Past Blast: Best Week Ever?


In a lot of ways, this week was pretty exciting for Ruby and Herbie.

  • Fun packages came in the mail.
  • They each got a pair of cleats, which they LOVE, from the thrift store.
  • They've discovered that footy-pajamas can be just as awesome as suits or shorts (depending on their individual preferences).
  • We also had the tree in the backyard removed,
  • and the trunk-or-treat was this week.
We've been trying to get the tree removed for about 6 months, but the ground needed to be dry for them to do the job, and it kept raining on the day that they'd schedule us.

They finally came on Friday, and Ruby and Herbie were glued to the windows for about 4 hours.

Woo was only glued to the window for an hour and a half, and Moses was slightly annoyed by all the ruckus going on outside.

It was pretty fun to watch.

They pulled out the full arsenal to remove our tree: a bucket truck, chain saws of assorted sizes, a chipper, a bobcat "No, it's actually a DOG-CAT, Mom!", some stump-grinder thing, ropes, hard hats, you name it.

They did a great job.

We had piles of limbs that had already fallen, that we'd broken down and thrown in between our 8' ornamental grasses. They collected all of that for us and threw it into the chipper. They raked and swept up everything, left a truckload of wood-chips in a neat pile in our driveway, and occasionally waved at the kids.

I finally have all the wood chips I want (and that's not sarcasm).

Saturday evening, Ruby eagerly put on Herbie's three piece suit and church shoes. I gave her a mustache, and Woo taught her how to say, "I'm a wall street banker."

kids halloween instagram
Herbie was a little harder to please. I wanted him to wear the lederhosen, but he'd just worn them to church a couple of weeks ago, and he really wanted to wear his cleats. So he wore his adidas track suit and cleats---a soccer player.

Moses was a clown.

woman dressed as dog baby dressed as clown instagram
I was a siberian husky, and Woo was GI Joe.

man dressed as GI Joe baby dressed as clown instagram
We all looked pretty ghetto, but the kids felt cool. I was happy I didn't have to sew anything, and Woo was happy that no money was spent.



little girl holding lizard instagram

Ruby's teacher started sending the class pet, Leonardo, home with kids on the weekend.  Ruby signed up for the very first weekend, which just happened to be fall break (4 day weekend).

It's been tons of fun for the kids to have a pet for a little while.

Linus pattered around the corner in his jammies every 5 seconds to keep Woo updated on the Leonardo happenings.
'Ado, awake, Dad!! 
'Ado, eating, Dad!! 
'Ado, moving. head, Dad!!
'Ado, open. mouth, Dad!!
Moses was so, so excited to hold him ... 

Until the actual moment came.

little boy holding lizard crying instagram

little boy holding lizard crying instagram

little boy holding lizard crying instagram

But, apparently, playing with Leonardo's tail while Herbie held him was ok.

kids holding petting lizard instagram

Linus opted out of holding Leonardo because someone/thing had convinced him that,
'Ado, going. to. eat. me. Dad!
But, we won't be getting any lizards for ourselves in the future.  It's been stressful for Woo and I, worrying about keeping him alive for 5 days.

Almost the second we got Leonardo home, he fell "asleep" for about 5 hours. Herbie insisted that he was dead.  

Woo and I finally decided that maybe he was cold, so we set his cage on the space heater, and covered it all with a blanket. 

Leonardo woke up and started moving. 

The next time we checked on him, his mouth was wide open, and the glass was hot to the touch.  

Afraid we would roast him or freeze him, Woo got up 2 or 3 times during the night to check on him.
Me: Wow. Leonardo's been through quite the roller coaster with us, hasn't he?
Woo: Somehow, I think Leonardo gets to experience a roller coaster ride every weekend.
And I'm afraid he's probably right. Poor, Leonardo.

He's still alive as we speak ... wish us luck ... until I can deliver him back to the school tomorrow morning.

little boy holding lizard instagram

We also had Parent Teacher Conferences this week, and we heard pretty much what we expected to hear. Ruby is an excellent student and is off-the-charts social. Herbie does well socially, and performs off-the-charts academically.

His teacher suggested that we let Herbie enjoy life as a six year old, and that he'd get lots of opportunities to help and be a leader in class. That was basically our philosophy anyway, and nobody enjoys helping and being a leader more than Herbie.

baby girl crawling smiling instagram

Penelope might be our first child to say "Yes!" before she says, "No!" 

She's definitely got her "Es!" down, as well, as "eese" (cheese), and anything that rhymes with "Hi" (i.e. bye, eye, fungi ... )

baby girl crawling smiling instagram

Hope you all enjoy your Halloween this week!


Cupboards Next!

Ok, painting cupboards is daunting. Almost to the point of overwhelming, but experience has shown me that if you do little bit whenever you can, the job eventually gets done.  

And I'm excited for the cupboards to be done, so I'm excited to finally be starting on them! Plus, I'm painting them a fun aqua color, which makes me that much more excited to see the reveal. 

The first thing I've had to do is actually empty the cupboards.

I thought this was going to be a piece of cake job, done in an hour, but no. It has not been.

Part of the problem is that I stuffed all sorts of junk in there 2 1/2 years ago when we moved in, just to get those boxes unpacked, and I've never organized them.

I've found baby shower gifts, pipe cleaners, novels, parts of Halloween costumes -- you name it!  Anyway, this "one day" project is turning into a whole week project.

Just a reminder: This is my kitchen inspiration image.

And this is my wallpaper (currently living in a tube under my bed).

I've removed the doors from this portion of the upper cabinets for sure; although, I'm not entirely convinced that I'll wallpaper the backs of them. 

I am, for sure, wallpapering the wall to the left, above the paneling (where that old yellow, flowered wallpaper is now).

My concern is that I have a lot of turquoise and green and (not just) white dishes that I can put in those shelves. The plan is to paint it first, put some dishes in, and then make the wallpaper decision.

Anyway, next time we meet I'll be on the next step -- I'm so excited to feel like I'm finally getting somewhere in this room!


Nine Years!

Woo and I have been married 9 years now!

And I know you've all been dying to see some wedding pictures.

wedding provo temple holga

wedding provo temple holga

wedding provo temple

wedding provo temple holga

wedding reception BBQ

Not every man will grimace like you weigh 400 lbs. while dipping you down for a kiss.  

I got an original (which is what I always wanted).

Love you, Woo!

wedding provo temple holga



Ruby Red

little girl red leaves instagram

Ruby really likes to talk about all her new and exciting ideas.  Especially when she's tired, she can just talk and talk and talk ...

This week she started off describing a great idea she had for a new club,
Ruby (breathless with excitement): I'm going to start a new club! 
Woo: Oh? What kind of club? 
Ruby: Well, it will be an American club! 
Woo: So, people from America? 
Ruby: Yeah. 
And for people who like sharks! 
Or be a boy! 
Woo: So, it's a club for Americans who like sharks or are boys? 
Ruby: Yeah!
Completely switching gears ...
I met a mean girl once at the park. 
She was huge!
(Then for added effect ... )
And she spanked my bottom!
Hmmmm, doubtful. But I'm now realizing that this was probably given as anecdotal evidence for not inviting all girls to her club??

little girl paper hat breakfast instagram
(How Ruby showed up for breakfast ... )

Ruby's also started a bit of a Great Brain enterprise, trading junk from home with the other kids. As far as I know, she's been getting the better end of the deal. Some kid gave her a ton of matchbox cars, and another time she had handfuls of Werthers caramels.

I think we've caught her whenever she's tried to trade anything remotely valuable ...
Me: Why on earth is your backpack so big??
Ruby (sheepishly): My soccer ball.
Me: Ok, take it out.
Another time, I caught her with Moses' car rug rolled up inside.

Ruby really likes to tease. While skyping Grandma and Grandpa in Hong Kong:
Grandma and Grandpa sitting in a tree!
(Which is quite a bit closer to the actual spelling of kissing, then she was doing last year ...)

Not to be outdone, Moses chimed in with:
Mater and Lightning sitting in a tree!
little blond boy blue shirt instagram

What's better than being able to put on "mine. doggie. jammies!" all by yourself?

little boy too small pink pajamas instagram

Being able to put on "Nel-Pee's. pink. jammies!" Of course.

little boy too small pink pajamas instagram

Linus is just now noticing how big I am in comparison to him. He most often talks about my big feet and my big pinky finger. He hasn't mentioned my bum or my belly yet, but you know that's coming ...
Linus: I. have. big. under-pants. like. you. Mom-my!!
I got to substitute Herbie's primary class today. He was so excited to have me there. He answered tons of questions and volunteered to do lots of reading, and then would look over at me to give me a huge grin and see if I was impressed. I was.

little boy eating apple instagram

I made my own ricotta cheese with some past due milk this week. As I was making it, I thought to myself, "I should receive some sort of award for this ... " But, I don't think that I did. Well, besides a good feeling inside.

And in an effort to use lots of that milk, Woo got to enjoy a couple of batches of his favorite rice pudding too. He probably wishes we had more gallons of milk approach it's use-by date.

dad kissing baby girl hammock instagram

Penelope has suddenly decided that she really likes to sit in my lap. And she doesn't want to share it with anyone! 

Hope this phase wears off soon, or we're going to have our first case of sibling jealousy when the new baby comes.

Hope you've all had a good fall week!



Painted White

Hey! Remember that time when I started a project, and then I made a mistake?? 

I think it was like 5 months ago.  

Well, you'll never believe this but, I finished it!

The problem was that I'd foolishly believed that I could paint over the paneling above my cabinets without priming first.  It was a no go. The varnish on that stuff was leaking an orangey tint right through the paint.

So, while I was priming the mudroom, I also primed that paneling.

And then I painted it white. And then the ceiling.  

This is a big room; painting that ceiling was not fun, and even though it was already "white" it still needed two new coats (grrr ... ).

I'm going to be honest with you: painting stuff white is kind of boring for me.  I love color so much; I can't get excited about it, but I do have to admit that those newly white parts look so new and fresh and clean! Definitely a big improvement!

Maybe these before photos will show you a bit better what I mean?

Ok, that picture was more of a "progress" picture.

Are you seeing it??


Past Blast: The 5 Year Mark


baby boy fire hat instagram
Woo and I had our fifth anniversary this week. We dropped the kids off at the Greene's and headed for the mall as fast as we could.

We were late for our appointment at the Apple Store.

Our computer had died AGAIN for the third time in two months.

After an extremely romantic hour there, we ate at a restaurant in the mall, and returned to pick up the kids.

Woo's best line of the week came when he asked the Greenes how it had gone:
Greenes (avoiding eye contact with us): Well... you know how it is when you put six kids together in a room...

Woo: Magic?
Ruby had a package of markers out on the the couch when we got there (without their knowledge), and Woo observed her crawling around on the floor and otherwise goofing off while the Primary was practicing for their program next week.

I've always considered Ruby to be above average on the curiosity/quickness/aggressive scales. I know what she's capable of, so I keep a close eye on her always, but these two incidents have me wondering: is there something we're doing that's causing her to behave worse when we're not around (or something we could do so she'd be better?), or are other people just afraid to tell her no?

Herbie has been going through shorts withdrawal with the colder weather. Shorts are his absolute favorite piece of clothing ever, and he will frequently admire other people wearing shorts.

I knew the only way to keep him from wearing shorts all winter was to remove them completely from his room and squirrel them away in the basement.

He's asked for them every morning. He seems to be under the impression that they're all dirty, and as soon as I do the laundry, they'll be back. I think he's going to be really excited when they magically return again (in about six months).

smiling baby boy instagram
Moses is a much happier baby now that he can go anywhere he wants to go. He's really been enjoying himself, exploring pretty much every corner of the house.

Our house has been totally baby proof for sometime now. I can't believe that I actually used to put plants on the floor or glass knick-knacks lower than 5 ft!?!

The only thing I have to watch for is that he doesn't get too much time with any one book, or he'll gnaw a corner off.