Monday, April 28, 2008

Blessings Poured Down....

Tonight for FHE we decided to do a little spring cleanup in the yard. Greg pruned bushes, the kids played in the dirt, and I carried Rachel from one area of the yard to the next being totally ineffective until I discovered a very efficient "playpen" for Rachel. At one of Becca's soccer games we discovered that Rachel does not care for the grass at all, so I decided to put her down on a blanket tonight with a couple of toys, and after one touch of the grass, she played happily in her little comfy spot in the yard without any desire to wander.
With the baby contained I decided to go back inside to finish up the dinner dishes. After working on the dishes for less than two minutes, I heard a pop and the sound of the rushing of great waters coming from behind the fridge. When I looked over, water was pouring out from below the fridge, so I yelled for Greg, and ran downstairs to turn off the main water valve. Now, in most homes it might be a little difficult to remember the location of and/or access the water main; however, we are very fortunate. You see, the very first thing people notice when they come down to our basement is a lovely cupboard randomly placed in the middle of the wall. Curiosity has overcome many such visitors, and they, who normally would not think to open someone's cupboard at random, have opened the little door to find our water main.
For anyone who is now saying, "It can't be that bad" I have included a picture of about 1/3 of our basement wall. Can anyone find the 'secret' cupboard?

However, I have to take back any disparaging remarks I might have made about the rather odd placement and "camoflauge" of the water main because thanks to its easy access I had the water turned off in a matter of seconds and only a few gallons of water poured out on my kitchen floor.

I honestly can't imagine the consequences that might have befallen us had I not been in the kitchen right as it happened. I feel so blessed that we were able to avoid any water damage (although after showing pictures of my basement perhaps a call to my home-owner's insurance wouldn't have been such a bad thing--not to mention the fact that I could really go for a kitchen remodel) but truly I couldn't imagine trying to go through that much cleanup, and trust me, it could have been extensive!

Family Fun

Saturday I had planned on spending the morning doing laundry, but all three of my older girls insisted on accompanying their grandpa and dad on a fishing trip. I, therefore, decided I should probably go myself to provide an extra set of grownup eyes. "Sportsman's Paradise" provides not only private fishing, but pheasant hunting as well, and the girls went on an "Easter Egg Hunt" collecting hundreds of empty shotgun shells. They also loved seeing the fish runs, where thousands of little fish were swimming happily. Each of the girls got to throw a piece of fish food into the water to watch them come up to eat.
Rachel was certainly the most excited by the fish, and was ready to take a swim had I been willing to let her. She also added a word to her ever increasing vocabulary--"SHISHY!"
On our way home from Paradise, Grandpa Steve took the family to Maddox, one of the most popular eating places in Utah, where the girls gnawed fried chicken to the bone.

Sunday we went to Allison's baby blessing. We had a wonderful time, and the girls (as evidenced by the following pictures) enjoyed every minute they spent with their cousins. However, I must say that all my attempts to keep the girls clean were futile. For lunch, Janelle made chicken tacos (which by the way were very yummy), and I thought that instead of putting meat on the girls' tacos I would just make them quesadillas to prevent any chicken from spilling on their dresses. I also chose not to give them any jell-o salad or chocolate dessert. Nonetheless, my girls left Justin and Janelle's looking not just messy (just because I didn't dish them any messy food didn't mean they couldn't go back around the buffet for themselves a little later) but they also looked like the newest members of the Blue Man Group. Somehow, the girls found some chalk outside, and decided to mix it with water and use it as finger paint. Ellie's dress dragged through the concoction, and all three girls had blue hands for the rest of the day (I scrubbed and scrubbed but to no avail).
But even with the messy clothes and hands the time spent with family was certainly well worth it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chunky Monkey!

Today is Rachel's birthday, and I find it hard to believe she is already one. I have obviously been in denial, because yesterday she took a couple of steps and I said to her "Wow, you're getting to be such a big girl! I can't believe you are going to be one . . . tomorrow!" Yes, it's true, I did not plan a thing for her birthday until yesterday. Fortunately, I had picked up a few gifts a couple of weeks ago, and, other than my dad who has Bishopric meeting every Tuesday, all the grandparents were able to come to a last-minute dinner where we celebrated the right-of-passage where my sweet baby turns into another little monkey. It was truly a fitting celebration, too, because as I was making dinner, I put Rachel in her high chair and within about thirty seconds she had wriggled her way out of the buckle, stood up, and had one foot up on her tray in an attempt to escape.
Fortunately, Sarah was sitting on a bar stool looking right at her. She laughed and pointed toward the high chair, and said, "look at funny Rachel." I ran right over to her and took her out of the chair before she got hurt, and was very grateful that we didn't have to spend her birthday in the emergency room.
Here are some pictures of the party--please keep in mind that this was a very last-ditch effort!

This may be the only picture we took of her eating her "first" cupcake, but in reality, I think her sneaky sister gave her one at breakfast and another at lunch, so she was totally aware of the protocol by the time she got this one.

Here is a picture of the table--we didn't do much with the theme as far as food goes, except that we had banana splits for dessert made with Ben & Jerry's "Chunky Monkey" Ice Cream. I hadn't ever had it before (because I'm not a big walnut fan) but I really liked it. It reminded me of a banana creamy with a spoon!

The "monkey cupcakes" that inspired the theme. Greg bought some mini Nilla-Wafers the other day, and I thought perhaps I could use them to my advantage.

Do you think she realized this day was all about her?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A face only Groucho could love!

About 2 minutes after I got Sarah dressed after her bath, Becca came downstairs to tell me that Sarah was in my bathroom. I knew that meant nothing good was happening, so I raced up the stairs to find my daughter looking like a junior Groucho Marx with some seriously cool eyebrows and facial hair.

She was very worried about her punishment (thus the great facial expression) but I told her that her punishment would just be to get her picture taken. Perhaps that isn't a very bad punishment for her right now, but I have a feeling that during the dating years she might wish that I had just given her a time-out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Wow--I have a new understanding of obnoxious first grade assignments. Tonight we got to be the first in the class to take home "Popcorn" (the stuffed animal in the picture). The idea behind the assignment was to take the bear with you through the night and write about the different adventures you and the bear have that evening. Well, I don't know about you, but most of our evenings (if they are not filled with soccer) consist of little more than homework, dinner, bath time, stories and bed. So when I found out about the assignment, I decided I had better add a little pizazz to our evening routine. The best I could come up with on short notice was to throw a luau. We had Hawaiian pizza, pina coladas, made "popcorn" leis and did a little limbo/hula dancing.
Honestly, for the last five days I have been totally out of it with a cold, and having to do this today was a little bit much for me, but at least we are done and I can say "ALOHA!" to the bear.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Good Morning

We had a rather busy morning today, and I had to wake the girls up on a Saturday which was the antithesis of my wants, but we had soccer and a health fair, and needed to get up and at it. So I cautiously approached Sarah, and tried to cajole her from sleep. I rubbed her back, and said, "Sarah, it's time to get up." She moaned and rolled over, and so I added, "Don't you want to go to Becca's soccer game?"
Sarah rolled back on her tummy, tucked her hands under her cheek, and croaked, "No, I want to go to Costco."
Well, who wouldn't want to get up early for a trip to everyone's favorite "$100 store" (our affectionate term for the place we never seem to leave without spending over $100)?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Naughty Harold!

I am wise enough not to have a copy of this book in my house, but somehow, I think my kids have memorized it. All three of my children who are old enough to use any type of writing utensil have successfully done so on all of my walls. Yesterday, I got on my sister-in-law's blog and saw that her children have similar propensities, so I am definitely blaming this fetish on Greg's side of the family (OK, so I might have a little bit of Harold in me, too).
Well, I commented to Shannon that Sarah has recently been a wall artist, and thought to myself, "I'm glad I don't have to clean up crayon right now." Well, I still don't have any crayon to clean up, but Sarah took a red marker up to her room and I thought I would give a small sampling of what her room looks like.

In addition to these lovely pieces of art, she also colored on her dresser, pillows, and other three walls, but watch out world, I'm armed with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Snug As A Bug

Tonight as Greg was putting Ellie to bed she asked if he would please bundle her. Greg never does anything half way, so he REALLY bundled her. When she was done, she giggled, and exclaimed, "I'm in a raccoon!" Apparently we need to reread the very hungry caterpillar to remind her that it is in fact a cocoon.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fool!

This morning has been quite the April Fool's Day. I got Becca up and ready, then tried to get a few things done around the house. It was evident from the get-go that Sarah woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and as soon as she had finished eating breakfast she wanted to watch a movie. Normally that is not allowed until Becca has left for school, but since her emotions were that of a teenager this morning, I decided that a movie would be the lesser of two evils (I was also hoping that she would possibly fall asleep while she watched). Well, she chose a DVD that has been much loved, and it took forever to get it going--I had to take it out and clean it twice, then I had to restart it three times, and finally had to bypass the main menu and go straight to "scene selection" to get it going. After about ten minutes, though I did manage to get it to work, and turned ecstatically to Sarah to tell her that it was working. Her response was, "Mmm, I think I want to play a game instead," and she climbed off of the couch and went in search of Ellie.
Just then, Becca's friends arrived to take her to school. I called to her, and she came down the stairs wearing the same shirt I had picked out for her (a cute pink and brown striped shirt with little flowers on it), but instead of the jeans she was wearing when I started the whole DVD fiasco she decided to wear some floral pants that didn't even come close to matching. My only hope is that her teacher thinks it is some kind of April Fool's joke (because in my mind Becca played quite the joke on me by wearing that to school)!
Well, my mom also asked me if I would highlight her hair for her today, and while we were upstairs, Sarah got into the oatmeal and the popcorn and left a mess of oatmeal in the living room and popcorn in the family room.

Ha! Ha! What a joker! I guess I should just be glad I haven't found any plastic wrap on the toilet seats!