Thursday, May 28, 2009

memorial day

we went to a park by our house with our friends for memorial day.  it's a really great park--good playgrounds, etc. plus some bonus features like vines to swing on, a treehouse/fort to climb up, and a boardwalk to view wildlife.  the kids loved it all (minus the large and fearsome spiders we encountered on our walk back from the boardwalk, and some mild cases of nerves while braving the swinging vines--we need to brush up on our tarzan skills).  after the park we came home and got some swimming in before the daily thunderstorm--notice that this did not deter the children from staying outside.  
hooray for holidays!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

pace boy turns 2

i really can't believe that my baby is two!  monday was his birthday.  it was seriously the biggest treat to give him his presents--i've never seen anyone as excited as he was.  he didn't even eat his cake--he was too busy driving his new cars.  and that's saying something--the boy loves his chocolate!  the first group of pictures is from pace's "birthday walk".  at bedtime, pace suddenly got it in his little head that it was time to go on a walk.  he went and got his shoes, came and told me his plans (he was very specific:  "go walk.  shoes.  mommy, daddy.  go runnin'.  1-2-3 race.  yeah."), and said goodbye (one by one) to all his new cars.  well, i'm a total softie when it comes to my baby--plus, you know i'm a succor for well-thought out plans.  all the other kids were in bed already, so we grabbed his shoes and off we went.  it was really fun.  pace knew he was getting special privileges.  i know i'm in trouble now--he's going to think he can get away with all sorts of special requests.  
anyway, it was really a fun day!  we also did some memorial day stuff (later post).  
happy birthday, little man!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

who needs a beach to surf?

the kids have been busy practicing their surfing skills.  i guess they are getting beach-ready in the privacy and safety of their own backyard.  not only is a beach not necessary, but it appears that not even a pool is needed.  when it rains (which is often, now that we're in the "rainy season" here), parts of our backyard get totally flooded.  today the kids were outside playing in the water and they invented a new way of surfing.  it was very funny to watch them tow each other around.  i guess flooded yards do have their good points.

Friday, May 22, 2009

a bunch of random pictures that have to share a post

i got this james christensen print framed for my birthday.  i am fairly positive this is how i was meant to spend my days.......i always excuse myself when i read the day away by saying that i'm just fulfilling my destiny.....

i have no idea why the text is underlined. oh, in the actual post it's not underlined.  go figure. one of the many things in the blogging world i don't get.  anyways.......
in other news, the endangered owls that we've been keeping our eyes on had babies!  they really are too cute, and i'm not even an animal lover.  sorry for all the photos of them--i was trying to get them all in one picture, but when you have one inexperienced photographer and lots of jumping owls, and then you add in the fact that i was driving while taking the photograph (on the wrong side of the road while turning a corner).........well, this is the best i could do.

this is not cute animal news.  this is what madeline found in our yard during our family kickball game.  i was not, am not, and never will be happy about it.  i almost made a new rule that we can never, ever go outside in our yard again.  i think i might have rather found an alligator.  
more pictures of the picture.  i was trying to capture the colors better.  again, there's that whole inexperienced photographer thing going'll just have to trust me that it's stunning.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

family kickball

we played a game of kickball last night.  pace is so darn cute, he needed his own picture collage.  the rest of the family is featured down below in a slideshow.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: family kickball

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

sometimes it's nice to be alone

i'm going to use this blog like a facebook page for one second and just say this:  pace is down for a nap, gretchen's at a friend's house, and i have 2 full hours ahead of me without children.  i'm off to bed with a book!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the cube

our new pool toy is the "cube".  it's been a great source of entertainment.  it's been especially fun for me to watch the kids learn new ways to get in and out.  my favorite is the back somersault out of it.  in fact, speaking of back somersaults, the girls have been practicing them, and when i discovered that even gretchen can do one in the water, i overcame my irrational fear of going upside down backwards in the water without my nose plugged, and did my first ever non-nose-plugged back somersault.  who says you can't teach an old dog (mom) new tricks?  the children were properly impressed, although liesel and gwyneth then had to show me how they can do 6 back somersaults in a row.  i'm sticking with one at a time, thank you very much! 
i am still trying to get some alone time in the cube.  it would be a fabulous place to float and read a book.  somehow the occasion is not presenting itself.  i do need to figure out a new system for reading books by the pool.  i have semi-ruined a couple so far.  at least i haven't dropped the camera in yet!

Monday, May 18, 2009

capturing the moments

first of all, i have to say "thank goodness for patriotic songs."  the reason i say this is because gretchen got sent to her room this afternoon after forgetting how to say "okay, mom".  she stomped off in a huff, but pretty soon i heard all sorts of patriotic goodies being belted from her room (mostly renditions of the 'star spangled banner' and 'grand old flag', with a few spanish treasures learned at preschool thrown in for good measure).  she came out of her room a few minutes later in a thoroughly pleasant mood.  i think she patriotic-ed herself right out of her tantrum.  i was even able to request a private concert to hear the songs up close and personal, and if i can ever figure out how to download videos off the camcorder, i will post it.  

i have been thinking the last couple of weeks that one of my favorite parts about being a mom is that i am home to capture the little treasures (i.e. funny things) that my kids do.  it adds so much pleasure to my day.  i thought i'd share a sampling of the treasures with you.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: some 'moments'

Friday, May 15, 2009

just another day....

at the beach.  we sort of maybe skipped school one day last week and went to the beach.  we couldn't help ourselves.  i think this is my new answer to the homeschooling/not homeschooling dilemma.  i'll send my kids to public school, but i'll schedule my own vacation days.  hmmm.  not a bad idea.  
anyway, we had a great day.  one of my favorite things about the beach is that the kids all play together.  i like group family/kid projects--like building sandcastles, etc.
this was an especially exciting trip because this random guy found a huge, huge, beautiful shell and gave it to us.  the only catch:  the owner of the shell was still very much alive and living in it.  the kids had fun (nervously) holding it.  then i sent madeline and gretchen on a rescue mission to throw the shell into deeper water.  they were so funny trying to go out far enough gingerly holding this shell.  before they could put it back, though, some other people decided they wanted to try to keep the shell.  i said "good luck" and we gave it to them.  their ownership of the shell lasted for a few minutes until the real owner started poking it's huge slimy foot-muscle-thing out of the shell and started flipping around trying to get back in the water.  at this point (after much screaming by the girls, young and old alike) another guy rescued us all by throwing the shell like a football into deeper water.  it was a grand adventure.
this beach was another great beach--it was shallow for a long ways, and had a little sandbar about 10 yards out where the water was only about 3 inches deep.  pace spent a lot of time out there driving his truck.

Monday, May 11, 2009

more parental moments

loren and i have been getting the chance to spend lots of quality time with our kiddos--always a fun thing!  we've had a daddy/daughter night (which translated into a mommy/son night for me), then loren was out of town for a week, so i decided to do some fun stuff with the kids, then there was a father/son activity (which translated into a mommy/daughter night for me).  hooray for children, and for getting to spend time with them! it made it sort of feel like a mother's day week. here are some pictures of our fun.  i also went to the beach with the kids one day, but that deserves its own post.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

trash tie hair photos

so, we discovered that we are not that good at taking pictures of hair.  it's hard to get the flash and lighting and everything right.  here are our best attempts.  hopefully it will give you some idea of how we wear trash ties.  and, a side note so you fully appreciate this blog entry, it just took me 30 minutes to figure out how to post the pictures like that.  also, i have worn my hair like liesel's (she's the one with lots of trash ties all over), but with all brown and black ties.  i actually wore it that way to church once.  it was a sort of hair emergency and nothing else was working and i figured, "why not?".

Monday, May 4, 2009

pace and church--how will we survive the next year of sundays?

so, pace loves church, which is actually a problem, because his enthusiasm causes him to be very loud.  in our virginia ward, his loudness might have been able to be overlooked (given that there were approximately 100 other children his exact age making the same noises).  no such luck in florida.  i think there are only a total of 6 children under 3 in the whole ward.  and none of them are as exuberant about church as pace is.  he got the whole ward laughing not once, but twice, yesterday in sacrament meeting.  when loren takes him out of the chapel after all of our "be quiet" tricks have failed, pace waves to everyone, saying "bye bye" and loving every minute of it.  his second time out, he said "here we go!  bye bye!"  loren didn't come back in until the closing song, and then when the song ended, pace clapped and yelled "nursery!!!!"  sigh.  it really is a good thing he's so cute.

Friday, May 1, 2009

these are a few (or two) of my favorite things

trash ties.  the best invention for hair i have ever come across.  you can find them at

i have also discovered the ped-egg foot file.  let me just say, it's fabulous, and i am not usually an "as seen on tv" fan.  i actually didn't see it on tv.  i saw it at walmart.  and  i am addicted.  in a good way.  take a look.  i got the one with the handle (not shown in the picture).  

that's all.  just thought i'd share.

mommy-son date

loren is with all my girls at daddy-daughter night tonight.  it feels weird to be in the house all alone with pace!  we made the most of our night by going on a bike ride.  we took our time and stopped to watch a guy fly a model airplane.  other highlights of our trip (according to pace) included seeing two cats, lots of real airplanes, some ducks and birds, a car driving fast, wearing the special hat (helmet), and getting off the bike and standing on a pile of rocks.  it was fun to spend time with him without worrying about anybody else.  now he's in bed and i'm sort of at a loss for what to do with myself.  i know i could be productive and actually start on the scrapbooking that's been piling up for over a year (okay, let's face it--almost 2 years now--i think the last time i did anything was when i was pregnant with pace) but that seems way too daunting of a task and should certainly be left for another night.  the house is already clean (i made the kids help me do a "pick up" before they could go with loren--i love it when they want to go somewhere really badly--the house gets cleaned so much faster!).  i think at this point i'm leaning more towards bed with a good book and some cookies.  
what do you do when your husbands have the kids and you have a night to yourself?