Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The countdown begins...

There are few things I look forward to with an almost childlike giddiness. It may not involve Oprah or ipads, but it will be divine nonetheless...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

And a feast of a meal that I am only making 3 of the 20 different items we will be eating.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toy Story 4

I bet our dinner guest is cooler than yours. Toy Story 4 happened at our house this morning when life size sock monkeys just appeared. Sawyer wanted to try and trick Gma and Gpa so he even put the shirt he was currently wearing to seal the deal.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I'm bringing back "Y'all!" Trying to anyway.

Ok, so I spent much of my middle school and high school years fighting and rejecting the use of the word "y'all" because it was too local, too country, to was just so wrong! Using it though was--enticing, it was like playing along with a practical joke that only some people were in on. But alas, at 34, I am not one of those people who uses the word "y'all." After all, I am "above" such incorrect usage of the English language. (as if- my favorite words are the ones I make up)

I'm over it!! After the Avett Bros concert, I remembered how alluring "y'all" can be. I have decided I am going to bring back "y'all" into my personal vernacular. I mean, after all, embracing the word "y'all" means embracing my roots-my, heritage if you will. Although, I guess that means I should ditch the quotation marks around it, eh?

The only problem is every time I say it, just to try it out, it feels so wrong in my mouth. This may prove harder than I think.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Buried Treasure Hunt

Gma and Gpa have been helping the boys with FHE while they have been staying here, particularly with the Activity and Treat portions of the evening. G told Gma he wanted to have a "BURIED treasure hunt (not just a regular treasure hunt) and so, as Gma and Gpa do--they made it happen... Just prior to the execution, however, G decided he wanted in on the hunt, so he left the final clue making and hiding up to them so he could participate. G is full of ideas lately. Thank you, second grade. I think it made their top 1o FHE list for the year.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Do not tune in for updates on the following:

My birthday trip/F's conference trip to SLC
The arrival of my in-laws
The DC Temple trip
The anniversary of "whatever we are calling it"
The Avett Brothers concert in Roanoke (F's first concert ever!!)
My new life as a substitute teacher.

Pshew-I am all caught up. Now I can start blogging again.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It seemed dirty and wrong, but it was just what I needed.

Well, it did.
Once the boys started back to school I had these free days (I guess I still do...) and the weather was just delightful. Every time I thought we were on the river for the last time, we managed to squeeze yet another tubing trip in. And to clarify, not "we" as in the fam, but "we" as in the ladies! It was like Team Scooby-doo All Stars (which will make Jack sad to think an all-star team was formed while he was sitting in an office, chastizing a student no doubt).
On one of the trips we floated alongside the ducks that were out in droves and the herons that were too quick for my camera. No zoom on this one. We should have brought bread.

It seemed so wrong to be out in the middle of the WEEKDAY doing something so gluttonous as spending time for myself. It was divine and I am pretty sure I love my children more for it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

My own little Garden of Eatin'

One day as I was getting the mail I noticed a little plant growing in the front yard near the water meter. It was odd, but I ignored. Since our lawn mower has been broken all summer, we have pretty much declared, "Whatever (grows) goes!" I figured it was some random weed that had been waiting to spring forth from our blatant neglect of the yard.

A couple days later it was bigger and I wondered if we had a pumpkin seed that had sprouted from where we had tossed our jack-o-lanterns off the front deck one year (don't ask). Now, a couple weeks later, we have learned that a stray yellow squash plant has sprouted in the middle of the front yard and is now even bearing two fruit, with more blossoms. Well looky here! My own little Garden.

"11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Gen. 1: 11-12

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me is RIGHT!

So not only did I get some of my favorite yummy TJ's snacks, I got this killer pair of boots. You will remember, knee length boots don't work for me. But again, for the second time in my life, we found a pair that works. And they are flat (and grayish/taupe), so they are different than the Eddie Bauer ones I got. It has been a productive boot acquiring year.
So the boots were a great gift, and I thought they were a bit extravagant for a regular birthday, but I loved them and it would be rude to turn down a gift.

My last present was wrapped in a Harry and David box that appears at almost every family occasion where gifts are involved. It had a sticky note attached to the inside of the box that read, "This gift is non-refundable or exchangeable." (which is another post about the gift returning policy in my family) It was an airline ticket to SLC in 10 (now 9) days!!!

F and Jack have been planning this trip for years. Jack was going to take F and meet up with all the McKinley boy relatives and they were going to General Conference together. And now I get to go!! It had always been a boys trip, which I was totally down with, so I was beyond SHOCKED when I opened the ticket.

Now if we can find babysitting for the week and a way to pay for everything, I will be even more ecstatic!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Jaime!

This is a shout out to Jaime on her birthday. Happy 29th !Here are my top ten reasons why I love her (not in any particular order):10. She is my best friend.9. She is beautiful on the inside and out. Please keep growing your hair out. I love it.8. She is one of the wisest people I know.7. She puts up with my wild and crazy ideas. Most of the time.6. She is the best mom ever. I couldn't be a happier dad of such great kids.5. She can put me in my place when I need it.4. She puts others before herself.3. She is extremely creative.2. She can multi-task like no one else.1. She loves me with all my imperfections and hang-ups.Have a great day! Monday birthdays kind of suck and all but we will see you soon!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

3 degrees of crazy

Grant me a moment, would ya?

You know how there are those people who are endearingly crazy. Like the old widower lady that hugs Jack just a little too long and who Jack won't go do visits alone to her house anymore? Like, "Oh, isn't she crazy and oh how we lover her for it!"

Then there are the ones that make you pause. Like, is she fun crazy or crazy crazy? Like when they do something you laugh at in the moment and then a couple hours later you realize they were being totally serious? But depending on the day and time, they are a little borderline.

But to round things out, there are the full on "She's so crazy! I think I'm gonna have her baby!!" (not really but I had to say the line as it popped into my head) crazies. You know, the ones where after you finish your interaction with them, you're like, "Crap, did that girl get my last name?"

Yep, add another one to the tally.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

thank you etsy for inspiring my new kitchen

I have been wanting to redecorate my kitchen for awhile now. I am so over the italian cafe flair I was going for with all my bottles. Ordered this print and centering my new kitchen decor around it. She has three more I want to get only smaller to hang with this one. Now I just need it to arrive!! Her stuff is great-check out her etsy @Lucky Bluebird Art.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

It's been awhile since this one--

and even longer since this one.
You may not be 18 anymore,
or are you?
The hair may have changed (several times along the way, actually), and the neck muscles might be a little less flexible, but you've still got some rock and roll left in you! Happy Birthday Jackie!! We love you. Come home so we can celebrate already!

Closer to 40 than 30. Yikes!!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Wlecome Home Bob and Joan!

So, it has been two years since my parents left to serve as missionaries in India. They are en route back to the US as I type this. They will be returning to a big family welcome in California on September 11. But sadly, I will not be able to travel out there. Finn and I will be going out to General Conference and we will get to reunite with them there. They are coming back to VA after that for around 6 weeks! Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Who did I think I was?

I am clearing out old boxes. Any important papers are getting kept in sheet protectors and all photos are going into an album or they too are getting trashed. Came across 2 college year photos from The BYU and all I can focus on is how SHORT my skirt and shorts were. Now clearly, this picture was 80's night at Classic Skate (thereby short shorts defendable--somewhat--ok, not really), but...this picture was one morning on our way to CHURCH. Church I say!! That is not church length appropriate. Who did I think I was? (oh yeah, and remember when I was skinny?)
(PS- Can you tell the boys are all in school 5 days a week now and I am working on projects. This week: clearing up/tossing out/photoshopping old-jaime-body-into-current-jaime pictures photo project)

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Breakdown, takedown, your busted!"

Accompanying F's 12th birthday was a religious milestone. On Sunday he was ordained a deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood (that Mormonspeak meaning essentially he gets to leave Primary, enter the youth program and pass the Sacrament to the congregation after it has been blessed.) Thus, the photo shoot.
(F was not interested in making a funny face!)

We wanted to get a couple good pics and our lawn wasn't mowed, so we went across the street to our neighbor's house whose lawn was nicely mowed. She is the Dean of the Buisness College at RU and thus rarely ever home. Noting her car was gone, we jumped over for our photo shoot. This was our favorite shot. Jack said, "Hold on a car is coming, I am going to let it pass." Except it didn't pass-it was our neighbor! She was nice enough to not pull into her driveway so we could get the shot. Thanks neighbor!!

And yay for F for his ordination!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

12 clues we have a 12 year old

1. No matter what the task, if it is in his room, F is rockin' out to his ipod.
2. Anytime we are going somewhere we hear, "But do I have to go?"
3. When F finally brings his laundry down, it forms Mt. McKinley.
4. We are out the door the crack of dawn for zero period (that's 7:15 in case you were wondering) 5. There is a sound nearing death eminating from our house as he practices his sax.
6. You can hear a mother wailing, "Nooooooo!" as she gets beaten by the preteen in one of several different board games. 7. The clocks are never right--for that matter, nothing is ever right unless it comes from his mouth.
8. You can hear a father wailing, "Noooooo!" as he finds out indeed, the preteen was right (thereby making him wrong).
9. We hear a constant chorus of "Why won't F play with us?"
10. There is now more than one set of gigantic man feet in the house resulting in gigantic man shoes littered across the house. 11. "PE is lame" is now a familiar end of the day assessment.
12. Final clue: He was born on this day in 1998, thus Mr. 12 year old.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day Oranges

I am co-opting the color orange. I feel like there should be a color to describe the opposite of having "the blues." I have decided having "the oranges" means exactly the opposite of having "the blues." Enough of the quotation marks; so let it be written, so let it be heard.

Today was one of my favorite first days yet! I picked everyone up at separate times thanks to 3 different pick up times and it was fantastic!! Everyone was able to share their excitement, stories, and triumphs without having to wait for a brother to finish a sentence or fight to get a word in edgewise. It was divine. I highly recommend it to all of you who have picked up everyone in the same van at the same time and have trouble saying "that's awesome!" 42 different times and in 18 directions and not really being able to attend to any of them.

We are still on a high from our first day oranges and hope they last through tomorrow.

(Not convinced this whole "oranges" thing is going to work after re-reading...but we'll give it a go!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"You're NO Miss America, ya know!"

That was a favorite cut down of my 7th grade posse (and used most often by Ashley ? who later moved, which was good because I think she would have jumped me into a girl gang).

To me, middle school meant:

-Todd Penington teasing me for not shaving my legs. (Um, Todd, you might have a heart attack to see the hair on my legs now, so maybe avoid me at the--wait, I imagine I will never see you again.) (and isn't it random his is the only last name I remember?)

-Getting pink loafers with a huge bow on the them for my birthday, loving them, and then never wearing them after Jackie ? said they were ugly. Repeat for pink peasant shirt with matching bag.

-Killing it as the starting setter on the volleyball team, only to later drop out because I was more into the hippie scene than the athlete scene (which was the beginning of a 4 year long deliberation about which "scene" I was into, and finally deciding I was into none of them).

-Crying in Mrs Huffman's Latin class after school one day to have her change my 6 weeks grade of a D to a C so I wouldn't get beheaded upon returning home.

-Deciding math was not cool and pretending to hate it which eventually lead to me actually hating it which led me to regretting wanting to be cool.

-Taking choir with Mrs Tatum because everyone said the class was super easy and chill instead of taking band which is what I wanted to take.

-Oh F!! I went to his middle school open house and watched as he fiddled with his locker, worried about dressing out in gym class, wondered if he will make it from class to class in only 5 minutes, and laughed as he reunited with friends who were all similarly consumed. May middle school be for you even marginally better than it was for me. Here's to high school, eh?

There are no photos, as F would have KILLED me if I'd brought a camera (even though I did toss it around in my mind).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Why finish one project when you can just start another?

I had planned to take the boys to the pool today but by the time I was ready to go, they decided they would rather play with their bow and arrows from Steppin' Out and engage in all out war. So. I decided it was the perfect afternoon for a project.

I have been on a quest to find oilcloth (and by "quest", truthfully I have only been to one store that did not carry it and looked at a couple online fabric stores) because I want to make reusable snack bags for the boys' lunch boxes.

Turns out it is a good thing I couldn't find it because apparently oilcloth contains a chemical potentially harmful to children and pregnant women (amy-stay CLEAR of the oilcloth!).

I decided to check out our local sewing store, SewBiz (which is great but quite overpriced), to see what they had. She didn't carry nylon by the yard (my new substitute) but she did carry a nonabsorbent raincoat material. At $22/yard, I bought 13 inches for $8.
And viola! The first three had some kinks, but with all the snags now under control, I am going to make 9 more. The 13 inches cut enough for 12 bags. LOVE them!! I am so happy because I was feeling lame that we have reusable lunch boxes, water bottles, & sandwich containers, but were still wasting bags for chips, etc. Now--DONE!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting my memories onto the blog and out of the closet!

We are getting rid of things. Lots of things. Mostly little things. But lots of little things take up a collective massive amount of space.

I have decided to take pictures and post them with their accompanying memories so that I can at least have a reminder of the memory, but I don't have to have so much "stuff" cluttering my closets.This is one of those things.
Jack's sister Jenny moved to CT briefly. Knowing his sister would most likely not stay on the East Coast for long, he wanted to drive up and spend Thanksgiving with her and Stacey. It took us over 16 hours to get there because we drove right into a massive snow storm. It was the trip we coined the phrase "snow whipped" to describe that phenomenon when a truck passes you and suddenly you can see nothing.
When we arrived Jenny had purchased this Bob the Builder sleeping bag for F to use while crashing on her floor. We thought that was so thoughtful and generous. Everytime I see it, I am reminded of that trip.
It was the first Thanksgiving we ate a fried turkey (it was delish, btw).

After Thanksgiving dinner I was very sick and kept trying to hide it in the bathroom. Jenny and Stacey walked by one time and oveheard me barfing in the bathroom. They were afraid something from the T'giving meal had made me sick so we had to spill the beans a little earlier than we had planned...I was PG with baby #2.

I also was reminded on trip that I love toast. Strange memory I know, but we had white bread toasted with butter and boysenberry jam on it and I had not eaten butter nor white bread in decades, and it was the trip that brought good toast back into my life.

Strange the memories we have, eh? Thanks Jenny and Stacey.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Almost missed this gem

I borrowed G's camera for our ladies tubing trip, just in case we had a "run-in" with some water (which ironically, usually doesn't happen when we go tubing). I found this little nugget he had taken as I was looking for the pictures of us on the river in the pouring rain.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Solution to frustration about 1 dog?

Get another?

S is crazy about getting his "own" dog (although he wants to name her Cookie 2 which we have all out rejected). While this is NOT our reasoning, we have been talking about Cookie needing a playmate, especially since her #1 play pal will be heading to preschool 5 days a week this year. No decisions have been made, no meeting has been arranged, but we are tossing it around.

How stupid are we?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ohio I’m leaving, Ohio I’m gone

Britt and John might be moving the NM (gross!) so we had some good times over the weekend of July 4th... just in case.
Started with a tour of the Anthony-Thomas Candy Factory. It was really cool. My kids are totally into Food Network the way other kids are into cartoons. (Don't even get them started on the show "Next Food Network Star" or you will never hear the end of it.) My favorite comment of the day was when G said, "Mom, this is so cool. It's like "Unwrapped" but in real life!"
We proceeded to play a lot of games, swim, hang, eat, bake, cook, eat, and then eat some more. Oh yeah, we went out to lunch too. Tried Pei Wei, the fast food chain byPF Chang's . Delish, btw-so go for it. It's like PF Chang's but you don't feel like a shmuck for taking your kids there.
(turns out I have posture issues)
We also toured the Santa Maria. Turns out, I would not have been a good sailor.
We rounded out the trip with a rousing 3rd of July Celebration that was tons of fun and the show was spectacular. Wouldn't want to fight the crowds every year, but the "big city" shindig was a good time for all.
(lighting snakes all the boys could talk about was the resemblance of the snake to poop)
M and S enjoyed the fireworks laying down.

Hit church on Sunday on our way out of town and stopped for a photo op at the Columbus OH Temple. All in all, a great way to spend a long weekend.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Inspiration or Marketing, it's a thin line

Awhile ago, even before we had committed to adoption, we stumbled across a blog by a woman who is an adoptive mother of 2 and whose husband is an adoption caseworker. Because both of her adoptions are very open, she has guest posts by her two birthmothers. Some of her posts are fascinating to read. Anyway, on one of her posts she has an offer to adoptive couples.

As a staunch adoption advocate, she had been doing some presentations around her community and stumbled across 2 resources who said they would help spread the word about couples hoping to adopt. She has an open appeal for individuals to put together and send her a "press packet", if you will, and she will forward it on.

I have been reading and re-reading a talk given by a leader in our church about patience. His words keep coming into to my mind:

"...I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen-patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn't appear instantly or without effort.
There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means actively waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can-working, hoping, exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude; even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well."
-Pres. D. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in First Presidency

So decided to do some math: blog + talk = our kit.

I'm not a graphic designer. Nor a photographer. Nor a marketing expert. But here is what I put together. Let me know if you want our "press packet" to pass along to someone OR if you will just keep some of our pass along cards in your car, wallet, or office. We are in the process of getting our packets out into the community. If you'd keep some of our pass alongs it might be easier to just hand one over when a conversation inspires you.
Now if I can just muster the courage to hand these puppies out in all the random places Mrs R tells us we should.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Keepin' it real (ish)

So we have always had somewhat less than discriminating taste when it comes to certain lines of tv shows. In high school, college and when we were first married, we watched Real World (ah, Heather B, Puck, the cowboy...) and Road Rules (remember when they actually competed and didn't just get drunk?). As they went down the toilet and their B ratings quickly dropped well below an F, we decided to save what was left of our innocence and walked away.

For several years we haven't watched anything on MTV or VH1, but last year 16 and Pregnant caught our attention. Especially in light of our current adoption hopes it was a train wreck we could not walk away from. But you know, if I had a pregnant teenager, I would make them sit down to watch both seasons before making any decisions. It seemed pretty spot on. With that season ending, we needed a new train wreck. Insert Dad Camp. It's like 16 and Pregnant meets Real World and it is just depressing and yet sort of enlightening.

Who needs Hallmark specials when you can watch people whose lives in no way reflect your own and make you think, "I'll keep my own problems, thank you."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Or should I say, "Challah!"
John said it best; "Put a onesie on that thing, it could be a baby!" Britt has been in town and we have been recipe swapping and it has been a delicious week thus far. This, however, might just push me to my limit.