Monday, October 31, 2011

a ghost story...

Last month our family drove from Buffalo, NY to Kirtland, OH.  Along the way we stopped in this darling town called Naples (in NY).  This placed looked like something right out of the forties...people selling homemade pies and fresh berries every other corner.  I loved it.  We decided to stop for lunch.  There was this old victorian hotel with porch seating available.  Perfect. 

How some of the family was feeling after "quality" car time together...
Our waitress took our lunch order, and then pointed out this sign...
Apparently, the hotel is haunted.  The waitress told us that at least once a week, one of the guests (six bedroom availability) will come down to complain about strange, unsettling noises.  She also told us that several times, things (spatulas, silverware, ice cubes) have suddenly been hurled through the air without any apparent source of origin (i.e. someone throwing them). And, that she's often been on the  receiving end of these "ghost activities".  The children were intrigued.  She said they were welcome to go upstairs and explore the bedrooms.  Gentry declined.  This was the result...
Say what you may.... but the children swear there was no one in that doorway when Sadie took the picture....Hmmmm.......Happy Halloween.


Thursday, October 27, 2011


When all my kids were little, and I was exhausted (most of the time), I wanted a fun, easy craft we could do together for halloween.  This was the result...spider web and skeleton cupcakes (thank you BHG!).  Since then, they have kind of become one of our halloween traditions.
Use Good and Plenty's for the skeleton body and a mini marshmallow for the head.  Use peanut M&M's for the "spider".  Use white or black gel pens for "webs".

We did a few more for fun...

Drew's cupcake

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

i wanna be a cowboy

In just one more day, I am going to be a great aunt again (yes, we are very excited!)...Tyler, Jenny, and Jade stopped by last night for a little horse time.  It was one of those beautiful fall Arizona nights....

Jenny was a good sport for this that baby bump.

And then this little rain shower came out of nowhere (and left just as quickly)... very refreshing.

Followed by this sunset that made my heart feel happy.

Halloween countdown....4 days!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

new pet

We have new resident on our front porch.  Gentry was able to hold him for a minute before he made a quick get-away.  Did you know praying mantis' can camouflage?   Apparently they also eat their mates..strange little creatures.

Speaking of "praying"...on the way to school this morning Gentry asks, "Mom, do you think they have flat screen T.V.s in heaven that show the weather report?"  Had to write/blog that one.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Oh my Monday!
Alarm goes off and I can't seem to pull out from my level four dream (think Inception) and my Tylenol PM hangover.
The younger two are super grumpy and no one wants to get out of bed.
I have a major case of "Sunday house" (see definition at the bottom).
Gentry and I finally make it out the door.
She quotes Julian Smith's milk video OVER and Over and over again on the drive.
(did not know the teenagers had shown her this)
Get back home in time to see the third child headed to school (in the same clothes she wore yesterday).
Walk into the house to see her lunch still sitting on the counter.
Start on my 8 loads of laundry.
Think about how much I'd love to crawl back into bed.
...and here goes another week.

On a very good note...
Last night all the RS presidents in this area were invited to hear Sister Julie Beck speak.  She was amazing and gave me a lot of hope to face "Mondays" and everything else I have to do in my life.

*Sunday house: a condition of one's home (very familiar to most moms) in which one's home looks like it imploded on itself as a result of Sunday's activites....getting 6 people presentable and out the door for church, the feeding frenzy that goes on after church, the big Sunday dinner, the pillow fort building in the family room, the unbelievable amount of dirty socks (without matches) strung through out the house, and the condition of the kitchen floor that has reached a new level of "sticky"....Sunday house.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

day of service

Mesquite ward activity tonight....
(special thanks to my friend Janette for tonight's photograpy)

Lots of great projects, including a food drive for St. Anne's (colllections by the teenagers of our ward),
and even some outdoor service projects for our neighborhood.

this kind of strange (candid) picture of me with my friend Heidi. Do I look serious? I was.  I was getting a sewing lesson.   Lately I've had this funny need to try things that are hard for me.  Have I mentioned my 8th grade home ec. class? Yes, I hate to sew.  Just entering a fabric store makes me break out in a cold sweat.  But, for some reason today, I found myself seeking out the sewing room.  In that room they were sewing newborn blankets to go to moms in need.  And suddenly, as I entered that room, I thought, "I'm going to learn to sew today"...weird.  But, check this out, after a very good lesson from Heidi, I sewed not one, but three blankets...go me!!! And,  they actually looked good.  And, I decided that trying hard things is a good thing.  And, I love the Mesquite ward....they really are like family....and they accomplished some amazing things today.

Friday, October 21, 2011

good life

Very fun Friday...a choir bbq...and Sadie with one her bestest friends Daniel...

Followed by a movie (Thor) and downtime with my hubby....

Interrupted by a text from our good friends Pam and Duane...
"We had a little mishap.  Drew is ok though"
accompanied by this picture...

Ended with everyone safe, sound, and in bed.
(Our offer to replace drywall was refused-like I said, they're good friends)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

my day, in a nut shell

Woken up at 6:00 a.m. by Gbee who needed Advil (got hit with a field hockey stick in p.e. yesterday, thinks her wrist might be broken,  can't get in with the orthoped. until Tuesday-super)

Made smoothies (at Drew's request)

Packed lunches

Checked emails

Cleaned kitchen

Talked to my Mom and Dad in WI

Made chili for the junior high teacher's luncheon

Ran out of time and had to go with "third day" hair and a quick shower

Delivered chili

Chatted with the other food delivering moms

Came home

Did my church job

Picked up kids

Provided snacks and my ears for the days events

More of my church job

Lost track of time, bagged dinner, picked up Wendy's (who got the order wrong)

Headed to G's soccer practice

Inhaled a lot of dust and pollen

Saw an amazing sunset        

Came home, helped with homework, listened to more of the days dramatics..
(Gbee, talking about some kids that were mean today..."Sometimes I just wish they would fly away....and drop!") Laughed.

Washed G's hair for her (damaged wrist)
Fed the kids (again)
Had family prayer
Tucked G and Sierra in
Started blogging
Gentry was scared
Tucked her in (again)
Got a call from Lisa (who spent 4 hours in her vehicle shuttling kids today)
Empathized and felt grateful my teenager can drive
Waited for the teenager (who was talking to a "friend" in the driveway) to come in...waited...text her...waited...text her again (It's getting late Cinderella)
Told my teenager "thank you" for coming in
Looked at the clock and thought,  "Only seven more hours before I do it all again..."
But, did you see that sunset?  My life is so good.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

making time

I have always loved reading to my kids.  We especially love Halloween books.  I wanted to share one of our favorites...

We all love this book, everything about it.  Even though our youngest is eight (and currently reading the 6th Harry Potter), she still likes me to read to her.  I'm so glad, because I'm already having major sadness over my senior leaving in a year, and if no one would let me read to them, I'd probably have to go borrow a kid somewhere. As I look back, reading to my kids through the years was one of the best things I ever did.  Everything about it was positive...cuddling with them, getting to use my acting skills (no comments please),  having true "interactive" time and let's not forget, the opportunity to sit down for just a minute.
         Mom's have such a hard time with that last part.  Sometimes my husband will say, "Can't you just take a break for a minute?"  I usually reply with, "Can you sit down and take a break when you're in the middle of your office?"  It is kind of a funny concept.  Let's face it, mom's are always at work, there's not a time clock, punch card, or 30 minute lunch break.  Having said that, I've also realized, through the years, that I do have to make time for "down-time" or I turn into the crazy (not very nice)  mom. I'm so grateful I took that "down time" to read to my kids.
       All of our favorite stories, for me,  also have favorite memories attached to them.  I can picture Drew when he was two.  He loved the book, "Arthur's Vacation".  He was my latest talker.  Until age 2 1/2, he had one word, "ahco".  Not a word you say?...that didn't matter, if he wanted something (anything) he called it "ahco".  I have a distinct picture in my mind...Drew in pajamas, snuggled next to me and pointing to the picture of a lobster (in Arthur's vacation) and saying "ahco".  Of everything I've given to my kids, I think giving them my time has had the biggest return rate (love).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gbee's funnies

You know how your kids say funny things sometimes and you think, “ I need to write that down," but you don’t, because by the time you’ve completed that thought, a different one of those kids now needs you for something else? That happened to me all the time when our kids were younger.  Now that our youngest is eight, I’m realizing how fast the days go by.  So, here’s me (finally) writing (blogging) a few of my most favorite recent conversations/thoughts from Gbee…

You know those WWJD bracelets? I’ve never been one to question my kid’s behavior based on that premise…I kind of feel like that approach trivializes something sacred.  However, in our fhe recently, we talked a lot about the Savior and how he treated the people around him (in hopes that our kids might be a little nicer to each other). So, a couple of nights ago, the third child comes out wearing Gentry’s pajama bottoms (never mind that she hardly ever wears that pair) and immediately Gentry starts protesting.  “Why is she wearing my pants?” and, “You need to take those off right now!!!” etc… So, thinking back to our fhe lesson, I say something like, “Gentry, what do you think Jesus would do?  Do you think he would let Sierra borrow his pants?”  To which she looks at me and responds… “Robe, mom”.  “What?”  I ask.  Gentry-“Don’t you mean borrow his robe?”

Remember those yummiest Utah peaches from a few weeks back?  Well, everyone in our family appreciates those peaches, except Gentry.
     A few nights ago I’m getting ready for bed, taking off my make-up in our bathroom.  Gentry is next to me, examining her mouth in the mirror and asks, “Mom, what do taste-buds look like?”  “They’re the little bumps on your tongue,” I respond.  G-“They’re kind of brown and yellow, right”…Me-“Yes, I guess that’s a good description.”  G-”So that’s only place in your mouth that can taste anything?”  Me…”yep”.  G-“So if it goes somewhere else in your mouth, you won’t taste it?” Me….”yep”.  Pause……G......(pensively)”That’s good to know next time I have to eat peaches.”

During one of Gregg’s recent trips, Gentry is sleeping with me in my bed (the younger two still take turns).  My alarm goes off.  It’s set to a classical music radio station (I highly recommend waking up this way, it’s very pleasant).   Anyway, my alarm goes off with I what I believe was a lovely Mozart piece.  Gentry wakes up, looks at me, and says, “Wow, that sounds like we’re at a feast!”

What are your “favorite funnies” with your kids?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

the end of the adventure

Day seven:

Wrapping up our tour.
A few pics from our cabin in Nauvoo…

Drew and Cam got the covered-wagon bed...
One last game of football...
One last state...
One last bridge...
One last stop...
Tired kids and parents....

Once in a lifetime trip.