WOW! Haley is ONE! I can hardly believe it! She is the cutest thing ever! The whole family could just eat her up! Ever since she has started crawling, she is the happiest kid ever. She loves doing all the stairs - up and down - and will follow her siblings wherever they may go. She pretty much has me wrapped around her finger. I can't wait for her to walk! Her clothes get SO FILTHY! That has to be the worst thing about crawling. Her favorite food is probably a banana. She eats a whole banana in minutes. We hand her a whole banana, and she goes to town - stuffing her cheeks. No choking as of today! She has her well check in the morning, so we will find out how her weight is doing. I am no longer worried about her. I think she may be a bit smaller than other kids, but she's happy, she's developmentally on track, and she eats like a champ. I decided to take matters into my own hands, and I started her on SILK Soy Milk - Vanilla. She loves it, and she hasn't vomitted it up. I have to confess to the doctor tomorrow, so wish me luck! (I only started it a week ago...I just can't afford another round of formula for $800! - the last round lasted barely 5 months!)


Tonight I had a photo shoot, so afterwards I decided to take some One Year Photos of Haley. We put her in a new dress that I bought her over the weekend ($8 at Children's Place - Kristin has one to match) and she immediately drooled all over it(her top two teeth are coming in, finally), but I think I got a few cute ones. Oh, disclaimer: we normally don't let our girls wear sleeveless anything. We figure if we teach our girls to be modest now, it will never be an issue. Also, we won't have to explain later why there's a magic age that you all of a sudden have to be modest. You should always be modest. Also, having boys, we sure hope all other parents teach their girls to be modest. BUT, I just got this dress on Saturday. I couldn't find a black sweater to go over it, or a nice black shirt to go under it. Troy about had a fit that I was taking her picture in it, but part of me wanted to document that she's a BIT chubby now, so showing her arms gives me that satisfaction, and I didn't have time to go search for a black sweater. Here are my favorite three...isn't she cute? (not biased - at all!)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYS! We love you!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

BYU vs UTAH

Troy took the boys to the BYU v Utah game on Saturday. They were all so excited! I turned the TV on in the last 5 minutes of the game - just so I knew what kind of mood to expect when Troy got home. It was fun to watch. Apparently, Kyle and Jake both fell asleep - at the game - on the cold bleachers - with all the screaming - the last 3 minutes of the game. After the game they went down on the field. The boys thought that was awesome (Troy, of course being the biggest and most excited boy). Troy came home and told me about a few signs he saw at the game. I am going to post them here:

FACT: Cougars eat Utes. - Dwight K Schrute Cougar Fan

Then, Jon (a Utah fan and Donnarae's fiance), had a BYU alumni t-shirt on. On the back of the shirt, in iron on letters, he had put: "I'm only wearing this shirt so I can marry their daughter. Go Utes."

I'm glad my boys had fun. Kyle's learning more and more about football. Jake is also started to bleed blue. I guess a few weeks ago, Jake and Kristin were at Troy's parents house. Kristin had said that she likes all colors of blankets. Jake said, "even red ones?" Kristin said "yes". Jake then asked her if she liked Utah. She said, "Yes". Jake said, "the state, not the school, right?" Kristin said, "Yes - the state." Yep, their dad has them pretty brainwashed...

Congratulations!

Troy's sister, Donnarae, got engaged last week to Jon. Congratulations guys! They are getting married January 11th! Jon's a good guy and we are excited to add another crazy person to the family. I should say, add another person to the crazy family...yep, that's more like it! The more the merrier, right? CONGRATULATIONS!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Office

Okay, so many people have been telling us how much they love The Office. (NBC, Thursday nights) So, at the beginning of the season, I started DVR-ing the new episodes. People have let us borrow previous seasons(thank you Stevensons, and Donnarae), and between that, and numerous Hollywood Videos and Blockbusters, we have finally caught up. It took us 2 weeks. On Troy's days off, the second we got kids to bed, we turned it on, and would watch at least 5 episodes a night. I do have to say, IT'S HILARIOUS! (There was 1 episode I didn't care for too much, in the first or second season) My favorite part is watching Troy laugh hysterically. The whole show is Troy's humor, 100%. So, while I'm sure this show would offend some, I love that there is a show on, that I literally laugh out loud while watching. (It takes a lot for that to happen with me!) Now, if they would just end the writer's strike...I haven't seen the news in awhile, so maybe it's already happened?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jake is 5!

Last week, Jake turned 5. This picture pretty much sums him up. I can't believe he's already 5! He had a pirate party. This was actually his first official birthday party. We invited the kids over and had a treasure hunt for the Treasure Box Pinata, filled with leftover Halloween candy (SWEET!). We got the kids pirate gear from the Dollar Tree. I LOVE that store. The kids had eye patches, earrings, and swords. I made a big brownie, and attempted to put a white powdered sugar skull and bones on it, but Jake was helping me, and it didn't turn out so great...oh well, the kids didn't notice...Here is Pirate Kristin doing the pinata. She's so funny, she wore that eye patch all day long! I think the funniest part of the party was opening gifts. Troy tried to do "Heavy, Heavy, Hangover" and the kids totally didn't get it. Instead of bonking Jake on the head, they full on dropped the gift on his head. It was hilarious. Jake didn't seem to mind. They all just thought that was normal...funny kids...Here they are...the scary pirates...in their very own: SAND BOAT!That evening, we went and saw The Bee Movie. Troy's dad was able to join us (Thanks, Grandpa, Jake was excited you showed up to his birthday party!) The movie was pretty good. Haley wasn't so great in the movie (surprise, surprise), but all in all it was a good day! Tiring, but good! Thank heavens it was a nice day and the kids were able to play outside! Thanks to all for coming! Happy Birthday Jake!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Craft

Now, naturally, I have not had a chance to work on many Christmas Crafts yet. Although, I am thoroughly enjoying the Christmas Music 106.5 has had playing constantly since the day after Halloween. This will be the first year we get to be at home the WHOLE Christmas season...one year we went to Hawaii, last year we moved, and the years before that, we traveled to visit family for Christmas. Most years we didn't even get a tree. Well, I can not wait for the season to be full blown! Troy put up our "BLUE" icicle lights last week! We are picking up our Christmas Tree hopefully the day after Thanksgiving. I have gradually been purchasing cute decor for the tree. Since, we've never really had one - I am in need of much! But not a lot of money can be spent...any ideas? The room where our tree will go, is empty, no furniture, so I'm trying to figure out how I can comfortably sit in that room in the dark with just the tree lights on after kids are in bed...hmmm...anyone with a comfy chair to give away? Erin just sent me a link to this blog (just happens to be Ali Edwards blog - scrapbook celebrity - we had our photo taken with a few months ago) where I came across CUTE IDEAS! Check it out if you like...
http://aliedwards.typepad.com/ I stole the picture from her site. SO CUTE! People are always asking me if they know of any cute Christmas idea to do for enrichment, or whatever. Well, I think this is awesome! You could do it for FHE! Kids could do it! It's a styrofoam cone with buttons being held on by simple push pins (the ones with the pearly looking ends). It would make such a cute centerpiece. I'm totally doing it! You could even paint the styrofoam green, and just put a few buttons on it too, not so overlapping like she did...anyways...just an idea...get your kids involved! They will love it! Until they realize they can stab each other with the pins - or that's how it will happen in my case! ENJOY! I would love any links and comments to cute, easy, cheap holiday decor...especially ones that kids can participate in that can still be cute enough to display! YEA! IT'S CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dilemma...

Okay, we are having a bit of a dilemma. Most people probably wouldn't announce this problem to the world...but we're all learning, right? Here goes...

Tonight, a father of a kid Kyle goes to school with (not in his class, but WAS in his class last year) called. Of course, when you start talking to the parent, your heart sinks, and you wonder what on Earth your kid did wrong...Well, it was a biggie...

The dad said that his son said Kyle and a few other boys were trying to hit his son in the crotch...not sexually, just to get a laugh from the other kids. Now, if you have boys, this shouldn't be too shocking...we are constantly telling the boys not to do that, but for some reason they think it's hilarious...my brothers did it to each other all growing up...not that it's right...but boys are gross! The dad I spoke with wasn't a jerk, he was really nice, said he understood that boys do this, but just wanted us to know, and to talk to Kyle about it. Anyways, immediately following our phone conversation, I told Troy, and then I pulled Kyle upstairs to talk to him. I told Kyle what this dad had suggested and Kyle DENIED it. He was very adamant that it wasn't him. I called the dad back, and asked him to please make sure it was our Kyle. (There are 3 Kyle's in Kyle's class this year...) He said it was. So, I talked with Kyle about how serious that type of thing is, and it's never okay for anyone to do that to anyone...police get involved in this type of thing...etc...etc....Kyle kept vehemently denying that he did anything wrong, and that it must have been someone else. Kyle said he doesn't even play with that kid at recess. Kyle even offered to let me look in his eyes! (Explanation from a previous post...). We've talked about lying, and Kyle definitely knows it's better to be honest, than to lie, (punishment wise) so my first instinct is to believe him. Also, Kyle is NOT a good liar. And, come on...offering to let me look in his eyes?

So, here's my problem...is it wrong to believe him? Of course I want to believe him...nobody wants to think their kid has done wrong...I mean, I definitely think this is something serious. (That, don't worry, we had a LONG talk about, and I'm pretty sure Kyle will be keeping all bodyparts to himself in the future) I don't think that the dad that called me is a liar. But, I know nothing about his son. (I almost think they probably had a FHE last night about the subject, which is why it probably came up...)I don't want Kyle to think he can't tell me things, because I never believe him...so what do you do? I've never wanted to be the type of parent who has wool over their eyes, and let's my kids get away with murder, but how do you decide at this point? It's basically the word of 2 second graders against each other...I know my second grader...He may do that with his brother, but I definitely don't see him doing it at school (but, what do I know? When he talks about recess, he is always playing sports, and stuff...). So, how do you know what to do? Any advice would be great...

I am not going to have Kyle apologize to this kid. Is that wrong? If I'm telling him I believe him, there's no reason to have him do that, right? We did talk about if he ever sees anyone doing that type of stuff to anyone else, to get a teacher or an aid - and if he didn't, he would be in just as much trouble as the kids who were doing it. We also told him it's not good to be friends with kids who do things like that, because he would always be in trouble too - we taught him the principle of guilty by association.

So, am I wrong? Do I need to go spy at recess?

Come on...he offered to let me check for spots...that's almost reason enough alone...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kyle-ism

Kyle brought a note home from school, informing us that it was his turn to be the "Show and Teach Instructor" on Friday. Basically, the kids teach the class something that they know...a game, origami, candy cane reindeer, etc....(Oh, parents are NOT ALLOWED to come and watch...the teacher says it makes the kids too nervous) As we were trying to figure out what on earth he could teach his class, Kyle said, I could teach them to dance. (Now, if you've ever seen my sweet boy dance, you know it's definitely not something he should be teaching anyone...) So, I told him, that he couldn't just stand up and dance, he'd have to have an actual dance, moves, routine, etc....So, he said, "I don't really have any dances...I only know how to disco.

Literally, on the floor, laughing HYSTERICALLY! Come on, I barely know what disco is...

Monday, November 12, 2007

The "Farms"

Last week we went out to visit my grandparents. They live in a tiny (understatement) town called Myton. It's halfway between Duschene and Roosevelt. They have lived there for almost ever. My grandpa was born in 1925. My grandma is a few years younger...she claims she doesn't remember...My grandparents actually lived in San Francisco, Japan, and ?Salt Lake? I'm not sure about that last one until they finally settled in Myton. When I was growing up, it was our favorite thing to go out to the farm. We always got called City Slickers. I used to always feel a bit offended when they called me that...but I now very much appreciate my "City Slicker" title.

Summer's on the farm were the highlight of the year. I remember hiding when it was time to leave (and I got in BIG trouble for doing so...lots of places to hide on a farm) I could write for days about all the things we did! We, meaning my cousins and my brothers. My grandpa was a mechanic. He was an airplane mechanic during WWII. On the farm, they had this big shop. Outside of it, my grandpa stored all the old vehicles that he got parts from. There had to have been at least 50 old cars outside. We would play in the cars all day, doing imaginary things. The places we went in those cars...Also, they have a big pile of cinderblocks. It was still there last week...It was our imaginary house...complete with bedrooms, kitchens, yep, even a bathroom, that I hate to tell you we really used. Out on the farm, that's what you did...there are pig pens, a canal (that we called the river) that we used to go tubing down, horses, you name it! They brought a trough (sp? troff) up from the corral, and would fill it with water and we had our own swimming pool (I do think we cleaned it out first), we would herd cows...yes, I HELPED! We never had to worry that our hair was done, and dirty clothes were all we had while we were there! It's where I broke my leg when I was in the first grade. (My tibia and fibia...think that's the name of the bones...)

Being in Myton is every child's dream. Including my own children. The night before we went out, I told Kristin that in the morning, we were going to go out to the farm, and see grandma and grandpa. The next morning, she came and woke me up, and said, "Mom, we're going to see the Farms today!" That's what she calls my grandparents (think I put it in a previous post) Since they live on a farm, it's only fitting that they're called "The Farms" right?
I love my grandparents! I have learned so much from them! First things first: "You get what you get!" My grandpa is a hard worker. From sun up to sun down. He was moving irrigation lines, milking cows, plowing fields...and much more, I'm sure! My grandma - Grams - has taught me so much. She has always told me how much she loves me because I'm always smiling and happy(my kids would beg to differ). She has always told me that being happy is a choice you make for yourself. She doesn't waste ANYTHING. Even milk from cereal (which I HATE) I learned to have toast for breakfast when we visited...I am not exaggerating when I say she doesn't waste anything! She is teased all the time about it! She is proud of ALL her kids and her grandchildren, and I pity the person that would try to wrong any of them at any time. I love that my grandpa loves my kids. When we visit, he sits and talks with us the whole time. He even carried Haley through a field. She's getting fatter, and it's not as easy as it sounds! He's 82 you know! Pretty good for an old fart! (He used to wear a hat that said "Old Fart", and my grandma had one that said "Old Fart's Wife" Those things are stylish when you live on a farm...The farm doesn't ever seem to age when we go out...things seem the same and I love it!
My grandma had been saving leaves for the kids to jump in. They made huge piles, and then they jumped off a ladder into the leaves. She was trying to get them to stand on the VERY top of the ladder (right above the step with the sticker on it that said not to stand on this step or any higher) and then do tricks into the leaves...Hey, remember? This is where I broke my leg...Safety first was NEVER the motto here...
The kids had a blast. Haley even enjoyed laying in the leaves. As long as the dogs didn't get too close. On dog took a chicken nugget right out of her hand...ooh...I hate dogs...Here is a picture of the kids jumping in the leaves...



Jake is a natural dare devil...
Kyle was a bit nervous at first, but then got into it...
Kristin would only jump from the first step and ONLY if my mom was holding her hand...

I'm grateful for the chance to go visit. The days are so busy, it seems like a great way to take a day off!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Singing Kristin

Kristin's favorite past time is singing. My mom edited this video, and she accidentally copied 2 of the same parts, so this video doesn't show the whole song, but Kristin really knows it all! ENJOY! video

Monday, November 05, 2007

Drum Roll Please...

After a few technical difficulties, our photography website is finally up! YEA! Here's the link:

http://mysweetestmemoriesphotography.com/

For anyone who is interested...for the first month it is up, I am doing 20% off...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

7 Random Things

I think Heidi tagged me on this...there was no last initial...I just assumed I was the "Jen" she tagged...I am suppossed to type 7 random things about me...Here goes...Oh, I am also tagging 7 other people(well, I couldn't stop at 7, so I am tagging more): Erin, Kristin, Beth, Allisun, Scotty and Juliann, Sarah, Marenda, Dori, Cherice, Donnarae, Laura, Delilas...

1. In college, this guy took us to shoot clay pigeons. It was the first time I shot a gun in my whole life. I didn't miss one clay pigeon! (Troy couldn't hit one) Everyone was shocked, and I don't know how I hit them, because the gun seemed to throw me back a foot or two every time I shot the gun, and I'm pretty sure I shut my eyes every time I fired the gun. Troy and I are not gun people. I don't think I could kill an animal unless it was hurting one of my kids. That's just not my thing. But if it were...

2. I have been married for almost 10 years (in less than a week now). It's insane. I love Troy with all of my heart...

3. I took accordion lessons when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. Don't know why.

4. I have lived in the following states in my 30 years of life: Utah, Colorado, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia - growing up, I moved about every 3 years. Once I went to college, my parents stayed put, until they moved to Utah last October. The ward I have lived in the longest (and loved the most - so far) was Farmington Ward, in Aloha, OR where we were for 5 1/2 years.

5. I have been snow skiing once in my life. I didn't take lessons, and nobody told me what to do. I got to the top of the mountain, pointed my ski's down, and went FLYING down the mountain. I was going so fast, and I didn't know how to stop. I kept flying over all of these bumps, and eventually I made myself fall to the side. I seriously thought I was going to die. After that, my mom taught me how to snow plow. It wasn't much fun and took too much effort. I spent the rest of the day in the lodge. I really have no desire to do it again. Outdoor activities in the snow and cold just aren't my thing.

6. I am a game player. Troy and I love to play games. Probably not much of a surprise to most of you. It's gotten more difficult having to pay attention to our kids while we play so we don't do it much anymore - but if anyone's ever up for a game night, you know who to call!

7. I hate Jr. High. My first day of Jr. High (7th grade) went as follows: (first of all, let me give you a visual of the era - hammer pants were in and New Kids on the Block were the hottest thing - I was NEVER into them) We had just moved to Arizona that summer, I only knew a few people from church. My mom gave me a check to pay with for school lunch. Well, nobody ate school lunch, and I didn't want to be the new geek who stood in line with the kids (figuring now those kids must have been on free lunch) and the other food they had (corn dogs, burritos, etc) you had to have cash, so I didn't eat lunch that day. My mom was a school teacher, so I had to ride the bus. The buses left 5 minutes after the bell rang. I didn't know what bus I rode, and I missed it. I didn't know how to get ahold of my mom at the time, so I had to walk home by myself. Not sure how many miles, or whatever, but it was in Arizona the end of August -so HOT is an understatement. To get from the school to my house, I had to walk through The Projects. So, it was a pretty crappy day! When Troy and I had kids, I vowed that if I was a stay at home mom, my kids would NEVER have to ride the bus.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Domestic Diva...

...I am not. In Virginia, my friend invited me over and was grinding wheat and making wheat bread. I was in awe. She sent me home with a loaf, and Troy asked me why I didn't do that. I told him cause bread was $1 at the store, but if he enjoyed it so much, HE should try making some. I am a HUGE fan of Rhoades Rolls, Great Harvest, and Kneaders. When it comes to baking - especially bread - I am just not interested. Well, in the spirit of eating healthy, I decided to try making my own wheat bread - with wheat ground from my food storage. I borrowed my friends wheat grinder, and made wheat flour. I made wheat bread, and it was AWFUL! I told my friend, Heidi, and she said to come make it side-by-side so I could learn the textures, etc....So, Tuesday I did just that. It really was simple. From start to finish, it only took 2 hours. Oh, there was no machine involved...no kitchen aid...no mixer...just my hand...and it was EASY! And I tell you, if I can do it, anyone can. This afternoon, I decided to try it on my own. I called Heidi right before, and just had her give me a quick over-view. The bread came out of the oven about 50 minutes ago. I just cut into it, and WAHOO!!! It turned out spectacular! Jake has been begging for it! Anyways, here are my 2 beautiful loaves of HOMEMADE NO MACHINE NEEDED WHOLE WHEAT BREAD:
THANKS HEIDI!

Halloween!

Our Halloween Day started out early. We woke up at 5:30 am in order to get to the Glassey's by 5:45. Here are photos of the first part of the live feed that I can't get the link for:

Afterwards, we spent a pretty grumpy morning at home. We were ALL grumpy...from getting up so early. I told the kids if they didn't take a nap, we would NOT go trick or treating. After the kids had naps, we went to Carrie's to crash her trunk or treat, then we headed up to Copperton. Since the time hadn't changed yet, it was still bright and sunny at 6:00! We got to Copperton about 6:30, met up with my dad, saw some family, and went real trick or treating. The kids got SO much! There buckets were literally full! Kristin's bucket was so heavy, she couldn't even carry it. We went to the Copperton Lions Club for donuts (which Haley LOVED) and hot chocolate, and headed home. On the way home, the kids talked me into going BACK to the Glassey's. They decided they wanted to see what it looked like at night, and not in the morning. It really is awesome. I'm glad someone is willing to go to the work...as long as it's not me! ;) Grandma and Grandpa Korth came by to see the kids costumes, then I whisked them off to bed! I was up until midnight getting work done - and then I hit the hay. Much to my dismay, Kristin was up most the night coughing. I think she's getting a cold. It had just been such a long day, I was ready for sleep!