Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mutually Exclusive?

Can I tell you that I hate school Open House and still have you think that I'm a good parent?

Or are the two things mutually exclusive?

Whatever...I hate Open House.

I know my kids love it, and maybe even the teachers love it. But for me, it's just two hours of looking at dioramas (and you all know my feelings about those), art projects, and other "stuff" that I just know is all going to end up in my home in, count down with me, TWELVE more days. Yes, my kids are so excited to tell me that they have TWELVE more days of school. They tell me every day how the number of their school days are well as the days of my sanity.

I don't know what I'm going to do this summer, but I'm suspecting that steriods (for me) are going to play a role.


Anyway, enjoy the pictures of Open House.

Harry's class performed some Ballroom Dancing (that was actually pretty cool)

Then the parents got to learn (I know, enough with the headbands already Brooke)

Maggie's class had a plethora of art projects. Here she is next to a chimpanzee she made out of paper. Won't this look nice in my living room in TWELVE days?

Here's Charlie with his life-sized painted self. This is already looking nice in my living room.

And Joe drew this pretty cool drawing of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. This actually might make it up on the wall in my house.

In other news, doesn't this site just make you happy? It sure does me....

See, Mom, the cupcake pincushion IS cute!

And what about these little beauties? I mean, if you're going to way over-pay for a business at the height of the California Real estate market, shouldn't you at least get some lockers for your house out of the deal? They made their way home from Cold Stone a couple of weeks ago and met up with some red spray paint. I think it's funny that Joe keeps his locked up. I wonder what he keeps in there?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Style Guide

When I was in Oregon, I found this seersucker suit at Target, size 24 months, in the clearance rack for, not kidding, SIX DOLLARS AND TWENTY-FOUR CENTS. How could I not buy it? (Someday I'll give you a glimpse into my closet, I mean closets, full of little boys church clothes.) Anyway, the suit was identical to one that John's friend Ty had gotten earlier in the year, and when John saw it, he thought it was for him and was so excited to have a suit "just like Ty". So I held the size 24 month suit up to my three and half year old, and thought, "why not? He's cute, he can pull it off".

And, according to the latest issue of GQ (which still SOMEHOW finds it's way into our home even though I've thrown away every subscription renewal form I can ever find),he's doing it just right.

The caption of this picture says, "Lighten Your Load: A papery thin, lightweight khaki suit...Crop the pants short and ditch the socks for an even more summery vibe."

He's definitely got some kind of vibe going here...

Pre-Church Antics

What happens when you have 11:00 church?
Things can get a little crazy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Channeling Our Inner Chelsea

Since all TWO of you asked to actually see the's a picture that shows it better. I've never understood why people look so funny when they take pictures of themselves in the mirror. I get it now. The pattern worked well...I didn't put sleeves on it, but I think I may since it would be fun to wear without a sweater. If I were to do it over, I would lengthen the bodice (the waistline hits me somewhere between my bust and my belly button...I'd like it a bit lower) and also lengthen the skirt. I added a good three inches to the skirt length and still had to add the ruffle thing at the bottom. But I like my skirts a bit on the long side. I made the size 38 and it was a bit big, but liked it that way because then I just sewed up the back center seam and skipped the zipper. The ruffle detail in the front was super easy to do and really fun. I used about three yards total fabric.

Last weekend, while up at my Mother's Day Retreat, my rockin little sister Chelsea rocked this awesome outfit. You can sort of see it in this picture:

She found this super-cute striped top at TJ Max and then paired it with a royal blue dress for church. I never would have thought to put it together, but once she did it, I totally had to copy her.
So, I bought the super-cute top from TJ Max, but then was stuck on finding the royal blue dress. Then I came across this blog. She does this thing called "A Frock by Friday" , where she teaches people to sew a dress each week. The pattern was free, and it was a really easy tutorial to follow. I got so into the idea that I even turned an old Forever 21 tank of mine into a little shrug/sweater for Maggie and made her wear it with a royal blue dress that she already had. It was fun to go to church today as twins, and even more fun to feel like we were really cool because we looked like our super-cool sister/aunt Chelsea. So thanks Chelsea...this picture's for you!

P.S. The fun feathered headband is something I bought for Maggie at Forever 21. When she didn't want to wear it this morning, I stuck it on myself (even though that's something that is usually WAY out of my fashion comfort zone) I figured if I was going to copy Chelsea, I might as go all the way and do it right!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Campout: Father-Son Style

Last night was our annual Father/Son campout. I insisted that Joe take the camera with him, and this time, actually take some pictures with it. Here's a sampling of what I got. I'm hoping this picture will convince my son Joe that it's okay to just smile and act like you're having a good time, and not try to look cool in pictures. Very rarely does TRYING to look cool in pictures translate into ACTUALLY looking cool in pictures.

Fifteen pictures total, and eight of them were a sequence of these boys rolling this log around. I don't know what the story is, and I suspect even if I did, it wouldn't be a story worth writing about.

Apparently, when you're camping, it's okay to have your picture taken without your face being wiped clean first. I'm trying to pick out the foods...chocolate, cheetos, and maybe ketchup?

The one time I had to get stitches as a child was when I was playing with a pocket knife just like this. So, I'm glad the campout ended at my home and not at the emergency room.

Here's a question for you though. How many loads of laundry are required after one father/son campout? My guess is eight. But I just started the first load, so I guess I'll have to let you know.

Update: For all you out there just dying to know, I was right. Eight loads of laundry. Of course, that includes all the sleeping bags. I know not everyone washes sleeping bags after each use, but, well, I do.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Some Before & Afters Plus a Little Religious Propaganda

Well, here are the "before" pictures.

We were too tired from shopping, cooking, crafting, eating, chatting and laughing to take an "after" picture. I don't think it would have been a pretty picture even if we'd had the energy to take one.

We pulled out the old video tapes while in Oregon. The ones we have from when my Dad RENTED a video camera for a day. They were amusing to say the least. No one knew how to focus the thing, so most of it is blury. It was such a novelty to us that most of the kids spent the majority of the time talking directly to the camera, saying, "Dad, watch this, watch this." My dad spent the enitre time narrating what he was filming. We got to see my grandma and grandpa as the young grandparents we remember from our childhood, it was the word I would use. Watching the tapes also triggered some memories from childhood. One in particular was when we were adding onto our house in the early 1980s. There was a big stack of plywood on the concrete floor of our new addition, and we (the children) thought it would be so fun to use the stack as a stage. So we climbed up, and mom turned some music on, and we sang and danced and jumped around and had just plain fun until, of course, somebody got hurt. My younger brother fell off and hit his head on the concrete corner of the fireplace hearth, gashing his forhead open and sending us all to the emergency room. I've always remembered this experience, but what I'd forgotton what the MUSIC we were singing along with when we were dancing. This weekend it came back to me. Do any of you remember this music from the early 1980's?

This is what the cover of the tape looked like.

This was the music that was playing while we were "performing". It was some classic, feel good about your religion kind of music. Click here to play the actual, "I'm a Mormon" song. The lyrics are pretty hilarious. There were also some songs on the tape that were a little,um, gender specific I would say. Here are the lyrics to the song I remember the most.

When I grow up I want to be a mother
And have a family
One little, two little, three little babies of my own
Of all the jobs, for me I'll choose no other
We'll have a family
Four little, five little, six little babies in my home
And I will love them all day long
And give them cookies and milk and yellow balloons
And cuddle them when things go wrong
And read them stories and sing them pretty tunes
When I grow up if I can be a mother
How happy I will be
One little, two little, three little babies I can love
And you will see each sister and each brother
Who look a lot like me
Four little, five little, six little blessings from above."

Anybody wonder now why I always thought I wanted six children? The puzzle is really starting to fit together now! I guess I'd better get off the computer now though, I really need to go make some cookies so I can give them to my six little babies. And, I'd better go right out and get some yellow balloons...what will happen if something goes wrong for one of my children and I don't have a yellow balloon? How will I be able to fix it?

P.S. As a warning to my siblings, I've been entrusted with the video tapes. They are currently at my home, being converted to DVD. You will all be getting a copy. I do promise, however, not to post any of the video on my blog or youtube. Maybe I should extract the same promise from all of you before you get your copy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Go Cat Go

Well it's one for the money,

Two for the show,

Three to get ready,

Now go, cat, go.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women in my life, mother or no. Take a moment this weekend and celebrate what it really means to be a Daughter of God. Personally, I'll be taking the entire weekend!

Monday, May 3, 2010

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors

What, you might be thinking, is this child and cat looking at? (well, what were they looking at before they realized I had the camera in my hand and instantly turned to look at it instead?)

You've guessed it folks, I got myself a robot vacuum!

Isn't she pretty?

Now, you're saying, "Yes, Brooke, she sure is pretty, but does she really work?" To which I will answer with a resounding, "YES!" I bought it at Costco a couple of weeks ago, on a whim, sure that it wouldn't really work and that I would soon be taking advantage of Costco's generous return policy. But, once I got her home and out of the box, once I watched her as she busily vacuumed my carpet, going under beds and tables and every other place I could never get with my upright vacuum; once I saw her realizing she was running low on battery, and thus promptly returning herself to her charging dock; once I saw all that, it was just love, and there was never a thought of returning her. She has become family, she is a vacuum after my own heart.

I come from a long line of vacuum lovers. My grandma LaRue prides herself on owning nine different models, and as a child I can remember her using the small handheld vacuum to clean the inside of the larger canister vacuum. I have an early memory of my mother teaching me to vacuum...showing me how to follow the lines the vacuum made in the carpet, repeating each sweep four times to achieve the maximum cleaning effect.

This love of freshly vacuumed carpet has been passed onto my own children as well...Yesterday, upon returning home from church to our neat and tidy ROOMBA'd home, Harry said, "It's just so nice to come home and see the carpet look so nice."

Yes, Harry, it certainly is nice.
(And I'm apoligizing right now to your future wife.)

So, welcome home Roomba. You will be well loved and well taken care of. We hope your time with us is long.

(If you don't know me well enough to know, let me tell you I'm half joking about this subject. But only half.)

In other news, Maggie participated in her first "Strings In The Schools" recital. Here she is with her viola. Isn't she just lovely?

And finally, one image from yestderday that I captured and wanted to share. All the children playing together, acting out a scene from Indiana Jones. I don't know which scene it was or who was who, but I do know that they were happy for at least five minutes while they were playing...and sometimes you need to savor those five minutes...