Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Cutest Skirts

Mom, here is the picture you've been waiting for: the girls in the skirts you made them. I had a really hard time trying to get them to hold still-- this was the only picture that even remotely turned out!

Thank you, wonderful Grandma!!!! We love you!!!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Cake for my Rabbit

After all that tying myself into knots for Roo's cake, I had to do something creative for the Rabbit too. I had big plans for a beehive cake like the one on, but I ran into several spectacular disasters. In the end, this was what I had:

I was pretty happy with how I was able to salvage the broken cake and the messed-up frosting and turn it into something that did look like a beehive, if not a Martha Stewart beehive. One of my nieces thought it was one of the coolest-looking cakes she had ever seen, for which I will love her forever.

And the Rabbit loved it very much. Not that she really had a clue what was going on, but she will look back in later years and say "oh Mom, I loved that beehive cake so much! I know you love me so much because you made me that beehive cake! I will never sass you when I am a teenager and I will do everything you tell me to do including always wearing my seatbelt and flossing my teeth and not dating until I'm 30 because I know you love me because you made me a beehive cake when I was two."

Ha ha, I am just kidding about her saying all that and about me not wanting her to date until she is 30.

Maybe I will let her date when she's 29.

The Bilibo

I made a large tactical error for the Rabbit's birthday. I bought her a Bilibo, which is something I've been wanting to buy for my kids for awhile now.

Buying the Bilibo wasn't the tactical error. The error was buying only one. I should have bought four.

We gave it to her first thing in the morning on her birthday so that the kids would be occupied in happy Bilibo play while I worked on getting ready for the party and making the cake. Instead, I spent the day being the Bilibo police: setting timers for turns and breaking up constant disputes over who deserved the next chance at this wondrous object. Here Roo is enjoying her turn while Fish looks on in total envy:

Now that a couple of days have past and the novelty has worn off I still think I should have bought at least two of them. They're not fighting so much anymore, but the Bilibo is in constant use and is enjoyed in so many ways. This was definitely a worthwhile toy!

More Fun With New Technology

So, for the past couple of days Google's Picasa won't work on my computer at all. There must be some bugs in the new version.

I have all these photos of the Rabbit's birthday to share. I'll have to do it the non-Picasa way, which is much more labor-intensive. So you will get a spatter rather than a deluge. Maybe you're glad my Picasa's not working!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fun With New Technology

Google's Picasa photo program has a new feature that scans all your photos and helps you label every face. It found more than 24,000 faces in my photos, so my labeling is going to take awhile. However, I'm really excited about putting a name on each of those faces because I take so many digital photos that I never have time to label them and I have these nightmares that in 100 years someone will be going through my archives and tearing their hair out trying to figure out who is who and what is going on. So at least having names on them is going to help tons.

You don't have to label every single one by hand-- it will make suggestions as to who it thinks a particular person is based on how you've labeled past people. This feature got me through probably 10,000 photos. It was hilarious though because it kept getting my children confused-- for example, half of the pictures in Bean's file were of Fish and a third of the rest were of Roo. I had no idea my kids looked so much alike until I saw them the way the computer grouped them. In an individual picture they are easy to tell apart but if you look at a grouping of pictures in which all of them are a certain age (say, three,) it is very easy to get confused. This makes me even more glad I am doing this labeling!

I have always loved family photographs. When I was a kid and would go to my grandma's house I would spend most of my time sitting and looking at her photo albums. Sometimes when I'm on the computer I will get sucked into Picasa and spend an hour just browsing through old photos and remembering old times. I think it runs in my family-- my brother is a professional archivist and my sister works for the Family History Library. I put a pretty big priority on family archives for my little family and I enjoy every minute of it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring Fever

We've had some days of milder weather lately and the boys begged to be allowed to get out their bikes. We hauled them out and spruced them up, discovering in the process that Fish's bike was too small and needed a new rear tire. So we bought him a new bike-- it has "BYU Cougars" on it. This only fueled the fire-- now they want to be biking every minute of every day.

Only problem is the weather has turned wintry again. Snow has been falling for the last two days and a little bit of it has even stuck on the ground. We might get another inch tomorrow.

Not that this stops boys. I saw them riding around in the snow this afternoon. Without coats, of course. They did have snowboots on though.

I predict 2010 will be a great year for biking in our family!
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Thursday, February 18, 2010


Through several very strange twists of fate, my Badger is at this very moment sleeping in a beach-view hotel room on the Oregon coast.

Sometimes life's unexpected turns are really wonderful! The weather forecast for tomorrow for this spot is 58 and mostly sunny. It doesn't get any better than that in February! Obviously, it would be ideal if the rest of us were there WITH the Badger, but there's not sense in ruining something wonderful wishing it was something even more wonderful. I hope my Badger has a peaceful, quiet, introspective break from the chaos and comes home renewed and recharged.

If you're wondering how he got there, it's like this: he has a friend who is a corporate pilot who asked him to come along on a flight to California for a few days. A chance to be in an airplane is a very good thing for him right now so he went. After dropping off their passengers in CA, the owner of the plane had them fly up to Oregon for some kind of maintenance. When they got there they handed the Badger the keys to a rental car and said "see you back here in a couple of days." He was less than 200 miles from his favorite spot in the whole world. WOW!!!!
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Peaceful Moment

This was the one moment of quiet I experienced today. Isn't it sweet?

(PS-- I am madly in love with Crayola Twistables. I used to think they were too expensive and then I realized that yes I was only paying twenty cents for a box of crayons but the kids were breaking them at such an astounding rate that I might as well fork out for the Twistables and not keep sending mounds of broken crayons to the landfill. So I forked out and now I'm never going back!)
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Today's Breakfast

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Money Well Spent

This tent was fifteen bucks at Ikea. It's been in constant use ever since Roo's birthday.

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The Family Party

Here are some pictures from Roo's family birthday party in the sunny dining room of the Burrow. Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Kaa and Aunt Bagheera were in attendance.

We had pizza. Pizza is always the favorite in our family.

Roo's older brothers were only too happy to help with the opening of presents. We had to remind Fish not to shout out what the present was as soon as the smallest part of it was revealed but before she had had a chance to really see it yet.

She got an apron and chef's hat so she can help me in the kitchen (the apron was something I was trying to make her for Christmas but ran out of time. It was probably more exciting to get it for her birthday anyway.) She also got a leotard for gymnastics. Ever since she started gymnastics she has been talking about the big girls in their leotards and asking "when will I be a leotard?" There were some darling ones for sale at the gym, but man, they're expensive!! I hunted around a bit and found one on ebay for a believable price. It even had sparkly butterflies on it. And it's technically a "biketard," which means that the bottom part is like bike shorts. Much more modest. She loves it and it looks so cute on her. She also got the cutest headbands ever and a Stawberry Shortcake coloring book from Grandma and Grandpa. Oh, and that darling skirt she is wearing was a gift from my mother when she saw her the day before.

It was a good birthday for my little Roo!
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spaghetti, Part Two

Recently I made spaghetti again for the first time since the mild flu episode. Roo was very concerned. She said "Mom, is this the kind of spaghetti that comes out of my mouth while I'm sleeping?" I told her it wasn't. She looked at me very sternly and said "Don't make the kind of spaghetti that comes out of my mouth while I'm sleeping anymore." I said I'd try.

Now THAT would be a cookbook to write: "Foods That Come out of Your Mouth While You're Sleeping: the Secret to Successful Weightloss."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Birthday Party

Roo was very very thrilled with her Princess Party.

First, we decorated foam picture frames with foam princess shapes.

Then we did lots of dancing around with silk scarves.

Then we made beaded bracelets with our names on them.

And we opened presents in front of our new Ikea play tent.

It was totally different than any other birthday party I've ever thrown because it was the first time I've done one for a daughter instead of a son. I'm used to boys pinging around the room and yelling so loudly I can hardly make myself heard. I'm also used to shaking and sucking my thumb for about 48 hours after the party. (You can read about the boys' last birthday party here.) These little girls were so quiet that sometimes I wondered if they were even having a good time. Most of them were docile and obedient most of the time. It took quite awhile before they even interacted much with each other.

But Roo talks about it like it was the highlight of her life, so that means it was a huge success. And my thumb is dry and happy.
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today's Broadcast

So, you think I haven't been posting much lately? Well, then you need to install Google Thought Reader. This handy application will allow you to peruse all the marvelous and insightful blog posts that are to be found only inside my amazing brain. Why should I take precious time to type them all out when you can make them visible through Google's cutting-edge neuron-scanning technology?

Augh, that's a terrifying thought. Google, please don't go there.

Well, if you did have a Thought Reader, this is a sampling of what you'd currently get:

I'm hungry. I should go cut a piece of warm homemade bread. But eating at 11:00 at night is not the best plan. It was a pain to lose all the weight I gained over the holidays and now that it's gone I don't want it back.

I'd better make Roo's birthday cake with margerine and shortening. That way I won't be tempted to eat it. I pretty much haven't eaten sugar since New Year's. Sometimes it's really hard to deal with that little voice inside me that is always murmuring things like "....fuuuuuuuudge brownie suuuuuuundae...." but now that I'm trying not to listen I can actually hear the other voice inside me that says "please eat more fresh live foods!" And I keep feeling healthier and more energetic and productive all the time.

I'm totally loving homeschool right now. I've finally gotten the boys to the point where they are beginning to work independently. We have enough of a routine that they know what will be expected of them. So while our morning school sessions still have room for improvement, they're a lot better than they used to be and they get done in time for us to go be involved in the various outside things we're now involved in, which is what I really love.

Life is such a funny combination of really hard and really wonderful right now. It's not easy living with someone else and having most of your stuff in storage. Not to mention having your husband be unemployed! But oh, it's so fabulous being back in Utah! And I've been so engrossed in trying to do everything I can to enrich my children's lives lately and that is so satisfying.

My friend Diane posted recently about the experience she and her family have been through and it described so well how I feel. Here is the link. Her story is full of amazing details of how the Lord took care of them so perfectly even when it seemed like He wasn't taking care of them at all. I know that's how it is in my life right now. Even though things may look hard or hopeless, I know that we're being led perfectly along and we're going to end up in a better place because of these supposed hardships. I'm so grateful for where we are right now and for the Lord's tender mercies in so many ways.

One example of tender mercies is Brother Wowzer's catering service. The Badger's parents are currently serving as Church Service Missionaries. One of the other missionaries they work with, Brother Wowzer, runs a catering business. He has been donating a lot of catering to various church functions related to his missionary work. Lately, whenever there are leftovers from one of these events, they end up at our house. They do this because they love my mother-in-law and they know she is still recovering from her pacemaker surgery, but I can't even express what a blessing this extra food has been to me. I'm responsible for feeding most of the nine people in our household most of the time and there are days when I just can't do it all. Then all of the sudden this food shows up and I just want to cry, I'm so grateful.

Oh boy, I told myself I wouldn't be up until midnight tonight but I'm just about there again! I'd better get to bed because tomorrow's going to be a very very full day and I have to somehow find the time to get ready for Roo's birthday party. I'm so excited to make her cake! (I promise I'll take lots of pictures!)