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!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Keeping it real

Here’s how my day went today:

8:00 – Woke up and fed Bridget. Got showered – as much as I could, since I was having patch testing for allergies done and couldn’t get my back wet at all. Got dressed.

8:30 – Katie is lying on the floor, telling me that she’s sick and we’ll have to cancel our appointments today. I tell her to quite whining and go get dressed. Miraculously, she seemed fine.

8:45 – I go upstairs to hustle the kids along, and notice a large black mark on one of the new kid desks we bought from Ikea. Apparently Paul had fun with a Sharpie sometime in the morning and decided to draw on one of the white desks that Aaron had just assembled the night before. Thank goodness for Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

9:00 – I try to gather the kids together for breakfast. Notice that Paul has already managed to pee his pants this morning, so I send him upstairs to change and take a shower. He winds up missing breakfast and has to eat a banana in the car.

9:15 – We’re supposed to be out of the door in 5 minutes. Ha! Neither Averi or Bridget are dressed, Katie’s hair is a crazy mess, I haven’t eaten anything, and Paul needs help putting his shoes on since he can’t find the ones he can put on himself. This is despite that fact that I remind them EVERY TIME we enter the house to take their shoes off and put them in the basket.

9:25 – We finally get out the door. Then I notice our gas tank is very, very on E. We’re already late, so I hope we can make it to the dermatologist’s office and then just fill up afterwards.

10:05 – My appointment was supposed to start at 9:45. Still haven’t heard from the nurse, and we have other doctor’s appointments for Bridget and Paul starting at 10:30. Try to call the other doctors to let them know we’ll be slightly late, but then discover my phone is dead.

10:20 – Miraculously, the dermatologist visit went very quickly once it started. So far it seems that the only thing I’m allergic to is nickel. I have a follow-up and final evaluation tomorrow. We RUN to the car. We have 10 minutes to make it up to Rio Rancho. And then I remember the empty tank. Definitely don’t want to risk driving that far without a working cell phone. Stop to Smiths to fuel up is in order.

10:40 – We arrive at the doctor’s office. I check in at the kiosk so that I don’t have to have the nurse tell me that I am, in fact, late. As if I didn’t already know that.

11:00 – Bridget’s two month checkup went great. She’s in the 50th percentile for weight and 98.5 (th?) percentile for height. Doctor told me not to put too much store by the height since it is so iffy at this age.

12:00 – We finally finish with Paul’s well-child visit and with Bridget’s shots. The doctor was very concerned about his constant accidents (he had one while we were there), and wants to see if we can get to the bottom of this. Finally!! I’ve been to doctors about it multiple times in the past, and I’ve always been told that he’ll grow out of it. But this time the doctor agreed that this was not normal. He orders blood and urine tests from the lab and orders an x-ray to check his spine. If these don’t reveal anything he’s sending us to the urologist.

12:10 – We finish eating the crackers the nurse brought us. Remember, Paul had had essentially no breakfast, and it was lunch time and we still had to go across the hall to the labs to get Paul’s testing done. Hopefully the graham crackers would tide us over.

12:45 – We finish Paul’s blood and urine tests. Without thinking, I had sent him to the bathroom minutes before he was supposed to go in and give a urine sample. He was only able to squeeze out a quarter of an inch, but they said that should be enough. He freaked out when they drew his blood. Can’t say I blame him.

1:00 – We finish Paul’s x-ray. Kids are starving and my nerves are raw from trying to keep four kids quiet and keep them from getting into everything that seems interesting. Why didn’t I ask someone to watch the two girls? Because I wasn’t thinking, that’s why.

1:20 – Hit up Chick-Fil-A for lunch. All budgeting goals go out the window when you’re stressed, hungry, and have more errands still to run.

2:00 – Leave Chick-Fil-A and head to Target to buy a present for a baby shower.

2:30 – While in Target, I see Katie put something in her pocket. Turns out she found something (an interchangeable belt buckle, I think) on the floor and decided to keep it. The belts were right there, and it obviously belonged to that display. Had a big lecture about stealing and honestly. I’m having déjà vu, since I just had the same talk the day before with Paul when he ate a taffy at Sunflower Market without paying for it. Why have my children resorted to thievery all of a sudden?

2:45 – Paul throws a MAJOR fit when I don’t buy him a Star Wars puzzle. I had told him he could have it, but then he went off to play while I was checking out and took the puzzle with him. We needed to get going, so I told him he could get it next time we were at Target. We’re there just about every other day, so not a big deal, right? Wrong. He screamed the entire way home. Had to skip the trip to Hancock Fabrics to buy some trim and fray check that I needed to finish up a Halloween costume.

3:00 – I managed to calmly (only externally) ignore Paul until we got home. Then I told him (calmly, calmly) that he needed to go up to his room to change (another accident) and he needed to stay there until he cooled down.

3:30 – Paul is still in his room and Averi has fallen asleep on the couch downstairs. We were supposed to leave for Paul’s first gymnastics lesson now (supposed to start at 4), but we skip it. Everyone is just too worn out, including me. I tell the kids that they can use whatever they want in the craft drawers, but I need some down time, so they can’t bother me for a while. Bridget is sleeping, so I go upstairs and shut myself up in the study.

4:00 – After checking emails and goofing around a bit, I work on Katie’s Tiana costume. Zipper gets installed successfully (major achievement!) and it all seems to fit well. Feed Bridget, the dream baby. Get myself ready for the baby shower tonight. Wrap present.

5:45 – Go downstairs to prep dinner. Kitchen is a disaster from the kids’ crafting, but I’ll take it. Kabobs are sitting in the fridge waiting to be grilled, so I’m not stressed. About that, at least.

6:20 – Aaron arrives home, and the table is still not cleaned off completely. I have to leave for the baby shower, so I give instructions on the rest of dinner, kiss everyone and Bridget and I head off to a baby shower. Have a very nice time with friends. They had a cute idea for the shower; instead of games, we all embellished onesies for the new baby girl. They were adorable.

8:30 – Two friends and I head out to Chilis to grab something heartier, since two of us hadn’t had any dinner. Two meals out in one day. Terrible! But it was so nice to just sit and chat with friends. I’ve been so checked out of things lately, and it was great catching up with everything.

10:30 – Head for home. A coyote crossed the road right in front of my car. It paused and stared at me and then went on his way. He was gorgeous. I love New Mexico.

11:00 – Finish feeding Bridget and put her to bed. Go upstairs to work some more on the costume. Ignored the very messy house. Wrote blog post.

1 – Bed. I hope.

Quick trip to Utah

We’re back from a great little trip up to Utah.  My Grandma Davis was in town, it was my dad’s birthday, and Aaron had free tickets to a gaming expo, so we had a trifecta of reasons to go up.  And since we’re homeschooling, there were no school schedules to work around.  Aaron had to fly back and forth for work, but he drove both ways with me, which made the whole trip possible.  Fortunately we had free Southwest tickets that were about to expire, so it worked out well.  I had a fantastic time.  Usually when we visit we cram our days full of fun things, but this time we mostly hung out.  I loved just being with everyone all day.  It was more of a “normal life” vacation: I sewed (one costume down, five to go!!); went shopping (lots of this); crafted with my sister and sister-in-law (and then proceeded to leave the hair clip I made at my parent’s house); went to see the townhome my parents are building by Park City; saw my brother-in-law in a improv comedy performance; went out to eat lots; went to the temple with my mom, sister, cousin, and grandma; had a family birthday party; and capped it off with an evening of “My Fair Lady” at the Hale Center Theater.  Definitely a great trip.  I love Albuquerque, but I miss my family so much.  The more kids we have and the more cousins they have, the more I want to move back.  Oh well.  At least we get to visit frequently.


Paul with Brayden.  These two adore each other.  One morning my mom was supposed to be taking my grandma to a doctor’s appointment, and she had forgotten that she was also supposed to watch my sister’s two kids.  Fortunately I had nothing at all planned, so I offered to take care of them.  Brayden wanted nothing to do with me once my mom left.  He was sobbing, and then he ran to Paul and wanted Paul to hold him.  It was the sweetest thing ever.  Paul has such a love for little children, especially for his sisters and cousins.  He’ll be an amazing father when he grows up. 


Bridget snuggling with her great-grandma.


Grandma Davis.  She’s 89 years old, and could probably outmaneuver and outwork many people half her age.  I loved listening to her tell stories.  They’re amazing, even though she doesn’t think so.  I guess her life just seems ordinary to her. 

My grandma was converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after she was married, and she grew up as a Baptist.  When she was a young girl, she had a dream about a building she had never seen before, and she knew that it was going to be important in her life and that she would have something to do with that building.  For years she kept thinking about that dream, but she eventually forgot about it.  After she met my grandpa (who was a member, but quite inactive), she had the dream again.  It wasn’t until several years later that she discovered the building she had been dreaming about was the Salt Lake Temple.  When my mom asked her about the dream, she found out that Grandma still had never been to the Salt Lake Temple.  One of the highlights of my trip was being able to go to the temple with her and with my mom, Heather, and my cousin Michelle.  It was a wonderful day.  It truly is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen in my life.  Aaron and I were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple, and it was wonderful to go back and do a live endowment session there.  I wish I had taken pictures of us while we were there, but I forgot my camera in the car.


(Aaron and me on our wedding day)

I had a fantastic time on this little trip.  Huge thanks to my sweet husband who was willing to drive with me so that we could make it all happen!  I love you!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Handsome FIVE year old

Late summer is birthday season around here: between July and September, we have five birthdays in our immediate family and another six more in the rest of our family.  We have another two in October as well.  Paul winds up the family birthday spree on September 25.  We love having Paul in our family.  He is SO BOY.  I don’t know how he could be any more boy.  But at the same time, he’s our most sweet child and very tender.  He wanted Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and the American Girl doll Molly for his birthday—go figure.  Here’s Paul’s birthday interview:

My favorite food is: pizza

My favorite movie is: Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog

The coolest person on Earth is: Jake

My favorite thing to learn about is: space

The thing I’m great at is: math

If I could go anywhere, it would be: movie theaters

My favorite color is: black

My favorite superhero is: Wolverine

When I grow up, I’m going to be a: baseball player

My favorite song is: Covered Wagons

A book I love is: Batman Meet the Superheroes

When I was little, I used to: play with Scruffy

My favorite time of year is: summer

The snack I like best is: trail mix

One food that I really don’t like is: eggs

My best friend is: Henry

If I had one wish, it would be: to be a dragon

My favorite phrase is: I love you (Aaron and I couldn’t think of anything off the top of our heads, but Paul said that his favorite phrase is “I love you.” And he does say that a lot)

My favorite treat is: chocolate cake with chocolate chips on it

My favorite toy is: Star Wars Legos




Saturday, October 1, 2011

Averi turned THREE!

I can’t believe how big my little girl is getting.  I have to say, she was such a great two-year-old.  For my kids, at least, two is great.  I’d be tempted to keep them two forever.  It’s three that gets hard, and she’s living up to that precedent.  She’s quite opinionated, and is learning the fine art of whining.  But she’s still very fun to be around.  We love her to pieces. 

I love the idea of interviewing your kids every year on their birthday (or close to it, since dates lose their relevancy around here).  Here’s what Averi had to say:

My favorite food is: chicken noodle soup (Mom: it’s actually eggs)

My favorite movie is: Tangled

The coolest person on Earth is: Mom (then she changed her mind and said “I am!”)

My favorite thing to learn about is: pets

The thing I’m great at is: puzzles

If I could go anywhere, it would be: I don’t know. Rudy’s.

My favorite color is: purple

My favorite princess is: Sleeping Beauty

When I grow up, I’m going to be a: a ballerina

My favorite song is: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Mom: It used to be Scripture Power.  We sang that EVERY night.)

A book I love is: the Ariel book, you know?

When I was little, I used to: walk

My favorite time of year is: fall

The snack I like best is: dried blueberries and frozen blueberries and dried strawberries and frozen strawberries and coconuts and craisins and rasins. I love all of the snacks.

One food that I really don’t like is: hot chicken (Mom: not true.  Averi’s a total carnivore.)

My best friend is: Ella I guess.

If I had one wish, it would be: for a kindle (HA!!)

My favorite treat is: I think popsicles

My favorite toy is: Pollys, especially the Sleeping Beauty Polly.


Averi was on a Tangled (AKA Rapunzel) kick this year.  For her birthday she asked for “a Tangled tassel” (interpretation: a Tangled castle; all k sounds become t’s).  It was too adorable to resist, so I had to search high and low the night before her birthday for a Tangled tassel.  Luckily we found one, along with a Tangled backpack.  She also got some books, but apparently those aren’t as awesome as Tangled tassels.