Sunday, December 18, 2011

Today we…

Listened: to the kids belt out “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Just one more week, and they couldn’t be more excited!

Ate: orange cream fudge, delicious caramel popcorn, and chocolate chip pie with vanilla ice cream.  Oh, yeah, baby.  That’s what I’m talking about.

Drank: a cold glass of milk to finish off our pie.

Wore: matching (well, coordinating) dresses for the girls, a handsome shirt and sweater for Paul, and a cute dress and cardigan for Bridget.  I tried to do my hair in a Gibson tuck for a fun change.  I watched the video and it looked extremely (deceptively, some would say) simple.  It would not stay in for the life of me, which resulted in our being far later to church than we should be.

Felt: ready for a vacation!

Talked about the weather: supremely gorgeous and sunny!  It’s weekends like this that make me love Albuquerque.

Wanted: a jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich.  Simply the best sandwich EVER.

Needed: a nap. And the kids were all obliging enough to let us take one, after a few false starts.

Thought: about what I needed to get done tomorrow. Gingerbread houses are on the calendar, so we need to get to the store to buy the ingredients for the dough.  Also need to get to Hobby Lobby to get some final things to finish up the play kitchen we’re making.  Kids have a Christmas party for their art class, so I need to grab some sort of present for their teachers, and we’re going caroling in the evening, which means I need to make a few dozen cookies.  Fun but busy day!

Enjoyed: talking to our family on the web cam.  The kids look forward to it so much.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving and Bat Paul

We had Thanksgiving at our friends’ house this year.  It’s the first time since we’ve lived here that we haven’t hosted, so it was a surprisingly relaxing day.  We made two turkeys and had a little drama with our oven shutting off. This happens every year, and somehow we manage to forget every year.  (*Insert long story about why our oven is idiotic, doesn’t display the actual temperature inside, and shuts off randomly.)  Note to self for next Thanksgiving: buy an oven thermometer!  Despite that delay, the turkey was delicious and all the sides were amazing.  We brought scalloped potatoes with fennel, which are TO DIE FOR.  Seriously, I think they would be on my list if I had to request a last meal.  The cranberry cream pie is always a hit and specifically requested by Aaron.  One of the guests at the dinner made SIX pies (my favorite was the sweet potato!), so that brought the grand pie total to seven.  Always a good thing.

(Before our pie arrived.)


The scalloped potatoes from last year.  They looked the same this year, but I forgot to bake them in my pretty white dish.

Monique’s lovely table setting.


The adorable kids’ table.

Allen, Monique (taking the picture), me, Aaron, Buffy, Joe, Adam, baby Hyrum, and Laurie.

Thanks, Monique, for letting me steal these photos!  I didn’t take a single photo on Thanksgiving, even though I had sewn matching turkey shirts for all the kids.  That shot will be reenacted soon, hopefully before Bridget grows out of hers!

While we were there, Paul got ahold of a Batman costume and wore it the entire evening.  Carter was nice enough to let Paul have it since it was too small for him, and I think Paul has died and gone to heaven.




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bridget at three months

I’m afraid this baby has been sorely neglected in the picture-taking department.  It seems that I just get so crazy running around that I forget to take pictures of what it is we’re doing.  And when I do actually remember my camera, my hands are always so full that I rarely take pictures with it.  But since she’s pretty much the spitting image of her siblings, I think that we’ll know what she looked like at this age.  Sorry, Bridget.  That’s the life of the fourth.

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We had our family pictures taken a few weeks ago, and I LOVED how they turned out.  Isn’t she a doll baby?  I could just eat her up.  Locals, if you even need your pictures done, call Jacque Larsen.  She’s amazing!

For comparison’s sake:

IMG_1950 IMG_3033 IMG_7100 DSC_5989

Katie, Paul, Averi, and Bridget.  We make one child.  Katie is the most different looking of all of them.  And look, Averi and Bridget are lying on the same blanket and wearing coordinating outfits!  Too cute!

Some things about Bridget:

She’s got the most adorable smile.  She’s not super generous with it, but when she does grin at you, it makes you melt.

She laughed for the first time today.  I made myself ridiculous trying to get her to do it for Aaron, but no dice.  I promise, honey, I wasn’t making things up.


She’s a super sleeper.  For a while she had been sleeping 12+ hours every night.  For the last week she’s been waking up at 6:30 every morning (I think because she’s getting cold in there; the heater we have is a dud), but that still means she’s getting in almost 11 hours of sleep.  Now if I could just get myself to go bed on time so that I could be as well rested…

She’s a pro at this eating business.  We’ve never had a baby that was this good at eating.


(In her aerobics instructor “costume,” which consisted of a onesie, leggings, and a headband.)

She’ll take a pacifier.  Again, our only baby that could figure it out.  She’s gifted, I’m sure of it.

She’s found her index finger and loves sucking on that and on her fist. 


She’s super strong and doesn’t mind tummy time at all.

She drools.  A LOT.

She spits up a bit, but she’s nothing compared to Averi.  That girl spit up more than any baby I’ve ever seen.

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She is very, very loved by this crew.  They take good care of her.

She’s the best excuse for just sitting and doing nothing.

She’s absolutely delightful.  It breaks my heart that I can’t have a million more just like her.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall Bucket List – Recap

Since it’s nearly Thanksgiving, I thought I’d check back and see how we did on our fall bucket list.

1. Go to a pumpkin patch  Yep!  Will blog about that…someday.


This was the only family (well, most of them) picture we got.  Too bad they were looking directly into the sun!

2. Balloon Fiesta – So sad we didn’t make it this year!  We decided to do a last-minute trip to Utah, so something had to give.  Next year!

3. State Fair Apparently the only pictures we took were of the rather freaky acrobats.


4. Renaissance Fair  Done!


5. Go on a hike  The kids did this with Grandma and Grandpa J while we were in Utah.

6. Sew Halloween costumes Close enough! More on Bridget’s and ours in a later post.



Baby aerobics instructor!  Pump it up, ladies!

7. Trick or treating!


This blurry shot was one of the best I could get.  They were so thrilled to be getting the loot that they wouldn’t hold still at all.  This was the first year that we made it around the entire large block.  Yay for kids getting bigger!  Averi wore several different costumes during the course of the day.  For trick or treating she was Jasmine.

8. Family game night Did this several times, both with just our little family and with our family back in Utah.

9. Make s’mores over a fire.  Nope!  Totally forgot about this one, actually.  S’mores sound really good right now…

10. Carve pumpkins 







11. Make a wreath Made a super cute yarn wreath with felt flowers, but then I ran into issues.  I tried a trick I saw on Pinterest that said to use pipe insulation that’s been duct-taped together instead of having to buy a wreath.  Didn’t work. At ALL.  So it’s completely fallen apart and waiting to be fixed.  But I did make it, and that’s what counts.

12. Make a scarf.  Nope.  But I sewed plenty of other things (and bought a new scarf), so I don’t feel bad.

13. Make chili.  I made a very nice paleo chili.  If I could remember where I found the recipe, I’d post it.  But I can’t.  I’m wanting to try a pumpkin chili recipe I saw.  Anything with pumpkin has to be great, right?

14. Go down to the bosque and take pictures in the leaves.  We didn’t get around to this, which makes me sad.  One of my favorite things about Albuquerque is driving down the road in the fall and seeing the huge swath of yellow along the river.  Next year!  We did get our family pictures done in downtown Albuquerque, so it’s not too terrible.

15. Make art with leaves.  No, but the kids did do tons of fall-related crafts in their homeschool art class.

16. Eat al fresco All. The. Time.  Until it got dark, of course.

17. Read on the patio while the kids play.  You know, I don’t think I ever really did this.  Usually because I was holding a baby, and lounging and reading isn’t really easy when you’ve got a baby to accommodate. 

18. Visit to the farmer’s market.  No, but we did sign up for our local CSA.  We got our first box this week, and everything looks delicious!

19. Make our house smell delicious.  Just toss orange peels, and cinnamon stick, and cloves into a saucepan with plenty of water, turn it on low, and let it simmer throughout the day.  Lovely!

Not too bad!  We were crazy busy throughout the fall, but we had a fantastic time.  Now it’s time for the holidays!  Turkeys are thawing (fingers crossed they’ll be ready by tomorrow morning!), turkey shirts are made for the kids, and the fridge is packed with produce.  I love Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I really want to know what game they were playing…


What is the Box! of! Shame! and what does Averi have to do with it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cougar Fans

Back story: My dad and ALL of his family went to the University of Utah.  And yet they’re BYU Football season ticket holders and passionate about their Cougars.  I haven’t quite figured out where this came from.  My dad says that it’s because he knows not to confuse his sports with his academics.  Of course, what was the ONLY school I was allowed to attend?  BYU.  Seriously.  I wasn’t even permitted to apply anywhere else.  Believe you me, I was not happy about it, either.  However, it was the only school he would allow his little girl to go to when he was going to be thousands of miles away in Australia.  And you know, he was right.  I loved it there. 

Aaron also attended to University of Utah.  He’s still a fan, though.  We’ve haven’t gotten to him…yet.  He’s falling behind in the marketing department, though.  Do my kids own any Ute apparel?  Do they know the fight song?  Have they watched a U of U game?  No, no, and no.  So when they grow up to be Cougar fans, he has no one to blame but himself.

When Kiera (my sister who is now 10) was little, I bought her a BYU cheerleader outfit.  Super cute.


(Kiera, Christmas 2003)

It was then passed on to Katie.


(Our mixed-blood family, September 2007)

Averi wore the dress as well, but very unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of her in it.  We’re waiting for Bridget to grow into it at the moment.

We were lucky to have my dad come and visit us in the beginning of October.  My dad loves to spoil his grandkids, so he brought down BYU shirts for each of them.  He even found a little one for our Bridget.  The weather was gorgeous outside, and so a photo shoot ensued.  Forgive the photo overload if you’re not a relative; my dad wanted to see the pictures I took.  And they’re dang cute.




Everybody loves Bridget.  What’s not to love?


Practicing his football grimace.



Mr GQ right here.  This pose was all Paul’s idea.  Heartbreaker.


Averi has her grandpa wrapped around her little finger.  She stole his heart when she told him, “Grandpa, I wish you could stay for a million!”  We wish he could stay for a million, too, Averi.


Ra ra ra ra ra…


Goooooo Cougars!




Do they come any cuter than this?



Katie burned her head at a friends house.  Apparently she was looking at a lamp through the top of the shade and then burned it on the bulb.  How do kids do these things?  Of course her face was tanned from the summer, so the spot won’t disappear for another year.



Paul is seriously the best big brother EVER.  He loves his baby.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Third article of faith according to Paul

Rdicl uf fath 3

We belev [that] throo the tomit uv cr[ist] ol mencind ma be savd bi obedi[ence] to the los and ordunitsis of the gospol.

(I added the words that he forgot or didn’t finish.  He did say them all when he read it to me, though.)

Proper translation:

Article of Faith 3: We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

Pretty good, huh?  I especially loved the spelling of ordinances.  He did this while he was playing, not as part of an assignment.  It’s amazing what kids pick up on.  There are some times when I think that I haven’t taught much in homeschool.  And then there are times like these, when my pre-k son presents a transcription of the third article of faith.  Or the other day when we were listening to some classical music in the car and Averi (who’s three) said, “This isn’t Mozart.  Mozart goes like…” and then she proceeded to hum the first few measures of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. 

I think I’ll give myself a little pat on the back and keep on for a while.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Costumes

I decided to sew Halloween costumes this year because I’m crazy.  But, unlike other years, this year I won’t be sewing 5 minutes before the trunk-or-treat starts.  Our friends hold an annual Halloween carnival, and I decided that I wanted to have the costumes ready by the carnival.  That way, if I missed my deadline I’d still have another week until the next Halloween function.

I only sewed one costume completely from scratch this year.  One year every family member got a costume from The Wizard of Oz (except Aaron, who put together his own scarecrow ensemble).  So I took the easy easier route and sewed some things and used some bought or found things.  Katie wanted to be Tiana.  With the exception of Guiselle from Enchanted, we now have a costume for every single Disney princess.  Which is fine with me, since my kids spend hours every day in dress-ups.  These costumes get lots of mileage, which makes it totally worth it for me.




This costume was a bit of a pain to sew, but not nearly as complicated as Glinda.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting more experienced or if the pattern was easier, but I seemed to understand things better and make fewer mistakes.  It turned out a bit big and had to be safety pinned in a few places, but that’s much better than too small.  She should get plenty of wear out of this.  I love how the sequin trim and the jewels finish it off.  One of my favorite parts is the shoes that match the round jewels on the dress perfectly.  They were in nearly perfect condition at Savers for $5.  Score!!  They’re quite comfy and have soles with traction, so Katie will also be able to wear those all the time.  Katie wanted to have a frog to carry around with her.  Not like I don’t have a million other projects already.  Perhaps if we stumble across a Beanie Baby frog we’ll grab it.

Paul bought a wizard hat at the Renaissance Fair, which inspired the wizard costume.  I used some fabric my mom had at her house, so the cape didn’t cost a thing to make besides the 99 cents I paid for the pattern.  I altered the pattern to make the cape reversible.  One side is blue silk from India (!!!).  I couldn’t believe my mom would let me use it, but she was the one who offered it up, so of course I grabbed it!  The other side is a plain black, which is perfect for being Zorro, a bad guy, or anything else his imagination can come up with.


I think he’s confusing wizards with the emperor from Star Wars here.  But he’s super cute anyway.


Averi fell in love with a witch costume at Other Mothers, and since it fit her and she was so enraptured with it, I let her get it.  It was pretty beat up.  The hat was fraying, the poorly-serged seams were falling apart, and it just needed a bit of TLC.  So I put new bias tape on the brim, mended any holes, clipped all stray thread, and put new polka-dot bias tape on part of the dress.  That’s my favorite part.  It just gave it that little extra touch to look higher-quality.  I learned how to make my own bias tape using this tutorial, and although it was time consuming, it was so satisfying to have yards and yards of bias tape at the end.  And yes, I know I’m weird.  I made the gloves for her, found the tights at Wal-Mart of all places, and let her borrow my necklace.  Cutest witch I’ve ever seen.  She decided that she was going to be a bad witch, and when she put it on tonight, she ran and grabbed Paul and with a sassy sway of her hips said, “Come on!  Let’s go get those good guys.”  Adorable.




When I had her put her hat on to take pictures at the carnival, I realized that at one point she had stored a cupcake in there.  The inside was covered with frosting, and yet I made her wear it for photos anyway.  I’m a terrible mother.  Then when we were getting in the car, she took the hat off and plopped the lollipop she was sucking on in there for safe-keeping. 

Bridget was an aerobics instructor with leggings, a onesie, and a headband.  I’m planning on adding to her costume, but it’s not finished.  Pictures of her will be coming later.  She was definitely not in the mood for photos this evening.




I love my adorable family.  Happy Halloween season!!