Friday, September 30, 2011

He's Home!

We picked Mike up this evening from the airport.

Being that I'm kind of a production kinda girl, we made a big sign.

(Yeah, he was only gone 6 days. Lots and lots of husbands are gone much longer. Can you even imagine what we would have done then?!?).

They all worked hard on it after school, until it was time to go.

We figured out where to park, got Josh's stroller and walked in.

Well, Josh and I walked, anyways.

These two decided to ride into the baggage area in style.

We waited a little while with our sign, and then we spotted him.

I wish that technology was advanced enough to capture the pure joy on Josh's face when he saw Mike and ran to him.

He (finally) had his Daddy back.

And hopefully when Mike leaves on a campout this next weekend with the Scouts or when he travels to Phoenix, Josh will be a little more understanding that Daddy will come home...

... and not squeeze out so much toothpaste.

(Or maybe Mike could just install those new child locks. The ones Josh hasn't figured out how to open yet. Right?).

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Since You've Been Gone: Thursday

You know how before you left, I begged you to install child-locks on the bathroom cupboards?

And you didn't?

THIS is why I wanted you to:

Yeah, that's more toothpaste.

Yeah, he's cleaning up using a washcloth and his foot (wonder where he got that from?).

Yeah, I'm crabby. Josh was up until 2:00am last night:


Yeah, we miss you.

A lot.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Since You've Been Gone: Wednesday

Josh woke up this morning, and ran into our room, while I was getting dressed.

He said, "Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?" as he looked for you.

I felt so sad for him; I think it's the hardest on him, because he just doesn't understand.

I told him you weren't here.

He said, "Daddy work?

(Which is his first ever 2 word sentence!!!).

And I said, "Yes. Well, kind of."


This morning, while I was feeding the kids, I decided I couldn't handle the kitchen curtains anymore.

They were covered in food stains and marker before you left, and it's just gotten worse with Josh's craziness this week.

So, I called the dry cleaner, who told me it would be around $20 to have them cleaned.

I decided to get a replacement set, and found these $5 ones:

They are washable.

And now I am no longer angry/grossed out every time we sit down to eat.

Totally worth it, right?



Grace wrote the numbers 1-10 perfectly for her homework today.

She screamed with excitement over each one... she was SO proud of herself!

(Well, except for the "5". Somehow, it always ends up looking like a "z".)


This morning I made dinner for my friend, Jessica, who just had a baby.

And while I was cooking, Josh decided to go ahead and squeeze out another tube of toothpaste.

Colgate should be very happy with our family this week.

He also discovered my M&M stash in my purse, that I occasionally use when I'm shopping. You know, when he is crazy and insisting on climbing out of the cart.


This afternoon, Josh and I brought lunch to a new sister in our ward who just had surgery and couldn't go grocery shopping.

I'm so grateful for the chance I got to serve 2 people today.

While Josh slept, I took the gross kitchen curtains, cut off the gross parts, sewed them together, and made a new long curtain for the living room.

Pretty thrifty, huh?

(You'll hang them for me when you get back, right?)


Adam and Grace both had a great day at school.

After school we went to the library, where I got into trouble for Josh not wearing shoes.

Yeah, his shoes are missing.

I didn't think it was a big deal for him to sit in the chair and do a few puzzles with me and Grace while Adam looked for books, without shoes on.

Apparently, it's a VERY big deal.

We checked out 18 books and 2 movies.

Which completely violates our 3-books-a-person rule.

I was the rule-breaker; there are just too many fun books I want to read to the kids.


We came home, heated up the dinner, and brought it over to Jessica.

Her baby is darling.

She made me really want another girl to dress up and love.

But, please, don't get any ideas.

Our car only seats 5.


I was done with cooking for the day, so we had frozen pizza for dinner.

We ate it on the bed (with 5 clean loads of laundry to fold), while watching Phineas & Ferb.

It was a lot of fun.


Tonight after Grace's bath, I was combing her hair, when Josh came out covered in more toothpaste.

Good gravy, I don't even know how he is reaching this stuff.

You are welcome, Colgate!


The kids think it is completely unfair that you left Sunday, will get back late Friday night, and have to work all day Saturday.

They really want to go down to D.I. and talk to your boss, and throw some puppy dog eyes his way.

I'm trying to convince them it's not the best plan, but if Josh squeezes out any more toothpaste, I will probably lead them in the march down there.

I need a day off from cleaning up blue, minty stuff.


We miss you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Since You've Been Gone: Tuesday

We all woke up happier today, having gotten a much better nights sleep.

Except for Josh.

He woke up a huge grump, and didn't stop.

After getting Adam to school, we went to Sunflower Market.

In our pajamas.

Because it's just how we roll.

Josh needed more almond milk.

Somehow, a container of sundried tomato hummus made its way into the shopping cart.


I'm sure it will somehow make its way next to me on the couch tonight while I watch Glee.



After we got back, Josh was a terror.

He squeezed out a tube of toothpaste, a bottle of gel, scribbled on the table/wall with a crayon, threw the leftover baked potatoes, dumped out the laundry, threw his sippy cup and shoes at Grace, dumped out the trash can twice, and destroyed Grace's organized hair clips.

And it's not like I wasn't watching him; I was. He was just making another huge mess while I cleaned up one mess, and kept on going.

He gets destructive when he is tired, but, wow. I've never seen him that destructive.

I think he misses you.


I did a spelling test with Grace. She spelled "yellow" like this:


And "here" like this:


She can read all 10 of the words by sight, but insists on making "patterns" when she spells them.

We're going to need to work on those.



Josh took a nap while Grace was at school, and I put up a few Halloween decorations, cleaned, and made dinner.

He woke up soooo much happier.


We picked the kids up from school, where I learned that Adam sold his graham crackers at lunch for $.25.

I didn't know what to say to that.

Is it smart... could he own his own graham cracker business someday?

Or is it just rude?


We went to wrestling and gymnastics, where Josh was an absolute angel for the first time ever.

He is usually crazy there, as you know.

The foam pit is just so crazy tempting.

Grace walked perfectly on the balance beam, looking ahead (not down), the entire way.

Adam worked really hard at wrestling.

On the way home, I made the mistake of driving by D.I.

Josh noticed, and began screaming, "Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!"

And wouldn't stop.

Seriously heart-breaking.


Tonight, we had Mexican haystacks, cleaned the house, and did Adam's homework.

We did the whole bedtime routine.

And then you called and talked to each of them for a minute.

You couldn't see it, but Josh grinned the entire time you talked to him.


We miss you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Since You've Been Gone: Monday

As soon as we dropped you off at the airport last night, and pulled onto the freeway, our brake started making that squealing noise again.

This prompted me to burst into tears.

Which made Grace ask, "Mom, why are you ALWAYS crying?"

That made me glare at her.

And so on.


Josh woke up as soon as we got home.

And decided to stay up until 2:30 this morning.

I got up with Adam and Grace at 6:30 this morning.

Which meant that Diet Coke became a very good friend today.


I got Adam to school, only 5 minutes late.


Then immediately went to Hobby Lobby.

(A girl has to take advantage of night craftin' when her husband is out of town, after all).

I got ribbon, black felt, and purple paint.


Grace and I did homework and housework. We played with a grumpy/tired Josh. We ate lunch, and I got her ready for school, and drove her down there. On time.


Josh fell asleep in the car again.

This time, though, he stayed asleep when we returned home.

While he slept I made a Halloween ribbon wreath that I saw on Pinterest:

I am trying to pretend to like it (because I spent 2 hours on it), and keep telling myself it's cool in a hip-and-busy-sorta-way.

The spider keeps freaking me out.


After school we did Adam's homework and chores.

I made baked potatoes and a green salad for dinner.

I'm pretty sure you can guess how well that went over.

They loved it!


They did, however, love the leftover pumpkin cake that I bribed them with. I think a little Vitamin A is in it... somewhere... buried in the sugar and cream cheese frosting...


I decided that I couldn't have another night like last night.

No more babies up all night!

So, I took them to the park and ran them ragged.

Grace learned how to pump the swings all by herself.

Josh went down the slides over and over again, as I ran behind him growling.

Adam kept falling: off the swings, the slides, the sidewalk.

I think he has your balance.


I gave them baths, brushed teeth, read scriptures, read Stuart Little, said prayers, and replaced Josh's sheets 4 times (you know how he loves to take them off).

I was trying to be soooo patient, and had the inspiration to put another sheet on the other side of the crib mattress, making it impossible to take off. Well, at least more difficult. I'm sure he will figure it out.

Tonight, though, he didn't.

And after 3 drinks from Grace, 2 complaints from Adam that he heard ninjas outside trying to get in, and Josh throwing puzzle pieces at Grace once, they went to sleep.


I am going to eat the last piece of leftover pumpkin cake and watch The Office on Netflix.

Because I didn't cry today at all.

(Booyah to you, Grace!)

So, I soooo deserve it.

We miss you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Traveling Treats

Mike is leaving town for a week to attend The D.I. Academy.

Good gravy, I feel like making fun of that name.

But, I won't.

Anyways, the kids were completely upset about him being gone, so we decided to get him 6 of his favorite treats, wrap them, and hide them in his suitcase as a surprise. They had soooo much fun picking them out at the store.

While I watched the Relief Society broadcast, and Mike was out with Grace and Josh, I asked Adam to wrap them.

He brought them to me when he was done, and completely surprised me with writing a note on each one:

Reese’s Pieces: We love you to pieces!

Rice Krispies treat: We will miss you making us cheese krispies!

Star Crunch: You are like a star shining brightly! Shining for all of Utah to see!

Nutty Bars: Chocolito! Here is some peanut butter nut crunch goodness!

Cashews: We love you to pieces, and we love your cheese krispies, but most of all we love when you share with us. So save some nuts for us!

Beef Jerky: You are not jerky!

He cracks me up.

He really may have a future in the Hallmark cards business... who wouldn't want a card with "Chocolito!" on it.

I also convinced them that Mike hates when I decorate for holidays early (he really doesn't), and they are giddy with decorating for Halloween early while he's gone.

I love that doing something for him (and also doing something "naughty"), has made them feel better about him leaving.

(By the way, Mike and I won't get to talk much, and he won't have Internet access. So, this week I'm documenting it for him. You have been warned).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

31 Days of Halloween

I'm doing it again.

Because even though I know it's going to be crazy with our already-crazy schedule, it will be worth it. I am so missing all of the crafting and silliness we had over summer with our 79 Days of Summer.

Also, because (confession) I'm a mom who struggles with having spontaneous fun with her children.

But, give me a planned, structured activity?

I'm all over it.


I used to really hate myself for having a hard time getting down on the floor and playing Transformers or Littlest Pet Shop with my kids.

Or stopping what I'm cleaning/cooking to run around with them outside.

But, I'm trying to get over it.

Because when it comes down to it, it's all about spending quality time together.

And if my crazy mind needs me to plan it all out, meticulously, then that's how I'm going to roll.

I'm trying, trying, trying to stop feeling guilty about it.


Anyways, now that I've justified my craziness (is anyone else out there crazy like me?), I printed this out as an 8x10 at Sam's Club, popped it into a frame, and we are are going to mark them off with a wet-erase marker as we go.

I took what we loved last year, mixed with some new activities/crafts to replace those that didn't work out quite so well.

Pinterest has become a very good friend for finding new activities/crafts/recipes for Halloween.

SO excited to squeeze in all of that Halloween fun!

I have always LOVED this time of year, and having kids that get excited with me and knowing that we get to spend quality time together every day celebrating Halloween, makes it even better!

I will post at the end of each week with a summary of pictures of our fun. Can't wait!

(By the way, if you want to do any of these activities-click on it to enlarge and then click on the magnifying glass-shoot me a comment, and I will send you a link/instructions for it).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Toast to Fall 2011

It's officially my FAVORITE season!

We love our tradition to welcome in the fun holidays, cooler weather, football, pumpkins, yummy foods and smells. Each year we turn down the a/c, make some fall foods, and toast with sparkling cider, and talk about our favorite fall things!

Happy fall everyone!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

First Haircut

I kept putting off and putting off getting Josh his first haircut.

I'm just not good at cutting hair.

It is what it is.

I've embarrassed Adam enough with bad haircuts that I have decided that it's better to just pay for them.

And if I'm going to pay for a haircut, I want it to be worth it.

So, I kept putting it off until it got long enough to be worth it.

About a month ago, Mike started saying that the hair was covering Josh's ears so much, that he probably couldn't hear very well.

So, I started looking for coupons in the mail for Great Clips/Super Cuts.

Then yesterday, I overheard Adam calling Josh "Justin" and singing "Baby, Baby."

So, I grabbed Josh and ran to get his hair cut.

We just couldn't HANDLE the Bieber anymore.

The sweet thing didn't move a muscle or cry while he was in the chair.

He did, however, glare the entire time.

(Until he got a lollipop at the end, anyways. THEN he was all smiles.)

I didn't realize how bad his hair was until she started cutting. She cut off pieces that were over 3 inches long! I knew it was long, but wow! Grace has never had that much of a haircut!

This is pretty much my favorite picture of Josh. Ever.

He looks sooo grown up and handsome now!

(Not that you would know, because I didn't take an 'after' picture or anything).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back-to-School Night

We had back-to-school night at Adam and Grace's school tonight. It was sooo fun to see what they have been up to in their classrooms and get to talk to their awesome teachers!

Grace loves school! She has the cutest teacher, Mrs. E*. I love the safari-themed room. Too fun! She has made a lot of friends, loves to tell us about their different centers in class everyday, and is learning lots of sight words and getting better at handwriting already. She struggles with her handwriting, because she flipped back/forth between being right-handed and left-handed until she was 4 1/2. She settled on being left-handed and is developing those muscles. She's getting better and LOVING it!

I worried the most about Adam at this new school. But, he is thriving there. It didn't even phase him leaving his old friends. He has made a lot of new ones and LOVES his teacher, Mrs. M*. She. Is. Awesome! He tested at a 7th grade reading level, but needs to work on slowing down when he reads out loud and his handwriting. She is taking such a personal interest in him, and the things he needs to work on. I felt like last year, he was kind of ignored because he is a good reader and gets the material quickly, so his teachers kind of passed him over as "getting it" and I struggled with getting them to understand that though he is great at reading, he DOES have areas he needs to work on. It's nice to have a teacher that wants the best for each student.

The principal also talked about the school reading program for the year. Their school is participating in an Accelerated-Reader Program, where they can earn prizes (which go from a pencil to 4 tickets to Disneyland) for reading books/passing tests for each book, and advancing to the next grade level in reading. I loved seeing all of the kids so excited to read.

I am soooo thankful that we were led to this school. Every day I bring them, I just feel like this is where they need to be, and I'm so grateful for that. We are all so excited for this school year!

Monday, September 12, 2011

11 Years

The absolute worst "first date" that I have ever been on, started out great. We doubled with a good friend and his date, went to a really fun Valentine's Dance, and got something to eat. It started out as a great date.

And then when we were getting in the backseat of the car to drive home, a girl walked up who knew my date, and asked for a ride to her house.

He said, "Of course."

As we were driving back, my date asked the guy who was driving, to drop me off first, which I thought was odd. And then, I looked at my date, and noticed him holding hands and cuddling with the other girl.

He barely noticed when I got out of the car, because they had started kissing at that point.



11 years ago today, I went out with a guy, and it started out really bad.

As in, he walked up to me at the beginning of the date and said, "I forgot my wallet. Can you pay for everything today?"

I thought it was going to replace my worst "first date" of all time.

Because who does that to someone they are supposed to love?

(You can read about it here).

Instead, I ended up falling in love with him.

Lucky for him.

(And me).

Happy 11 years, Mike!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Not What I Had Planned

The brakes went out in the car today.


1) Mike was driving. Alone. I'm so glad it wasn't me with the kids.

2) After the first red light, when he realized the brakes weren't working, he made every light the entire way home.

3) He had the day off to fix them. The brake line was cut, and needed to be replaced. Saturdays off are very rare.

4) We had a $20 gift card to AutoZone, that we received a few months ago from the store in compensation of a problem we had there.

5) The part normally needs to be special-ordered, but the AutoZone just a few miles from our house happened to have it in stock.

6) Mike has a good bike and easily rode his bike there to get it.

7) He was able to fix the car all on his own.


The day was soooo not the family fun day that I had planned.

But, I had the opportunity to see how much Heavenly Father is aware of our family and our needs and the many blessings that He gives us.

So, it ended up being a pretty good day afterall.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not Reverent

Today, Mike stayed home from church.
Because he is unable to walk.
(A bunkbed was dropped on his foot yesterday at work. It is swollen and gross looking).
I was 5 minutes late.
The only seats available were in the very front row.
Josh made it his personal mission to try to throw crayons
at those who were bearing their testimonies.

I'm very sorry.

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Week Done.

Grace's first homework assignment: a scrapbook page all about her

Our first week of school is over.


Longest. Week. Ever.

Monday went well.

Tuesday, was Grace's birthday.

Wednesday, Adam dropped a can of trash on his head, prompting every one to laugh at him. And for him to have "the worst day ever." (He later admitted that it would be kinda funny seeing someone drop a can of trash on their head.)

Thursday, Grace had 2 accidents at school. Because, she was too afraid to ask her teacher to use the restroom.

Friday, it all went well.

So we went to happy hour at Sonic.


I'm sooo not used to the kids going to school 5 days a week.

Nor am I used to driving back/forth to school 3 times a day.

Add in the extra cupcake runs and dry clothes runs to/from the school...

... and I am extremely, insanely glad for a 3-day weekend.