Saturday, December 22, 2007

Time Marches On

Last night, Harry wanted to dress up. This is a daily occurance at our house, so I tried to be patient and ask him what he wanted to dress up as. His first thought was Captain Jack Sparrow, but then he had the better idea of dressing up as a missionary. I was all for it, and within a few minutes we had him pretty well outfitted, including name tag and bicycle helmet. Maggie even got into the act, and I thought how fun it would be to have these pictures someday. With their age difference, they really could be on missions at the same time!

So tonight, Joe and I had to get out for a while, so we called Moani. Moani is quickly becoming our almost full time babysitter. The kids love her, and she's the only one I can trust with all five of the kids at one time. We trust her so much that we called the Robers to see if they could bring their kids over (that's eight children total) and go out to dinner with us. As we were leaving, we heard the kids talking about how Harry and Ashlynn were going to get married. We hear that pretty often from those two lately, so we didn't pay much attention to it. When we got back, we found these pictures as evidence of how serious they really are! As you can see, it was a complete ceremony, with ring exchange and kiss! Only these two could pull this off. In fact, Maggie and Briggs also "got married" this evening, but Maggie apparently put her foot down, or more accurately, her hands up, when it was time for Briggs to kiss the bride. I'm sure Briggs was relieved...Harry and Ashlynn would have been a tough act to follow!
By the way, can anyone tell me how to delete a picture? This one doubled up and I can't figure out how to get rid of it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Happy Birthday

Well I know you've all been anxiously awaiting photos of Harry's birthday, so I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Harry's words after opening the crutches were "this is the best birthday present ever!" And, to make it even more authentic, we of course had to get an ace bandage to make a "cast". AND, since he's five and his birthday was on Sunday, we of course let him take the crutches to our 9:00 am church meeting. The only problem was, he was a bit too authentic, and people kept asking him and us what had happened. The good thing about Harry though is that most people in the ward know him well enough to totally understand the explanation of him wanting them for his birthday.

We did have a sort of funny/ironic experience today when Harry tried to come DOWN the stairs on his crutches and lost his balance, falling from the 5th stair unto the travertine tile. I could just imagine my conversation with the emergency room doctor, "no, doctor, we won't need any crutches...why not? oh, well, he fell and broke his leg while playing with the crutches he got for his birthday"...anyway, no harm done today. But, I may break the legs of my other children if they don't stop fighting over the dang things. Maggie and Joe spent the entire day complaining that THEY didn't get crutches for their birthdays...not that they asked for them, but shouldn't I just be able to read their minds? Anyway, that's a story for another day.

All in all, a great day...we had the Robers and Grandma Carole and Grandpa Joe over for dinner and cake....this may not be the prettiest cake I've ever made, but it ranks up there pretty high on the coolness factor...For those of you who are Star Wars impaired, this is supposed to be the Death Star.

Harry had a great day...thanks for all the calls and is one of his favorites...a Pirates at World End shirt from Grandpa Steve and Grandma Lark....thanks...he loves it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Well, after 12 years and over 100,000 miles, it looks like Joe's car is done for. He was sitting innocently at a stop light waiting patiently to turn when another car tried to make a turn too quickly and ran right into him! The body shop says it's probably not worth repairing, so we're preparing to say goodbye to it. It's been such a good car for us...Joe drove me to the hospital in that car when I was in labor with baby Joe, and I drove myself to the hospital to have John (another story completely). So, I guess it's seen us through a full circle of times. We sure will miss that car though!

On another note, is it a sign of a bad pre-school when your 4 year old comes home with an arm looking like this? :)
Poor little Harry. We was such a trooper when a little 3 year old boy at his school tried to take a bite out of him. But really, who wouldn't want to take a bite out of Harry?....he's pretty sweet!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Do You Recognize This Girl?

The box for this Hannah Montana Wig promised that your friends wouldn't even know it's you! What do you think?
This is Maggie's favorite birthday gift...Thanks Grandma Lark & Grandpa Steve!

Off with a bang!

I feel like someone shot a starting gun on the first of December, and the race won't finish until the end of the year! Running, Running, Running. With two December birthdays (I know, we're SO smart) and Christmas, our house is even busier than usual.

I started the month in Oregon actually...Dad had some surgery and I went up to hang out with mom. I know they didn't need my help, but I was just using it as an excuse to get few days by myself. I took the baby and stayed for five days. Mom and I had fun getting all her Christmas decorations up and making her caramel chocolate pretzels (I won't be making them myself this year, as I'm burnt out from making all of hers, but that's another story.) It was a great five days, but I was glad to get back to sunny California....I don't know how all your northerners do it...I guess I've lost the ability.

Thursday the sixth was Maggie's seventh birthday. It was a typical birthday for her...76 degrees in December...we loved it! I decided this year not to invite 12 girls to my house for a birthday party, and opted instead to take 6 girls to Red Hot Pottery, a paint your own pottery studio. We had a great time, and ended up seeing Santa downtown and going to Cold Stone for ice cream as well. The best part was coming home to a clean house! That was definately the kind of party for me! Here are a couple of picture of the party....

After the party, the whole family headed to the world famous Madonna Inn (if they're really world famous, do they really need to say it all the time?) for dinner. We had a great time looking at the Christmas Decorations. Here's a picture I took while walking makes me laugh because it reminds me of pictures of my family when I was little...just a bunch of kids crammed together and having fun.

We also learned during this dinner that John has learned to smile when the camera comes out. The funny part is that he imitates Charlie and smiles so hard it looks like it's pretty cute though....

We saw Santa twice on Saturday, at the Primary Christmas Party, and again at the Ward Christmas Party. We also watched the primary children act out the Nativity Story. Here a some pictures...I don't know, I guess they were supposed to put their hands up to sky in an act of joy, but it really looks more like a bank robbery in progress...

And here are a few pictures of the kids with the big guy...

We ended the weekend with a birthday dinner for Maggie with the Rober's (who were out of town on Maggie's birthday). I have to post this picture of Maggie and Briggs. I think he'd just been told not to touch the cake, and he does NOT look happy about it!

And now for a portion of the blog I'm calling "The Chronicals of Harry". A couple of weeks ago I found Harry standing at the top of the stairs...we had a converstaion, it went a little bit like this:

Harry: "Mom, what would happen if I fell down the stairs?"

Me: "Well Harry, you'd get pretty hurt."

Harry: "Yeah, but would I die?"

Me: "Maybe, it would depend how you fell, maybe you'd just break your leg or something."

Harry: (with a smile) "Okay, but then would I need crutches?"

You see, Harry has been fascinated with crutches ever since he saw an episode of Curious George where he breaks his leg. Every time we go to the drug store he pulls a couple of walking canes off the shelf and pretends he using crutches. So, maybe it's tempting fate, but in five days, on Harry's fifth birthday, he will be unwrapping a brand new pair of child size crutches. Obviously, Harry was saved for the last days...he never could of survived before EBAY was available for present purchasing. So, look forward to a post in the next little while to see Harry on his crutches - every five year old's biggest dream!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A glimpse of days to come

This morning I had a glimpse into my future...and it was beautiful. I got up this morning, got the three school-bound children off to school with Joe (he takes them on his way to work), and found that my two children still at home were still asleep! The house was so quiet and wonderful! I straightened up the house, started the dishwasher, and still managed to sit down and watch a few minutes of the Today show before they woke up. What a wonderful way to start the day!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Halloween, John Turns One, and Webkinz

Well it's been a busy week. First we had a Pirate Family Halloween, complete with all five children AND mom and dad in costume. I think this is a first for our family...I also think it's a last for us! Coordinating seven pirate costumes with hats, swords, and other assorted accessories is not something I want to do again. On the 30th, we went to the church for our "Trunk or Treat", and on the 31st we went trick or treating with friends. By the end of that evening, I was regretting my decision one year ago to be induced with John on the first of November. The last thing I wanted to do this year was plan a party. Of course the last thing I wanted to do last year was spend ONE MORE DAY being pregnant, so I guess it all evens out. I have to admit, John took the prize this year as the cutest pirate...I still can't believe how cute he looks in this thing...I want to put him in it every day!

Even after that, we had two parties for little John this year. One with just the family...John wasn't too sure about the cake thing in this one....

But by the next party with friends (of Mom and Dad's, because what one year old has friends unless he's your first child?), John had warmed up to the idea of cake.....

And finally this week, we have the story of Joe, Maggie and the Webkinz. Joe and Maggie share a Webkinz. For any of you who don't know what that is, here's the general idea. You buy this little stuffed animal of your choice. It has a code on the tag. When you register your Webkinz online, you enter this virtual world of pet can earn money by playing educational games, and then use the money to buy clothes, food, toys, etc.. for your virtual pet. This is the perfect pet for children in a family of five. Anyway, yesterday, Joe came to me, complaining about the Webkinz. Apparently, he had spent five days earning and saving "KinzKash"...he'd managed to make about 600 KinzKash dollars. Then, Maggie logged on and spent the bulk of their savings on clothes, sandwich makers, blenders and cookbooks for their Webkinz. Joe was apparently upset because she neglected to buy any actual food for their pet...who was starving. I found this to be a unique opportunity to explain certain facts of life to Joe. As in, the boy earns the money and the girl spends it! But hey, I have to agree with Maggie on one point...the webkinz sure looked cute in her new outfits! This morning (in the extra hour we had before church because of daylight savings time) Maggie was doing some online shopping for her Webkinz. She really thought her pet would enjoy some exerise in a swimming pool. So she was shopping around for the best price. When I questioned her as to whether or not Joe knew about this potential expenditure, she wouldn't answer. Luckily, Joe came in just then and saw what she was looking at. His comment to her was, "Maggie, WE ARE NOT BUYING A SWIMMING POOL FOR OUR WEBKINZ UNTIL WE BUY A BACKYARD TO PUT IT IN!!!!" This has been one of my favorite exchanges between Joe and Maggie in a long time, and I thought you all might enjoy it as well.

Pictures for Chelsea

Hey Chelesea,
Here are your least a few of them. I'll post more later.
Love ya,

Friday, October 19, 2007

Every Two Weeks I Seem To Get A Free Hour

Okay, Okay, it looks like the most often I can do this is every two weeks, so stop checking...this is as good as it's going to get for now.

Well it's been a busy couple of weeks. We're still working on the small remodel. I spent the day painting five different colors onto the walls and ceilings, trying to get things to match up. Tomorrow we're going to try our hand at carpet installation. It should be exciting if nothing else.

Oh the Roadshow Horrors

This year, the San Luis Obispo stake opted out of a traditional roadshow activity and decided to try something new, much to my husband's delight. The plan was for each ward to make a video presentation to the theme of "And The Moral of The Story Is...", and then the entire stake would get together to view all the videos. As a former Young Women leader, I have to say it sounded like a good idea in least we would avoid the whole last minute, frantic mess of performing live. I forgot how much my husband loves the process of making movies. I think as far as he's concerned, the greatest innovation in the last decade has been the ability to watch directors' commentaries on dvds of his favorite movies...he really loves this stuff. So, of course when he found out about the idea for the roadshow, he did his part as a member of the bishopric and volunteered to direct the flic. (Somehow I don't remember that as part of his duties in the official church handbook :)) I told him that this was akin to my father finding a way to make golf a part of his church calling. I tried to be supportive...through all the screenplay re-writes, to the table reads, to the trip to the dunes at the beach with five children for filming. I even smiled through the evening of green-screen interviews with all the actors. I gave appropriate input for what songs would best fit the soundtrack, and which out-takes made for the best blooper reel. I had to put my foot down however, when he was still tweaking the film AFTER he had turned it in the screening committee. Finally, the evening came for the big premier (and oddly, the ONLY showing of the movie). We were all excited...we walked the red carpet at the stake center and patiently sat through all the other ward films, secretly knowing that ours was of course the best. And, finally 2 hours into the program, we saw our movie up on the big screen. The moment when we realized it would be shown in 4:3 video aspect instead of it's intended 16:9 widescreen format was a little tense, but once we got that fixed, we sat back and enjoyed the show. And finally, after all the hours and days and weeks of work, Joe was awarded an "Oscar" for "Best Screen Play". Here is a picture of the golden sits proudly in our house, and I have to say, it makes everything we all went through worth every minute. (Is there a special font to use for sarcasm? Because I'd like to use it now.) Joe just saw what I was writing about, and wants to figure out how to post the 18 minute video for you all to enjoy. I'll leave that one up to him.

Other than that, our day Saturday with filled with regular Saturday type things. Harry had been waiting weeks for the Open House sign to go up at the fire station so that he could take a ride on the fire truck like we told him we had done a few years ago with Joe and Maggie. Imagine the anticipation for a four year old...waiting litterally weeks to ride on a real, authentic fire truck. Imagine now, if you will, the disapointment of a four year old when the fireman tells you that the lawyers won't let them give rides anymore! Oh well, we got to play in all the trucks, see a car dismantled by the jaws of life, and see where the fireman play Wii. So, all in all, well worth the two hours spent. Here are a few photos....

After the fire station, Joe IV and I had a date at Dream Dinners, where we assembled 12 dinners to eat during the following weeks. This is an effort on my part to get my son involved in the kitchen, and to possibly try eating ANYTHING that is not white or beige in color. He really enjoyed the process and wants to know when we can go back. I told him as soon as we ALL finish all the meals in our freezer. So we'll see how THAT goes. When we returned from Dream Dinners, I plugged in my camera to attempt to blog a bit. That's when I found over 100 pictures of my children, taken by my children. When I asked Maggie where Daddy was during this photo shoot, she shrugged and said, "on the computer".....I should have was the afternoon of the roadshow. I told Joe he needs to be careful now...his children can tell on him.

Anyway, here are two of my favorite shots out the the hundred taken.

Let's see, what else? Just a couple of things I don't want to forget. The pictures tell it best.

Here is Maggie, going to bed. Every night, she gets ready, says her prayers, and snuggles up to read one chapter before going to sleep. I even found my book light confiscated to her room. Nothing makes me happier, as a mother and a book lover, to see her doing this.

And finally, here is a picture of Charlie sleeping. He's finally given up his crib and sleeps in a big boy bed (or the floor as the mood so strikes him). Because of this, I've had more chances to actually see him sleeping (meaning he wakes up in the middle of the night and wanders into my room and onto my bed). Every time he turns over, he really places both hands together and sets them next to his cheek. It's so cute....I never knew people REALLY did that. I thought it was just in corny tv sitcoms. Anyway, I didn't want to forget how cute it looks.

That's it for us tonight. We're planning a big trip to Disneyland next week with our friends and Aunt Chelsea....I'm sure we'll have lots to tell everyone then!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Back to Blogging

I refuse to believe that I can't blog.... just because I started this blog two weeks ago and have yet to add to it doesn't mean anything. We've just been busy!

We started a small re-modeling job this week by taking down the wall in between our tv room (AKA Joe's TV Cave) and the dining room. The plan is to make it feel more like a "great room" where everyone can be together. That's the plan...right now however, it's just a dusty dirty mess! We should be grateful though that our upstairs bathroom didn't fall down into the dining room after the wall came down (there was some discussion about whether or not this wall was a load bearing wall). Apparently, it is not- so far anyway. Below is a picture of what it looks like so far. We've still got a lot of work to do, but I think the end result will be good.

Joe and I have also started doing indexing for the church. This is a wonderful project that only takes a few minutes each day. It relieves a lot of the guilt we feel for not being able to get to the temple more than a couple of times a year. This way, we feel like we're making a contribution to the family history effort. I encourage everyone to try this....just go to to volunteer. There are over 80 billion names to enter, so we need all the help we can get!

In the area of things I need to write about just so I don't forget them, I submit the following:

This week Harry happened upon me watching a documentary about a celebrity (okay, it was an E! True Hollywood story). Anyway, there was some footage of someone getting a tattoo, and Harry was of course full of questions which I did my best to answer. The following day, Harry came to me with a great idea, "Mom, why don't we go to the store and buy a whole bunch of tattoos and then get some chairs for the front room, and we can have people come over to our house and put tattoos on them! Wouldn't that be fun?" So, Harry's first entrepreneurial endeavor would be a tattoo parlor...not a lemonade stand for him...let's go to where the real money is!

Maggie spent today making a to-do list for is what she has planned:

1. Celebrate Columbus Day

2. Play pirates with Harry

3. Learn to ride a bike

4. Learn to tie shoes

5. Play Pokemon with Joe

6. Play with John

Wow, we sure have a lot to do tomorrow....I don't know exactly what celebrating Columbus Day will entail, but I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

Two weeks ago, Harry had his friend Briggs over for a playdate. During the playdate, he decided to dress up as Jack Sparrow so that Briggs could sit on his lap and get his picture taken ("Just like with Santa Claus, mom). Sometimes it's easier to just do these things Harry requests, rather than argue with him - as he'll always have a better rebuttal than I'm able to come up with. Here is the picture we took - Briggs couldn't be talked into actually sitting on Jack's lap, but did concede to sit next to him.

John celebrated his 11 month birthday (when I say celebrate, I mean I said to myself one day, "Oh, John is eleven months old today). He continues to crawl in his "army-style" crawl. Joe describes it as "He looks like he's just been shot and he's crawling to the phone to call 911." By the way, John is our first child to actually do that. I was letting him play with the phone - because I had the lock function on - so what could he hurt?, when I heard the phone ringing. I looked down quickly to see the number he had dialed (911) and quickly hung up the phone. I thought I had lucked out until the phone immediately started ringing. The caller ID said, private, but the person on the other end was the 911 dispatcher, calling to make sure all was well. I explained the situation, apologized and hung up, sure that the incident was over. Until of course, the doorbell rang about 7 minutes later. Imagine my surprise to find 2 police officers on my porch! After much apologizing on my part, they left, convinced that no one was coerrcing my pleasant responses. Embarrassing, but nice to know how quick the response time would be were there an actual emergency!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Welcome to the Blogging Craze

Well, Annee, you inspired me...I think about how much fun your children will have someday when they get to read your posts. What a wonderful way to journal!

I don't have anything to write about today, but I figure it's good to just get started. Oh wait, I have to write what Harry just said... "Mom, everything is boring except fire." With that, I think I'd better go and explain to him why I can't give him matches and a "stick with oil in it" as he's just requested. Apparently he wants to start an eternal flame. All that, after I've already had to tie him to a stick and carry him around today (a la Pirates of the Carribean - our latest family obsession).

Wish us luck and check back soon!