Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So Darn Domestic

That could be the title of a new blog I start that totally spoofs Mormon mommy blogs. Oh wait, somebody already had that idea. Dang that Seriously So Blessed Tamn. (I'm not inventing some new swear word. That's her "name," Tamn.)
Well, this weekend, I was so domestic, I feel like I should spoof myself. So try to imagine my completely fake tone of voice as I morph into a Domestic Goddess.

You guys, I am so ready for the second coming! Seriously. This weekend I was totally in the domestic mommy zone. I canned applesauce with Holly, I made a supercute blanket for my sister Alisha, and I sewed a superlicious skirt for Mckenzie. Like, honestly, the only thing lacking is some baking. And I did that today. Does the prophet give out awards? Because I totally deserve one.
*Excuse me while I throw up and get struck by lightening.*
But here's some pictures:
On Friday afternoon we carved pumpkins with our friends, Matt and Cristina and their kids, and Kristen, and her two little girls. Every year, Mike carves his signature pumpkin. Can you guess what it says? Now, he's carved that same design since we've been carving pumpkins together. So now if he doesn't do it I will feel all sad and think he's trying to tell me something.

Next, while the girls napped I sewed this skirt that Kenzie is wearing. I got the idea and pattern from my cousin, Hollie. Really. I sewed this skirt. Originally when I saw the skirt and idea for a cute witch on Hollie's blog, "I Sew Stuff," I thought, "I'll do this." Then I thought again about my poor sewing skills and I thought, "My mom will do this." Then Alisha had the nerve to have her baby right when I needed the costume sewn. Honestly. Some people. So I had to sew it myself. And I did it! I think I did one part wrong, but it's like the DPC. I'm just going to pretend that everything is fine. And it is. We dressed up for Lonnie's (Mike's aunt) Halloween party, and the girls had a great time previewing the goods of Halloween.

On Saturday Shaelynn and I drove to Rexburg to see little Sophie! Ohhhhh. She is so precious. On Sunday, Mike called to tell me that Summer, my sister-in-law had her baby too! I don't have a picture of baby Boston. So yeah, that is three of my "sisters" that have had babies recently. Not to mention the plethora of friends that all just had babies too. They tried to lure me into their pregnancy club. But I resisted. I think it had something to do with Hannah and sobbing uncontrollably and the faint echos of a memory of not being able to walk the last month of my pregnancy.

Here are a few pics from our Joyschool party which was at my house. Here Kenzie is valiently attempting to eat a donut from a string. I forgot what a cruel game this was until we played it. There are some wonderful women in our Joyschool group who always have terrific Holiday kids parties, so I tried my best. I feel really overwhelmed when it comes to things like, "decorating" and "being cute" and "throwing parties with themes." But this time, I outdid myself. I bought a Halloween tablecloth! And I put some pumpkins on it. I'm the type of person who kind of snorts at those display tables that really nice people put up when they are giving the lesson or in charge of a RS event. Not to say I don't think the displays are lovely, but I snort anyway. Because snorting is so friendly, and makes people want to be around you.
Really, it was a fun party because there were donuts, hot dog mummies (thanks for the idea from Kathryn's craft blog Nanny Goat), and cookies involved.

I taught the kids the "Mean Old Witch with a Hat" song, and they sang it to their moms. They pretty much ooozed adorableness.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mish Mash Tag

I was tagged by two people (at least I think I was, but perhaps there is another Stephanie they tagged and I'm just flattering myself.) So instead of two tag posts, I thought I would combine the tags and make one big mess of it.
...LUCKY NUMBER 7.... And the random picture tag....7 THINGS I CAN DO...
1) I can count to three, and put the fear of punishment into my children by the time I am at "three"
2) I can wipe bums and not throw up. (I wipe throw up too, I was just trying to say that I don't throw up while I wipe bums)
3) I can dance (that modern-dance kind where it doesn't really matter where you move or your flexibility, it just has to be somewhat weird and have some sort of theme like, "the peace I found while in the bathroom last night.") Just kidding. I took a modern dance class once in college, and I failed. It is hard and I really do love it, even if I make fun of it and can't do it.
4) I can waste a lot of time blogging.
5) I can boss people around really well. I'm just a bossy cow.
6) I can run. Kind of fast. Last week, I was invited to run with some ladies in my ward. . . Until they asked how fast I ran my last 5K. (20:52. Yes, old track friends I know this is not that fast, but it impressed them enough to uninvite me. I was motivated by the $50 prize. And I was NOT going to let that itsy bitsy teeny weeny high school girl beat me)
7) I can punctuate my sentences correctly and I can spell. When I want too. Oh yeah, I can beat most people in Scrabble, most of the time. Bring it on!

1) I can't whistle. One summer in college I had two goals: Learn to bridge cards when shuffling, and learn to whistle. I had high ambitions. I learned how to bridge cards, but that whistling thing still eludes me.
2) I can't get Mckenzie to wear color coordinated clothes. Part of the problem is that my knowledge of fashion includes "Levis go with everything," and, well, I was trying to think of something else I know about fashion, but that's it.
3) I can't fit into my freaking pre-Hannah levis (the ones that go with everything). I don't have some sort of fat complex (I have plenty of other complexes, including a new one since I watched the photographer photoshop my picture), but I am cheap and I hate the idea of buying new pants when I have 5 perfectly good pairs wasting away in my drawer. But I'm not desperate enough to cram myself into them (for more than an hour at least).
4) I can't decide who to vote for. I think they both suck. Royally. And they lie. Abhorently.
5) I can't stop reading a book once I start it, even if I hate it. Really, I read Wicked all the way through and I thought it was the most perverse and stupid book I had ever read. What is my problem?
6) I can't stop blogging and obsessing about blogging. And hoping that someday my blog will magically transform into a million dollar making machine. Well, I could stop obsessing, but then what fun would that be?
7) I can't convince myself that I should clean my house during naptime. I think about it. I look at the messes on the kitchen floor and in the front room, and I do something else.

...7 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT KEVIN... Well, Robyn this one will be hard, because I don't know Kevin that well. :)
So, 7 Things I love about Mike
1) I love that he laughs at me (in a nice way, when I am trying to be funny)
2) I love that he tries to read everything that I write, even really boring newspaper stories about West Haven.
3) I love that he plays with Kenzie and Hannah in such an exuberant way
4) I love that he runs with me (sometimes) and when he's not in school is totally into the whole fitness thing.
5) I love that when I go places with him, everyone loves him and tries to do things for him. At our last family party on my side, two people brought dishes especially for him because they thought he would like it. Seriously.
6) I love that he is such an engineering smart man.
7) I love that he is so easy going and so nice and did I mention he is good-looking?

...7 THINGS THAT I SAY MOST OFTEN... (some are not out loud, just to myself, since I spend a lot of time with small children)
1) Right now! I'm going to give you to the count of three. One. . . Two. . . Thr---
2) Wait til we get home. Can you just wait til we get home?
3) Mmmhmmm (when someone tries to talk to me while I am blogging/reading.)
4) I don't know. I just don't know.
5) Oh h*&% (but quietly so no one can hear, and now that I've finished my piano, not so much)
6) Chocolate. Must have chocolate.
7) No. Uhn-uh.

...7 CELEBRITY ADMIRATIONS... My opinion of celebrities is not high. Although, I was once in love with those trashy celebrity magazines and I still surreptiously try to read their headlines while I wait in line at the grocery store. So I don't really admire them. I think I'll just pretend that one said, "7 Blogger Admirations" Wait, now that I've started thinking about this list, then I'm going to just have to list people I don't know "in real life" because everyone that I know, I like their blog and enjoy reading it. This list is shorter than 7. Sorry. That's probably unlucky or something.
1)Crazy Bloggin Canuck
2)The Smiling Infidel
3)Mary had a little glob
4)Navel Gazing at it's finest

1) Chocolate
2) My mom's pies
3) Chocolate
4) Cheesecake that involves chocolate
5) Caramel, surrounded by choclate
6) Marshmallow encased in chocolate
7) Peanut butter, filled with chocolate chips (it's a cheap alternative to Reeses)

And now for your entertainment, I present the random photo tag. Here's how it works: go into your picture file, choose 4th file, open it, choose 4th picture, post it and explain it, tag 4 people.
So, since this other tag is all about sevens, I'm changing this tag to the 7th file, choose seventh picture and tag seven people.
Little people dressed in green hats? I found some leprechauns! This is at our St. Patrick's day Joy school party last year.

1) Katie
2) Val
3) Robynn (not the same one that tagged me)
4) Natalie
5) Melisa
6) Mike (I'll fill it out for him!)
7) Alisha (because she has so much time on her hands after her new baby! HAHAHAHA)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mike's Sixth Sense

Mike has never claimed to have supernatural powers--except those ones that come with getting a degree in engineering like "Talking so No One Can Understand You," and "Modifying Electronics to do Things they Weren't Meant to Do." But after a couple of experiences, I am beginning to believe that Mike has a real super power--the ability to be prepared and listen to promptings.
My first inkling of this super ability occurred when we planned a three hour hiking trip to the San Rafael Swell in June of 2007. It was going to be a short day trip--leave in the wee small hours of the morning and come back late that night. The hike would involve some bouldering, which would take about an hour, a 60 foot rappel into the river bottom and then we would hike/float the river for two hours to a car parked at the end.
My packing for the trip included stuffing 4-5 granola bars and some fruit snacks into my camelback pack. Three hours, no camping? The only necessities were food and water.
Mike asked me if he should bring his overnight backpacking pack. I snorted derisively. What the heck for? It's not like we would be wandering around in the desert in the middle of nowhere for hours on end. He opted for his large camelback instead and then proceeded to pack his headlamp, a large first aid kit with two extra emergency blankets, our purifying water pump and extra shirts for both of us.
Sometimes I am so full of wisdom and knowledge, I just can't stop myself from sharing. My wise comments to Mike included, "You're not going to need a headlamp. It's not like we're camping." and "This is all about speed and light packing--why are you bringing those extra blankets?" and "You're only bringing the pump because we haven't got to use it yet. No way that's going to come in handy. You're just adding ballast to your pack."
Mike is such a good husband. He totally ignored me.
When our three hour hike turned into a twelve hour ordeal that none of our group of 14 was prepared for, guess who saved the day? Yes, yes, it was me. My granola bars filled our packs with clean drinkable water, warmed us up from the wet river, and lit the way as we searched in the pitch desert darkness for our vehicle.
I felt very humble that night, and awed. Mike was a superhero (as was Trevor, the one other prepared soul on our trip).

This weekend, my hunch was confirmed. As we walked out the door for the trip to St. George, Mike grabbed his channel locks and bike grease. I didn't know this, or I probably would have snorted, slow learner that I am. The trip went fine. There were no three-hour-turned-12-hour-wander-around-lost-in-the-dark hikes and we had a good time (see below). On the way home, we drove by Blake, Lori and their three kids pulled off to the side of the road (in the middle of nowhere). They're the family we shared a house with.
As we flew by, we said, "Oh. That's Blake and Lori. Should we go back?" And so we took the next exit and headed back to see if we could help. They had a flat tire on their boat trailer and the lug nuts were so rusty that they wouldn't go back on without the bike grease, and Mike used the channel locks to bend back a warped piece of metal that was brushing against the tire.
AMAZING! I'm not very good at expressing spiritual things, but I was really touched by this experience. Mike is a great example and well, ahem.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If you're looking for something long to read. . .

After Laurie's wedding we crashed into our beds and vowed to wake up early to pack for our trip to St. George. At 6:00 a.m. (which qualifies as super early for my lazy self that can't seem to wake up before 8:00), I rolled over and turned the alarm off. Who needs to pack?
At 7:00 a.m. Mike and I finally woke up and began throwing things in bags and pretending we were prepared for a weekend trip. I think we managed to get everything, and we managed to fit it into our tiny Chevy Prism. We keep saying we're going to buy another car, but then what fun would it be when I reach back 80 gazillion times to placate my children if I had a van and couldn't reach the backseat? This way we are all very, very, very cozy. I can throw a graham cracker (or other very nutritious snacks) randomly in the air and one of my girls is sure to get one.
We were only 2.5 hours behind schedule and we weren't fighting about it. (Mike doesn't yell, and I just resort to sarcasm, but I tamped my sarcasm right down)
The trip down was fine. Since we gave in to Disney and gave up on scenery and family conversation, things are much more pleasant while driving. The only problem we have now is that Hannah needs her own video player. She placated herself by doing some strange thing to her seatbelt the whole time we drove. It's a weird habit of pushing her lower body over and over into the buckle and it disturbs me. The only thing I can do is ignore it and wait for the day she can sit in a booster seat.
On the way to St. George we stopped at Kolob Canyons and "hiked" the first hike we came to. Standing on rocks and singing was the highlight of this 800 meter hike.

Even Mike got into the singing on a rock action, or at least sitting on one.

So then we arrived at St. George, got some dinner and slept. We stayed at this house with Dunk, Ryan and Ryan's older brother's family, Blake and Lori and their kids. Blake and Lori found the house on Vacation Rentals By They have rented houses/condos all over the world and said they've always had a good experience.
It was awesome to not be crammed into some dark, strange hotel room, where you feel creeped out by the bathroom and scream in fear when the shower curtain billows in and touches your legs. And you can't let your kids play on the bedspreads because eww, do they ever clean those? I am never staying in a hotel again.

That night, Ryan, Dunk, Blake, Mike and I did a moonlit ride on the Green Valley Loop, and it was totally rad man. (yes, I just said rad. I read it on a sign in St. George and remembered how rad it is to use that word) It was a rollercoaster sort of bike ride and I only got one small injury, by laying my bike down on my hand when I almost made it up a really steep hill. I didn't realize how steep the hill was until my front tire jumped the rim, and then I stopped suddenly and smashed my fingers.
I am a better biker at night. During the day, if I see an obstacle like sand or a root or a steep downhill, or as step, or anything that looks remotely dangerous, I grab both my brakes and seize up. At night, I can't see a thing, so I just bump over it, or up it and think afterward, "Gosh, I guess that was a big deal." So now I plan to always bike with a piece of cloth I can barely see through over my eyes. I will be great.
The next day we tried to take a trip to the regular entrance to Zion, planning to go on a long hike carrying both girls. By the time we rolled out of the house and got into the park (after riding two shuttles, during which Hannah delightedly yelled, "Bus! Bus!" the entire ride), it was time to go back to meet Dunk and Ryan for a rock climbing adventure. So we ate lunch in Zion on the side of a trail, and then got back in the car for another full of joy and love 45 minute drive. This was really dismaying to me. It started a descent into anger and self-pity.
Originally we planned this vacation minus the girls, but since everyone either a. had a baby or b. got married this week, we ran out of babysitters that were related to us (free babysitters). So for the next part of our trip, the climbing part, we decided that one of us would climb while the other watched the girls. It was a long drive to the climb, and my descent into anger solidified.
I kept looking at our 1/4 tank of gas and we kept bumping along some remote dirt road in the middle of nowhere. I figured I would be stuck in the hot sun with two upset chillies, while Mike hiked to the road to flag someone down to give him a ride back to town for gas. Then he would be kidnapped and mugged and left for dead on the side of the road while I sat back in the car saying, "No, we can't watch a video. We have to preserve the car's power. Stop whining! I don't have any water!"
I kept telling myself to stop having such a bad attitude, and repeating all those things like, "It's 90% attitude and 10% what happens to you and other such platitudes, but the orneriness remained. Then I blamed it on PMS/birth control and I felt better. Once we got to the climbing area, I stopped b&ming and it went well. It really is 90% attitude and 10% what happens to you. And if the worse that happens is your butt gets sore from bumping down a dirt road and you don't get to go on a long hike in Zion, then things aren't bad.
If you know anything about climbing, let me try and impress you with my climbing jargon-- We climbed a 5.8 and I got to say, "On belay."
Warning, some graphic butt shots are intermixed with really cute ones of the girls.

This is the cliff that we climbed. (Why yes, it does look similar to the Cliffs of Insanity.) See those tiny specs at the top? That is Derek and Ryan (I would use their cool climbing nicknames, but then they might be upset, because I think you're only supposed to use them while you're climbing incredibly difficult things)

Mike climbed first, while the girls hit each other with sticks and snacked on Veggie Tales fruit Snacks. Mike is good at everything he tries, and climbing real rock was no different. He skittered up it like it was nothing. I remember when I took him waterskiing for the first time. I had been trying to get up on a slalom ski for like 5 years. He skied for the first time that day. Then I tried to slalom, then he decided to try it and he got up on the first try. It made me incredibly angry, but strangely pleased. He is super skillful, and I married him. After Mike climbed it was my turn:

Here is Hannah impressed with how high I am climbing.

Kenzie, pointing at me and thinking how awesome I am. (Kenzie needs to think awesome things about me. Already her "mommy love" is waning. In the past week she has said to me, "Mommy, your tummy is getting bigger," and "Your bum is too big.") (And I'm not pregnant)

Me, schooling Dunk in the climb. Just kidding. I started 10-15 minutes before Dunk, and only made it to the top because Ryan told me I couldn't take off the Chinese-foot-binding climbing shoes until I got to the top and returned.

Kenzie wanted in on the rock climbing action, so we bouldered around a little bit. She pretended she liked it, but I could hear her whimpering as I lifted her down from some spots.

After we climbed, Ryan and Derek climbed incredibly difficult 5.12c stuff while we stood around and watched in awe.

On Sunday, we headed home. ("Mommy," said Kenzie. "We should go to church. It's a good thing to go to church." Yes, yes it is. Instead we're going to ride in a car for hours and hours while Hannah throws up and has diarrhea.)
We made it home. Hooray! Hannah was only sick while we drove. When we got home she was fine.
The End. (Finally, phew)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Wedding, A Birthday and A Baby

So, it's been a busy week for "us peoples" whose last names will remain unwritten.
First, thanks everyone for your comments on my last post! Since my self-esteem is directly tied to my comments, I am flying high this week. I CAN CONQUER THE WORLD. Okay, maybe not. But really. It was nice.

First the birthday: To my little Rinnie-poo Shae-head: Happy Birthday! Shaelynn always saves me when she comes to visit. She plays with the girls, lets me live vicariously through her dating experiences, and helps me weed my closet so I don't look like some sort of 80s/90s train wreck. Although sometimes one of my shirts is in the wash and it sneaks by and I still look like a train wreck, and it's not her fault.

Here, Shaelynn expresses excitement over her absolute favorite present-- a sparkly jumprope. In case you ever wondered what shoes my mom wears (so you can say, in a funny teenager voice, "Your mom wears those shoes."), that's her leg and shoe in the picture. I'm not sure that is her hand since it is unusually small, but it could be, because she likes brooms. Shaelynn also recieved flip flops, a baton (because what single 23 year old doesn't need a pink baton to twirl or use to bat at useless or inconsiderate dates?) and a Clearplay video player. If you don't know what that is, it's a video player that filters out violence, nudity, and swearing. So sometimes all you see is a distant shot of some people standing in a circle, with a zoom in until you can almost hear what they are saying and see them, and then boom!, the movie is over.

Next, what birthday is not complete without a test of fitness? So if you can't tell what we are doing, we are not playing fat dog (a proud and time-tested family tradition). We are doing intense and concentrated sit ups. My mom won. But only because Shaelynn made me laugh. Okay and because I don't exercise anymore.

And, finally the birthday cake. Except it's not a cake. It is a fantastic, melty, delicious creation of ice creamy, fudge, whip cream goodness made by my mom. We don't eat cake around here. Cake is for sissies.
So Happy Birthday Shaelynn! I hope your day was fabulous, you won the lottery and a boy pretended he didn't like you enough that you liked him back. Love, Stephanie.

This post is going to be really, really long. I should probably seperate it out, but then I will have 0 comments on a post and it will make me sad.

Next, the Baby. No, I didn't have a baby. Although I wish I could have a pregnancy where suddenly, 'Surprise! Those aren't cramps they're labor pains.'
My other ultra-awesome sister, Alisha, had her baby! On October 15 (only 5 days past her due date, much to Alisha and Dustin's dismay, but mostly Alisha's), little Sophie came! We are so excited to have our first niece on my side of the family! And look, isn't she beautiful? And I swear I have that exact blanket that's in the background. Hey, Alisha, did you steal my Bambi blanket?
Congratulations! We can't wait to come and visit!

Finally, the Wedding (And I'm not even going to blog about our trip to St. George that we just got back from. Not in this post anyway.)
Aunt LaLa has been off in lala land for the past, what 6 months? I don't remember. But she met this guy, Jared, and since they were compatible in height and personality, they fell in love. They probably fell in love for a lot of other reasons, but that's all I know about. (Kenzie kept asking me, "Mom, why did they fall in love? What is a honeymoon? Why do they go on a honeymoon? Will they go to the sky?" After one honeymoon discussion she said in a highly dramatic voice, "I will climb to the stars with my prince. I will find a good one when I get married. I will marry Ethan.")
We are so happy for Laurie and we love Jared, even if he thinks Hannah cries a lot.
They were married on Thursday and we are still enjoying the food from their wedding.
Here's some lovely pics:
Really, I'm not that short, but I am the shortest adult on Mike's side of the family.

Exiting the Ogden temple. In an effort to entice brides and grooms from the roaringly popular SL temple, they have spruced up the temple grounds and allowed a new exit strategy for brides and grooms since Mike and I were married there almost seven years ago. It really is beautiful there.

No cake smearing. Just nice full mouths.

Who started this garter tradition? Is this a Mormon thing?
Happy Wedding! We love you guys. All of you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm done now. Really.

Last week I blogged like four times! Perhaps you're wondering what this prolific amount of blogging is due to. (And don't end your sentences with prepositions, because it's bad to)
It's because I finally finished my piano. All the way (except for that one area that I forgot to do because I didn't think it would show, but now it does. But I've almost decided it doesn't matter. Because my piano's "look" is distressed. If only "distressed" were the in look for people. I would be fashionable. I always look distressed. Especially lately because I've had a sinus headache that leaves wrinkle marks in between my eyes. Perhaps part of the distressed look could include food all over your clothes. Because I've got that covered too.) It's also because I quit exercising. Now I spend all my time obsessing over this blog. I don't burn any calories but I do sweat profusely when the sun comes out because our computer is right next to a big window.

Yes I already blogged about finishing the DPC, but now I've finished the bench so that I can actually sit down and play. So here's a picture of the bench -- before and after (little girl not included):

Notice the beautiful pinkness that was and now:

Black, black and some maroon. And if you enlarge the picture and see spots of hot pink, those are not part of my refinished piano and bench. They are from a feather boa. Hope that answers all your questions.

So since I am addicted to stress, I need some other big project to fill up my time and to take my mind off the fact that hardly anyone comments on my blog. Seriously. I am obsessed. I check my comments like every day. Sometimes I check them multiple times a day. I REALLY need a new project. Christmas is coming. Perhaps I ought to embark on some large quest to make everyone quilts or something. I think that might stress me out enough to stop obsessing. But probably not.

Just for fun here's a history of the DPC:

Initially there was optimism. A short 3 month project that would end in a new beautiful improved piano. The piano came apart quickly and no note was taken of where certain screws go, or what parts would be showing when the piano was finished. Ahhh good old optimism. It'll get you every time. This was in August 2007.

Stripping (and really bad jr. high jokes) ensue. Optimism dies. Depression sets in.

Stripping continues (as do bad jokes and burning sensations). Sanding begins. My skin turns red as does everything else in my house. I sand through the veneer. Despair joins depression, but is thwarted by some mad idea that I must carry things through. I begin cursing and crying.

I will paint the piano (scroll down for piano post). Everything is fine. No one will ever know. Except when they inherit this piano and decide to try and refinish it because why would anyone in their right mind paint black and distress a beautiful old piano? Seriously what were the previous owners thinking? Then, after hours of painstaking (and really it is painful when stripper gets on your hands and feet) work stripping the black paint off, they will know. And they will wonder, "Why the heck does it have these ugly burn marks where the wood grain should be? Do you think the idiots used a power sander." And then they will scoff.

The piano is finished. Stephanie needs piano therapy. (And a new stressful project)

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We have a foot of snow. Seriously, and I don't really have anything clever to say, except, 'Wow! We got a lot of snow.' So in lieu of writing clever and funny things, I thought I would write a little story for your enjoyment. And since we're obsessed with princesses around here, of course the story starts out with two beautiful princesses.

Once upon a time there were two princesses who only dressed in the latest fashions. Since they ruled the fashion world, their subjects were only allowed to wear what they wore. (Thank goodness, I am finally in fashion.)

One day it snowed and snowed and snowed in the princesses' land. Since it had been warm and sunny a week before the princesses were confused. What happened to Fall?

So they dressed in their finest snow clothes and set out to find the snow witch, to ask her why she sent the snow so early.

They were only a little discouraged when snow got on their arms because their coats were too small. The blonde princess, "Princess Ki" couldn't walk through the gigantic mounds of snow, but she could swim. So that's what she did.

Finally after an uphill journey, with wolves chasing at their heels, through a dark and stormy night, the princesses met with the snow witch (center) and asked her why she sent the snow. She said she just felt like mixing things up a bit, causing some flooding and destroying neighborhood trees. Because it is fun to confuse people. "Oh," said Princess Ki. "Actually, I like the snow." "Blabble," said Princess Hannah of the brown hair. "Mmmm." And she ate some snow that wasn't yellow.

The princesses returned to their always clean and neat castle (because their maid was such a good maid who never allowed toys on the floor or left clothes on the couch). And all was happy in the land. But soon thereafter they were attacked by a pink-bandana-d pirate. The pink pirate swept them away to bed, where they were imprisoned against their will.
But they still lived happily ever after.
The End

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Go to bed... go directly to bed

So I have a cold, and I tend to get really depressed and grumpy when I can't breathe through my nose and my lips are dry, and I cough a lot, and my nostrils are red from all that stupid wiping. So here's my solution: Take some Benadryl and go to bed. But before I implement this solution, I thought I would try to cheer myself up with some happy thoughts, and keep my mind off the dismal state of affairs in the presidential election and economy:

Hannah is so stinkin' cute! She tries so very hard to act just like Kenzie. Last night I went in to give the girls a kiss and a hug, and I picked Hannah up and gave her a hug and kiss and she laid right back down. Then I had a little conversation with Kenzie and gave her a kiss. Then Hannah sat up in her crib and said, " Mommy, bllelj ahbje kieep," in a very serious voice and laid back down. She just wanted to tell me her side of the story.
Hannah tries very hard to do exactly as Kenzie does. If Kenzie sits down, Hannah sits down, if Kenzie dances, Hannah will dance, if Kenzie pushes a chair over to the sink, Hannah pushes a chair over the sink. She is a total copy cat, and I love it!
Another thing Hannah tries to do is speak in complete sentences. She knows quite a few words, but she tries to repeat exactly what Kenzie says. She gets super mad when I don't understand, which is pretty much all the time. "I want some," and "My turn" are her two phrases right now.

Kenzie is a really good big sister. Today Hannah gifted her with her first volunatry hug. Kenzie was sitting on a box of diapers, "singing a beautiful song" (she said), when Hannah just walked up and gave her a big hug. Later today, Kenzie said she had a new baby named Hannah, (not Hannah-Banana, just Hannah), and her dolly loved to have her "hug it so tight and give it kisses." The real Hannah usually does not enjoy Kenzie's hugs (probably because she always ends up on the floor after the "loving" squeezes and "grab-around-the-neck" kisses).

Another thing about Kenzie that makes me smile is her tender heart. The following story makes me laugh, but it also makes me shake my head because I am in for it. Those teenage years are going to be some trouble. This is partially my fault for introducing the Disney princess culture to my daughter. They are so stupid. I always feel like adding my own comments to the movie, such as "You know Kenzie, it takes a lot more than just a meeting in the forest to fall in love." or "A princess isn't a very fun thing to be. Really, wouldn't you rather save people's lives or build big buildings?" or "She's not a very nice girl. Shouldn't she listen to what her parents say, and not try to become a human?" or "Waiting around to be rescued is not really a good thing to do, Kenzie. She should jump up and defeat the dragon herself." But I digress.

Kenzie watched Sleeping Beauty at my mom's house the other day. It is kind of a scary movie, so my mom sat down and watched it with her. During the scary dragon part, my mom said, "Don't worry Kenzie. They'll be okay. The prince will kill the dragon." She just nodded, keeping her eyes on the movie. Then when the prince kisses the princess and they all live happily ever after, my mom looked over to see tears streaming down Kenzie's face. "Are you okay Kenzie?"
"I'm just sooo happy. Soo happy," said Kenzie. Oh dear. She gets this drama from Mike, you know. Since I am not dramatic at all. And I never cry at sappy moments in movies or commercials or while reciting tender stories. I am tough as nails.
Well, that's about it. I'm going to bed now. Please let me wake up with a nose that knows how to breathe. Please.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Softball Champs! (almost)

One thing that overwhelmed me when I met Mike's family (besides their awesome nunchuck skills) was the fact that he has a gazillion cousins, aunts and uncles. His Grandma Folks has eleven kids, and Mike's dad Reid is fifth of eleven (I only know this because at the family reunion this year they gave us shirts that had birth order printed on the sleeves, which I just looked at)

The amazing thing about his family is that they get along--- Enough to want to play softball together. Since we've been married Mike has played on the cousin's/brother's softball team, LJC, off and on, and this year he played every game and they won second place in the O-town 4th Street Park Fall Softball League. (See what happens when Mike is on your team? I'm glad Mike is on my team. Now I can win large golden trophies.)

The LJC team, named after Mike's Grandpa (Lionel Joseph Chambers) has quite the history. They started playing in 1974ish, and have had something of a team ever since. Some of the brothers still play, but now it is mostly cousins. What great guys!

We had a fun time watching Mike play every Wednesday, sharing treats and playing with second cousins, and viewing the freshly painted gang signs on the sidewalks in the park. Mike was really into it-- he asked me everyday if I wanted to go to the batting cages ("Of course," I said. Who doesn't want to go hit at hard objects flying toward your face?), and he was, for four of the six games, tied for the lead with the best batting average on the team.

Insert Reminiscence here: Ahh good ole softball. Mike and I played on a co-ed softball team together the first summer we met. The first time we were introduced, Mike Hale said, "Hey this is Stephanie. She's our softball team manager."
Feeling brilliant because it was dark, I said, "Yes. You can call me "Oh Omnipotent One." I still retain that title.
Mike counts the day we exchanged money for the team as our first date. ("I dressed up. We met. There was money exchanged." Whatever.) I still remember that Mike wore awesome grey baseball pants for our first game. He has great legs. Despite his baseball pants and great legs, our team lost every game. It was because I stink at softball. I love it, but really, I think I got on base once, and caught the ball once, by accident, that summer. But we were in love. We could round other bases. Anyway. . .

Good job Mike and LJC! We're excited for spring ball!

P.S. I might have stolen that nunchucks line from another blog. I hope not. Sorry if I did.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Patented Ways to make 20 minutes seem like a lifetime

Is your life flying by too fast? Do you feel as if the kids are growing, you're getting older and time slips through your fingers like money flows through Congress?
Well, here are a few patented ways to slow it down. All inclusive! No water needed! Just add children!

1. Decide you want to go on a 20 minute bike ride. Hook up the bike trailer. Add two children. Listen as one whines the whole way. "I want a drink of water. No I want a drink of water NOW! I want a drinkkkkkkkkk of waaaaaaaater." Meanwhile the other utters a low-pitched wail of sadness the entire time. Watch 20 minutes seem like an eternity.
2. Go to church (which seems to be scheduled during nap/meal time no matter the schedule). Forget to bring treats. Sit through Sacrament meeting, next to a perfectly behaved family, only pardoning yourself four times as you trip over their legs with a kicking, screaming child who finally calms down for the last three minutes. Then watch the clock as the speaker decides to go 10 minutes over discussing the merits of the word of wisdom. 10 min = eternity.
3. The half hour before the spouse comes home, during which you are trying to make dinner, automatically equals an eternity.
4. Go for a ride up the canyon in the car to see the leaves. Listen while one child suddenly screams urgently, "I have to go potty!" Ask her quietly if she can hold it for 15 minutes while you drive to the nearest gas station. Listen all the way down the canyon as she yells, "No I can't hold it. I have to go! I have to go!" Add an insistent yell of "Off! Off!" from your other child, which gradually builds into screams. (You have no clue what your child wants "off" because it is the only preposition your child knows and she demands that you "off" everything.) 15 min = eternity.

Actually, our trip up to Snowbasin was, in memory, quite fun. We just made her pee in the bushes next to a picnic table. Sorry happy picnickers. The snow will wash it away. I know, I know I should enjoy the moments while they are little. And I do. I get as sappy as the next mom when I think about my little girls not wanting to hold my hand or be rocked at night. But it takes a lot of humor to enjoy some moments.

The above picture is on Old Snowbasin Road. Mike and I lamented that soon the route to Snowbasin will be laden with condos and private mansions. Then we lamented that we didn't have enough money to buy the whole mountain. Really, we lamented that our grandparents hadn't been the lucky saps that bought a $10,000 20-acre piece of ground up on the mountainside that would now be worth millions.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Down at the Farm

If you know the Signing Time videos (our favorite ASL videos), then sing along with me, "Down on Leah's farm there is one big turkey, one big, one big, one big turkey." If you don't know Signing Time, you can sing, "Old Macdonald had a farm." For Joy School on Monday we went to Melisa's dad's farm in Taylor.
First we fed the horses some apples.

Then the kids got to feed a calf from a bottle.

Hannah was so excited about the kid-size goats. She kept leaning down and saying, "Hi! Hi!"

Kenzie liked the goats as well. The goats in the pictures, not those other kind.

The poor 3 little pigs. They were scared to death of the kids and tried to hide by burying themselves under each other.

They had a turkey that was friendly and all the kids loved touching its feathers.

Back at the farmhouse their were miniature horse rides and a playhouse that Melisa played in when she was little and her dad had sanded down and fixed up for the preschool kids to play in.

Not only did they get pony rides, they got tractor rides. It was seriously like a dream-kid day. Melisa's dad was so nice to arrange it all.