Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Nutcracker

Last week Ryenne, Kate, Grandma C, Aunt Kelsey, Aunt Jodi and I had a girls night out at The Nutcracker. We had a great time. Ryenne and Kate were excited to bring along their dolls, Clara and Emily. Ryenne, of course, was once again mesmerised by the whole thing. This was Kate's first time however, and she didn't quite know what to think. Like her Dad, she prefers a bit more action. The first little bit she did pretty well. However, she soon became impatient. Her philosophy is that "they would get a lot more of the story told if they wouldn't dance so much. " The last half definitely pushed her past her limit. While she loved the Russian and Chinese dancers, every time the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier came back out, she would say (loudly) "not them again". Finally, she announced in exasperation, "Mom, look at Clara and that boy, (who were watching from their chairs at the back of the stage) even they are tired of sitting there!" I felt a little bit like I was watching the ballet with Courtney.
While we were at the ballet, Emmy went with her Dad on a "hot date". This consisted of going out for chicken strips and watching football at Grandma J's house. Courtney had asked Emmy if she wanted to watch football or go to do something else. He was, of course estatic when she chose football. The next day, when Kate asked her what they did on their date, Emmy told her about the football game. Kate didn't think it sounded like a good date. Emmy quickly replied, "Kate, if you want to go on a hot date, you have to watch football!"

Fun on the Ice

As we have been bemoaning the lack of snow at our house, the girls have been making do with the little bit of winter we've been given! It seems everywhere but our little town has recieved snow! Last week, instead of snowing, it rained for almost two days straight. The one perk was that when all of that water froze, it made for a pretty fun ice rink! Kate and Emmy had a great time sliding around on the ice.

One more funny note about the rain and ice. . .Ryenne was playing outside after the rainstorm with her kitten. Some of the water had not yet frozen and the kittens paws had gotten wet walking through the puddles. Ryenne lifted the kitten up onto one of Courtney's work trailers. She ran into the house to grab something, only to find upon her return that the kitten's paws were frozen to the trailer. Remember in "The Christmas Story" movie, when the boys toungue gets frozen to the flagpole? Yip, just like that! Ryenne used a water bottle to try to melt the ice, but when all was said and done, the cat was missing a good amount of fur from it's paws. I know, I know, we shouldn't be laughing.
. . . Kate did tell my mom the other day that Santa would be coming to our house because everyone had been nice, except for mom and dad. When my mom asked why, she said, "They are naughty, because they don't like the cats."

Grandma C's Cookie Party

Grandma's annual cookie party made for another fun night with the cousins! Aunt Jodi and I spent the day making candy and dipping chocolates. LOTS of chocolate! Yum! That afternoon, all the cousins arrived to decorate cookies and gingerbread houses. As always, we had a lot of fun. The highlight of the evening was the arrival of a special jolly fellow. The girls (and mom and dad) were able to sit on Santa's knee to relay their wish list, and to find out if they had been naughty or nice. The left knee was reserved for those on the "naughty" list. Luckily, the W clan were a strictly right knee bunch.

Aunt Kelsey and Emmy constructing their beautiful gingerbread house.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We'll laugh about this later. .

Last night was our ward party, to which I had been assigned to bring 3 dozen rolls. I have been busy this week trying to do some much needed deep cleaning in our house, and thought that instead of spending part of a day making rolls, I would just order some from the bread store. You know, just trying to think ahead and simplify my life! I fact, I even called my friend who was also supposed to bring rolls and asked if she wanted me to order her some. Then I could pick them all up at once and save one of us a trip. Quite efficient, I thought!

So, as planned, I picked up the rolls Tuesday night and was pleased as punch with how easy this would be. I would just need to drop them by the church Wednesday morning on my way home from taking the girls to school, and ta-da! Mission accomplished!

It turns out that I must have needed yet another experience to remind me that I am not in control. (I just finished reading the book, I am a Mother, by Jane Clayson Johnson. She pinpoints several myths about motherhood, one of which is "You will be in control. . . .You are a mother, after all." My life is becoming proof that this is indeed a myth!)

I had left the rolls in a box in the van so they would be ready to drop off in the morning. Later that evening I went to hop in the van to run to town, when I noticed the girls had left the van door open. For about one second, I wasn't too concerned. However, the very next second, it occured to me that we are the owners of three cats. This was not a good realization. ALL six dozen of the rolls. Mashed, bags ripped open, eated, destroyed. Not a good moment in my mothering career. I wish I could say I handled it graciously and patiently. But nooooooo. I did not. In fact, it went something like this. 1) March throught the door, 2) slam the door shut. 3) Yell in my very loudest voice, "Who left the van door open? 4) Announce (loudly), "I am going to get rid of those cats." Big mistake. This was followed with crying, wailing, etc. and interpreted as "I am going to kill the cats." And so thereafter, for the rest of the night, every few minutes a wail would break out, "Don't kill the cats!" Finally, at the end of my rope, I stated (also very loudly) that I was not going to kill the cats. That I had never, in fact, even threatened to kill the cats. (Courtney later reminded me that I did. I didn't. Getting rid of the cats does not have to equate to killing the cats.)

It took me an hour or two and some very energetic folding and ironing of our laundry to calm down and realize that this wasn't really that big of a deal. It was just trivial, and we would laugh about it later. I wish I could say I remembered this all in the heat of the moment, but by the time I sorted through it all the girls were already asleep. I had to wait until the next morning to let the girls know that I was sorry I got so upset and that they are much more important to me than six dozen rolls!

In her book, while debunking the myth of motherly control, Jane Clayson Johnson goes on to write, "One of the hardest lessons in mothering is learning to recognize that you are no longer in control. How many times have you started out the day hoping to move one direction, or to arrive at a particular destination, or accomplish just one task, only to make it to the end of the day and discover that you're in the wrong place altogether, miles from where you hoped to be?")

And so it is that I spent yesterday making rolls. Not only did I make 3 dozen rolls, I made 6 dozen rolls. All in an effort to be efficient.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

"Oh, Christmas tree. . ."

Last weekend we went with Uncle Ronnie, Aunt Nan, and the boys to the "real forest" to find the perfect Christmas tree. It was so much fun! The girls were so excited to see a bit of real snow. When we got there, they exclaimed, "Look at all that snow!" It made Courtney and I realize how little snow we've gotten at our house the past few years, because there wasn't much at all. But it was enough to impress the girls! The C bunch found their tree in a jiffy, but we took quite a bit longer! It took quite a few jaunts up the hillsides to find one that was not "too skinny". Finally we found what we thought was just right. We learned a lesson however, once we got it home. It seems the heighth of trees in the "real forest" can be a bit deceiving! In our sheer joy at finally finding a beautiful, not too skinny tree, we failed to size it up! What we thought was our perfect 8 ft. tree was a little closer to 12! We had to cut about 1/2 the tree off to fit it inside the house. Turns out that the half we cut off just happened to be the better half of the tree. But, alas, that is the beauty of a fresh cut Christmas tree- lots of character!

Aunt Nan and Emmy

Kate's happy to be along for the ride!

Uncle Ronnie and Dad - Christmas tree wranglers!

The finished product! The girls couldn't wait to decorate the tree! We finished the night with the traditional Christmas tree slumber party around the tree. There's nothing quite like the magic of Christmas time!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Girl in a Whirl

Okay, I know yesterday I just wrote how glad I am about all of the running I get to do, BUT. . .I just had to include this poem my sister Jodi emailed me. We were laughing this morning about this poem and about us funny Mormon women who try to do everything. I told Jodi that as I read through it, I was laughing so hard because I really feel like I should be doing all of these things! I don't, but they are all on my list of "things I would do if I had it all together"! This makes me see how crazy that idea is, but I find myself getting caught in the trap! It's good to laugh at ourselves every now again!

Mormon Women:If you, or someone you know has ever felt overwhelmed by all they feel they need to do, Vickie Gunther of Redlands , California , wrote a hilarious poem, Dr. Seuss style, about how much LDS women try to take on. David B. Marsh used it at Women's Conference, and Vickie has given permission to share it.
The Girl in a Whirl by 'Dr. Sue' ( a.k. A.. Vickie Gunther)
Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do if you only knew how.
I study the scriptures one hour each day;
I bake, I upholster, I scrub, and I pray.
I always keep all the commandments completely;
I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair!
I memorize names of the General Authorities;
I focus on things to be done by priorities.
I play the piano! I bless with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance!
Each week every child gets a one-on-one date;
I attend all my meetings (on time! Never late!)
I'm taking a class on the teachings of Paul,
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,
I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished;
Our t-shirts are ironed! My toenails are polished!
Our family home evenings are always delightful;
The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.
I do genealogy faithfully, too.It's easy to do all the things that I do!
I rise each day early, refreshed and awake;
I know all the names of each youth in my stake!
I read to my children! I help all my neighbors!
I bless the community, too, with my labors.
I exercise and I cook menus gourmet;
My visiting teaching is done the first day!
(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
It's the least I can do for my cherished ward sisters.)
I chart resolutions and check off each goal;
I seek each "lost lamb" on my Primary roll.
I can home-grown produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all,
I write in my journal! I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write "thank you's" to those I admire.
My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A's! And their bedrooms are clean!
I have a home business to help make some money;
I always look beautif ully groomed for my honey.
I go t o the temple at least once a week;
I change the car's tires! I fix the sink's leak!
I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread;
I have all our meals planned out six months ahead.
I make sure I rotate our two-years' supply;
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
These things are not hard; 'tis good if you do them;
You can if you try! Just set goals and pursue them!
It's easy to do all the things that I do!
If you plan and work smart , you can do them all, too!
It's easy!" she said and then she dropped dead.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thankful to be running. .

Yesterday was Courtney's Uncle Doug's funeral. He had been a quadraplegic for almost 35 years, after breaking his neck when he was only 17. This has given me quite a bit to think about the last day or so. I sometimes get frustrated about being so busy, and feel like I'm always running to and fro. Anyway, this morning as I've been cleaning and thinking about Doug, I have been pondering how grateful I am that I am so busy. It occured to me that most all of the activities, callings, etc. that we are running to and from are things that we want to do- things that we choose and enjoy. What a blessing to be able to get out and go where we want to go and be able to do so many fun activities whenever we want to! What a silly thing to complain about. I'm thinking that the ability to "go running" (whether it is for excersize, playing with the kids, or just to get to the next activity), is a very good part of my life. I was touched yesterday, when at the cemetary, all of the kids released purple balloons into the air, which were quickly carried by the wind up into the blue sky. I thought of Doug, who now is free to run whenever he pleases. It's funny how much I take for granted. Hopefully, I'll look at my daily to-do lists a little bit differently now. A day full of running? How lucky am I!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vacation from Life Day

Sometimes everything just seems a little bit overwhelming!

For Ryenne, this has been manifesting itself more and more over the past week or so. Yesterday morning I could tell that Ryenne was very much feeling like she couldn't face the day. After a little bit of thought, I declared it a Vacation from Life Day. We've never done this officially before, and so I wasn't sure what it would entail. But then I realized that was the beauty of it- we didn't have to have a plan. We were going to do whatever we felt like doing for a whole day. (Well, mostly!).

Being that it was also officially Ryenne Day at our house, it was especially fun! Ryenne was served breakfast in bed on a tray. She was thrilled to allow me to cater to her every whim. (We all need that every now and again, don't we?) School was a no-show. That meant we didn't have to do the morning rush of making her bed, doing homework, and trying to get out the door in time. Heaven!

After an hour or so, we decided to watch the movie, Heidi, which I had rented for the weekend and we'd never gotten aroung to watching. Loved it. All of us girls cuddled in my bed. After lunch we sent Kate off to school (she was feeling quite perky and so it was decided that a Vacation from Life day for Kate wasn't needed yet- we decided they are reserved only for those days when you REALLY cannot face life. And Kate could face life yesterday!

After a little while, Ryenne wanted to make cookies and so we did: sugar cookies cut out in all the shapes that represented what we were grateful for: house, carrot(harvest), and boy and girl shape (our family), and of course, turkeys. (We saved a turkey for Daddy for when he gets home from out of town.) I assigned Ryenne to be my "cookie policeman" to ensure that I would only eat one. Quite a feat for me, but she did her duty well!

And what did we do the rest of the day? Nothing much! I had thought it would be fun to take the girls to a matinee, but Ryenne wanted to wait until Courtney would be home to go with us. This made me realize that it's funny how I think that in order for a day to be special, we need to do something. . .well, special. But Ryenne was perfectly content just being home, with me paying attention to what she wanted to do. A little lesson learned.

Being that it was Ryenne Day and Courtney was out of town, I didn't know how we would quite pull off the ice cream date that the girls get on their special day. Ryenne was lucky to have Grandma & Grandpa C handy to fill Daddy's shoes. I asked them if they could take her, which they did. She was thrilled to go get a treat in her PJ's while the other girls went to bed.

All in all we didn't do much of anything out of the ordinary. But in retrospect, I think that was the beauty of Ryenne's Vacation from Life Day. Late last night, after everyone was in bed, it occured to me that we all need to take one of those days every now and again. A day of doing nothing much of anything every now and again somehow put a little bit of magic into a perfectly "ordinary" day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A look back at Halloween

Another fun Halloween has bit the dust. As always, plenty of sugar was consumed in the process!

We had a great time at Grandma & Grandpa J's party with all the cousins. Carving pumpkins was a highlight. Due to a pumpkin shortage, we were able to use our creativity to create our 1 pumpkin masterpiece. Thus we had a 3 faced pumpkin! Each of the girls drew a face on 1/3 of the pumkin, and Daddy helped to carve. It was the first schizophrenic pumpkin I've ever seen. But lovely, none the less.

Of course, Grandpa J looked absolutely smashing as Minnie Mouse.

This was a very easy costume year. (Thank Goodness!) We talked the girls into diving into the recesses of Grandma C's costume boxes. This was very handy for mom and the girls were pleased with the results. Kate found a vintage 1970's indian costume (Aunt Kerri's old dance costume). Emmy was thrilled to be Minnie Mouse. And after a little bit of drama in trying to round up just what Ryenne had envisioned, we borrowed cousin McKell's Hippy costume. (Thanks for saving the day, Mckell). When it was all said and done, everyone was happy, happy with their costumes!

Ryenne and Kate had a fun time at the school costume parade. (Actually so did Emmy, who paraded with Ryenne & her class. She thought she was big stuff!) Trick or Treating was also a hit. The girls were so excited that they were able to go to the doors by themselves this year. Courtney and I had a good laugh everytime we watched them hop out of the van and run to the door. Emmy's little legs were runnning as fast they could go to keep up with her big sisters, pumpkin in tow. What a fun night!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Counting my many blessings. . . .

I've been thinking today about all the things I like about my family.

Amidst all the hub-bub of life, I find it easy to get in a rut of looking at our short-comings. Just the other day, my sisters and I were bemoaning our bad mothering/kid/family moments. My sister Jodi (always the positive one) told a story about a family member who was reminded (by a psychologist- who really does see real family struggles) that most of us have terrific kids, who we should adore and be most grateful for.

And so I've been thinking a lot about that the past week or so. And you know what- I live with some fun people! I have a lot of reasons to smile.

For instance, I love to hear Ryenne and Emmy giggle. These girls could make a living as professional gigglers. And I laugh out loud everytime I think of Kate and all of the funny things she says. Just the other day she told us that she would like to take lessons on how to fall asleep. She is sure she never sleeps at night. (This is funny to us because she is our model sleeper. She is first to fall asleep, never wakes to household noise, and the last awake each morning).

I love the way Ryenne likes to make everything beautiful. I was able to watch her at ballet class and she is such a cute little girl. She loves nature and is always pointing out an almost hidden bird nest, a beautiful flower, or the most vivid leaf on a tree.

I smile when I think about Kate's determination- don't tell her she can't do something. She'll try even harder. Just Sunday I bore my testimony only because I followed Kate to the pulpit.

Our lives wouldn't be complete without Emmy starting and ending our day. (A little more well rested, perhaps, but not complete). It is not unusual, at 6:00 in the morning when I am in the garage exercising to see Emmy's face pressed up to the glass. And at 10:00 at night, we often fall asleep to the sound of her laughing or singing to herself as she tries to play with her toys in her dark room.

I love watching the girls marching in a line out in the backyard, off on some exciting adventure. I can ussually hear their excited voices calling to eachother in response to what must surely have been another amazing discovery.

And how could I forget Courtney? I love when he arrives home from work. The house is all giggles and pattering feet as everyone runs to a window or out the door- trying to be the first to see Daddy. Those are fun moments. I like that he wipes down the shower after he uses it to save me a little bit of work. I'm glad he doesn't hold it against me that I don't fix his lunch. He loves me anyway! I love it when I see him in the rocking chair, cuddled up with three little girls and a book. And last but not least, I adore his smile.

So it is true. An "attitude of gratitude" can go a long way in transforming what I sometimes overlook as ordinary moments into fun and memorable blessings in my life. Life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

party animals

The elementary pumpkin walk was supposed to be tonight.
However, mom and dad were feeling a bit lazy. So we gave the girls the option: pumpkin walk or wild and crazy halloween party at the W house. Anyone who knows us well and knows how really wild and crazy we really are at our house doesn't have to think twice to guess that answer.
Yes, siree. . party we did!
Now, you might ask, what makes a party animal? Well, here's how it is done at our house:
First, you start with a reall tight time table. (Mind you, it is a school night. These party animals have to be in bed by 7:30.)
Next, a pumpkin face pizza (thank you Papa Murphy's). Remember, only paper plates, cups, etc are allowed. (Mom will begin to feel giddy at this point.)
Follow dinner with a little "pin the nose on the pumpkin". . .
. . .pin the nose on emmy. . .

. . . and throw in the old "eat the donut off a string" game.

. . Follow it all up with banana splits, and before you know it, you've got a pretty crazy party.

You see, the trick is to give the party guests enough sugar, and then the wild and crazy part pretty much takes care of itself.

When it comes to party animals, you can see that we're pretty over-the-top.

Kate captured the essence of our party philosophy as she was polishing off the rest of her donut. I cautioned her to not eat too much of it, or she might get a tummy ache. She just looked at me and said, "It's alright mom, I'll take my chances."

It doesn't get a lot crazier that that!

Monday, October 15, 2007

A bundle of 5's. . .

This list was passed on from a friend (thanks, Tara!) for me to complete. It was a little bit tricky to think of some of them, but here goes. . .

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:

1. Living in Hawaii, attending BYU-H.
2. Happily delivering the campus mail!
3. Talking on the phone with Courtney every chance I got (who returned from his mission this week, 10 years ago- whew, how time flies!)
4. Spendng too much time in the library- too little at the beach. ( I should have gone to Hawaii my freshman year, not when my classes really mattered!)
5. Swaying my hips in my hula class, and preparing for the culture festival where I danced with the tahitian club, (which, by the way is a VERY good workout for the buns if you ever have the chance!) I even made my own grass headband and skirt!

5 things on my to-do list today: (actually tomorrow, as today is gone!)

1. Get up and excersize before girls wake up- new goal for the week. (If I'm still walking. I did a new workout this morning and it kicked my pants.)
2. Get girls to school.
3. Go to Brigham City for my allergy shot. Fun, fun.
4. Primary activiy- I'm praying that it is not complete chaos!
5. Bedtime. (I have to put it on my list, because it is such a fun one to cross off.)

5 songs I know the lyrics to:
1. Chicago- basically the entire greatest hits.
2. Primary songs. (mostly the oldies- I'm finding out there is a lot of new ones!)
3. Jack Johnson (hit and miss)
4. Chris Ledoux - "Look at you girl", etc. He was great.
5. "Twinkle, twinkle", "hush little baby". . you name it, I have to say I'm pretty on top of the kids scene.

5 of my bad habits:
1. Sugar.
2. I jump to conclusions too fast, overreact, and want to solve problems immediately rather that be patient.
3. I compare myself to others.
4. When I start reading a book, I don't get anything else done until I'm finished.
5. I speak before I think. (not a good idea.)

5 things I'd do if I were a millionaire:
1. Hire someone to finish our yard and all of our unfinished house projects. (Actually, I think I would just hire Courtney- I'd be happy to be a paying customer!)
2. Travel the world with my family.
3. Take my kids places where they can see how other people live and how blessed we really are, and. . .
4. Become involved in philanthropic projects (orphanages,etc.) with my family to help others around the world have better lives.
5. I'm not completely positive, but I still think I'd drive a minivan! (At least while my kids are young). It really is handy! (Sorry, Shawn and Kelsey).

5 things I will never wear again: (We can all hope.)
1. Braces
2. Thigh-highs. (Sad to say, but yes, there was a time or two they found themselves on my not -so made for thigh-high legs. )
3. Purple mascara.
4. Charm belt and necklace.
5. Leg warmers.

5 favorite toys:
1. Bosch bread maker.
2. garlic press.
3. automatic van doors.
4. running stroller.
5. cell phone.

I guess that last list says a little thing or two about 5 ways I have changed in the last 10 years. I can about guarantee I wouldn't have listed one of those items on my "toy" list then. My, how times change. (Thank goodness, judging by my list of things I vow to not wear again.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Future Triathletes

Courtney participated in a bunch of triathlons this past summer, and collected a bunch of swimcaps in the process. The girls found them the other day and thought they were quite fashionable!

We are priming them for a future of triathlons.

During one race, Ryenne noticed one of the participants was only about 10 years old. She said, "Mom, that boy was really young."

So I said that it would be fun to have a family team one day when she was a little bit older.

Kate said, "Yeah. Except I'd have to run, because I won't be able to do the bike part- I still have training wheels."

So it was decided that Ryenne would run and Emmy volunteered to do the swim in Bop's (Grandpa C) tube behind his boat.

Watch out triathlon circuit - here we come.

Emmy Day!

Being that tommorow is the 11th, it is officially Emmy Day at the W house. In an effort to spend more one -on -one time with the girls, we have been trying a new idea that I read about in the Family Fun magazine. (One of my favorite magazines!)

Every month on the day of their birth, it is that particular child's "day". They get to make the big decisions, (such as where to sit at meals- you know those vital decisions everyone fights over), and go out for a treat with mom or dad (they always pick Dad!).

Here are a few fun tidbits about Emmy:

1) She is the boss at our house. I had an idea that this was the case, but one day she flat-out told me, "I the boss of woo (you) guys." That straightened it out in my mind, and since I've gotten that down, we've gotten along a lot better.

2)She has a favorite outfit that she wears almost every day. It doesn't matter where I hide it, she can find it! It gets pretty grubby. The shirt in fact, is the one she is wearing in this picture. Surprise, surprise.

3)Emmy has an imaginary friend, Katie John. She and Katie have quite the exploits. She is always telling us stories about the bus (which they do not ride), their class at school (which they don't attend, and various other stories. It just depends on what our family is talking about at the time. She always has a Katie John story to add.

By the way, they are apparently very responsible. The other day I had to go to Salt Lake and she didn't want to go. She told me that she and Katie John could stay home and she would babysit. She was VERY upset that I didn't comply with this request.

4)She can't take a normal picture. You may have noticed, in every picture we take she is making a funny face. A modeling career is probably not in her future.

5)Emmy is the boss. (This is so true, I thought it should count for two facts.)

Kate the soccer girl

Another soccer season bites the dust! Kate played her last game for the season tonight. This was her first time to play. (Ryenne opted out this time.) Kate loved it, and was quite the little runner. Before the first game, when we asked her if she knew what to do, she said, "Well, I know I'm not supposed to just stand there like Ryenne did." And stand there she did not. She loved playing goalie, because it gave her a little rest.
Following in her mothers footsteps, Kate quickly concluded that the 2 most important aspects of the game were: 1)Who's turn is it to bring the treat? and 2) What is the treat. You go girl.

"Hooray, A Mouse!"

Finally, a mouse!

You see we happen to be the owners of 4 (until a recent demise, it was actually 5) kittens.

This is a great many, as Courtney and I aren't the biggest cat lovers. To add to our sorrow, not one of these little creatures seems to be a mouser. . .which is a pretty big downfall for people who are surrounded by fields filled with yes, field mice. Field mice who like to become house mice when the weather turns chilly.

Needless to say, Courtney has been pretty disgusted with the whole thing.

But alas, it seems our luck has turned!

A few days ago, Ryenne came running in with the exciting news that the one of the kittens was chowing down on a mouse. She was so eager to tell Courtney that she made this sign to hang on the back door so he could read about it the second he arrived from work. . . ."Hooray! the kittens and cat's just today just when I got home ate a mouse! You would be impressed. Your twinner, Ryenne. (spelling corrected)

Maybe we'll keep those cats after all.

kelly, kelly, kelly. . .

Having been recently inspired by my fellow bloggers, here is a little bit about me. . .

1. Job history . . .
This was hard for me to remember! My first job was probably babysitting (I have to confess I never enjoyed it). In high school I worked at my Dad's business filing papers. Also, my family cleaned the high school natatorium at nights. (I was mortified by this in junior high- little did I know how cleaning up after people would prepare me for a lifetime of it as the head janitor of our home.) The summer before I left for Ricks, I worked as a hostess at a local restaurant, which taught me that I didn't want to pursue a career in the food industry!

I worked at the Continuing Ed. dept. my freshman and sophomore year.

The summer between those years was spent telemarketing, selling Feature Films for Families. I am definitely not a saleswoman, and spent the first week crying! But the people I worked with were fun.

After graduating from Ricks, I went with the Sociology Dept. to Chicago, and worked with the Inner-City Youth Foundation. We volunteered for credit- but what an awesome experience. I loved it.

Following Chicago, I left for BYU-Hawaii. I wasn't planning on working there, but quickly found out that the post office was run polynesian style. Bless their hearts ( I loved them all!), this was not condusive for getting the mail out in a very prompt manner. After a month of not recieving mail (especially from Courtney!) I knocked on the door of the post office and told them I would work for free if I could just find my mail in the process! They led me to a gigantic room filled with boxes and sacks of mail that had been sitting there for heavens knows how long!

To make a long story shorter, before long I was a paid employee of the BYU-H post office. It was a blast! I got to drive or push the mail cart around campus, fill mail slots, and get laughed at by all my polynesian friends at my pronunciation of all the very loooooong polynesian names as we sorted mail! I'd actually forgotten about that funny job story.

After BYU-H, I came back to USU and worked at ICON Fitness, testing exercize equiptment. Basically, I got paid to run on treadmills, uses a stair climber, etc. and chat with all the fun people. In retrospect, I realize this was a pretty good gig! I also did an internship that year working in the counseling office at Rocky Mountain Jr. High in Roy. I tell you, junior high is a lot more fun the second go-around. After graduation, I worked for Bear River Mental Health with children's mental health until Ryenne was born. I had a handful of children who I worked with- teaching life skills, coordinating services for them, and helping them participate in group therapy. I thought I enjoyed it at the time, but after I quit, I realized what an emotional drain it had been. I think that I never felt like I was doing enough. I think that it also made me into a paranoid mom! After a while of working in a job like that and reading case files, you hear lots of "bad guy" stories!

Anyway, since Ryenne was born, I've taught Musikgarten (early childhood music) classes once or twice a week. I love this, which is pretty much singing, playing insruments, dancing, and pretending. I haven't done much of that the last year or so- life has gotten to crazy. So there is my job history!

My confession? My favorite is being home! I really do like it much more than I thought I would! (Much better than babysitting!) I really have no desire to work, I guess because I can't keep up with everything as it is! The longer I do it, the more I realize how much I have to learn! No job boredom here!

A few more facts about me. . .
2. My favorite new find.
Dark Chocolate! I am loving the new Hersheys Extra Dark, especially the kind with almonds and dried blueberries. It's wonderful and comes in these tiny little packages so I can just have one in the afternoon when I need a little something happy!

3. My favorite recent purchase.
My road bike! I love it! I am a bit burnt out on running and this is such a fun change of pace. I really have no idea what I'm doing, but I smile the whole time I'm riding. What fun! Plus, I feel like I'm helping other people get in their daily laugh when they get to see me in those tight, shiny bikeshorts with the "pillow" in the bum. As if I needed anything extra right there.

4. My latest revelation about myself.
I am a bit of a control freak! You may be laughing, but I never realized this about myself until recently. I have found a few problems with this character trait. First of all, I am not a super organised, in control person. This poses a challege, because I want everything to be in order, but I don't really have a knack to keep it that way. Second, family life with 3 kids and a husband who is a (wonderful) workaholic is perpetually out of control! So, if you have any therapy secrets for me, please share.

5. My favorite brownie recipe.
This comes from my mother in law (who is also an angel). Very yummy.
2 squares butter
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2 c sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar. Add cocoa, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients (but don't mix too much. Add 1 pkg. chocolate chips. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350. Enjoy!

So, here is a bit about me. I'd love to hear a few facts about you - please share!

Sunday, September 30, 2007


This past week when I went to transfer our pictures from our card to the computer. It had the first day of school pictures and most of our summer on it. But for some reason it is saying the card is not formatted. Bummer! We don't know why, because we've been using it for years. So while we're trying to recover all of those pictures, I thought I'd practice this blog thing with some of our old ones! This past summer we headed to Oregon for a fun family getaway. We went to the northern coast and had fun playing on the beach (we loved Cannon Beach) looking at the tidepools at Haystack Rock. . .
. . . .and enjoying the sunsets. We had fun roasting smores on the beach one night and telling scary stories. The water was pretty cold, but we found some pretty cool creatures and shells. We had to visit the Tillamook cheese factory (and sample the ice cream, of course)!
We also loved the town of Astoria. So many cool houses and history. There was some fun museums there, and we loved the trolley ride. Kate and Emmy even got to "drive" the trolley! All in all, it was a pretty fun trip. (But what a long drive!) Kate told us after the trip that it was so much fun that when she grows up she wants to be an Oregoner!!

Ryenne's "Family Rules"

Courtney and I were pleased to find a list of Ryenne's (pronounced Ryan) "House Rules" that she had composed last week. Just in case you were looking for a few family rules, this list may offer some assistance. We especially liked rule #8. Very good rule.

The House Rules!

1. No yelling.
2. No sassing.
3. No hurting.
4. No kissing boys or girls.
5. No staying up!
6. No stealing without permission.
7. No teasing if not okay with others.
8. No doing anything that is bathroom stuff without saying excuse me.
9. Be respectful.
10. Obey mom and dad

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

. . .Now, I've got picture's here, but you have to walk up your wall so you can see some of them. Aaaaaaaagh! Sorry this will have to do. Any help is obviously needed. Now we all know that I could have skipped the bowling class in college and opted for a little something more, shall we say, technological? Nevertheless, here is a few pictures of us at some of our finer moments.