Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter!

(So this is my first attempt at the picture collage. These were all the portrait photos, so the heads are cut off. Oh well, at least I gave it a shot.)
We had a fun and busy Easter! Truthfully it did sneak up on me this year, so it was kind of a mad rush to get everything together. It was one thing to have Easter in March, but on the same week as St. Patrick's Day? Come on!
On Saturday, we had Mike's family over for a party. It was great, and rather low-key. The kids did hunt for eggs, and we enjoyed a yummy "pot-luck" lunch and visited for the afternoon. It was wonderful to see everyone, and the kids always love to play with their cousins.
On Sunday, the Easter Bunny came to our house during our morning snuggle time. (because he was to tired to come before the kids woke up...oops!) The pictures are of the kids on Sunday morning. Mike had to sneak outside to hide the eggs while I distracted the girls. When he came back inside he crawled back into bed with us. Out of the blue, he jumped to the window and yelled "What was that? Did you see that?" All the girls ran to the window and started screaming! Cori yells, "I saw him...I saw the Easter Bunny!" Mike starts a mad run to the front door. The girls are following squealing and yelling that they are going to catch him. Mike leads the pack into the backyard and around the house. I could not stop laughing, they had completely forgot about the eggs and were on a mission to capture the Easter Bunny! Mike finally came running back to the porch and I said "Aren't they supposed to just find the eggs he hides?" Mike says "Oh yeah! I forgot!" Meanwhile, the girls are in a frantic dash in circle around our house screaming "I think I saw him...I think he went that way!" I'm sure our neighbors were as confused as I was to this new Easter morning tradition Mike had started! I said "Girls, look and see if he left you any eggs in the backyard!" They gave up the capture and started hunting for eggs. I joked with Cori afterwards that the Easter Bunny is probably so afraid he may never come back. Mike came over and said "Boy, the bunny sure is fast...I was running as fast as I could and I couldn't even catch him!" Cori gently puts her hand on his knee and says "Daddy...you are very big and strong...but you're not the fastest runner." I looked at Mike and didn't know what was funnier...her innocent honesty or the look on his face! Regardless, I laughed harder than I had in quite a while.
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I made my mother-in-law's traditional Easter breakfast, Golden Rod Eggs, and we enjoyed the morning together. Church wasn't until 1:00pm, so the girls got plenty of time to fuss and primp in their new Easter dresses. I realized at the end of the day, the one picture I missed was of them in their dresses. Needless to say, they looked like angels! Church was wonderful!
We went to my Mom's house after church for another hunt and more good food. My Mom has the tradition of putting money inside the eggs. So the children start and each find their eggs, then the crazy mad adult hunt begins. In the past, when the hunt has been indoors, we have pushed, shoved, pulled, jumped, and practically torn each others clothes off to get these eggs. My sisters and I have all taken different approaches. One year my sister thought she could hear the money by shaking the eggs. This year, my 20-year-old sister flat out opened them and closed them back up and left it if there was no money inside. I went with the shaking method this year, and I made out pretty well. Watching the adults hunt you would think there was hundreds of dollars involved, which is not the case. It looks and sounds like war. I'm sure onlookers would get quite a kick out of us. I was in a dress, and dove head-first onto the trampoline for an egg. (which had a dollar in it, by-the-way) I came away with three dollars, and as a family we got something like $8 or $9. It was a blast and we all enjoyed ourselves.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random, Random, and more Random!

Whew! I know it's getting warmer outside, because I'm actually leaving my house and getting things done!
I finally got Addi and Sophie enrolled in Preschool. After getting over the sticker shock, I decided that actually having 5 hours a week to myself would be a nice break. Lexi went to preschool three years ago...boy did inflation hit the preschool market! No offense to the wonderful people who sacrifice the time and efforts (more like the crazy people who voluntarily choose to have the life sucked out of them) no, just kidding! I love my kids, but I could never be a preschool teacher. Those people are earning fantastic karma, and secure many riches in heaven! Needless to say, I paid the registration fees and for the first time in over 8 years, I will have some daylight hours to myself. Mike keeps asking "what will you do with yourself?" Yeah! as if I'll be bored out of my mind...I can already think of a million things I might magically cram into those precious hours.
I was very good about teaching the older two girls while I was home with them. They were very smart, very prepared for school and breezed through Kindergarten. Well...I've taken a different approach with the younger two. I started thinking "they'll get enough learning when they go to school" So I've seized the few years of opportunity with them and had a ton of fun. We've gone to museums, parks, lunches, exhibits, the zoo (way too often) and play dates, all kinds of fun stuff! and while it was fun, and my girls have no problem making friends and socializing with any person, child, parent, animal, or imaginary friend...they do not know anything academically! Oops! That's right...it dawns on me last week that Addi is now 4 and doesn't know any letters or numbers...oh crap! Her preschool teacher will love me for that!

I went to my favorite "case lot sale" and stocked my food storage. It always feels so good to see that food and know we have it. It gives me such a sense of security and make me feel so safe. I always think of our dear President Hinckley, and how he taught us that "if we are prepared, we shall not fear", it is so true! It feels good to be following our prophets council, but it feels good in a worldly way as well.

And then there's my 1/2 marathon training. What can I say! I have struggled so much since the 5 mile mark. My shin splints are relentless, and even with wearing braces , stretching, ice, more stretching and pain killers, I worry about the big day. I know what your thinking, it's just a 1/2 marathon. Which has taught me that I really have no desire to run a full marathon, it's craziness and self-mutilation! I have also been playing basketball with a wonderful group of girls for the past few months. Sadly, as our season comes to an end, I'm so grateful for the strengths and talents the Lord has blessed me with. While I was running this afternoon I started thinking about how much time I spend obsessing on what the world expects from my body. I realize that God intended our body for so many amazing things! I pondered the miracle we have been blessed with. And yes, I need to do better with properly feeding and caring for my body, as it is a wonderful gift. I have been blessed to have four healthy children, I have athletic abilities, and relatively great health. I'm so grateful for the blessing of my body. I know that the Lord has such different expectations of our bodies than the world does. And on judgment day...I'm thinking the size of jeans I wear will be irrelevant!

Addi has been 'busting my gut' lately with some of the things she says. She is always hilarious and terribly embarrassing, but more so lately! She is fascinated with the decorating in public restrooms (she has to go in every single one), she has to ask random people who there husbands are (then announces her husband is Mike, not my Dad, just "Mike") , she also loves reaching out to touch my stomach, then yelling out "Mom, is there a baby in your tummy?" 5 times this week! Always in a public setting, half way tempting me to say yes, just so people don't stare at my flabby gut and feel sorry for me! So...she stayed with a friend of mine for one of the funerals in January. Her name is Allison. Addi has talked about her non-stop ever since. Then...last week we tried out a new babysitter, a cute 13 year-old in our neighborhood named Allison. Well, for the past week she has introduced herself to anyone and EVERYONE as Allison *____ (the * is our last name) I keep correcting her and say "A-D-D-I-S-Y-N" she just gives me a scowl and says "but you can call me Addi" So today, we are driving in the car and she says "Mom? Can my name be Allison?" I said "No sweetie, your name is Addisyn" She gets the saddest look on her face. So I ask "Why do want to be Allison?" she says "because Addisyn Wonderland doesn't sound right" Seriously! I stop laughing long enough to say "Honey, it's ‘Alice in Wonderland‘" and she responds with "No Mom, It's Allison Wonderland, and that's my real name!"
It's a good thing she's got her looks!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Drum roll Please...!

So I have two big accomplishments to report. The first...I finally finished 'New Moon' by Stephanie Meyer. I know, I know, I'm still an entire book behind. I find it very hard to find time to read, and...I really struggled with this book. It literally took months to finish, I just never really got into it. Everyone keeps telling me that 'Eclipe' will be better. Without sounding like I'm making an entry for book club, I will share a bit of my beef with this book...I'm tired fo the 'helpless girl' thing. It's like the girl in the movie who keeps doing stupid things and constantly needs rescuing. In the end I feel sorry for the guy who ends up with her, what does he get out of it? I'm just too independent of a person to relate to such nonesense, I mean, enough already! Thank goodness all girls are not so mindless, helpless, fragile little things!

My other big defeat...I finished my sister's bedroom! It took a full 10 days, morning to night. I was so excited to have the opportunity, and flattered at the offer...however...I will never do it again! I have helped a lot of people with different rooms. At my Grandparents, I picked the fabrics and patterns, but my grandma did most of the sewing. I chose the paint for my Mom's, but never picked up a brush. I've found that it is the shopping part i love the most. I love coming up with the ideas...executing them is not my talent! I’m not patient, I just want it done, and I ALWAYS underestimate the time it will take me to do it.
I love Pottery Barn magazines, so most of my planning started there. HGTV also provided many great ideas and I have years of Divine Design archived for a master bedroom...for my own bedroom of course, like I'll ever get to it! (or have the budget for it)
I told my sister that we needed before and after pictures. She refused the before pictures of her bed and furniture. She would only take a before of the empty golden room. That's right, yellow! Not a butter yellow, but a gold type color.
Due to her unwaivering resistence I am going to have to attempt to describe her previous bedroom…Their bed was on blocks, just a frame. Cardinal Red sheets and pillows with an early 90’s throwback sage patterned comforter. Another blue and with patchwork quilt laid over the top. They did have a lighter green dust ruffle. On one side of the bed was a large square bookcase. At only 3 feet high it was being used as a night stand. I believe it was made by my bro-in-law in high school. I cannot rip on it too much (because I don’t want to offend) but they did say that it was going out of the room and straight into the trash. (I agreed) They did have a dresser on the other side of their room. (which is quite large) The dresser was solid pine and had a thick varnish which gave it a yellow hint.
I personally love the color yellow. But this was a gold-like yellow, and the walls and ceilings were all yellow as well.

So I decide that the room not only needed paint, but casing around the window and crown molding as well. The dresser did have fantastic potential. So my sister and bro-in-law spent 3 days cutting, nailing, caulking, sanding and painting! (stripping varnish may have been the breaking-point) Teach them to get me involved! It turned into quite the project. The original plan was for them to not see any of the room until it was completely finished. Like trading spaces without the trade. They gave me an amazing budget, and I was at liberty to do whatever I wanted.
(On a side note...I've decided that spending other peoples monies makes for the best shopping.)
My standard decorating stores let me down a bit, but I was pleasantly surprised by some others. My adventures happened at the following places: Ikea, Ross, TJ Maxx, Down East Outlet, Tai Pan, Hancock Fabrics, Interior Elements, Bed Bath n' Beyond, Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Home Depot, and Costco to name a few! I have blisters on both feet to prove my dedication! It went well, and even with a couple splurges (Reclining wing-back chair) I came in $700 under budget. I was struggling with picture frames and my other sister said "they've given you enough in a budget...just buy them" I realized that I can't. If I know I can find it at a better price, I just can't bring myself to paying more for it. Arghh!
I was glad that I knew my sister so well. They are very simple people. They don't like a ton hanging on the walls...which meant I had to consistanly re-group, take deep breaths and stick to my plans. I love the fluffy stuff. I get into Tai Pan and just start filling my cart. It was really difficult to limit the fluff!

The three pictures above, are of the same views and in the same order as below. So, although it was quite the project, it was well worth the effort. I didn't let them back in the room after painting. They really enjoy it and were pleasantly surprised. The picture below is of the approval all the kids gave of the new bedding. My sister says her two argue over who gets to take a nap in their bed now.
Although finishing this room made me so desperatly want to decorate my own bedroom...I can say that I may retire from the decor business for a bit. I am on a first name basis with the employees at Ross and it may be a while before I have the desire to pick up another paint brush!

picture withdrawls!

OK, so Mike and I are saving for a new camera. I am so terribly missing pictures! I have never been one of those people who carries a camera with me everywhere. (although I wish I did!) I have always forgotten to bring it with me, or just can't juggle all the kids and manage to take pictures at the same time. But somehow, I feel I have needed a camera more in the past month than ever before! Mike and I are going on our 10 year anniversary trip this summer and I really want to take some great pictures. We got our first digital camera 5 1/2 years ago, and we went cheap. Needless to say it has really struggled over the past year and finally decided it was done. (like it went to camera heaven or something...sad, I know) So my sister has been taking pictures for me at big events. She took pictures at my grandpa's funeral, Cori's baptism, birthdays, etc. I'm starting to feel like I should pay her for her time and I feel funny calling her and asking "can you burn me a CD of pictures again, I know I'm too cheap to just buy my own camera, I'm sure you have nothing else to do , so let me keep taking up your time"

If anyone has a great camera that they love, please let me know. Or, if you wish your camera had a feature you feel you need...please share!

Cori played her last basketball game of the season on Saturday. She had so much fun, and she's quite an athlete! Every time she scored she would look at us, throw both hands in the air cheer for herself at the top of her lungs! The other parents would look at us and say stuff like "Whoa! That made her day!" I was always so proud of her, regardless of how many baskets she made. She went out there and gave it her all, and loved every minute of it. I also marveled in the fact that she could openly cheer so loudly for herself.
I wonder at what age we stop doing that. Like when a child tells you their dreams, or what they what to be when they grow up...they believe they can do anything! I wonder when we start to give ourselves limitations. I was thinking about what the world would be like if we never stopped believing in ourselves. If we openly cheered for ourselves. I think I 'm going to start cheering for myself in public! That's right! The next time I finish grocery shopping with all four of my kids, frazzled and on my last nerve...and I finally get them all buckled and 50 bags of food loaded in the car I'm just give myself a shout out in the parking lot before I get in and go home! 'SUPERSTAR'!