Showing posts from 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

And yes, Phinehas clearly hates having his picture taken.

I didn't send out an actual Christmas letter this year, so I thought I'd do a one-to-three word synopsis of each month, just for the sake of historicity!

January - Tax Season
February - Tax Season
March - Sick, Sick, Sick!
April - Disneyland!
May - Parties
June - Family Camp Flu
July - Screen Free!
August - Wedding!
September - School Starts
October - Las Vegas, Dress-up
November - Holidays Begin
December - Christmas!!

Christmas Joy

Or something….Or why, as Michael says, “It does no good to try to take a Christmas picture after getting everybody all upset.” Also known as forcing your sons to wear specific shirts then trying to take a picture. Good Times!


Since my husband is a tax accountant, the first half of October is usually pretty quiet for us, in terms of extra-curricular activities. For instance, the kids got Columbus Day off of school, but it was two days before the big deadline (October 15) for Michael, so we ended up celebrating the day off by cleaning house in the morning then meeting friends at a park on an exceptionally beautiful fall day. It was great, actually, just pretty low-key.

Really, the weather this fall was pretty unbelievable until a couple weeks ago. Now it is very believable. Though today it hasn't rained yet and I even went outside and did some yard tidying. And stuck a shovel through an underground sprinkler hose. I was digging some manure into the soil where I hope to plant squash next year. They're going to pretty expensive squash. Assuming they grow at all. Which is a big assumption, given my gardening history! ALTHOUGH, we did end up with about 13 squash from an acorn squash we planted in an unus…

"Won't you take me to the ball?"

Time to go to a costume dance!

What are you supposed to be, exactly, Judah?  "A wizard." In the tone of an answer to a ridiculous question.

October Goodness

We certainly can't complain about the weather this fall! Though I'm looking forward to cooler weather, I'm also just trying to enjoy it while it lasts! As a lady at the store reminded me the other day, once it starts raining it won't stop for a long time!

In other news, though my garden mostly tanked, again, this year, we did have a bumper crop of yellow cherry tomatoes - I have so many out there right now, but they are mostly all split open, alas. Also, we grew one acorn squash plant from a leftover acorn squash and it has 13+ squash on it! The kids are really excited - I seem to have lucked out on that regard by getting a majority of children who love acorn squash! They don't last as long as other other squash I hear (on the internet, so it must be true!), so we might have to eat them at a pretty fast clip. We'll see if they all still like them after we have them all the time for a few weeks!
Michael's working his usual extra hours during the secondary busy…

Itchy, Itchy, Itchy

Our toddler, Elena was diagnosed with food allergies when she was about 8 months old - because she broke out in hives when her skin came in contact with peanut butter! After a blood test, we learned that she was also allergic to wheat, milk, eggs, and dogs. My first thought was, "Oh no! What a hassle!" And I was right. It is a hassle. And I hate being one of those people who bothers a hostess with questions like, "Can I see the ingredients on that container of x" or "do you have any applesauce around, because my child can't have ice-cream." But I am that person. If I have it all together, I bring along a substitute, but I have to admit - I don't always have it together, and then you're there, at the party, and your two-year-old is wondering why she can't have treats like all the other kids, and you're wondering what you can do to avoid a meltdown. I've been lucky - Elena seems to understand, "no, you can't have that, Honey…

My Pretty Girls

OK, so this is basically just a “look how pretty and sweet my little girls are!” post.  You can agree or not, I guess, you’ll never convince me otherwise!

Love’s Labors Stacked

I went through Elena’s room yesterday trying to get rid of the things we no longer need. While I was doing it I ran into a rather large roadblock: 19 blankets, handmade for my kids by people we know and love. Because they are lovely fort-building material, they were scattered all over the room, but after I folded and stacked them I decided I needed a picture… and because pictures are nicer with people in them, plus the blanket pile was too tall to stand up without a steadying hand, what you see below is the resulting photo. 19 is a low number actually, there are probably at least 8-10 more in the other kids rooms, generally in their  beds. I can tell who gave me each one, people we see every week, relatives, relatives who have passed on, people we haven’t seen in years, even one from one of Michael’s co-worker’s wives.  This stack of blankets is a sign of the blessings of community. The blessings of family. The blessings of friends.But the question remains: I don’t have a baby anymore…

Screen Free-e-e!!

Inspired by constant requests for the beloved drug - television, computer games, games on the phones or tablet - Michael and I instituted a screen-free month for the month of July. For the kids especially, and with a few exceptions for things like family movie nights, we spent a month trying to see what would happen if we gazed less at the blessed windows to other worlds. And this is what happened:

We're back to screen now, but I think we've all learned how much there is to do when "screen" isn't an option!

Look Who’s Turning Two!

Today Elena turns two! She’s pretty sweet, so I’m pretty sure that the “Terrible Twos” doesn’t yet apply to her.
Recently, she’s really started to grow up into one of “the kids” rather than merely being “the baby.” She loves to play with all of her siblings, but Phinehas especially has become a favorite companion lately. It’s the age old story – she laughs at his jokes, so he dotes on her. They all do, really.
She’s speaking in sentences, though not everybody can understand them! “I donwanna go to bed” is a frequently repeated phrase. “Daddy’s home!” and “Phinny crying!” are other examples. She is enthralled with dogs and babies these days. When we were in Tri-Cities and my brother and sister-in-law brought their 6 month old over she was very insistent that she “Hold the baby!” She didn’t want to stop. She’s also completely fascinated by their dog, Zorro. Alas, the poor child, the first of my children not to be completely terrified of dogs, is also the only one who is allergic to th…

Wedding duds

Dress rehearsal!

Just 30 Minutes

My kitchen is almost never clean. But I've discovered something amazing: even when the kitchen looks like a huge disaster, it only takes 30 minutes take it from scary to sparkling! Maybe a really calamitous disaster would take a little more time, but I've tried this twice and both times what I thought couldn't possibly take less than an hour turned out to be a thirty minute proposition. The key is to get an uninterrupted 30 minutes.Aye, there's the rub. Say that the stars align and I get an uninterrupted 30 minutes? Then I clean the kitchen in this order:▪ Throw away anything that can be thrown away. ▪ Put away anything that can be put away. (This can include unloading the dishwasher)▪Accumulate the remaining dishes to be washed next to the sink. ▪Wipe down all the other counters. ▪Wash the dishes. ▪Wipe off the last counter. Presto Change-O!

Concerts in the park

Thursday night concert at the End of the Oregon Trail Center. Perfect evening to be out!