Saturday, December 19, 2009

peace and quiet (and lonely)

It's the biggest storm in 10 years or more for Virginia and I'm snowed in - alone! Well, Grace is with me, and these two crazy dogs, so not totally alone. Jared will be stuck at the hospital until Monday morning - his 35 minute drive took 3 hours last night in the snow. He is sleeping in a hotel room today and tomorrow (working nights). He said the National Guard is picking up doctors who can't make it in. The kids had sleepovers planned to celebrate the Christmas break so Gwen is snowed in with my parents and the boys are snowed in with a favorite aunt & uncle in Charlottesville. And me - well, I'm wrapping presents and cleaning house and shoveling snow. The peace and quiet is nice, but I want to go play in the snow with my kids!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Mormon Christmas from the Tonight Show

This is about as bizarre as Orrin Hatch's Hanukkah song. A bit sad that Weinberg only knows Mormons from what he finds on the internet but The Mormon Tapper Choir is not a bad idea...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This is worth sharing. More ideas, videos, & stories here.

How to Have a More Worshipful Christmas
  • Politely decline requests that will take you away from family.
  • Play more Christmas music.
  • Donate gently used items to a thrift store.
  • Go Christmas caroling.
  • Avoid "mad rush" shopping times.
  • Say thank you as often as possible.
  • Schedule a night to help another person or family.
  • Call someone you normally wouldn't to wish him or her a Merry Christmas.
  • Delegate some holiday preparations to children or other family members.
  • Trim the gift list.
  • Simplify a traditional activity.
  • Find quiet time to pray.
  • Write down great memories as they happen.
  • Set and stick to a holiday budget.
  • Forgive a grudge.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ryan



Big guy woke up on his birthday certain that he could jump farther and run faster. He asked me all morning if I thought he grew during the night. He LOVED his birthday and it was so fun to make his day special because he was so excited about all of it.

If you don't know Ryan well, you are missing out. He is, in a word: HAPPY. He loves dinosaurs, cheetahs, his big brother and anything his big brother likes. He's cheerful and helpful and really just a great kid. I'm such a lucky mom. I really have the best kids, I just wish they'd quit growing up.

Ry with his dragon cake (found great cakes and easy directions here).

oops

Just in case you've done something stupid lately:

Last Thursday I had to help with a dinner at church, Gwen had a chorus concert at school and the stars aligned and Jared was home. I also was giving my dear 92 year old neighbor a ride to the dinner. I had tried to get things settled at home so that Jared's evening would not be too chaotic, but despite my best efforts it was crazy when it came to for me to leave. Grace was hungry and fussy, the boys were being loud and crazy, and dinner wasn't finished yet. So as I ran out the door and jumped in the van I said little prayer for Jared that things would calm down. I hate leaving when things are chaotic and I could tell he was a little stressed about taking everyone to the concert. I picked up my neighbor, we had a lovely drive to the church and then Jared called my cell.

"Um, did you know that you took the van?" Meaning he was at home with a 2 door hatchback Ford Focus, 4 kids, no carseats and a concert to get to...

oops.

Never to be defeated, Jared left Grace in the hands of Noah and Ryan while he drove Gwen to the concert (the school is just a few blocks away - still not sure that would have been MY first solution, but who am I to be giving suggestions at this point?) came back home and put Grace in the backpack and hiked to the school with the boys. Then they all walked home after the concert.

He was already laughing about it when I made it home.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby Blues



She is one today. Grace has been exactly what her name implies - a tender mercy sent to our family during a doozy of a year. She is the calm and peace that we've needed. She has a great smile (just 2 bottom teeth) and gives the sweetest snuggles. Recently she unrolls all the toilet paper and plays in the trash can. She is running and climbing steps and opening cabinets and making friends with the dogs (she fed Bella one of Gwen's socks yesterday). She just brought me an ornament from the tree - in case I thought she was really playing with toys in the front room. She may be spoiled rotten, but who could say no to those eyes? Evidently, not me.

Happy Birthday Gracie.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Old House

Our house was built in 1918. As I was preparing for Thanksgiving dinner I wondered about the other Thanksgiving dinners this house has seen. I wonder about the other families who have eaten in this dining room, how many pies and turkeys have been cooked in this kitchen and who washed all the dishes afterwards? Home is an intimate place and I feel a connection with the souls who inhabited this spot before we came to be here.

I wonder how many babies have learned to walk on these floors? How many slammed doors and hurtful words have been said? How many "I'm home" announcements? Who else has cried themselves to sleep in these rooms? How many good books read within these walls? Who else has tried to scrub the black spot on the floor that won't come off? How many slumber parties held on these floors? How many birthday parties? Where did they put the Christmas tree? How many good-byes said from the front porch? How many games of ball played in the yard? How many "time-outs" given? Who else has hit their head going up and down the steps? Who else has known joy and love and disappointment and hurt within these walls?

Someone else will come and take over where we will leave off and add a new dimension to this old house. New struggles, new paint colors, new voices and sleeping habits. For all the hassle of owning an old house, I love the make believe stories I tell myself about other mothers who once stood where I am standing washing poop out of yet another onesie.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Birthday Report

onday was my best birthday yet. It was the big 30. It started off like every good b'day should, with breakfast in bed. Jared packed lunches and got everyone out the door for school. The weather was gorgeous and so he sent me on a nice long walk and then off to get a pedicure. Isn't he the greatest?! How did I get so lucky? I don't know. Jared headed to work but returned a few hours later with this:


Isn't it gorgeous?! Can you believe?! I couldn't. I am terrible on the piano, but I love it. And I have often told him so. He said he searched high and low and a lady at work mentioned that she had a piano she would be willing to sell. When Jared saw the pictures, he said he knew this was the one he wanted to buy me. So she figured out how much it was worth (and sold it to him for a 1/3 of that!) and it looks so fabulous in our old house. Again, isn't he the GREATEST?!

My day was so full of emails and phone calls and homemade cards and promises to "do ever thing you tell me to" and even a dear friend who drove 35 minutes to bring me a sweet card and chocolates. My parents watched our kids so we could go out to dinner and I just don't when I've had such a wonderful birthday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We got a sneak peek at our family pictures we took while in Utah and I LOVE them. Well worth the headache of finding the right outfits (a task I hate hate hate) and fitting it into our jammed packed trip. The day before pictures, Noah fell out of the apple tree at Grandma & Grandpa's house - hugged (and kissed) the trunk the whole way down. He had a HUGE fat lip and scrapes all over his lip and nose. Our photographer (and good friend from our Camelot days) did a fabulous job of photoshopping it right off. Amazing. I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures. Thank you Keli!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A couple quick ones from Ryan





So Gracie had a tick behind her ear yesterday morning - ack! I hate those things. Luckily Jared was home to get it out. Last night when saying his prayers, Ryan was heard to pray that he "won't ever get a snick bite".











A few weeks ago, Grace quit nursing. Ryan was watching me make a bottle of formula when he inquired. I explained that she couldn't drink cows milk yet, so I make her bottles of formula. He
nodded a very understanding nod and said, "she can just drink rabbit's milk". What?! Don't you love it when you get insight into their little minds and see the world from their perspective? Notice the bunny on the label - false advertising.

Don't you love these guys?



We just downloaded their newest album and I LOVE it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Silliness

My kids have been asking for our box of Halloween costumes since August. When they pulled the costumes out they found these old red pjs (I think I tried to make JP wear them one year for a clown costume) and they have seriously provided HOURS of entertainment. Who knew?




Monday, October 5, 2009

Some of the funny things Jared said while "waking up" from his appendectomy last week:

"You (the surgeons, nurses & techs) all look like Smurfs"

He sang "You are so beautiful to me, can't you see, can't you see..." to me as I walked down the hall of the surgical suite.

He was VERY concerned about the catheter they placed and continued to voice his concern over the possibility of something being "broken" or certain "functions" that may have been damaged.

When asked about his pain on the pain scale (1-10) he told the nurse "it's like a 6.66 'cause it feels like the devil is inside there poking me with his little stick".

He also made several advances at me, requested graham crackers, cheeseburgers and peanut butter and put the plastic throw-up bag over his head.

Noah keeps getting mixed up and saying that Dad had his independence removed.

Jared swears he won't show his face in the OR ever again and I'm sure he will be met with giggles from certain nurses and techs who may ride the elevator with him. Next time I will bring a video camera.




Monday, September 21, 2009

Politics

I read a fair amount of news, typically politics interests me the most but I am no expert. In fact, I find myself constantly overwhelmed and confused by conflicting statistics and studies. I am all over the political map (if I were a State, I would be purple), with an "ideology" all my own. And I don't want to share it. This is what I want to share:

Policy needs to be critiqued, ideas challenged, motives questioned - but PEOPLE (yes, even politicians), they are children of God and deserve respect and kindness. Regardless of your party affiliation or the strength of your convictions, anger is never productive. It is dangerous. Be assertive, be courageous, be outspoken, but do not be angry. It is ugly and off-putting.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

09.09.09

I've been getting text message updates all day on my little sister who is having her first baby. If he gets here in the next few hours (I really hope for her sake he does) he will have the coolest birthday!

First Day Pics

This is my favorite picture from that morning. Can you see the apprehension on Gwen's face and the utter disgust on Noah's?

Okay, here they are a little happier about the whole thing:

Poor, poor Ryan. His first day was weeks after these guys started and I didn't take a picture. Just for the record, he wore an old shirt of Noah's (I mean, that is all he owns) and jeans with a hole in the knee. Poor little brother.

Scary

We were discussing Halloween recently and the kids were planning a haunted house. I quickly got cut since I "can't scare anyone". Then Noah piped up with "I don't know, she can get pretty ugly sometimes". So true.

One of those ugly moments happened just today. It was a no-shower day for me which means that by the afternoon hours I have a head of very greasy hair. And we had to go to the store - ALL of us. As luck would have it, I ran into a guy I haven't seen since high school. Lovely. Noah and Ryan decided to use the cart as a battering ram while old school chum tries to chat with me. Then they decide to climb on the side of the shopping cart - the same side which tips the cart, which I catch just in time (this was a very graceful lunge which may have included a grunt) but not before Grace falls sideways and bumps her head and screams. I could hear the guy thinking as he walked away, "yikes, that was SCARY". So, maybe I could be in the haunted house?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Come on Cougars, it's up to you...


Do you know what today is? It's a big day for the Pelo family. Season opener for the Cougars. We love, I mean we REALLY LOVE our BYU football. We've upgraded our dish package to get the games, our moods will swing with scoreboard, we will stay up late to watch the games live and record the ones we miss.

So rise and shout the Cougars are out...

Monday, August 24, 2009

List

1. I have made some very yummy dishes lately (if I do say so myself). I always love a new recipe so here ya go. This grilled, stuffed zucchini is delish. I used regular sausage instead of turkey, cause I like pig. Extra bonus that you don't have to heat up the kitchen since you cook it on the grill. And this recipe for ratatouille is easy and yummy and makes your house smell so good. And for something sweet, this is an unusual gingerbread type cookie bar that got rave reviews both times I made it.

2. We are coming to Utah in October! Hooray!

3. We had a blue-ribbon fair at our church last weekend. Gwen, who is not known for her competitive spirit, speed or coordination beat all the cub scouts at the three-legged race with her buddy Saige. The boys went crazy, fell down and ripped their ties off and were disqualified while Gwen and Saige made slow and steady progress to the finish line. Noah and his buddy, Wyatt also won the three-legged race in their age group. My expert advice was key in both wins. My cousin Crystal & I reigned supreme in the three-legged race scene back in the day. I even have trophies. Also, Gwen came in third in the doughnut eating contest, again beating a bunch of boys (1st & 2nd place went to twin 10 year old boys). She may get this skill from her mother as well. And my pie which I made from left over fruit slush from a baby shower I hosted earlier that day, won an award. Lots and lots of laughs that night. I hope they do it again next year.

4. Jared and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary last week. Aren't we OLD? Well, at least he is. I'm still in my twenties (78 more days...). I got some gorgeous flowers and dinner at a fancy restaurant. He got a skateboard.

5. Sean Hannity makes me want to poke my eyeballs out.

6. School started last Wednesday. Gwen brought home a math work sheet on Friday, one that you color in after you answer. She had all the problems correct, all the colored areas correct, but "please color more neatly" was the teachers response. Really? We are concerned about quailty of coloring in 3rd grade? I would never let Gwen know this, but so far I think third grade is the pits. They started talking about the SOLs (standardized tests) at back to school night!

7. I am loving this small town. The other day Ryan and Grace and I packed up our stroller and ran all our errands on foot. The library, the post office, and cookies to Uncle Greg's office.

8. We have been praying for some friends to move in close by and (I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high) my sister Dana's family is contemplating a move back to the area. We would be thrilled. We are all keeping our fingers and toes crossed.

9. Facebook.... Jared joined finally and has been pestering me. I read over his shoulder and been delighted at some of the people he's gotten in touch with - like some of our siblings. Sad, no? I honestly do not want to facebook, I think it will suck me in, but it looks to be the only way to stay in touch with my family. I feel like I can't...hold...out...much...longer... We'll see.

10. Two of my favorite blog posts I've read lately: of punishment and I can't get over my brother in law carrying the toy poodle in the moby.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's amazing how quickly I can change my mind. Less than a week ago I was standing on the beach, watching my kids play, thinking that I never wanted summer to end. Today after a gazillion time outs and eyeball-to-eyeball talks, I decided that maybe school is coming at just the right time.

My kids start back on Wednesday. That's only 5 days away, but who's counting???


A few days at the beach

We had so much fun, we stayed a day longer than planned. Our kids were maniacs in the waves this year, so fun to watch. Grace was content to eat sand and nap in the shade - what a gal. I loved that we saw dolphins swimming 25 feet from shore - so cool! The perfect ending to a very fun summer.


Friday, July 24, 2009

ho-bo snacks

Do you know about ho-bo snacks? Occasionally while on a drive, my parents would stop at a country store along the way to pick up a ho-bo snack. Usually this would consist of an oatmeal pie or (if you were lucky) a moon pie, a chocolate milk and a pack of Nabs - you know, ho-bo food. We also treat our kids to a ho-bo snack now and then and today on our way back from picking up a bike for Gwen we found on craigslist, we stopped at Yoders Country Market to pick up some refreshment, ho-bo style.
I love that store. I love love love love love "Old Style Chocolate Peanut Butter" from Yoders. Also their chicken salad with craisins and cashews. Also the homemade maple frosted doughnuts (made fresh Friday mornings!) and the huge variety of snack mixes. And the friendly staff (and while it's inappropriate to say - their cute mennonite hats). And the goats and turkey in the field next to the parking lot. I love their bread and homemade whoppie pies and candy sticks at the register. Did I mention that the drive to Yoders is gorgeous. And don't forget the homemade fig cookies and the interesting things I find like "powdered whipping cream". Oh, and once I bought a HUGE bag of Lucky Charm marshmallows (just the marshmallows) because I couldn't resist. I keep telling Jared that they have cheap baking supplies and good grains, but I think he's on to me. If you live close by and you've never gone, I love an excuse to take you there and if you come to visit us, right under Monticello, Yoders should be on your list of places to visit.

Somebodys Watching You

I hated these commercials, but boy, oh boy am I singing a different tune today! We switched to Geico today and you will never believe how much we will save every year. I was speechless.

$1490 a year!!!!!

I just couldn't keep this kind of good news to myself. It's almost as good as finding $20 in last years coat pocket.

PS. Progressive is guilty of highway robbery.

Crabtree Falls

A couple weeks ago Jared got home from his last night shift and decided to stay up all day to help him make the change to days again. We decided he needed to keep him moving so we hiked Crabtree Falls. Jared didn't believe me when I told him they are the tallest falls east of the Mississippi. I got my info straight from Wikipedia yo. It's a nice hike that follows the falls the whole way. I think to get great pics you have to hike it in the winter when the trees are bare. So we took pictures of our cute hikers instead.










Saturday, July 11, 2009

North & South

Have you seen this BBC movie?! AHH!!! It is my new favorite. I watched all 4 hours last night after I put the kids to bed. This scene about did me in. For crying out loud, LOOK BACK! And don't you love his scowl? You must watch this and tell me how much you loved it. What are your other BBC favorites?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

a fava favor


So we did sign up for the produce co-op. We've enjoyed lots of fresh herbs, baby potatoes, bok choy, lettuce, kale and onions - lots and lots of spring onions. Turnips got a pretty big thumbs down from everyone - including me. They looked so cute, but really not so tasty. Collard greens also did not fare too well. We really liked the cooked kale, but the collard greens were so bitter. This week the challange is fava beans. So dear readers, how about sharing your favorite fava bean recipe?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Puppy Love


Meet Bella. She joined our family yesterday. She is a 3 month old German Shepherd (mix?) puppy. She needed a good home and well, Jared just happened to have the day off yesterday when I got the call about her.

It's just that my house has been too clean and too quiet and too serene and peaceful since summer break began. I've been out there, searching for a challenge, something to really keep me on my A-game, ya know? I thrive on chaos. A husband in residency, 4 kids, a dog, 3 callings at church, an old house and an overgrown yard. Come on people, what else can you throw at me? I mean, really, PUSH ME TO MY LIMIT.

Wait a minute, what do you mean there is no $1, 000, 000 prize if I survive this for a week?!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rice Cereal

My new "to-do" list

Today my kids made a list of what to do this summer (no help from me):

The beach
Disneyworld
Kings Dominion
The fireman's parade and carnival
Shopping
The zoo
The Air & Space Museum
The Children's Museum
Natural History Museum
Art Museum
The circus
A friend's house
Argentina to hold a monkey
A dolphin show
Hawaii
Colorado
Idaho
Utah
Go fishing on a boat
Do the summer reading program at the library
Play barbies
See fireworks
Go camping
On a cruise

Anyone want to join us?

Friday, May 29, 2009

BFFs, fly girls, and little debbie

This won't mean anything to you unless you are a fly lady (and no, I'm not talking about J-Lo, that's a fly girl). But tonight I shined my sink - for the first time in a looong time. I love it. Now when I am overwhelmed with the rest of my life I can go stare at my spotless kitchen sink. 

Speaking of overwhelmed - summertime. I'm on the countdown (7 days to go). I love my kids and we are going to have F-U-N this summer, but I am so done with all the fighting happening in our family. Roses are not blooming beneath my feet lately - that's about all I have to say. 

Speaking of the end of the school year - Ryan's preschool had the end of the year program last night and there was a silent auction. I can not tell you how much the Pelo family donated to the preschool, but we brought home 4 separate items. Evidently, I really love perfume b/c I won 2 women's cologne baskets full of samples (large & small) of perfume from Nordstroms. Come on people - I was just trying to get the bidding going! I didn't really want any of that stuff. Ugh. 

Everyone brought a side dish for the dinner after the little program. I took (and brought home) a big green salad. The only people who had salad were the people in my family. This is funny. On my co-op days I have to bring a snack to preschool. Not once did the kids eat my snack. Mini muffins with craisins, celery & carrots, apple slices, banana chips, apple chips - no thank you, we want frosted donuts or fruit loops or little debbie cakes. Seriously?  

Speaking of food - the garden is a no-go. We really wanted to do a huge garden this year, but twas not meant to be. It's a case of the good, better, best thing. Gardening is good, but there are some other things (read: people) who need my attention more. So, we've been looking into the local CSA programs. We did a food co-op in Utah for a while and I really liked it. Anyone doing one this summer? Jared's take is that we should just go the farmer's market every week and spend the $30 there. My take is that he should go to the farmer's market with 4 kids every week. The truth about that is that he'd love to. But I wouldn't, so even though it may be a little pricier, I'm leaning towards signing up for the CSA.  

Speaking of Jared -  he's great. Really, really a wonderful guy. He is a fabulous, fun dad and the hardest worker I ever met. He's a great listener (as long as ESPN is not on - which it never is anymore b/c HE cancelled it. I have been so tempted to upgrade so he can watch the NBA series - he is being so stoic even though I know it REALLY hurts). He's so laid back and never makes me feel guilty (ie. speeding tickets, silent auctions, losing my cool). He sends me on girls trips and encourages me to buy new clothes when nothing fits and even calls and makes my hair appointments (seriously). JP - you can be my BFF anyday. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Connections

It's been over a year since my Dad had his bone marrow transplant. He is doing amazingly well. The science behind his transplant is astounding to me. It's crazy to think of all the people who had a hand in this miracle. The bench researchers who probably worked for years and years, one teeny tiny victory here and there, collaborating with each other across the country (maybe the world) figuring out how leukemia works and what works against it and how our bodies react to every little tweak and on and on and on. We humans are so smart it can give me a headache if I think about it too long. But the clincher for me is not what our humans brains have the capacity to do, it's what our hearts can do. Since it's been a year since the transplant, my Dad and the donor (who was a match found through the national bone marrow bank, not a relative) have exchanged information. This is the email the donor sent to my Dad (I omitted his personal info):

Hello Michael!

First of all, congrats on all the progress you've made! It's been exciting and encouraging getting those infrequent updates. And thanks for signing the release, also exciting.

So I don't know how you'd like to proceed with this but I figured I'd first tell you a little about me and how my marrow found its way to you.

I'm 25, live near ******** and have one year left in an MFA program. When I was doing my undergrad, there was a sponsored blood drive and marrow test for a professor on our campus. I've always donated blood regularly and thought I might as well sign up for the marrow registry while I was at it. Of course, I did not match with him--I never heard if they found a match or not after I graduated-- but remained on the list. Then one day a few years later I got a call from 
Central Blood Bank reminding me that I was on such a list and that I was a potential match. And the rest just worked out, I suppose.

When it seemed like the odds were pretty good that I'd be donating, I didn't really hesitate because my father died from cancer when I was 16. And knowing the power of those cells on a depleted body, if I somehow matched the astronomically small window of DNA that would work, how could I say no?

Anyway, I hope all is well. From what I understand, you're in remission and recovering well, so that's amazing. I'd be curious to know how things are now, how long you've been fighting this, and just anything else about you really.


My Dad has since called him and said they had a nice chat. I know my Dad was nervous to contact his donor, I would be too. This total stranger underwent something at best inconvenient (injections daily for 4-5 days, 2-4 6 hour collection "sessions", possible body aches, insomnia, nausea, etc...) for someone he's never met. It's this aspect of humankind that I find most amazing and inspiring. The heart that can give so unselfishly. This donor has given us an amazing gift - more time with our Dad and Grandpa, but not just that. The gift of realizing the great goodness that lies inside of each of us and the ability we have to touch each other's lives.

Overheard

I need to post some pics from our trip to Williamsburg, but not tonight. Tonight is laundry - so much laundry. Like 2 weeks of it. But the great news, I mean GREAT news is this... we bought a new washer and dryer and it is going to CHANGE MY LIFE. Okay, maybe that is an overstatement, but maybe not. I just did 2 weeks of laundry for 6 people in 4 loads - no jokin! Now all I need is a folding/putting away type of machine. 

Back to this post. We overheard this yesterday: Ryan to Noah (in a surprisingly calm, matter of fact voice) "I should've choked you in heaven". Hmmm. 

And the lunch conversation Saturday:
Noah - what if 2 girls got married?
Ryan - they can't
Gwen - yeah, they can't
Noah - but what IF? That would be crazy. 
Gwen - yeah, what if they both got pregnant at the same exact time?! (sidenote here, we've been discussing the need to give Gwen THE talk, and obviously we haven't yet)
Noah - yeah and if they both had their babies on the same exact day at the same exact time!
Gwen - like twins but not really
Noah - But you need a man. Cause who would have a driver's license? And who would hold open the door?!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Girls Weekend

I don't even know where to start - this was the BEST weekend. We ate yummy food, we stayed up late talking, we toured the city, we shopped, we laughed and talked some more. Thanks to a great husband who knows what is best for his wife and to everyone who tended my kiddos while I was gone. My Mom had quite a day with the kids, including locking herself and all the kids out of my van during Gwen's piano recital! Thanks Mom for being such a good sport!                              
Cami, Katie, Melissa, me, Heather & Megan in front of some gorgeous tulips on Michigan Ave

A little makeup lesson at Sephora

I LOVE this thing (sculpture?). I think it's called the cloud gate, but it is a huge shiny kidney bean and I could have walked around it all day.

Dinner one night at Ghirardelli. Yep, dinner. Our kids would have been so proud.

The guy who rented us this bike thought that we were in town for a bachelorette party which made us all giggle. We counted up and told him that between the 6 of us we have 24 kids. 

Outer Banks, NC is on the calendar for summer 2011, right girls?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Noah

I know I'm totally blog barfing tonight. Sorry.

A few days ago Jared is working outside with Noah: 
Noah - Dad, I'm just about as strong as a man or a woman with big boobs.
Jared - Whoa. What did you just say?
Noah - I'm strong. Like a man or a woman with big boobs. You know. 
Jared - Well, we don't call them boobs, we call them breasts and they aren't big muscles, they are for feeding babies.
Noah - Oh.

Obviously Noah has been having some playground discussions with his kindergarten buddies. I'm a little ticked that he's been thinking I'm not very strong. 

And then last night at dinner the kids are describing National Velvet, the movie they watched to Jared:
Gwen - and the girl pretended to be a boy so she could race her horse.
Ryan - and she fell off her horse and they knew she was a girl.
Noah - yeah, cause she had to go to the doctor and they probably saw her bressels.

Birds

I keep meaning to take down the evergreen wreath from my porch and replace it with something more springlike. Looks like spring found my wreath.                                                            
Can you see the tiny egg? Cute, huh? Well... 

If you know me very well, you know that I suffer from ornithophobia. A serious fear of birds (okay, yes I just googled that). They really creep me out. And this wreath is 18 inches from my front door. So everytime I step outside this tiny bird shoots out of it's nest like mad. And then just around the corner (next to the walkway that leads to my van) in one of our boxwoods is this:

A nest of sweet robin eggs. They are gorgeous and my kids are thrilled. But the birds scared me so bad last night I just about peed my pants. And twice today the one in the wreath made me scream. I really hate them. I'm sure they are going to attack me for being too close to their nests. So now I make the kids walk ahead of me so the birds will fly away before I get there. Jared thinks it's ridicous that I'm okay with spiders and snakes but birds and mice make me hysterical. So how long till the egg in my wreath hatches and the little birdy flies away so I can get rid of the nest? Is there anyway I could carefully move the wreath to a new location without upsetting mama bird?  

Spring Break

Last week was spring break for my kids. It was a great week. We took a day trip to our favorite children's museum and this time brought Jared along to join in the fun. We worked in the yard, played play-doh, made puppets, and blew bubbles. We hit up the 5 cent frozen custard cones (twice in one day) walked the Monticello trail, played t-ball and flew kites. Jared and I went on a date (thanks Mom and Dad), I read some good books and we caught up with old friends over chops on the grill and dutch oven cobbler - yum. We work hard and play hard (and feel a little tired now and then). 
Josie eating bubbles.

The power lines are not quite as close as they look :).

Grace, Eric, Noah, Ryan, Gwen & Brandy

Silly cousins.

Another great craft kit from Martha. Loved the puppets.

Science experiment

You know the "30 day bran muffin" recipe? They are really serious about the "30 days". This batter found an unfortunate home at the very back of the bottom shelf in my fridge. I would occasionally see it and tell myself to clean out the fridge soon. Evidently it wasn't soon enough. This was the coolest mold I've ever seen. Just had to share :). 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Today was one of those Sundays. My children were lucky to make it out of church alive. I did, in fact, pinch a couple of them, hard. I shouldn't have, it wasn't a very Christlike thing to do and on Easter. I'm not exactly sure what happened to the Pelos today at church. It was like the pew had some naugtiness on it and it seeped into all of us while we sat. Even sweet Grace was fidgety and fussy. It was a good thing that I was giving a neighbor a ride because about halfway through the service I was ready to call it a day, I would have left if it weren't for needing to get her home. I wish I could blame it on a sugar high, but we called the Easter Bunny a couple years back and requested he visit us a day early. Maybe it was the crash after yesterday's sugar high? I ran to the nursing mothers' lounge (I typed that "cursing mothers' lounge" the first time - a very fitting typo, no?) to feed Grace and get myself together. Grace and I both fell fast asleep and woke up just in time for the 3rd hour. There is no real point to sharing this story,  its just the confession of a grouchy, impatient mom who needed a little nap. 

I'd do anything

I took Gwen & Noah to see Oliver a few weeks ago and they LOVED it. We downloaded the soundtrack and Noah has been singing "Where is Love?" to me in his best Oliver voice. This afternoon I thought it was so sweet when I heard my boys singing "I'd do anything" to each other. When I listened in a little closer this is what I heard:
"I'd do anything for you dear, anything, for you mean everything to me."
"Would you eat my sock?" 
"Anything!" 
"Would you kiss a dog?" 
"Anything!" 
"Would you lick my foot?" 
"Anything!" 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I found a collection of Eloise Wilkin stories and I'm so pleased. I love her illustrations so much. Who are some of your favorite illustrators?


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grandparents

Our kids have the best grandparents (& great-grandparents). Period. You can't even compete.

They play quick-draw, they give out silver dollars and lemon drops, they have sleepovers and take shopping trips to the dollar store, they swim, they loan movies, they play dress-ups, they read stories, they send letters, they teach marbles and pick-up sticks, they make chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and sew teddy bears. And that is just for starters.

As we've moved, Jared and I secretly hoped for an adventure location, some place new to both of us. But we've been UT to VA to UT and back to VA so far. Our families have always been so supportive and wonderful. Sometimes you don't appreciate things until you don't have them and sometimes you appreciate things when you realize you really couldn't do without them. The past few months of intern year have been so brutal, I can't imagine trying to get through without family. My parents have really stepped in and lightened my load time after time, whether letting us drop in unannounced for dinner or watching the kids so I can fulfill my callings or giving a struggling kid some extra tlc - I can't believe we thought it would be "fun" to live somewhere new.  Soooo stupid of us! 

A random assortment of grandparent pics.