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Too Many To Count Two

Thursday, November 30, 2006


....okay, so it's not snowing in the Colorado ROcky Mountain high sense of the word but it's still white and falling from the sky!

love is....

looking at photos from Christmas' past!

Lucy and H at the school Christmas play 2005
Brother and Abba in Ohio 2002
Four cute girls 2001
S and J in Ohio 1998
Visit Chookooloonks for more Love Thursdays!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WFMW~ Toddler chores

It's been a while since I've done a works for me Wednesday, partly because I forget and partly because I don't have that many "great" ideas to share.

This morning, however, Lucy was helping feed Millie and I thought ah ha, the perfect WFMW! So I grabbed my handy-dandy camera snapped a couple shots and here you have it.

Toddlers and chores.

We have a lot of work to do in our house. And we're not always good at it, although it seems like we put a lot of time, energy and effort into it. I need a live in FlyLady I guess!

Of all the kids Lucy is the one who loves to help the most.

Here she is sweeping the floor after she put the dog food in the bowl.

She can pull our little rolling cart of dog food out of the pantry all by herself, and she can scoop it into the bowl. This works great until it gets about half way down, then she can't reach any more. At that point brother can and at the end someone big has feed her.
My tip is to find ways to make chores manageable for kids and then they can help you. The rolling dog food holder is one.

Lucy also loves to put her diapers in the trash, hand me stuff when I'm unloading the dishwasher (admittedly not all that helpful but it's the learning process that we're after). She can pick up trash, put toys in their bins, bring me books, get TP out of the closet and take it to a stranded sibling, carry in light groceries from the car when we are all shleping back and forth, put pool toys in the outside seat, take her dirty clothes to the hamper and clear her plate to the kitchen after dinner. There are lots of things little ones can do.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Count down's on

Things are coming together, slowly but surely. The wedding favors arrived today, yeah! Now we just have to cross our fingers that the flower girl dresses come before Saturday.

We have an incredibly long to-do list and we're busily checking stuff off. Today started at 5:40, like every day (a time I hate frankly). DH had an engine test earlier this a.m. so I dropped S off at seminary, came home and bathed H and started the kids on breakfast, drove back and got S, came home and got H on the bus, got everyone else ready to go out the door, dropped off S, took J to the dentist, took her back to school, dropped E at preschool and went to VT. All before 9:30!

I have been visiting a sister in my ward for about 6-7 months now and she is SO quiet. Today she talked more than she has before and I feel like I am finally getting to know her. I think she's really lonely and in the middle of all my wedding/holiday craziness she has been on my mind a lot. I need to find a way to reach out to her and be her friend that will be meaningful. She has a lot of struggles in her life, she's in my prayers but I need to do more.

I had lunch with H at school. She loves it when we come. I don't.

Tonight the YW had a great service project. They had free baby-sitting at the church from 6-8:30. The little kids had a lot of fun and DH and I got some trip shopping done and we vacuumed and washed the car (two checks on the list). We also got the bulletin board at church updated with chili cook off pictures.

Besides that I got some laundry done, dishes done, meals cooked, H to dance, Christmas stuff done, wedding stuff done, stories read, dog fed, dinner group sorted out for the weekend, and all the normal stuff.

Oh I got a couple Christmas presents bought (sadly my first two.) And I finished "The Time Traveler's Wife". Our book club choice for the month. It's good, it was a little slow going although the story is interesting and the characters really draw you in . It has some "adult" parts that have to be skipped over, some interesting themes, and raises some good questions about what is good and bad, moral or not, the nature of existence, and examines what is really meaningful. It should be an interesting discussion.

Today ended at ...well, technically it's not quite ended yet but it looks like it soon will be. As soon as I am done here I am going to get ready for bed. It's 10:07 and just before sitting down here I got to scrub a potty that someone had trouble in and some other routine end of the day stuff. Now I am catching up on blogs and DH is untangling lights. We'll probably make it to bed before Letterman starts.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas MeMe, come play with me!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Mmmm, both!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrap
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?Colored!!
4. Do you hang mistletoe? We have TX mistletoe that we hang up, chili peppers and a Christmas bow.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Early in the month.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Southern Style Sweet Potatoes
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: We were at Baba and Deda's house, like always, and I got a bionic woman doll and my cousin Gina got a Barbie. We played with them for a long time and it was really fun.
8. How and When did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember really believing in him. We always opened gifts after Christmas Eve dinner and the packages sat there for days ahead of time so we would rummage through the pile whenever the grown-ups weren't looking. So he never made sense but I didn't mind.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not usually.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? With a hodge podge of this and that, ornaments I have had since I was a girl, stuff the kids made, ornaments that we have purchased or been given. It's really more a work of love than I work or art.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! I am a So Ca girl though and now live in TX so when do we see snow????
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, not really well but I can.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Christmas 1990, my 2nd daughter was born. She was the best Christmas present ever.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and spending time with the people I love.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pumpkin Pie. and four layer dessert.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? waking up to the sound of giggling and running feet and having the kids jump on the bed and "persuade" us to get up!
17. What tops your tree? A sort of ratty looking angel, we need to replace her with something a little less lopsided!
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? Both
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I love Christmas music, I don't know if I can pick one. I love "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Mary did you know" and so many others.

Okay, now it's your turn if you read this please take a moment and share some holiday thoughts and leave me a link so I can read yours.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Until they forgot to be miserable and accidentally had fun.

Botanical Gardens

After our fun trip to the gardens the other day I thought it would be so nice to go back and take pictures for our Christmas cards.
You would have thought I suggested we go for a group root canal for how well the idea was received.

S complained that she didn't have any clean clothes. E cried that he didn't want to go to the park, he wanted to stay and play X-box. G just cried and H wanted to change her clothes and was then unhappy that she couldn't. There was weeping and wailing all the way there and then more complaining once we got there.
DH went around taking lovely pictures like this. Notice how nicely the children are smiling.
The kids sulked and complained.
It was SO fun.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

only 2 more weeks...

and they will be Mr and Mrs. :)

Fresh Air

We decided to forgo the stores and spent the day outside. In the morning Papa and I took the kids to the Botanical Garden. We had a really fun time running around, climbing trees, looking at leaves and enjoying the fresh air.

DH went to play paintball.

We spent some time after naps playing in our own yard and then DH and I went on our weekly date. (where we did hit the sales a little and then headed downtown)

It was a fun day.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Once upon a time...

A family celebrated Thanksgiving. In some ways it was a regular day. Sunny and bright. In other ways it wasn't, because we paused to feel gratitude for our many blessings.

E and S played Happy Land on the computer.

We set a lovely table with flowers that Grandma gave me and a vase from Grandma B.
DH spent the morning staining the railing on the front porch and the back deck. J and H both helped.

E and G played blocks.

G wore her new Thanksgiving pinafore over her dress. (and threw the turkey around the room)
We ate a lot. H didn't like the yams, everyone else was happy. We have lots of food left over, but no yams.
The boys ended the evening with a friendly game of Battle field.

After the little kids went to bed we watched "Code Breaker", which was good. Sad.

It was a good day.

Today I am grateful for my health.
My family.
Our families that live too far away and that we miss a lot every day but especially on holidays.
That Anna is doing well and feeling better each day.
That D is getting married soon and will have a happy life.
That the sun shines.
That the kids are bright and fun and growing.
That I could spend a lot of time with them this week.
That the Savior atoned for my sins and I can live with Him again if I am obedient.
That Papa and Grandma live nearby.
That our country is free.
That we have soldiers willing to fight to keep it that way.
For a living prophet.
For our friends.
For Millie.
For the Book of Mormon.
For a nice husband.
For pumpkin pie.
For books.
For many many things.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Our newly painted bathroom.

I bought the paint in April but was scared to actually paint it. I am really happy with how it turned out and it was really easy.

Almost turkey day

When ever we have time off from school we are always busy. We love it. I hate sending the kids off for 8 hours a day, cause I miss them. Except the days when I can't wait to send them off because they are driving me nuts! Most days I miss them. :)

What we've been up to, in list form.

1. Papa's birthday dinner and a trip to the park and we watched the Amazing Race and the kids spent hours working on stacks of Grandma's puzzles and Kindergarten activities. Very fun.

2. My friend Tori read my blog and came to save my hair. We colored it on Monday and it turned out very nicely. It's dark, a little darker than I thought but even and nice and MUCH better than skunk stripes so Yeah!

3. got pictures in the mail a) from the photographer on a disk which I then took to Donna to make into a lovely guest book for D and G. and b) from Greg when he was young which I now need to send to Abba so he can make their slide show.

4. We finished the bathroom.

5. Papa and I took the kids to the museum yesterday, they love to dig for dinosaur bones.

6. Big girls and I went out for an afternoon of Kohls fun and lunch.

7. J went to see "ICE" at the Texas Gaylord. It looks soooo cool, I'd love to go.

8. S went to the movies with Mariah.

9. We decorated Grandma's house for FHE.

10. Laundry, cleaning, sorting, wedding stuff.

11. Kids played chess, rode bikes, watched Dora.

12. H had Bethany spend the night.

13. Spent some time trying to convince DH that we (read he) should put up Christmas lights even though we'll be gone for several weeks on and off.

That's the highlights.
Today we bake pies, and defrost the turkey and otherwise get ready for Thanksgiving.

Haven't heard how Anna did last night. Hopefully she slept.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Surgery went well

Anna and the girls four years ago over Thanksgiving weekend. During a brunette year.

The surgery went well. She's recovering. The next couple days will be painful, hopefully they'll be able to control it well with drugs.

Our hope is that she will be well enough to attend her sister in law Pooh's wedding the first weekend of Dec and especially D's wedding the week after that. Most important though is that she recovers and that she feels well.

She has one surgery to go at some future date. This one was long, over four hours but the surgeon was happy with it.

say a little prayer for my sister

My sister Anna is number five in our family. When she was little we called her Honey, because her hair was golden and her disposition sweet. I'm not sure what to write, what words to use to express the feelings I have, the fear this day brings, the hopes we hold for the future.
We have a big family and we siblings like to sit and compare who is fastest, smartest, dads favorite. Who has the biggest feet, or the smelliest. Who is doing well, who is funny, who is smart. I guess it's normal. It's normal for us. Anna is the smartest, its unanimous. She was born with a keen intellect. (which she proved by being valedictorian twice ~once in HS and once at BYU-H) She also has the fattest feet :) She's well traveled and a good cook. She's easy going, funny, compassionate and cheerful. She is obedient and happily married. She's really just a very good, very nice person.

Now the bad news. Anna has been sick for 10 years with ulcerated colitis which doesn't sound so bad until you know what it means. When we play "would you rather" and the choice is between having what Anna has and almost anything else, anything else wins. Including swimming with sharks, eating grubs and losing a limb.
Today, after all those years, many hospitalizations, more drugs than we can count and being really sick for a really long time she is having her colon removed. If all goes well it will be a cure and she is excited and hopeful and of course scared. You know it's been bad if a bag seems the better option.

So if you have a moment today join us in a prayer for Anna. Her family will be praying and fasting as we have many times before. She has a skilled surgeon and a good attitude and hopefully everything will go great. I love you sister.

BTW~ this isn't a very good picture of her

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Lucy loves baby dolls more than anything. She often plays with them and kisses them and lugs them around.
The girls got new dresses in the mail this week from Nana. They were excited to wear them today and looked sweet.

We had ward conference today. It went well. My class went well, I was glad. I am shocked how difficult this class is for me. I am surprisingly not good at it. I like the kids well enough. Each one individually is wonderful; collectively they are bright and lively and sometimes rude and too talkative. It's a struggle to get their attention and to keep it. Also the text is difficult. We are studying the Old Testament and are very near the end; Ezekiel this week and next I think. We just finished Isaiah. And it's hard to teach. I guess I need to work harder. I'm really looking forward to next year and the New Testament. That will be much easier and more fun.

Today is Papa's birthday. It's been so great having him live so close by this past year. He is a wonderful man, a wonderful dad, and an awesome grandpa. He is a perfect example of a Christ like man and I am grateful to have him here so we can benefit from that on a daily basis. Soon they will be leaving on a mission (hopefully next summer or early fall) and I can't wait. This has been his dream as long as I can remember and I know he'll be such a good missionary. Tonight we're going over to celebrate!

Three weeks until the wedding

It was a usual Saturday. Busy.
J had a Beehive conf. S and I took her and then went to see her drill team pictures. We bought one even though it was over priced.
DH took the little kids to the primary activity.
When everyone got home we had family cleaning hour.
In the afternoon I sewed jumpers, DH watched Ohio state beat the pants off of Michigan and went on a bike ride.
J went to her friends house to hang out.
In the evening DH and I went on a date. We went to Sesame Grill which is yummy, then to buy wedding clothes at Kohls. He got pants and a shirt, I got two pairs of shoes. One to wear if my ankle is well. The other if it's not. It's much better and I can walk without pain. The only things I can't do are 1) hop on it and 2) flex it, like I would need to to wear heels.
Then we saw "Santa Clause 3". I liked it. I love the first two though and so was willing to forgive this one it's short comings. It was kind of a "It's a Wonderful Life" mixed with "Frosty the Snowman meets Jack Frost" themed movie. Cute and Christmasy. Not as good as the first two but fun for the season.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Chili Cook Off

Tonight was our ward chili cook off. It was a lot of fun. DH didn't win this year, that broke a long winning streak.

We ate chili and corn bread and had a table set up for the kids to decorate cupcakes. We of course had chili judging and we had several wild games for the kids and we played our preschool thankful game, which frankly didn't go nearly as well.

I'm glad it's done. Now I can start planning the Christmas party.

have I mentioned before how much I "love" this calling?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the mandatory preschool post

Today was preschool day at our house. It went well. The boys are adorable.

Before I had a son I didn't really want one. I thought little boys were smelly and loud and grew up to be men, and I didn't really like a lot of men. Oh, I know there are lots of great men out there. There are also a lot of stinkers.

Before I had a son I thought little boys shouldn't play with weapons. They should be peaceful and quiet and were clearly not being raised right. They should be polite and clean and whatever my list used to be.

Now I have a boy. I didn't know how charming and wonderful I would find him. His little boyness is so different than the girls and I am glad. I am glad he's strong and active and coordinated. And I let him play with weapons, not that I could have stopped him. Every toy, every object, in the hands of my boy becomes a weapon. I want him to speak up for what he believes and I want him to stand and fight for what's right.

Today our lesson was on Thanksgiving again. We played a game where I cut out lots of pictures of stuff and put them on cards. The boys picked a card and told about the item and why we should be thankful for it. Some cards just said "Thanksgiving" on them, then they were supposed to tell something they were thankful for without a prompt. These sweet boys, as little as they are, were so kind and thoughtful and expressed such tender feelings. Feelings of love for their families and for their friends. Gratitude for the Savior and a desire to follow Him. Joy and wonder over the world and the creatures on it.

One little guy pulled out a card and it had a picture of Pres. Hinckley on it. He said "OH! It's Pres. Hinckley. I love him. He tells me how to follow Jesus!" Another boy when pulling out a "thanksgiving" card listed all the boys in the class, and said he liked to go to school with them. Grins spread on all the little faces sitting in the circle. These babies know who they are and what's important. Now we just need to help them never forget as they grow their way to manhood.

After the lesson they set up a big battle field. Dinosaurs and snakes joined army guys and tanks and the war was fierce and long and complex. They were noisy and things flew and I watched these little stripling warriors as they learned. Lessons of faith and lessons of courage taught on the living room floor. Hopefully they will remember both for a life time.

Such Sweet Obedient Children

Not too many hours later I heard a suspicious sound. Silence.

I went looking for the little darling and found them watching Reba and eating M&M's on the bed.

Even though it's a no TV day, no snacking is allowed on the bed.

And they were wedding M&M's.

At least they didn't let Millie join them!