Monday, December 14, 2009

i should be packing

but i'm not. i'm feeling a bit like gretchen's melted snowman magnet.

this is what my house looks like.
and this.
what a crazy month this has been!
what an even crazier week!
so far, i have:
gone on one sisters' weekend trip. had lots of fun (post to come at some future, more relaxed time). came home on wednesday. spent thursday packing. packed friday until a friend's baby got dropped off at my house for the weekend. spent the rest of friday morning alternating between holding a baby, feeding a baby, changing a baby, and packing. picked up the baby's older 2 siblings friday afternoon. spent saturday morning packing and loading a truck up with boxes. and holding a baby. spent saturday afternoon unloading the truck at the new house. spent saturday night making a salad and enchiladas and going to the ward christmas party with 8 children. spent sunday thankfully NOT packing, with 8 children. spent monday morning getting the baby and other children ready to go back to their house. that mission accomplished, i resumed packing. when i'd used up all the boxes at the old house, i went to the new house to unload boxes over there to bring back for more packing.

oh, i forgot to mention that this morning pace got out of the bath and went to the bathroom in my closet. number 1 AND 2. not to be graphic. i still love him, though.

pros of this week:
the new house has stairs and i'm burning lots of calories. all 8 children were delightfully well behaved, although i think the 2 older "borrowed" children might turn me in for abusing the child labor laws. loren had the house cleaned when i came home from my trip. a renewed appreciation for my calling as primary chorister--it's hard work, but it's not as hard as packing, and it's way more fun. thank goodness for sundays!

things i have to look forward to next week:
kids being out of school (good and bad?). christmas. which means ALL of my christmas shopping, too. dang. gretchen's birthday. she insists on having a party. at the new house. 2 days after we move in. it's going to be great.

new year's resolution (i'm starting early): no stressing out.

if you are still reading, thanks for letting me vent/ramble. i needed an excuse to sit down for 30 minutes. i turned the computer screen so i can't see any cardboard boxes, and it's been delightful.

Monday, November 30, 2009

moving, tween shopping, thanksgiving, new moon, 5k, goin' to the office, and no more air guitar

i had to put all those things in the title so i'd remember what i'm supposed to be blogging about.
1. we just found out (well, now it's been about a month) that the house we're renting is being put up for sale, so we can't renew our lease, which ends dec 31st. panic time! we finally found another house that will work for us, so we're moving on dec 15th. the first thing that's getting moved is the christmas tree. i told loren we are decorating for christmas this year. i haven't been able to decorate for the last 2 christmases, and this is not an acceptable trend. i have 2 whole boxes of brand new ornaments that must be used. so, life is busy here. it's always busy. i should say "life is busier here". here are the pros of moving (so i can remember them when i am packing up the house for the 2nd time in less than a year): we will be closer to the rest of our ward; we'll have an actual playroom upstairs; ummmmmmmmmm.......... 1 more shower for guests (come, come, come, all you people); i might get an official yoga room; ummmmmmmmmm.......oh yes, liesel and gwyneth will get to go to a middle school that doesn't have a uniform dress code (their pro, not mine). well, that's all i can think of. i'm not even going to start on my list of cons, lest i never stop.
actually, we feel like there is some sort of purpose in all this, and are waiting excitedly (anxiously/eagerly) to find out what it is!

2. i gave in to much 10-year-old begging (again. i sense a pattern) and took liesel and gwyneth shopping on saturday for some new clothes. it was a blast. we found some great deals and had a very enjoyable bonding time. i'll have to cave more often. i was even able to refrain from shopping for myself (okay, okay--i bought myself one belt. belts don't count as shopping.)

3. thanksgiving day: i love holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! we went to a friend's house and had a great time. i branched out in the cooking department and made two pies. one chocolate, which was good even by non-vegan standards, and one apple pie, which didn't look pretty at all, but tasted good. didn't take pictures of either! guess i'll have to make them again! hooray!

4. new moon: went with loren and 2 other couples to see it, and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. i just want to say that i was on team jacob even before i saw his abs.

5. 5k: loren and i started off thanksgiving day by running in a 5k. i couldn't believe how many people run 5ks on thanksgiving! it was craziness! but fun. loren dropped over a minute off his best time. i barely dropped 14 seconds off of mine. that was the most i could do without throwing up. i toed that line very carefully.

(me at the finish line)

6. goin' to the office: pace informed me this morning that he was "goin' running", and then "goin' to the office". he was all set with his hat, his bag (with my cell phone and some cars in it), and his sunday shoes. no pants. his final words as i let him out the door: "i so sweaty."

7. no more air guitar: loren must have gotten tired of accompanying pace on his air guitar. he came home last week with a real live actual guitar. mid-life crisis? he says it didn't cost as much as my bike, so i really have no grounds to argue with it.........
i actually really like to see him play around on it. it brings out the rocker chic in me.
pace's excuse for not taking a nap the other day: "no, i have to practice g'tar!"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

excerpt from liesel's blog

after much deliberation and debating and counseling and a few prayers, we let liesel and gwyneth watch twilight. this is what liesel wrote on her blog about seeing the movie:

All I have to say about that movie is:
1. it's not as good as the book
2. it's way too artsy
3. and every one thinks I'm nuts to not like Taylor
4. and I'm really hoping New Moon is better

do you think i should let them watch new moon?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

am i really this transparent?

i just called the girls in to the living room for a 'conference'. as soon as we sat down, liesel said:
"hey, mom. i bet i know what you're going to say. 'we've all had a very fun day. liesel and gwyneth got to watch twilight and go shopping for new shoes, and madeline and gretchen got to play at a friend's house. now everybody needs to pitch in and get the house cleaned so we can have a good end to our fun day!' (picture this all being said in a high mom-voice), did i get it right?"
madeline jumped in at this point and said "you forgot the part where she says 'and since you've all had such a good day i need you to show me how thankful you are by being extra happy and getting along while we clean.'"

apparently, i need to come up with some new lines.

Monday, November 2, 2009

halloween and 1/2 marathons

loren started off halloween by running in a 1/2 marathon! he did a great job (finished in 2 hours and 20 seconds). this picture is of him at mile 4. my camera died after this, so i don't have any other pictures. sadness! i guess he'll just have to run another one!
i was able to get in my workout while i was waiting for the race to start (i had to drop loren off at 6 in the morning for him to catch a shuttle to the starting line, so i had an hour to kill). i'd decided i would go for a run--let me tell you, south miami at 6 in the morning (before daylight savings=pitch black dark) is not the best place to run if you're alone and you're a girl. i was figuring people would be out running on the boardwalk by the beach. nope. just me. and the riffraff. 5 seconds after i started running i turned around and ran back to the car to get my mace. i started off again, running slightly faster than normal and practicing my escape/attack plan. i finally saw another lady jogger and asked (begged) if i could run with her. phew! (side note--i found out she does bikram yoga, too. maybe it's affected both our brains.)
anyway----------it was so fun to see loren in a race. he trained a lot for it, so it was fun to see his efforts pay off.
okay, so halloween in south florida is great. it was the first year ever that i didn't have to bundle my children up in their costumes to brave the weather. (even in california, it gets chilly at night if you're out for long). there were no long-sleeved shirts sticking out of fairy costumes. the "lowest" it got was a comfortable 80 degrees.
when we started trick-or-treating, we discovered that in south florida, you don't have to knock on people's doors to get the candy goods. everybody sets up lawn chairs in their front lawn and hands out candy outside. it's a very efficient system, and saves a lot of time not having to knock on doors of people who might not even be home.
we went to a friend's house and set up camp in their driveway for the festivities. we had pizza and a snow-cone machine and had a great time.
and to think that loren wants to move to canada next!

my pace man was an army guy. he loved his "halloween", as he called his costume. when i showed him his face in the mirror after i put makeup on him, he just stared and stared, and then finally said "that's pace!" and broke into a huge grin.
gretchy was a ballerina/tinkerbell/fairy. we had sort of motley costumes this year. i think she was happy in the end (after 20 or so costume try-ons). i put glitter on her face, and that helped things a lot.

madeline was sleeping beauty. wrong color of hair, i know, but the snow white costume was dirty.

liesel and gwyneth were "nice vampires". their outfits were decided upon after much deliberation/compromise. i'm not a big fan of scary costumes on my children--on other people's children it's just fine. i got them some great wigs that made me want long, curly hair. under their wigs, they sprayed their hair with pink stripes. very exciting and tweenish.
i got in the spirit of things and wore my friend's long, black wig. i lived my dream of having beautiful hair for about 2 minutes, until the wig got hot and scratchy.
i did leave the fun socks on. they are a throwback to my college days when i was very into socks and wore a fun pair every day. in fact, the first gift loren ever bought me was a pair of socks.

Friday, October 30, 2009

one more triathlon

this post is mostly for my mom. she never gets tired of hearing about my fun, right?! the rest of you can read if you wish.

my friend just emailed me this as i was getting ready to post this. again, i will never figure out how to get the pictures in a reasonable order.

gotta have one picture of me with my trusty steed.
okay, here' s the original post:
i forgot to put the pictures in reverse order. someday i will actually figure out this blog thing. that's okay--the finish line is the best place anyway, right? might as well start with it......

i really enjoyed this triathlon. a couple of friends did it with me this time, which made it extra fun. i was in the "mom" division--it was an all-women triathlon, so they had different divisions. so, that was fun too.
it was the same course as the first tri i did, only the swim was 300 meters longer, because it wasn't my first one. they figure if you don't drown the first time, you can handle a longer distance the next time. i beat my original time by 3 minutes, even with the longer swim--hooray for really hard workouts! also, I DIDN'T HATE THE RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes, that deserved to be in all caps. i'm not saying i liked it, i just didn't hate it. which means i didn't have to say a million "you will keep running"-type things to myself. it was nice not having to have a stern talking-to with myself.
anyway, here are some pictures of the big event:

us at the finish line. you're lucky you are just looking at us and not smelling us. we are pretty sweaty.
holding our medals (i got 1st in the mom group/4th in my age group/21st overall)
trying to flex?
loren likes this picture because he says it looks like i'm ready to beat someone up. i'm not. i'm just making a goofy face. i put it on here just for loren.
waiting for the award ceremony
running to the finish line
my face might look like i'm hating it, but i'm not. i'm just concentrating hard.
a blurry bike picture. it's my only one. oh well.
running to the transition area to get on the bike
getting out of the swim part
waiting for the tri to start. the water's cold. well, for florida.
waiting for it to start! now i'm wondering why i'm posting pictures of me in a swim cap for all to see. i have no pride left, obviously.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the johnsons come to visit

my mom and dad and two brothers came to visit us a couple of weeks ago. it's taken me this long to put the pictures onto the computer. laziness! i got into vacation mode while they were here and it's been a struggle to get back to real life. we had the best time while they were here! the highlights of the visit are as follows: we went to the beach twice in the 4 1/2 days they were here (see, i come by my beach-worshipping honestly-- it's obviously genetic); the menfolk and the children rented boats and went alligator searching (pace and i took a 15 minute ride to get enough of the experience for pace to talk about riding in a boat for days after, and then my mom and i and pace went home to relax/cook dinner/put pace in bed/talk/clean); my mom played the piano in sacrament meeting for the primary program (i am the chorister and we have no piano player........does anybody who plays the piano please want to move into our ward?)....................................i am going through family withdrawals now. who wants to come visit next?
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

why i love being home with pace

earlier today, the whole time i was checking my email/blogs, pace gently drove cars on my back and legs. it actually felt really good and i spent more time on the computer than was strictly necessary.
i love it that pace follows me around the house as i do my thing. he carries all his toys with him and plops down wherever i am. he doesn't ever mind when i'm cleaning the house, because he just follows along behind. he also loves it when i do "sgetches" (stretches/exercises) on the exercise ball. he gets his own ball and does them all with me. he'll breathe all hard and act tired and he loves to say "ooh, i sweaty".
i love having a little buddy all day long. i'm always surprised at how much i love my 2-year-olds. i shouldn't be, since he's my 5th--i must have a short memory.
i know this is on the cheesy side, but i was just thinking how lucky i am that i get to stay home with him so that he can follow me around and drive cars on my back.
not to say that i won't also love it when he goes down for a nap in 15 minutes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

pace's toenail polish

some of you have wondered about my son's toenails. yes, they are quite frequently painted. such are the consequences of living with 4 older sisters. i do have a rule that they have to be painted a manly color--blue, green, etc. loren tries not to panic.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

saturday morning date

loren and i did a 5k together last saturday. it was such a great way to start the day! we got some fun medals--loren got 2nd in his age group, and i got 1st in mine. gwyneth took our picture--the kids were very proud of us!

pace's shoe fetish

pace is a shoe boy. he loves wearing shoes. it doesn't matter if they're his own or not. i think it's cute (of course, i'm his mom). here he is in gretchy's flip flops:these are all the shoes he owns (minus a brand new pair he just got, featured further down)
being a princess/gas station guy
liesel's sunday shoes
flipper baby
these are his new shoes (jumping illegally on a bed). he loves them. LOVES THEM. he refuses to take them off unless he's going to bed. this makes it awkward when we visit somebody who has a "no shoe rule" in their house. oh well. he shows me every day how he can run and jump and gallop and sword fight and do all other manner of cool things in these shoes.
these pictures have nothing to do with shoes. i just thought they were cute. pace got a new swim tube (he graduated from his old one to one that requires more effort on his part to float). we tried it out at the beach this week. he was a pro.

Monday, September 21, 2009

some irreverent singing

warning: it is quite possible that only the grandparents of the featured children will find this video pleasing in any way.
pace's favorite song is "how firm a foundation". in this video, i captured the efforts of lead singer gretchy and air guitarist pace singing "foundation". this is approximately the 30th time they sang it for me in this one setting (in my room, while i was 'reading a book'). i finally pulled out the camera when they promised they would go sing somewhere else after i took a video of them.
the other 29 uncaptured versions were actually a lot better than this one. the silliness level went way up when i got out my camera.
mostly i just wanted to document that pace knows all the words to this song, which i think is pretty funny. he knows the words for the second verse too, but i cut the video short (you're welcome).
anyway, here it is, for your viewing pleasure, should you choose to indulge.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

get ready for some (un)organized chaos

i didn't mean for the pictures of my bike to show up first on the post, but that's how it worked out.
okay, so this is my favorite part of the bike. i made the bike shop throw in this seat for free when i bought my bike. i said "listen, i've had 5 kids and i need a really great seat. that's just the way it's got to be." i literally said that. i don't think that's too much to ask, do you? anyway, it worked, and they switched seats for me. and yes, that is a hole in the middle of the seat. it's heaven, i tell you.
this is the rest of the bike. it's very, very fun. i have to make myself not ride it. sometimes i get on it and just ride around the driveway for a bit. i know you all don't care, but thanks for looking anyway.

here are a bunch (okay, more than a bunch) of pictures from our last couple of weeks:

this is gretchen's reading finger. her kindergarten teacher sent it home with her the first day of school. gretchen absolutely loves it. she puts it on her finger to point to the words as she reads them. before she reads anything, it's "wait! i have to get my finger!"
pace and loren have become quite the air guitarists. pace's go-to guitar is a spaghetti noodle box. i'm not sure why.
madeline and gretchen finally had a swim meet! swim team is different here, as it's year-round. the meets are not really in the summer (=rainy season). notice the pouring rain. i think they had fun. we didn't get very many pictures (the rain put a damper on the whole photo op thing), but here are some shots of them lining up and then swimming butterfly (of sorts). gretchen spent a lot of time looking sideways to see what the girls in the other lanes were doing. don't mind gretchy's baggy saggy swimsuit. you wouldn't even believe me if i told you how many suits we have gone through this summer. at least i don't have to buy winter coats, right?
the girls had a "new york fashion show" the other night. loren and i were at the adult meeting of stake conference, and they had some friends over to help babysit/have fun. the kids took the pictures themselves. i like the facial expressions that go along with the new york fashion.
loren's birthday was monday. as you can see, we sang a very nice rendition of "happy birthday".
pace is my rain baby. i didn't even know he was outside in it until i looked out the window and saw him. he'd even had me take off his clothes, but i didn't know that going in the rain was his goal. i just thought he wanted to get undressed (not an unusual thing for him). we get spectacular rain storms here. pace loves it. i like it, too, unless i'm trying to determine if i should get the kids ready for swim team, or if the pool's going to be closed because of thunder/lightening. since it rains pretty much every afternoon, it's always a toss-up.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

another triathlon--am i officially addicted?

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i did another triathlon on saturday. so much fun! i don't even know why it's so fun, because it's also dang hard, but maybe finishing something so hard is what makes it fun? or is that just crazy? there are only 2 parts of doing triathlons that i don't like. number 1: the jitters/nerves/butterflies i get the couple days before the race, when i'm wondering what on earth possessed me to sign up for it (i don't get nervous once i'm actually at the event--go figure). number 2: the run. gotta do something about that run. you should have heard the stern talking-to i gave myself on saturday while i was running. it makes me laugh that i have to mentally cheer myself on when i hit the run. whatever it takes, right? the swim and the bike parts are purely pleasurable. i guess 2 out of 3's not bad. i improved my time over the first one by 8 minutes, which was exciting. i got 5th in my age group (which sounds like a nice accomplishment, and it is, unless you know that ALL 6 of the women in the 50-54 age group beat my time. i can't wait to be 50! they were honestly amazing--one lady had a 15 minute run, which means she runs 5-minute-miles, which is basically faster than faster than fast)......anyway, i think i beat them on the swim part, though, so there. it's funny because everybody has their age written on their leg, so when someone flies by you, you instantly know you just got passed by a 52-year-old lady (not that 50 is old, mom). on the flip side, it's pretty fun knowing you just passed some 24-year-old guy. next time i do a triathlon i'm going to write my age plus the number of kids i have. that will show those 50-somethings! actually, it was just a more elite-athlete type of race than the first one i did. when we showed up saturday morning, loren took one look at the people walking around and said "oh boy. these people are serious about their triathlons." lots and lots of muscles. and seriously expensive (=fast) bikes.
speaking of bikes, i got a new one (only moderately, not seriously, expensive), so i don't have to borrow my friend's anymore (i am now not getting any birthday or christmas presents for like the next 10 years). i have to stop myself from getting on it every time i pass it in the garage, it's that fun to ride. and the seat is HEAVEN!!!!!! i will post pictures of it later. first i have to do some posts about my children, lest i start feeling guilty for posting about the triathlon before writing about gretchy's reading skills or pace's singing/air guitar abilities or liesel and gwyneth's new york fashion show.

Friday, August 28, 2009


the meaning of the word: realizing at 1:50 in the afternoon the first day of school that i have met the girls' teachers, gone to the grocery store, and to target, all with my shirt on inside-out. i guess the kids starting school shook me up more than i realized.

(gwyneth just informed me that my summer blog background was not appropriate for the start of the school year. she stood over me until i changed it. i don't know how long i'll be able to stand it, but i will try to wait awhile before changing back to a summer theme)


finally, some pictures of my children not in their swimsuits.

i really can't believe summer's over! gwyneth and i decided we'd like a school system that had school for 2 months, then a 2 week break, etc--but still had a 2 month break for summer. that would be the right balance of fun and play versus clean house for me.
pace and i don't know what to do with ourselves. it's really weird to just have one child home. it's the first time that's ever happened since i've had kids. it must be time to have another one. ha ha!
i have to admit that some things are good about having the kids back in school. i just finished cleaning the playroom, a room i avoided the entire summer. occasionally, i'd send the kids in there to do a "pickup", but i never went in there to clean it. "what's the point?" was definitely my attitude. so, it was nice to get in there and really clean it.
a clean playroom is nice, but i have to say i'd still rather be at the beach!!!