Sunday, January 31, 2016

simpsons lately

last week of january tidbits:

southerners get really excited about small amounts of snow. for me,  i find snow infinitely beautiful in postcards and southern snow is great because it happens rarely and only last for about 37 seconds. we jumped around and when the novelty wore off, it was over. 

 ooooh. aaaah.

we drank hot chocolate and put our sweaters on. and then got too hot and sweaty and we went back to our regularly scheduled winter clothing of long sleeve t-shirt and sweatpants.

scarlett made thomas and i breakfast one morning. it was ridiculously romantic. half a banana each and two straws in milk.

athena blythe news. she came home in her emergency clothes one day with this note. she thought it was hilarous but it's kind of gross when you really think about it. 

herschel developments: high chair escape artist. 

dishwasher emptier:

cardboard box living:

house hunting. this is a possibility, except for it has a drive under garage. carrying all the groceries up from the basement sounds terrible. but it's pretty. that's important too.  

herschel as abraham from the walking dead. don't call us on sunday night starting feb 14th. that's free date night.

we go to the park or the library when scarlett is at her drama class. i wish i had gotten a better picture of athena blythe's backside. she had sat on a purple marker in her carseat and then poured water all over herself and it looked like a huge brown stain on her bum. and it stained her skin too. poetry in motion. 

our street:

 modern art

reagan had to put together a puppet show as one of the requirements in order to earn his religious knot for scouts. scarlett helped him out and it was darling. these two puppets are explaining the resurrection of Jesus Christ. naturally. 

we made it to church with one minute to spare today. i took this screen capture at the exact moment that we were BIS, bums in seats: 

herschel likes to make the sacrament meeting rounds, finding anyone who will pick him up:

scarlett gave a talk in primary on the importance of scripture reading and blythe VOLUNTEERED to do the scripture and prayer. apparently, every week she lines up to give a talk because the girl has never met a microphone or spotlight she didn't crave.
we will never be those people that can take family pictures each sunday. but we got a few willing participants today:

sunday night dessert. cake pops. nailed it. 

the aliens that read this post will probably conclude that i was NOT burned as a witch because my kitchen magic conjuring skills are so poor. these are obviously the product of non-magic kitchen ineptness.

thomas and i went on a date last night to eat chipotle and see creed at the dollar theater. we're trying to commit to the cheapest dates possible because paying for a babysitter is so dang expensive with 4 kids and i completely happy with consistently delicious, inexpensive food. but chipotle is always good and i love rocky movies so i am recommitted to all my fitness goals. rocky just does that to me. "every champion was a contender that refused to give up." rocky balboa

Thursday, January 21, 2016

month of action!

january: month of action 
food, athletics, championships, illness and recreational educational pursuits

i had a few cooking successes this month. we had afternoon church(for 2 whole weeks before a new ward was created and we were bumped to the 10:30-1:30 session!) so i turned to my dear friend, crock pot, to make my sabbath go more smoothly. surprise, you can make potatoes in the crock pot! i sliced them and then browned them in a little olive oil in the pan that i had previously brown my roast in and then i threw it in the crock pot on low and added some garlic and salt. i added some shaved parmesan before serving. delicious!

other crock pot attempts: i've been trying to perfect my crock pot roast. i don't love roast in a crock pot but i've been backed into a corner because so many of my oven roasted roasts have been such dried out, shoe leather failures. this time i got it just right. i salted and peppered the meat and then browned it slightly in olive oil, garlic and onion before transferring it to the crock pot. i added some beef broth and a can of french onion soup(because thomas has a vomit inducing mystery allergy to onion soup mix) and some carrots and simmered on low until dinner. success! so pretty.

scarlett requested a cake for dinner so i obliged and made a yellow cake with butter fudge frosting. we then sang to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King for his birthday and indulged. i admit weakness in my no junk january and had to quickly mend my ways.

smothered chicken burritos. i didn't love the chicken, cilantro and queso combination but i did an absolutely beautiful job of wrapping them. chipotle would be proud. next time i'll just use beans and rice and beef and save the chicken, cilantro and queso combination for my fancy green enchiladas. perfection to look at.

segueing from food to athletics:
scarlett started on a volleyball team. i discovered that i am too old to sit on a gymnasium floor for an hour and a half so this week i promptly bought a camp chair for my grandma bum.

i also got scarlett to start running with me again. i'm hoping to find a 5k to do together this spring. i was so impressed with her that she ran 1.38 miles on her first go. 

segueing from athletics to ATHLETICS
i've been wearing my alabama themed clothing like clockwork this season and my efforts resulted in an opportunity to play for the national championship. 

my beastie, natalie, and i cheered our team to yet another national championship, while in two different time zones and varying state of undress. 

rally hat on top of big bun(on my head) came out at around 11pm. this look clinched it for us.

seguing from this sick picture of me to the sick portion of this post.

illness took up residence for a few days. all of us have had varying degrees of congestion. thomas and i have started a nighttime coughing and hacking harmony. herschel is a booger factory. athena blythe perpetually has a chapped face and snot on her forearm sleeve. scarlett has remained unscathed. 
athena blythe got sick at school and came home and slept off her illness one afternoon.

reagan was lucky enough to be the recipient of pink eye which resulted in a trip to the doctor with ALL FOUR KIDS!

 segueing into recreational educational pursuits. last saturday i declared NO TV AND I MEAN IT! so we got out our national geographic science projects and went to town.
first we made a volcano out of plaster. 

it was a stunning display. almost as good as peter brady's volcano and sprayed marsha and all her super cool friends with lava. i showed thomas and the kids the brady bunch clip before we did our own volcano so our results were somewhat anti-climatic. 

ooh. aah.

we also made bright green slime but i didn't get any pictures and i had to hide it when athena blythe tried to eat it with an ice cream scoop. 

finally, herschel and his favorite toy, bumble bee.

i'll end with a joke. kids cleaning up the kitchen on their own. HA!
the end.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

resolutions and happenings

my favorite thing to do on new year's day is to go for an early morning run. so i did. and i got a terrible cold that lasted for a week so i wasn't able to meet my goal of running 4 mornings a week. but this week is another week so i get to try again.
my other resolutions include:

no junk food january(basically anything processed or anything that has refined sugar)

no potato chips for a year. i don't normally eat a ton of potato chips, but when i am around them, i eat all the potato chips. especially ridgy chips with homemade ranch dip.

reading the book of mormon as a family every day and finishing it in one year. 

4 half marathons

squat 150lbs for 10 reps, max out at 175lbs

say no to things i can't do or other people need to opportunity to do and avoid getting bogged down in too many activities

go to bed at 10:30pm. because this is a major problem for me when thomas is normally getting home from work at that time.

say yes to being fun with the kids! 

pat myself on the back moment: i set a goal of being prepared by reading all the scripture assignments for both sunday school and relief society lessons last year, every week. i did it! i slipped up a few times but i was consistently accomplishing this task all year long. it was an incredible year for spiritual growth and preparation. this is why i believe in resolutions, because that goal is now a habit and i look forward to my lessons each week because i'm prepared. 

example of saying yes to being fun, these delightful looking new year's pancakes! that i couldn't partake of because of no junk january. wah wah.

in other happenings, i took all 4 kids to a thrift store, which is normally a bit of a nightmare. i needed a dress for an 80s themed 40th birthday party for a friend. we did it! they are so darling sometimes.
(scarlett's favorite pants. they're my favorites on her too.)

the finished product! i could never master big hair when i was a youth in the 80s but i think i nailed it as a 35 year old mother of 4. it's a little bit jon bon jovi and a touch kylie minogue and 100% totally radical.

thomas made all my hopes and dreams come true by dressing up as magnum PI for the party. tom selleck is probably my longest crush and i've always wanted thomas to grow a beard or a mustache like tom selleck. for the party, thomas sharpied a nice thick one on his face and now i no longer have that wish. he looked just like his dad and it kind of weirded me out because i have no desire to kiss thomas's dad on the lips. but thomas is still my dream come true.

final note, we went to a baptism last saturday. reagan didn't want to change out of his sweatpants and into church pants. no one does, reagan, no one does! so he didn't:
the end

Monday, January 04, 2016

a little christmas joy

 as i type, i'm watching the twilight zone marathon, which is for me the only way to properly welcome the new year. i'm thinking of what i want to commemorate for all posterity about our most recent christmas break. busyness has dominated along with eating without restraint. we bought the kids great gifts but we missed out on some of my favorite holiday traditions. i suppose it is our season of life to be busy and i also suppose this will help me prioritize what i want to see happen in my family in the upcoming year. i'm trying to see the positive and not dwell on the shortcomings of the season. hopefully, the kids will remember the good and not the stress. i'll remember this and do better next year.
my christmas break highlights include my sister visiting and the two of us laughing all through the closing song during relief society because i was singing my heart out that ending up braying like a donkey. i think the kids have enjoyed staying up past bedtime and watching star wars over and over and over. thomas acquired a new client, which is great, but also had to deal with new client babysitting. he asked me to leave the christmas tree up extra long this year since he hasn't been home much and still want to enjoy the tree. 
everyone's favorites:
herschel's ball pit, which he hasn't gotten much use out of since christmas day because the big kids also feel the need to sit in it. 

athena blythe is a pretty big fan of the paw patrol(no job too big, no pup too small! aaah aaaah aaaaah! paw patrol!) so i bought her the 9 figurine set. i think we still have 8 of them. 

i got a great deal on a couple of kindle fires for the big kids. scarlett was pretty pleased. especially since i downloaded the LDS gospel library on it! what 8 year old doesn't want that??? this was probably reagan's favorite gift too. and athena blythe's though she doesn't realize they don't belong to her. they're so popular that they've ALL already lost kindle privileges! 

i need to document reagan's latest green state shirt du jour. he asked for iowa but california was a lot easier to find. 

my favorite thing that the kids got was age and size appropriate bikes with all functioning pedals! my dream is to become a biking family and get one of those giant bike trailer hitches for my yukon. 
(athena blythe's is a little big for her but she's also a giantess so it's only a matter of time.)

my favorite thing we ate was this giant nutella oreo cream cheese ball. like buttah, but much worse for you. this is the only other way i like oreos, besides cookies n' cream ice cream. 

it rained almost non-stop during christmas break so my favorite activity is pretty much the only activity, playing at the park and eating at a pretty average mexican restaurant.

the heather in her natural habitat.

right before it started raining again. not much progress, but hey, she is only three. 

family craft(sticking pre-adhesive santa stickers onto a template. that's as crazy as it gets) and then uno tournament. it was a clean sweep by uncle dan, or "fun"cle dan. 

best friends activity:
in an attempt to make our christmas break more memorable activity-wise, we met up with our friends camille and lydia for some culture at the local paint your own pottery place. it cost a million dollars. i'll let you know when that place goes out of business. 

favorite christmas decorations:
i found these giant stars at target and i strung them up on my staircase with my real evergreen garland, that i will never buy again because i simply can't vacuum that much. but i really loved the stars and i hope target has them again next year because i will buy a hundred of them. i was trying really hard to not have a purposefully tinsel strewn tacky christmas like i have done in years past. i may resurrect some tinsel for next year because i do love a little tacky. scarlett is a big tacky decorations fan. things got a little crazy in the dollar tree one day and we came home with 4 jumbo plastic yard candy canes. fortunately, three of them have broken and 1 is about to mysteriously disappear. 

reagan was a little upset about not being "included" in the decorations picture. there you go, posterity!