Saturday, March 28, 2009

Way totally fun adventure

Christian had all this week off from work (un-paid mandatory vacation--thanks, recession), so we enjoyed a few days to relax and work on some projects around the house. We thought it would also be a nice time to get to the temple, since its been a long time since we've gone together. Our closest temple is Detroit, but we have family in Wisconsin so on Thursday we packed up the van and headed to Milwuakee to spend a few days with Jonathan and DeAnn and visit the temple. Its about a 4 and a half hour drive. We took a long stop in Michigan City to check out the outlets and eat a picnic lunch (mandatory potty break 10 min before we got there, another potty break about 1 hour later). Just after we passed Chicago, our engine light came on so we stopped to check it (seemed fine) and enjoy another potty break. Just after the last toll booth, our transmission went out--completely. Thankfully, Christian is a super-buff man so he pushed the van to the side of the freeway were we called a tow. 2 and a half hours of sitting in the van and hanging out behind the toll building on the side of the road, our tow and ride showed up. Total trip time: 9 hours. Thankfully, we stayed in good spirits, and thankfully the crook tow man didn't get away with charging us or the insurance company extra for services that didn't happen. The next morning, on the way to the temple, we found out that our van hadn't made it to the shop. After all the fun, we did eventually make it to the temple, which was completely refreshing and peaceful.
So--we here in Milwuakee until Tuesday night at the earliest. We didn't bring phone chargers or many changes of clothes, expecting to stay for only 2 nights...and Christian needs to be back at work on Monday. I'll post an update and pictures when I can. Yay for fun times!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fail: Pajama bottoms

Have you heard of the fail blog? I've decided I need to add a personal edition:

Pajamas: FAIL!!
I thought it would be fun; I thought it might be cheaper; I thought I knew enough about sewing not to mess it up. Little did I know...The thing is, I still don't know how to fix it. When I saw what I had done, I laughed so hard and ran to grab the camera. I mean, it takes a special skill to do this...! The seam ripper is becoming a great friend...the kind of friend you only see when times are tough.

I frequently find myself in situations like these--well intentioned, simple-minded mistakes. Now, I generally consider myself intelligent (definitely losing it as I have more kids and get older), but mishaps like these seem inevitable. The other day while pondering my perpetually not-quite-there moments, I came up for a new name for myself, and I'm considering starting another blog specifically for people like me...Ladies and gentlemen, to celebrate these moments for myself and all others like me, I now dub myself the "Imperfectionista." I even have a slogan..."So good at not being great!" So, anyone with me? You wanna join my club?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What we do for fun...

We eat breakfast on the deck so we can watch the moon.

We climb places and get stuck.

We play with Daddy's BBQ tools...

and then find the knives, which are always fun.

(And, if you haven't noticed, I like to watch my kids get in weird situations and take a picture before I rescue them!)

We ride our bikes to race the bus...

We climb on the bus and explore (I know, you're little boys are jealous).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama love

Did anyone see Obama on Leno? Can I just say how pleased I am to have a president that gives us so much to talk about? At least the next few years will be interesting...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yes, this is funny

Things like (this) make me smile. Never knew 911 could help in so many ways!

(haven't figured out how to post the video on my on the link)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Morning Recap

After a rough night (up from 12-3-ish with Hannah/Nathan/Rachel), we got up early (yay!), let the kids eat breakfast on the back deck watching the moon, and sent Hannah off to school...I took the kids to Target before Rachel's doctor's appt, where she tripped and slammed her face on the ground, spilling enough blood on herself, the floor, and me (down my shirt even) to warrant a witness report/write up with the management...Then corralled 3 kids in the doctor's office (Nathan kept taking the little black covers for the ear-checker thing out of their case, Aaron knocked over the garbage can 5 times) were we found out that growing pains are real and she seriously needs Miralax. How's your morning?

American Idol

I'm going to post Idol predictions again because I actually feel strongly about last night. Michael Sarver will go home--too bad the only guy on the show who actually wants to sing country has to go home after country night, but that's how it is. I'm usually a country fan, but the thing about country music is that a lot of it is just no good--boring and hokey, really. And he seems like the boring, hokey kind of country singer. Otherwise, my usual favorites did really well--Danny, Anoop, Kris, and the local flavor, Matt Giraud. I liked Alexis and Meaghan, but they weren't great last night. Adam is just plain weird, and has way more confidence than he deserves.
Speaking of Idol, I love Brooke White's new single--check it out in the link on the sidebar.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cool Dad

On Saturday, we enjoyed a gorgeous day of play (and housecleaning). "BBQ weather," according to Christian (who has been known to BBQ in the snow). This is what I saw outside after dinner...I think they were watching clouds. Those kids love their Daddy!

To answer questions...Aaron is talking, but not much. His favorite word is "no," of course, but he will also say nope, yes, up, hot, jump, thank you, and sort of says milk and bus. Daddy is his multi-purpose word, for anyone he wants at the moment. The YMCA ladies always crack up when I walk into pick up the kids and Aaron shouts, "Daddy!" and runs over to me. We're not too worried yet because Nathan was about the same, but it is funny that he and Rachel seem to be at a similar stage vocally.

For Grandmas (if any actually read this)

I have a plethora of adorable pictures of of course I'm going to share. So get set for major cuteness! (I've been reading seriouslysobessed lately--excuse the cutesy talk).

Aaron just after getting his hair trimmed (and a bath)...

Aaron loves his bike--and exploring outside.I'm so thrilled that he learned he can push around our kitchen cart--he sure looks proud of himself!
Nathan and Aaron set this up so they could pretend to play on computers.Aaron likes to "help" us cook...Aaron uses a pacifier at night (a.k. the "bug plug") and we usually give him one and put one on the tail of his dinosaur. As you can see, he prefers to use the one on the dinosaur.
And--because I love him and he's cute-- here's a video of him first thing in the morning. Its a little long, I have a cold so I sound funny, and I'm sure only those who truly love him will appreciate it, but I think its pretty funny.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Winner of a Dinner

Last night I tried something new for dinner. According to, it has 224 cal per cup (not too bad) and even my kids ate it--Christian and I really enjoyed it. Just thought I'd share....

Tomato Tortellini Soup
1/2 lb. ground turkey breast
1 T Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/8 tsp ground sage
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
3 cups chicken broth (I used chicken base)
1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 chopped onion (I used dry onion flakes...the original recipe doesn't ask for onion)
4.5 oz dry tortellini (or whatever looks good...)

1. Heat oven to 400. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and cooling rack. Combine turkey, bread crumbs, sage, pepper, and salt; form into small meatballs and cook 12 min or until brown.
2. In a saucepan, combine broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, celery, carrots, and onion. Boil; add pasta, and cook until veggies and pasta are done (can lower heat, but make sure the pasta cooks). Add meatballs and serve.

(I doubled this recipe for my family, and I changed a few things...the recipe calls for green beans, which I didn't have, but would probably like to add; I might add spinach or zuccini next time; I used dry tortellini but the recipe called for refridgerated ravioli--if you use refridgerated pasta, just add it at the very end, after the veggies are soft; I would add veggies to the meatballs)

Fuzzy head= Bad bread

I haven't been sick for a long time, so I can't really complain...but having a cold makes being a Mom (or a functioning person, for that matter) difficult. Last night, as I rushed to make dinner, pick up Hannah from the YMCA's after school club, and make cinnamon rolls for Hannah's snack day at school, and head off to make curly hair bows at a friends' house, something had to slip my mind. The first thing--I totally forgot that the whole reason I put Hannah in the after school club was that every Wednesday afternoon Rachel has speech therapy--which she badly needs and I have fought hard to get--and I simply forgot and didn't go yesterday. The other, mildly important thing...while making bread, I forgot to put in sugar. I didn't realize it until the cinnamon rolls were baked and iced. Fortunately, they still rose beautifully and when covered in sugar and icing they taste sweet enough...and I guess its better than leaving out the yeast, which I have done twice this winter. Bread without yeast doesn't work much better than a Mom with a cold.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Time for a new 'do

Before:(yeah, its been a while since his last cut)

During:(he's rethinking letting his wife cut his hair)

After:(fur all over my kitchen...)


We've had quite a few little projects going on over the past few weeks. Rachel's afternoon bus driver and Hannah's friend's Mom had babies recently, so I thought it would be nice for the girls to help me make simple baby blankets. I was impressed that they were actually able to help! We bought a yard and a half of cute fleece and simply cute and tied the edges for a very simple blanket.
The girls have issues with privacy--sharing a room between three kids, they just don't have any. Last January I started sewing what I called "Special Things Bags" for each girl (to match the quilts I made for them last year). They are simple panels of fleece, sewn with pockets, and velcroed onto their headboards. They seem to like having a place to put things that no one else is allowed to touch.
For a Young Women activity a week or two ago, we made these cute heart wreaths. (When I get around to it, I'll link it to the original idea) I had the girls make one for themselves, and an additional heart to give to someone they admired. Some of our girls made the wreaths in the YW colors--I had them make an extra heart in a value color and give it to someone who exemplified that value. Pretty fun--and pretty cute, I think. The wreath is made of wooden hearts, a small floral wreath for the base, and scrapbook paper. We glued the paper on, sanded the edges so they looked nice, painted the edges of each heart just for fun (a tiny detail--some girls didn't want to, but I think it looked nice), and glued them onto the wreath.
And of course, my favorite type of craftiness--cookies! Rachel really wanted to take a treat to school and I needed something for our Joint Activity, so I combined two recipies I liked to make these beauties...I still need to tweak, so I'll post when I've found my perfect cookie recipe. I just thought these looked pretty!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Post Without a Title

I'm so thankful its March! The beautiful, sunny days keep me hopeful that Spring is coming, despite the 20 degree temperatures and persistent piles of snow. The kids keep sneaking out of the house to play on their bikes, but they don't last long--10 minutes or so, they come back in crying because they're so cold. I have a few craft projects to post soon, too.
I didn't comment on last week's Idol, but I watched--I just wasn't that impressed. Didn't really care who went through. This week, though, there's a girl from Utah and she did really well in the auditions, so I hope she makes it, and I think there are a few others I like, so I'll probably try to guess the outcome Tuesday night...
Aren't Sundays strange? They are supposed to be such holy days, and used to be, back when I was single and childless. Now, I forget what its like to go to church and actually feel peaceful. Aaron is in nursery finally (we snuck him in a few weeks early because Christian and I both teach most Sundays...imagine trying to teach a handful of teenage girls with an adorable boy running around, begging for candy). He loves it, and I've been able to attend Sunday School for the first time in years...but not today. Today I interpreted for Rachel during Primary before teaching a lesson to the YW. Not much down time. Anyway, I think this morning went better than most Sundays because I not only brushed, but braided both girls' hair, bathed all four kids, and got to church a few minutes early without loosing my temper. Can't say the same for the afternoon, but really, we all know I'm not perfect. We're really working on adding some meaningful activities to our Sundays so they are more peaceful. Usually, I'm a big fan of hiding and napping on Sundays, which usually leads to trouble-making kids....Today, they conspired to break Rachel's glasses. Oh well, I should be grateful they lasted 2 months.
Recently I've been reading Hannah the Harry Potter books (we've made in to chapter 6 of book 2 together...on my own I've re-read through 3) and I've been re-reading one of my teeny-bopper favorites, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, book 3. However, I just finished the best book I've read in a long time, and I'd recommend it to anyone; The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio, by Terry Ryan. (there's a movie, too, if you want the condensed version) I read it in just a few days, and it was hilarious--by far, the most entertaining memoir I've ever read. Its about a large family during the mid-century in a small town in Ohio. They're poor, but the mother has a knack for writing and supplements their income (and perserves the family) by winning writing contests. More importantly, I was so impressed by her attitude and humor through it all, and the way she inspired and lifted her kids--just so good!In addition to the funny stories about their family (ironing the latex girdle, killing Dad with j-ello), here are a few of my favorite poems...

We can't take it with us... That much we all know.
My trouble's been keeping
the stuff 'til I go.

Of all sad words, Give these the prize:
"My dear, You'll need Our larger size."

"I'm glad I use Dial; Hallelujah.
Now I don't smell So peculiah."

No woman problem had young Adam,

Being made before they had 'em.

Behold the hippopotamus bestowing hippo kisses
Upon a hippopotamiss
who's not his hippomissus.
But he's no hippocrit, is he, this hippopotamister
Because the hippopotamiss
is his little hipposister.

A week or so before she died, Evelyn Ryan wrote this:
Every time I pass the church I stop and make a visit
So when I'm carried in feet first
God won't say, "Who is it?"

I'd love to have that kind of attitude!