Friday, December 18, 2009


We have had all kinds of concerts this year. Leslie had a choir concert, and I attended a marathon sing-around today. But, the photo being posted to represent all of this is Camille's band concert. The performance was actually a bit of a crack-up. The 6th grade band this year consisted of 1 trumpet, 2 saxophones, 1 clarinet, and 5 drummers. All the drummers played all the time. The bass drummer with particular zeal. And he was standing right behind Camille. All the songs sounded like drums. My favorite then, was "Up on the Housetop" because after the kids all sang "Ho, Ho, Ho," Camille's trumpet would sound loud and clear (no drums on this part) "Who wouldn't go?" right on key, right on time. Good job sis! I'm sure you did great on the rest too. Leslie was fun to watch sing. She enjoys it so much, and she sings from her heart. Caleb, Camille, Miriam and Ethan all sang with their classes today. I enjoyed it all, and Seth was a pretty good sport for staying the whole morning in the lunch room. :)

The next photo is from a few days ago. We had a big snowfall, but it was warm enough for the kids to walk home from school. Jacob came running to say, "Mom, come and see Ethan's new pet!" I was worried. Never know what little boys will make into pets, but this is what it was:

The snowball is about twice the size of his head, and Jake had watched him carry it up the road, slowly eating it. Ewww.

This is where the snowball had to live, if it was going to live in the house. The next morning, I found the bowl of water in the TV room. Snowball pets are easy to dispose of when they die. Even easier than goldfish. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blog Block

Not what you think it is. Not that I can't think of something to say, but one of those times when you have a lump in your throat and you can't. I haven't posted about my father-in-law's heart attack yet, but I need to record a few things so I can move forward.

Shortly after Thanksgiving, my father-in-law had a massive heart attack. The surgeon was able to relieve the blockage in his heart, but Dad had been without oxygen for an undetermined amount of time. He is basically in a coma right now, having sustained damage to some parts of his brain.

His family feels it keenly. There has been much prayer and soul searching, and a kind of endurance mourning. He is not dead, but he is so far from us, that it is painful. A state of limbo where sadness mixes with hope and submission. I wish I were more help. We all do.

I find it hard to carry on with every day life so far. We have socially accepted customs where we mourn if someone dies, but what if you just lose someone's activity and interaction and everything else, except their body? We go back and forth between hope and despair. I watch my sweet mother-in-law, as she sits by his side everyday. Time ticks forward. Christmas is coming. Still the changes we pray for are not yet manifest. His children go to work each day and stop in when they can. The grandchildren pray for him and draw pictures for his room. It is a time to stretch our souls.

I am so grateful for this family that I have married into. I am also grateful for kind words and prayers from extended family and friends. We feel loved as you express sorrow for us, and let us know of your concern and prayers. We love you too. Thank you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Elusive Hobo

You may recall that Caleb was a hobo for Halloween this year. When he told me what he wanted to be, my first thought was, "Yay! that will be easy." and my next thought was, "How did he come up with that?" I still don't know. What I do know is he is pretty interested in hobos. He asked me what a hobo was about two weeks ago, and where he could find one. I tried to explain that hobo is an old word, that we don't use much anymore. People who were once considered hobos, would now be called things like: Homeless, Migrant Workers, Alcoholics, Mentally Ill or Vagrant, therefore, we are more politcally correct, or at least more descriptive in our use of language to name what we used to call hobos. My kids don't buy it. They obviously have a mental picture of what a hobo is, and they are on the lookout for a few. Today, we passed the school crossing guard, a gentleman of advanced years, with a portly tummy wearing a hoodie. Pouring forth from the hood was a gray beard that santa would be proud of. My kids promptly pronounced him a hobo and dissolved into giggles. Caleb announced that he had a friend who had seen a real hobo, and he had asked her mom for money. He is not so sure of Santa, but he seems determined that hobos do exist, and he is going to hunt until he is satisfied.

The kids got out of the suburban at the school and blew me kisses. Then Caleb stretched his arms wide, flexed his hands forward and yelled, "Air hug!" Miriam quickly turned around and sent me one too. I love you, fun, zany children!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Today I am posting a poem written by Camille for school this week. She said the assignment was to write a Thanksgiving story, but as she started, it began to rhyme. :) I love that it is accidentally a poem. :) It is illustrated by this good looking turkey, colored and cut out by Ethan in kindergarten.
Happy Thanksgiving from me too. It is one of my favorite holidays.

It was almost Thanksgiving,
and sweet thoughts were near,
to have fun with your loved ones
and friends who are dear.
I think that Thanksgiving
is a time to give thanks,
Not a time to be rude or do
rude little pranks,
A time to show loved ones
that always you care.
Not a time to fuss about
clothing or hair.
A time to tell stories
to listen, to learn.
A time to forget
a time not to yearn.
A time to be merry,
be thankful, be giving.
A time to be glad that
we all are living.
A time to be glad
that we live on this Earth,
And multiply more
with each child's birth.
A time to remember
the good times we've had,
And forget all your worries
and times that were bad.
Now friends, I say this to you
with a great deal of care,
Do not think about shopping
or clothing or hair.
Have a jolly Thanksgiving
be happy, be merry.
Have fun with your friends
Bob, Shane, Dick, or Larry.
And even if your friends
don't own just these names
have fun and leave thanks
that always remains.

Miriam is looking forward to singing "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth", but she really needs three! The tooth fairy just wants a break. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009


My kids love to drive to Idaho, because they know that on the wide open interstate up north, if they are lucky, they can get the semi-drivers to honk for them. When ever we go to pass a semi, Seth will shout, "Get your honkers up!" This is the signal for everyone to put their arm in the air and pump it up and down in front of the windows to see if they will be lucky this time. They hate it when the drivers aren't paying attention, or if they are talking on a cell phone. They scream and wave ecstatically for any driver who graces us with a big HONK!!!!

Most of my kids understand that here in the city, the truckers don't use their horns unless they need to. Seth does not. Today we were driving to the elementary school to drop Ethan off for kindergarten. We drove up behind a big Walmart truck, and Seth yelled for the honkers. Ethan tried to explain about the futility of the effort by saying, "Seth we don't honk here. This is America, and in America, we don't honk!" :) I thought all of you still using your horns out there should know.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What you don't know....

I hide things. All the time. I never dreamed being a mom was such a sneaky business. But it is. It could be that it is just me, I used to hide things as a teenager too, but then, it was for the same reason: I was the oldest, and there were children around.

I hide chocolate. I hide cookies. I hide granola bars, juice boxes and any thing else likely to be wanted for a specific purpose at a later date. It has become very hard to hide food from Jacob. My instinct is to put things up. But he is taller than I am, driven by insatiable hunger, and practiced. He has been finding what I hide for 15 years now.

I hide shock and surprise, disappointment and pain as needed.

I hide very little from Leslie, because she is an observant child, and it is almost impossible to accomplish.

I hide nothing from Nathan because it is unnecessary. He doesn't look for things. He thinks I hide things, but this is confusion, he just doesn't know where it goes.

I hide the TV cable when I think we have had enough for a while.

I hide Christmas and birthday gifts, and sometimes the wrapping paper for the gifts, so it will still exist when it is time to wrap presents. Small boys are drawn to wrapping paper rolls, they like to unroll and destroy the paper, and the gravy is playing swords with the cardboard tube.

I hide vegetables in my baking.

I hide things in my closet and my drawers. If you are one of my children, caught in my closet, you are dead meat, pounded with a mallet.

I hide the clothes kids have grown out of, but will be mad that they need to go to a new home. I take them out of the wash each time I fold clothes. I hide this from the children too. They do not know there is a pile named Confiscate.

I hide matches. I have four boys descended from a long line of pyromania.

Sometimes, I hide myself, in my room with the door locked, for a few minutes of quiet.

There are troubles with hiding things. One, is that around Christmas time, I can't find the clothes in my closet. Two, is the older I get, the more forgetful, and the more I have to hide surprise when I find something I forgot I had hidden. Three, is I am tired of this. At some point, I may give up on the mysteries. I may just buy you a gift, and hand it to you, what ever day I get it, and instruct you to remember what it is for and when. I may just open up and tell you when you've blown it, whatever the ramifications. I may learn to live in the moment so much, that I will never plan for a future meal or treat again, and just let them eat all 8 boxes of pop tarts, the minute I walk in from the grocery store. But I haven't done it yet.

My children are affected by this. If you find they grow up to be spies and detectives, you will know where the blame lies. They should be pretty good at it though. Wheedling into mom's secrets for years should be good practice.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One More Photo

This one wouldn't fit on the other post, but too cute to leave out!!! Ethan did all the carving by himself. He was pretty proud. :)


It finally came!! The long awaited holiday of candy and costumes! We have had a carnival and a ward party to dress up for already, but it is the big night tonight and we pull out all the stops. :)

Miriam's 2nd grade class painted pumpkins to display at our local grocery store. Hers was a winning pumpkin, she was given a $5 gift certificate. This is the adorable girl, with her pumpkin.
Pumpkin carving at our house today. Caleb was trying to look like his, in case you hadn't noticed.

Camille and Leslie worked on this one together. It has shades.

The tall pumpkin was a joint effort by Seth and Jacob. Thanks for growing great, cool pumpkins, Grandpa Jake!

Here they come! Camille is a spy, Ethan is spider man, Miriam is a fairy princess, Leslie a hippie, Caleb is a hobo, Seth is Tigger, and Jacob is a chaperone this year. He, Ethan and Caleb went far and wide after the treats.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Girl Stuff

Camille is our only girl at Achievement Day age right now. Tonight was the Mom and Daughter party. They had a Halloween theme. We ate bloodshot eyeballs (devilled eggs) and severed fingers (hot dogs, with a tortilla bandage wrapped around it) and yummy sandwiches. Then, the girls bobbed for apples and they had us do each others hair. This is what we looked like when we arrived at home.

Now for Miriam's great news! She lost one of her front teeth! She has been wiggling it for days.

Of course, the world's flakiest tooth fairy attends our house, so she woke up disappointed because that tooth fairy was delinquent. Sigh. I'm sure she will come around.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn Checklist

Do any of you get the list in your head? The one of all the cool things that make each season perfect, and you want to go down it and check them all off?

Some of the things on my Fall list:

1) Play volleyball (check. Still sore.)

2) Eat pomegranates

3) Read a really tame ghost story. I am a big chicken at heart. Last year I read Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This year, I want to read the rest of The Woman in White. I started this summer, but didn't get more than a couple of chapters in before I had to return it to the library. Now, I have my OWN copy. :)

4) Walk on lots of crunchy leaves. I have stomped a few already, but I am waiting for the trees up the street a ways, they dump huge piles, and it is so fun to slosh through the leaves, almost to my knees!

5) Go to a football game and YELL really loud! (I haven't done this in years, but Jake may look around and find me at his high school game in the near future. He probably won't claim me :).)

6) Watch "Meet Me in St. Louis", which you maybe think of at Christmas time, but my favorite scenes are the Halloween scenes.

7) Eat doughnuts and cider. Well, really and truly, it is my mom's doughnuts that I crave, so to officially check it off the list, I'd better make her recipe.

8) Break out the sweaters.

9) Watch "Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" with my kids.

10) Harvest the garden, can and freeze the food. Stock the storage room. (check)

11) Read the cookbooks and start baking again! :)

12) Starting my Christmas planning and shopping.

13) Read "The Little Broomstick" with my kids, and "The Oxcart Man".

14) Get out my adorable fall rubber stamps and make cards. Send them to people, just to spread the joy of autumn.

And last, but not least.....Celebrate my Birthday. Then we can officially get on with winter.

Alas, October has been flying by!! Halloween is upon us. Some of the list can carry on to November, but I must prioritize, for I am just not in the mood for ghost stories after Halloween is over! One cannot attend the football game if the season is gone. Carpe Diem! Get out of my way, stuff of little consequence (anything not on the list), I am on a mission!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Good News!

Nathan took my camera to use it for work, and I just barely got it back. Sorry for the delay. We have SUCH NEWS! Seth has finally done it! We are wearing our underwear and feeling so big!!! I am rejoicing. He still has a few accidents, but I cannot complain, because he is staying dry all night, he is doing all the poos in the potty and it is only the occcasional, "Oh, I forgot to stop playing and come tinkle" accidents. And they are the easiest to clean. So HOORAY!

I spent last week trying to restore some order to my house. It was so yucky! Mom shouldn't get sick, it isn't pretty. But now, I am down to 4 bathrooms that need some solid attention, and here I am, hiding out on my computer. :)

I can't get enough of the weather right now. It has been warm and nice here. Today it is gray, but what a nice backdrop for all the fall colors. I have tried several new recipes this week, but none of them have been very exciting, so I am posting an old standby today, that we love! It came from a neighbor of mine who grew up in New Orleans.

So, now I guess it is off to clean those potties.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I stole this line from Snoopy, one of my heros. Sigh. (and this one.) I spent several days trying really hard not to be sick, so now I've made it worse, and I have to stay down for a few days. At least I have sweet family and friends that check on me, and bring my family food and clean up after them. (Thanks, Grandma!)

Our weekend to Idaho (me and 7 kids--always an adventure) was great. We enjoyed conference with my parents and Natalie, Arnica and Shane's families. It is so funny to have wall-to-wall children, TV blaring to drown out the buzz, conference bingo etc. It made me think back to conference at my grandparents as a child. I used to play the game to jump the peg into the holes and try to just end up with one. We were wall to wall back then too--what a blessing.

Mom and Dad are in the middle of the moving process and are digging through years worth of life to sift and sort and only save what will fit in their new, smaller home. Alot of that stuff belongs to their kids, so we tried to help. It is a little sad, to think of them in a new place, but exciting too. They have been painting and building shelves at the new house, and it looks fresh and expectant. Soon.

While I was there, I inherited my great grandmother, Josephine Murdock's jewelry box. It is a sweet box, but mostly because it is evident that her hands cared for it. It is painted creamy white and has oriental pictures on it, and only a few costume pieces inside. One entire compartment is dedicated to holding her curlers, metal style with a hinged clamp. Practical. Two of the compartments were sealed forever when she mended the box after the Teton Dam Flood caused water damage. My great grandma was a tall lady, and her watch is there, reminding me of her big hands. There are a couple of the brooches I always remember pinned to her sweater. There is nothing of worldly value here, but as I opened the box, and viewed its contents, I was reminded of a woman who had been content with what she had. Who had found joy despite a tiny income for the majority of her life. It brought back memories of her wide smile and big hugs. That was the precious part of the inheritance. To look into the shabby little box, and be given eyes to see the real "jewels" my great grandmother adorned herself with. May I emulate this in some small way. Thanks Grandma Josie, for the legacy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Fall Y'all!

I have a stamp that says that. :) The weather is PERFECT!!! There are pears in my dehydrator, and I will be making my once-a-year pie today. It is a beautiful, delicious pie, but my husband and children don't appreciate it like they should, so I make it once a year, and eat it basically alone over the course of a couple of days. That is fine with me. I don't mind a bit. :) Pears and plums and grapes are my favorite fruits, all fall friends. Volleyball, football games, sweaters and pomegranates. Cool temperatures, interesting weather and all the trees putting on their favorite colors. Doughnuts and cider. What's not to love?

Seth is potty training right now.... Sigh. It is always a bit of a chore, but worth it in the end. I am just stoked that this is my LAST ONE! Come on, buddy! You can do it! I am hoping that the kids being home all weekend will help. A little positive peer pressure.

So, I want to take a vacation. Not one to go see something or do something, but one where I go away and do nothing. :) Or at least nothing that involves anyone else's opinions or needs. I want to read a book all the way through, and watch a movie without consulting anyone else's time table or tastes. I want to lay around under a tree in the gorgeous fall sunshine. Maybe I'll buy some pretty yarn and crochet an afgan. The funny thing about me and vacations is, I am happiest at home. Maybe what I really want is for my family to take a vacation and leave me here! :)

I am just grateful it is the first day of a long weekend. At least the school bell won't be one of my voices for a few days. Teachers, don't expect us to open the backpacks this weekend. It is just too nice outside to not savor the last of the weather! And it is women's conference this weekend! I have a ticket to go to the conference center. Wa-Hoo!

Nathan is getting his feet under him at work. It has been crazy, but what a blessing! He is over 4 projects now. There is a lot of work to be done! Another good thing to celebrate, so "Bring on the Pie!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catch a Wave

Last Saturday, I was sitting in my kitchen, having just finished a do-it-yourself assessment for depression. I was reading up on what my "borderline clinical" score meant, when water started to pour from one of the kitchen light fixtures. I hurtled up the stairs, yelling, and bust open the bathroom door to find Caleb, naked, standing in an inch of water and bubbles on the bathroom floor. He had given in to his inner Big Kahuna, and was making some waves. "Towels!", I yell, "Bring me towels!" "Turn off those lights!" Children rush to obey. (Wish I could bottle whatever it is that gets them to cooperate in emergencies, so I could spray it around once in a while.)

There were some frantic moments. We did get it all soaked up, and fans turned on to all the right spots. These things almost never happen when Nate is home. At this point, I decide to congratulate myself that my depression is only borderline clinical, and move on. :)

Nathan got a job on Wednesday. I applied for it last week. (Yes, truly.) They called for an interview on Tuesday, offered him the job Wednesday morning and he started work Wednesday afternoon! They thought he might want to get a bit familiar with the project before heading up the pre-construction meeting on Thursday! :) We feel like it is a miracle. We are just so grateful and blessed. Thanks for all the prayers in our behalf! I think it will help with the rash of depression too. :)

"So smile every mile, for wherever you roam, it will brighten your road, it will lighten your load, if you sing your way home."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Talent Show

One of our favorite annual traditions in this ward is the Primary Talent Show. It is always fun to see the children perform, and the audience is always so positive and cheers them on.
This year, Camille played "Sweet Hour of Prayer" on the piano.
She also acted as the MC for the show.
Ethan had a light saber duel with Justin, our neighbor.

Miriam sang the "Connected" song from Barbie Diamond Castle.
Caleb did a vegetable comedy act, in which he sawed off the arm of a volunteer from the audience with an oversized cucumber, but the photos didn't turn out and they may have been considered graphic material. :)

After the talent show, we went to the McAllsiter's house to celebrate Paul's birthday Nascar style. Complete with mullet wigs, which were, of course, the favorite things. :)

Paul and his mini self, Caleb.

Finally, meet Monstro. He is our garden giant, tipping the scale at over 1 lb. !!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Double Whammy

Nathan and Seth celebrate their birthdays back to back. Nathan really wanted Seth to be his birthday present three years ago, but Seth wanted his own birthday. Nathan is 40 this year! He wanted black balloons, because, as he said, when you are older than 40, you don't enjoy them as much. Sadly, I couldn't track down any black balloons at 10 on Saturday night, so, I just bought one, that said "Over the Hill". Ironically, before the party could start on Sunday, Ethan had let the balloon free into the wild, and it floated off, over the hill. Sigh.
This is Nate, basking in the glow of his many candles. There aren't 40 of them, just enough to roughly make a 4 and a 0 on his favorite, standard coconut pecan frosting. :)
Nate's favorite gift was a book (fancy that :), by Natl. Geographic called 500 Trips. Note Seth, carefully studying the gift opening, because he would have to take it on the next day....

Wa-Hoo! Seth turns 3! We have been anticipating the family sharing of popcorn and the soon to be potty-trained last McAllister. :)

Seth loves his new kitty pillow. Happy birthday, my birthday boys!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week Highlights

The McAllister household has been rockin and rollin this week!!! This photograph is our intrepid explorer, ready for anything, with THREE light sabers.

Also, the pinewood derby was this week, and Caleb ran a car he likes to call "Fireball". He ended up about the middle of the pack. We enjoyed the race.

And another photo-op: Ethan came in hollering, "Look at how strong my grasshopper is, Dad!" He is really good at catching grasshoppers, it is one of his current favorite pass-times. (And Leslie hopes he will grow out of it soon.)

We held our first ever yard sale on Saturday. We made a whopping $64, and I got a sunburn. I also sold my piano. I bought one a week ago at another yard sale, because it had a softer sound than our old one. I really like the new one, and the old one has a good home at the neighbors :) Nathan and Jacob moved both of them yesterday.

My personal giggle of the week happened this morning. I was walking to church behind Miriam and Seth. They were holding hands and Miriam was waving a white handkerchief. I absentmindedly did some thinking out loud, and said, "I have a problem." and Miriam immediately turned around and offered me the handkerchief saying, "Here, Mom, use this to wipe the sweat."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I think I am ready to talk about it.

So, as many of you are experiencing, school started for us this week too. The kids went back Monday morning. Sunday night, this was our status:

Jacob was registered, but missed most of his orientation (arrived just in time to hear them say, "Go ahead and walk around the school.") and he was not registered for seminary, or at least we didn't know what his seminary status was.

Leslie was registered, but we had not yet received her schedule, so she was a bit stressed, not knowing which classes she would be going to, or in what order. This also meant she didn't have a locker.

Camille was sick with a fever, but determined not to miss the first day.

Caleb was registered, but this mom hadn't looked at the paperwork from his teacher in detail, and so, didn't have the multitude of specific school supplies on his list. Ugh!

Miriam was excited to go.

Ethan was still not registered for Kindergarten, also due to mom not catching all the details, we did take him in for his immunizations, but failed to have a physical exam paper signed by the doctor, and now the doctor was on vacation. Sigh.

Seth was just whiny.

Monday morning dawned ruthlessly. Jacob left at 7 a.m., and so did Leslie and I to track down her schedule. After minimal time in line, we had it in hand, and Leslie was off to French class. Mom ran to Walmart to finish the list for the elementary teachers, then home to pick up the kids and take them to Back to School Morning. May I just say that I already like the new principal, as she totally drew a blank in front of all the parents, and finally had to send us on our way without the last announcement, what ever it was. I love it when we are all human, and we are all ok with it.

Finally, to the office, where Ethan was registered without a hitch. The secretary telling me that they can't require the physical form anyway. Phew! And he is in Mrs. Sessions class! Miriam had her, and we just love her.

At 11:20 Jacob showed up to eat lunch at home and run back to school. HOW SWEET IS THAT! Better yet, Nathan drove over to the seminary building and dealt with that one so I didn't have to. Jacob will be going early morning, 6:10 Tues. Wed. Thurs.

The only other notable of the day, is Camille did make it through school, but returned home sick again.

We found out on Tuesday that she has salmonella. Her poor body just isn't fighting it off , but now we finally know what we are dealing with, she is on an antibiotic, and hopefully we will see her well soon.

We are constantly blessed so this big family can function, many times in spite of all our mistakes. I live each day, grateful for Heaven's kind intervention.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ode to the Tomato

You would think that I would be writing back to school posts right now. But I am still recovering from all of that, and this is a more pleasant thought for the moment. (We did survive the Back To School experience. Phew!)
I love tomatoes straight from the garden. My dad introduced me to this wonderful taste as a child, and even though there might have been a time when I didn't love tomatoes, I don't remember when that was. Last year, I was craving them so bad! My hunger then has turned into crazy passion now! I just can't get enough. I have made salads and sandwiches with them, I eat a few each day with salt and pepper, this morning, Nate came in and said:
"A bit early to be hitting the salsa, isn't it, Jenny?"
No! Salsa for breakfast is GOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU! Or GOOD EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT AILING! Just saying.
I made bruschetta for the first time the other night. The mind boggles at how many wonderful combinations of food tomatoes make great. Sigh of contentment. Not sure what I will do with the crop after it starts putting out more than I can eat. Maybe some chili sauce. Something wonderful will be called for. Second best to fresh out of the garden is sitting smugly on my shelf to be enjoyed in the cold of winter. I am posting my bruschetta recipe, as close as I can remember it. Happy harvest, everyone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bear Lake

We had a visit to Bear Lake yesterday and today with Nathan's brother and his family. They have vacation property there, and are so sweet to share an invitation with us each summer. I haven't been able to go for several years because of one child with illness or another. It was great to go again! What is lame is, I didn't take my camera!!! So you will have to trust that we dug big holes in the sand, buried Jacob and put a silly hat on him, and played on the wave runner. Jacob broke up with his girlfriend and has decided to not date until he is 16. Great decision, Jacob. He has seemed happy and relieved. I know his mother is. :)
The weather was gorgeous today, a bit windy yesterday, water chilly, as usual. So nice to see new scenery and do new things for a minute. So nice to have some time as a whole family before the kids go back to school. I am so grateful for two days making memories. Grateful for the drive up and down Logan canyon. Grateful for eyes to see it all. I am blessed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New, New, New

Do you know I can change a diaper faster than my computer can upload my blog photos? And we are not talking dial up folks. It is one of my skills. Not sure what it is good for, but there you have it. The new things at our house are 1) New paint and 2) New color in my kitchen.
This is Nathan and Ethan painting on the new frosty lime green over the non-descript ugh pink.
I love the color, and Nathan's paint job is pretty much perfect, Thanks Honey! Thanks Ethan and Seth!
Leslie, blending into her surroundings.

The next new thing at our house is 3) a New pretty little grey kitten. I didn't know I needed a kitten when I woke up on Saturday morning, but one of the yard sales we went to had kittens. When we first saw them, there were 3 of them, all wrapped in a big black sweatshirt, being held in a bundle by their owner. Two black and one tiny grey face poking out between. Leslie and I were charmed, but we moved on. Or so I thought. We decided to go back and handle the kittens, to see if they were social and ask some questions. We both loved the grey kitten, so we held her first while we asked if they had been around children, if they had been outside, what kind of diet were they on, etc. During this conversation, I had put the grey kitten down and was holding her black sister. Leslie was standing poised to get the lady's phone number so we could go home, consult with the family and return. In the meantime, another lady and her son came and picked up the grey kitten. All I could think was, "You can't have my kitten!!!!" Happily the lady moved on, but I couldn't leave the kitten there. I was already in love. I put up the $5 and we drove home with her. Nathan doesn't love kitties, but he is humoring me.
She is super sweet tempered. The kids all love her, and she seems to be adjusting to our home well. My big old boy kitty is offended. I have to consult the professionals on advice to help them be friends. We'll see, but I hope they can get on, so she can watch him eat for us.

The kids have called her Mitten, I call her Mitsy, Baby, Lovebug. Who knew?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rescued from the Kitchen Floor

My husband and I have different views on what toys are worthy of rescue if we are cleaning. I first noticed this years ago while cleaning the basement, Nathan would vacuum up barbie shoes, but bend over and pick up legos, and return them to their owner. I brought this to his attention, and he has become more fair, sometimes picking up the barbie shoes, sometimes sucking up the legos. :)

For my part, I judge a toy's garbage status in an intricate equation that includes how many times I have had to pick the thing up recently, and the age (and sometimes current attitude) of the owner. Number of children who can claim the object also gets factored in, as does particular attachment to the toy. When I don't feel like doing the "math", I chuck it. So, Mom's current mental health, and physical health play a role. At least Nathan had a better intuitive model, toss the pink and purple, save the primary colors. So much simpler.

Today, the wind is in your favor, boys, mom rescued a lego storm trooper's helmet from the sweepings. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Princess Party

Last night we had a celebration of temple weddings. Some dear friends and their daughters came. We talked about our weddings and the girls dressed up in all the mom's dresses.



It was a fun night. One we hope the girls will remember. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Apple Daze

This is evidence that our home teacher loves us! Transparent apples are my favorite ones for applesauce and pie filling. This beautiful mountain was grown and picked for us by our neighbor and home teacher. This was what they looked like this morning. I was planning to do some of them, maybe 28 quarts of applesauce. That sounded like a reasonable goal, one a woman can be proud of. But then my husband stepped in.
Nathan is not a man to do things half way. The mess was already underway, may as well finish the project!

We enlisted all this capable help. :) Seth is sitting in one of the boxes, sampling yet another apple. Ethan is loading a pitcher to bring more apples to the sink. I don't have a picture of Camille at work, but she was a trooper, she cut apples for hours. Caleb hauled jars up from the basement. It has been a family effort.

So, 51 actual quarts of applesauce, and 14 quarts of pie filling later.... we are pooped!!! But happy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rodeo Highlights

We spent our Friday night at That Famous Preston Night Rodeo in Preston, Idaho. We were there to watch my nephew Tyce compete in the Mutton Bustin'. I was asked yesterday what mutton bustin' is, so I'll explain: This event is for young children, most of them are about 4 years old. They fill the rodeo chutes with sheep, strap a bike helmet on the youngster, and put him or her on a sheep. There are two accepted forms of holding on to your sheep, one is to grab two handfuls of wool and hope, the other is to lean forward and try to get your little arms all the way around their neck. Either way, when they open the chute, it is just you and the mutton, and you never know what will happen. The rodeo announcer always names the sheep as they bust out of the chute. Tyce rode one they called Pepto Bismol. :) He rode for about three bounces and then bounced off. The winner of the mutton bustin' always gets a trophy that is taller than he/she is. I think this is one of the rules. Tyce received a belt buckle for his ride, and he was sure proud to show it afterwards.
I am a rodeo crazy. I love this stuff! I haven't been to one in years, so I was so excited to go, and That Famous Preston Night Rodeo draws some great talent to compete. It was Seth's first rodeo, but he was hooked from the introduction of the royalty. The cowgirls rode by with their sequined shirts and their tiara-decked cowgirl hats, and he was in to it. He especially liked the bulldogging (the steers with the horns were all "big ones") and the barrel racing. (More cowgirls.) We were sitting on the very top row, so he spent some time watching people go by under the bleachers behind us, and I know at least one cowgirl smiled and waved to him. :)
I think Nathan's favorite was when the rodeo clown and entourage sang the YMCA. :) Good times. Some women, when they get old, are going to wear purple. This woman, is going to follow the rodeo circuit. If my kids will live in towns with good rodeos, they can count on seeing me rodeo weekend. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We love Idaho!

I made a quick trip to Idaho to scatter children to the four winds. My girls went to Buhl to visit my Aunt and Uncle's family and Jacob and Caleb went to visit Grandpa and Grandma Jake. We went to Swan Valley to listen to my cousin Riker speak before his mission and I was able to see my grandparents and lots of Jacobson family. It was nice. This is my dad, overlooking the Palisade Dam, asking the grandkids, "How far do you think grandpa can throw a rock?" :)

While we were there, we celebrated the 24th of July with Natalie's stake. They had a nice BBQ and activities for the kids. Caleb waited in line and rode the horse.
Jacob turned 15 on the 26th. This is him, threatening small cousins to not blow out HIS candles!

And this is Jacob showing off his gifts. It is a fishing vest and big black rubber boots for wading in after the fish, just in case they make a run for it. Love you, big guy! You are growing up well!