Tuesday, November 22, 2011

and then this one had a birthday

Our Brooklyn turned 6! This girl was so excited by all her presents. Which is good, because she really had no idea what she wanted. Brooklyn is more of a follower, and will go along with whatever someone else is playing. She's the first to come to me with the "I'm bored!" routine. She does love to draw, and uses the art table more than anyone.
I think she's finally decided to stop sucking her thumb, which I'm happy about. She wears a mitten on her hand some night, but most of all just reminds herself that she doesn't want to do it anymore. Yay! We've been trying to knock that habit for at least a year.

Brooklyn is my snuggly girl and loves to have her back scratched. She loves to help me or James with chores, and is a great friend to Brighton and the boys. We love that girl!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

and then we got some candy

This is before I went through it and threw away the most obnoxious candy, especially the bubble gum. And the next day I offered them a nickel for each piece of candy. Not a lot of takers, but some. I let the candy linger for about a week and then it was gone. We have to detox before holiday treats!
Brooklyn was Cinderella, and wore the dress I made her last Christmas. I made a few accessories, like the headband and choker. Brighton was a waitress, and I found her cute costume idea at family fun. It was a big hit. Logan wanted to be a cowboy, and we had some things in the dress-up bin so he wore that. Same thing for Spencer. Cute kids!
The pumpkins!
James got out his dremel and carved this impressive dragon. This has been my favorite so far, he did a really good job on it. It took about four hours! All in all, I think we had a successful Halloween. The kids went to three separate trick-or-treating events, and then we had a Halloween homeschool party with some friends.

Moving on to the next holiday!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

in which we did some stuff.

Riding the overpriced train at the zoo. Fun!

Playing with some watercolors that Grandpa Bliss sent. My kids love to paint. And draw, cut, color and glue. Which is why this is the art table, a small table in the kitchen dedicated just for projects. They have all their supplies close at hand. We go through a lot of paper and markers in this house, for sure.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

a new post!

I blame Pinterest. Seriously.

It might be slightly sad how much I think about my house. Maybe even 75% of the time. Could that be right?!? I'm not very good at decorating or coming up with ideas of how to move things around, but that's where Pinterest comes in handy. And I'm slowly figuring out what my style is. I've decorated with freebies and hand-me-downs for so long, that I really didn't know. And when I got in this house I just decorated the way I always have, and then wondered why I didn't like it and it didn't feel like "me". It was because it wasn't! And the house is so fun to think about, and we feel so blessed to have it. We have the most awesome backyard and we love having so much space. Even if we have to do some creative budgeting to make it all work.

This time of year is a busy one for me, because in addition to holidays I also have 3 birthdays thrown in the mix. And add in there a new baby. And I usually hand make several gifts for Christmas/Birthdays, so I'm trying to get that all done now while I still have the energy. Right now I'm feeling pretty productive! I sew for about an hour a night, otherwise I'm stripping paint off of cabinets.

Baby is growing, kids are growing, and life is good! We just got family pictures taken by a good friend who managed to make it look like we are just a super cute happy family that she just happened to follow around and take pictures of one day. (see pic above) Love!

I am homeschooling, and that makes my morning super busy. Brighton goes to public school for the specials, which is gym, music and art. She loves it, and I love that I can see her school from my driveway and she walks to and from by herself. She's gone for about 45 minutes a day, except for when she manages to sneak into the library and I have to go and fetch her. I'm glad that she likes it and is getting to know people. Brooklyn is officially in Kindergarten this year, which is not that different from what we did last year. Logan and Spencer always join in and work on something when we're doing school, or for the most part play with cars or balls. Those two are such boys. :)

Sometimes I feel like a homebody because I spend so much time with my family, but you know what, I love it! A bubble isn't bad, is it? I have the church and my family, and the occasional outside things. I just organized a block party for my neighborhood, (which turned out awesome, I am the coolest person on the block. :) And we have nice neighbors!) And I'm also teaching MJ Thriller to a few ladies in our ward to perform at the Trunk or Treat. Crazy fun!

Sorry, this is a sort of a christmas card type catch up! I promise to just post pictures next time and not journal at all! :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

The project that started (a) school

We started the school year learning about animal classifications: Reptiles, Amphibians, and so on. This is one of our craft projects for Fish week. I got the idea from here, and the kids have LOVED it! All week they've been adding more and more fish. We ran out of paper plates, but the kids figured out that they can just make a circle from a paper and use that.

I'll try to start posting more often. I have my energy back, and so now I've been working on the house again, fixing little things and trying to figure out how to decorate it. So. Hard.
And I've discovered Pinterest, so a lot of time spent there. :) Hope you all had a fun summer!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Treasure Hunt

A few weeks ago we had the kids go on a treasure hunt, finding clues to help them figure out a special secret.

They found a baby bottle, baby socks, a pacifier and a baby spoon.

Their guess was, "Uuuh, maybe that maybe a baby was coming to visit?"

Well, they're half right... :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Poop Problems

Something else that has occupied much of my thoughts lately: Poop. And Logan.

Logan has had a bowel issue for about a year. He always got constipated about monthly and would have really painful bowel movements. When I potty-trained him, he just didn't want to poop anymore because he associated it with pain. It took me a while to figure out he had a problem other than potty-training troubles. By then his bowels were pretty impacted and stretched out. Which led to encopresis (you can google it if you want to), which basically means impacted bowels to the point where he can't feel the need to have a bowel movement because he's so stretched out and so poop just starts leaking out and he can't control it.
Super. Fun.

And I feel like this problem has led to other behavioral problems. He is so much more sensitive and unhappy than he used to be. And unwilling to try new things. And going to the bathroom has become a constant problem between us as I try to be patient and not get upset with him for constantly messing his pull-up and not wanting to go to the bathroom. I miss my sweet boy!

I took him to the Dr and he prescribed Miralax as a stool softener, which I don't think was a good idea. He has no control over his bowels, and it made his poop so runny that he would have big accidents all over. Outside. Playing with friends. :(

This problem has been hard for me because I don't know how to fix it. I have a new game plan now, which involved an enema to clean him out good, a low dose of Miralax to keep him from getting constipated, and a sticker chart for reminding him to use the bathroom. Actually, that's only half of it. My treatment plan also involves chiropractic adjustments, essential oils, change in diet, massaging his intestines to keep his digestion moving, and reflexology. And perhaps getting his energy tested if things don't start improving. And then maybe voodoo. :)

This problem usually takes months or years to clear up, so wish me luck! And please, if you've gone through this before or have any ideas that might help, please share!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

End of School

The kids wanted to study Mexico before we started school break. I think mostly because we could have a fiesta at the end. :) Which we did, complete with pinata! This is after we studied the temple ruins at Chichen Itza.
We built replicas out of sugar cubes, which was messy, a little sticky and a lot of fun! Now we're on break for the month of June, and we'll probably start up again with school mid-July. Or whenever I can get my act together. Meanwhile, we have swim lessons and I'm trying to figure out when I can squeeze in teaching piano. But if I can get that figured out, then James would be able to quit Best Buy and we'd have him around a little bit more. Time taken out of my day, a little bit more for me to do, but totally worth it!

Oh, side note. So I figured out where my pictures are on this oversized computer, and now I'm thinking maybe the problem is that I don't take pictures anymore. The last ones I could find were from Easter. :) Hmm, I'll have to get on that!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My life has changed so much...

James bought a Mac. I'm telling you, it has really messed things up. Everything is in the wrong place, I don't know where my photos are, and it just feels different. James tells me to stop resisting, but I really don't like the change.


The keyboard is different. The monitor is too big. I think he needs to stop working at Best Buy.

So, that's part of the reason I haven't posted in a while. That, and we've been working really hard on the house. And I'm tired. And at night after the house is cleaned up, I have a D&C class that I'm trying to finish up. Or eating ice cream watching TV.

Happy summer everyone!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New House: Family Room

So this was the before. Black paneling, tan/pinkish wall. I swear the walls had a pink hue!
This is just the opposite view, which is kind of a reading corner for the kids. For now. I want to paint that rocking chair orange or red, for a pop of color!
After. We painted the walls a light brown, which turned out warmer than I liked and I'm not in love with it. But it's not going anywhere for a long time. I wallpapered behind the bookcases, and the rest is just a new rug and couch. Oh, and repainting the trim. It's a very brown room, but I'm on the lookout for some fun bright things. Sofa pillows, a fireplace screen, things like that. But we're in this room a lot, so it's a cozy family room!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Two weeks ago-

Happy to have a house, no matter what state it's in! :)
The crazy kitchen- red plaid wallpaper with bright red walls and loooots of stainless steel accents. Wherever they could put them. Even on the cabinet doors!
The family room. I'll post some good "after"shots. We painted these walls and I put wallpaper up behind the bookshelves around the fireplace.
Setting up the bunk beds in the girls' room!
James and his dad ripping up the carpet in the dining room. That room is so great now~ it needs a post all to itself. More pictures to come!

Signs of spring

The sun is out, the snow is melting, flowers are blooming..

and I just picked up two grocery sacks full of dog poo off my back lawn.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Public Service Announcement

For all you proud and happy owners of large and hairy dogs...

please please please do not let your large and hairy dogs into your house.
It will cause the next owners of the home to clean the carpets twice to get up all the hair.

It will cause the next owners to seriously deodorize the carpet.

It will cause the next owners to fill a large garbage can full of dog hair picked up by their frequent vacuuming.

It will cause the next owners to take forever washing the walls and baseboards because they're basically just wiping dog hair around.

It will cause the next owners to forbid their children to come visit their new house until it's clean enough for them. (All right, I let them have short visits. But they have to keep their shoes on and then wash their hands.)

It will cause the next owners to assume the grout in the kitchen floor tile is brown, until scrubbing with a toothbrush reveals that it is actually white.

It will cause the next owners to involuntary gag several times.

To conclude: Please keep those large and hairy dogs outside, where I'm sure they will be very happy.

note: to all those dog owners, I don't mean to offend. I'm sure you love your dog. I am not a dog person and don't like to clean up after them. :) We've been in the house since Monday and still have several days of cleaning left. And then on to painting. Will we be living there by the end of the month? Who knows??

And don't even get me started on all the scratched up woodwork...

Thursday, February 24, 2011


1: Days until the final walk-through of our house

4: Days until we close

9: Days until we move in

3: Number of times I have majorly freaked out about the house

1: Number of flat tires to be fixed

4: Number of weeks we've had sick kids- a fun mixture of flu and strep

I've been trying to find my zen- so many unknowns make it hard, as well as the sick kids. But this has been my week to get back on track. And I have a lot of good friends that have offered to watch the kids while I clean the house and get ready for the move. Sadly, they must not know me well enough, since I always take people up on those offers. :) Mwah hah ha.

Home stretch!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What kept my kids occupied yesterday...

1. New Markers (natch! who can resist new markers?!)

2. Shiny silver piece of string. Apparently it's the same kind that Santa uses on his sleigh, because my kids were pretending North Pole all afternoon.

Hurray for simple things making kids happy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My first kid in a cast *sniff*

The big surprise was that it's Logan! I would have put my money on Brooklyn for sure. She's always been a big monkey. But where she can fall on her head and not get hurt, Logan can get a paper cut from a coloring book.

Last Sunday James stayed home sick from church with all of our strep-throated kids. One of the activities they came up with was jumping from the block bin onto the floor strewn with blocks. Not a mom-approved activity, I can tell you. Logan came down hard on a block and broke some bones, apparently.
Or not so apparently, as they didn't catch it in the x-rays taken in the emergency room. They declared him sprained and sent him on his way without even a foot brace. A few days later, after their radiologist had looked at it and with him still not walking on it, they sent us straightaway to a specialist. Anyway, he's got a cast on for two weeks and is doing great! He's the rock star of the family right now. :) Sorry I don't have a better picture, this is Grandma and Grandpa signing his manly blue cast.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Yes, we did it.

I guess we bought a house. Thanks for all of your comments- It was really helpful to read through them and feel normal for freaking out. Those people on House Hunters(HGTV) never seem to be freaking out. What's wrong with them, eh? :)

I'm feeling pretty good about the decision. Our tax return is going to be twice as big as we were planning on (thank you, poverty! :)) and I keep finding ways that we're going to save. Of course, we also keep finding more things for the house that we're going to need to pay for. The house is in a great area and we are getting it for $30-50K less than the other houses on the street. But the previous owners didn't really update some big things like the roof, furnace and windows. The outside AC unit is getting old too. So those things could all break as soon as we get in the home, or last for several more years. Who knows. And the outside is pretty ugly. And the owners had dogs. :)

On the positive side- it's got tons of room (four bedrooms, an unfinished basement) and a great big backyard. So I think it will be okay. We close on February 28th, so we have some more waiting to do. And then DEFINITELY there will be some crazy cleaning going on. And then moving in. And then organizing. Yay! I love organizing. :)

As I've thought about buying a home, I have some serious psychological hang-ups. The responsibility of owning a home- it makes me feel old. Like the four kids I have don't do that. See, maybe there is something wrong with me! Sigh. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well. Back in October we found a house to rent. We walked through the house, said yup we'll rent it, and she said okay great. She was moving to Texas, so we were going to sign a contract when she got back in town. Long story short, two weeks before Christmas she let us know that she decided not to rent to us. We were stunned, since we were planning to move in the first week of January. It made for a depressing Christmas, to say the least. James does a better job at hiding his emotions. I was a snarly golem for a few days. I drove by the house a couple of times with a carton of eggs in the passenger seat. (Just kidding, but I did want to give her a piece of my mind. I mean, we told our kids about the house and everything!)

So, we started the process of getting a home loan again. Which has taken since October, and is still not ironed out. And we did find a house that we love, although it is at the top of our price range. In fact, we were going to make an offer on it yesterday, but I freaked out and couldn't go through with it. I have serious psychological issues about getting in so much debt. I hate not being able to count on a sure thing! I want to know FOR SURE what the mortgage payments will be, and I really don't like all the unknowns lurking about. Since I've never bought a home, and don't know what to expect.

And it irks me that James is so calm about it. I try to rile him up, believe me. I run through the budget numbers a few times a day, show him how little we'll be able to save a month, run through all these terrible scenarios like his car dying, a freak flood and/or termites. That could all happen at once, you know. And then where would we be? In trouble.

You see my problem. Any home owners that could give me advice? Make me more worried? Calm my fears? Feel free to ring in.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gross and Funny, but mostly gross

Preface: After it snows, I'll pour a little maple syrup on the new snow to let harden a bit. It doesn't get really hard, just gels up a bit more. Then the kids eat it as a treat.

Present Day: We're coming out of the gym and I hear Brooklyn yell, "Candy!", then scoop up a handful of snow and pop in her mouth, before I could do anything.

Then she spits it out.

Because it's pee.


and before you ask, yes, we have talked about the whole yellow snow thing. At length. She's just impulsive. Sigh. :)