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Wordless Wednesday (mostly)

February 10, 2016

2015 pictures of E from the family calendar:

(that’s the year 2015, not 2015 actual photos . . . this kid would never let us take that many!)


This is the first time I’ve made a successful silhouette!  I’ll have to share how I did it.

A week of soups and hoping for a calm February

February 1, 2016

We’re kind of glad to see January go.  We had a great party with family and a few friends in our new house for New Year’s Day, then everybody started getting sick.  (What is it about January?  Seriously, every year, we are sick in January!  All of us!)

E threw up the next day, and I thought it was because he’d mainly eaten chocolate the day before.  But half the family came down with probably the same stomach bug, although never at the same time.  Why do we always have to string it out?  Although four or five children sick all at once probably would have been worse, now that I really stop to think about it.

DH had a sinus infection and A had some head cold or other for about two weeks.  Then the coughing started.  E had to miss two weeks of Kindermusik class because of it.  I had a 24-hour stomach bug on the same day DH was rear-ended in his car at work.  It was a minor traffic accident, but he was pretty sore for a couple of days and couldn’t drive while taking his muscle-relaxant pills so stayed home for a day or two.

We managed to not be sick on the two birthdays this month, but January ended with A having to get his wisdom teeth out last Friday.  He’s currently starving.  He’s always starving anyway (typical teenage boy) but it’s especially hard when he can’t chew much and is trying to get his calories from a liquid diet. There’s only so much applesauce, ice cream, ice cream in hot chocolate, and smoothies you can eat in a day.  The cold and snowy weather is not especially conducive to ice cream and smoothies anyway.  He dislikes canned soup, so I’m making every soup recipe in my repertoire this week trying to get some calories in him.

He is recovering well though, so we can’t complain and he’s realized what a blessing food and being able to chew is in his life!  His jaw will not get crowded by new teeth now and he can keep his title of “Straightest Teeth in the Family.”  His brothers sure won’t win it anytime soon.  D finally got his braces on though and C is in the middle of some pretty massive orthodontic work at the moment.  And another head cold.

Speaking of cold and snowy weather, it has been mostly appreciated, but we did have a very harrowing experience last weekend.  I had played in a concert in Salt Lake City and the three older boys came with me while DH stayed home with the little ones.  It was raining before and after the concert, but right when we got on the freeway to come home, the temperature dropped and the heavy rain turned to heavy blowing snow.  Luckily it was late enough at night that there was very little traffic because I couldn’t even begin to see where the lanes were.  I don’t think the few cars around me could either.  We crept along and every time we went under an overpass where the lines were clear, we all got back in the correct lanes, but then it was guesswork again as the snow was blowing every which way.

It was one of those storms where you think, “This is the perfect day to curl up inside with a good book and some hot chocolate and just let it snow. . . and here I am 25 miles from home, without DH, creeping along in a swirl of snow on the freeway instead.”

Just past the airport a massive snowplow got on the freeway just in front of me.  And by massive I mean a plow on the front of the truck and plows on either side.  He lifted up one of the side plows to pass a couple of cars, and then was basically plowing the whole freeway at once.  And I followed right behind him.  25 mph, but at least I knew where the road was!  And an hour later we finally made it safely home.

The snow has been much appreciated though, especially after last winter when it snowed what, twice?  If people had been more healthy, we’d probably have gone out to enjoy it more.  I’ve about had my fill of shoveling however, but it is beautiful.

A and C went tubing once for scouts, and C and D and DH were amazingly all well at once and got to go on the Klondike campout together.

I now have three weeks off from orchestra that I’m trying to enjoy.  We had two concerts in January which meant Tuesday night rehearsal, Friday night dress rehearsal, and Saturday night concert all in one week.  Twice.  One was actually a Saturday afternoon concert which at least helped me feel like I had a little weekend left after it was over, but those weeks kind of went by in a blur of practicing and driving in and rehearsing together, especially considering we first saw the music at those Tuesday night rehearsals.  Luckily most of it I had played before.  Other people were not so lucky.  I could sense some anxiety around me when we opened up The Cowboys Overture.  

I need to find some kind of practice routine again though as we have Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring coming up in March, and Beethoven and Respighi after that.  My practicing has been abysmal since we first tried to sell the old house.  But here it is the first of February and I’m finally starting to feel like we have a good school routine in place (C’s on his third writing program this year but E’s school is getting done!), and a good housecleaning routine in place.  Maybe now life will calm down a little bit!

Random January pictures:

A helping Little A with the ipad at the library on the night of her birthday:

So many pictures: Another year of Little A

January 27, 2016

There were quite a lot of pictures in the birthday post, so I’m creating a new post.  We took so many pictures of Little A last year.  When I did our calendar for 2016, I had a hard time narrowing down which pictures of her to use, so I used a lot.  Probably a lot more than I should have for her 8.5×11 calendar page!  But those, plus a few others from other months are a good representation of how she’s changed over this past year.  Plus I’m pretty sure most of these did not get blogged.  2015 was not the best year for keeping up on the blog.  I’m trying to make 2016 better.

Here was her first birthday.  Who can forget the chocolate cake face!



Payson temple open house:



This kid loves corn-on-the-cob.  LOVES it!!




Hard at work doing something!



She has discovered my shoes. . .


I love the pigtails!



I should probably share the calendar photos for the four boys now as well.

Now she is two!!

January 26, 2016

Yet another birthday, and also another birthday on cello lesson day.  Thus, Little A got to open presents right after breakfast while Daddy was still home.  Last year she wasn’t all that interested in opening birthday presents, but boy did she know what to do this year!  

Although the one taller than she is was a bit of a challenge.

It was definitely been the favorite: a stroller for her dolls.

We’ve been out walking all over the neighborhood this week with the dolls.

Normally, A and C go to Liahona Academy for classes (rather than just watching online) on Thursdays if A doesn’t have seminary, but they were willing to skip that so we could spend more time with Grandma and Poppa and go out for ice cream with the birthday girl.

This is the face we get lately when we say, “Smile!”

She liked her ice cream, although after every bite, she’d spit the almonds back into my hand.  I should have just ordered plain chocolate.

Of course there were more presents at Grandma’s house: a zoo toy, an apron, oven mitts, a bib, and a farm puzzle.

With her dinnertime buddy:

She still has us wrapped around her little finger.  She’ll even show you which finger if you ask.

We’ve had quite a lot of chocolate birthday cake lately, so I opted to make lemon chiffon bundt cakes for a change.  They turned out quite well, although after six mini ones, I remembered why I don’t make mini bundt cakes.  What a pain!  Only one fell completely apart on coming out of the pan, but I’d had enough and put the rest of the batter in the large bundt pan after that.  And the glaze was on the tart side because I quit following the recipe at that point, but all in all they were a success.

This should be captioned, “Oh, I was supposed to wait until you were done singing to blow this candle out?”

There’s that smile again!

She has just learned how to twirl in her big poufy dresses.  She loves to dance and sing along to the music, and especially to her “I’m Trying to be Like Jesus” board book.  She’s talking and babbling all the time and we are understanding more of it every day.  Her favorite words are baby, Daddy, Mommy, doggie, “over there”, “right there”, and “I do” if you ask any question involving, “Who wants to…?”

Happy Birthday, Little A!  We are so happy you are a part of our family!

December doings

January 19, 2016

I realize it’s the middle of January, but I also realize I essentially didn’t blog at all in December.  And I took some good pictures!  Some even had E in them.  For that alone, I feel I should dump them all into a post and try to remember how this blogging thing works again.

We pulled out a lot of Christmas decorations quite early in the month to try to figure out where to put things in a new space.  But despite our best efforts, we still didn’t get a tree until the 21st of December!  I can’t remember now everything that happened, other than DH worked a lot of extra evening shifts and we just didn’t have a day to go get a tree together.  The nice thing was, it was still looking fresh and beautiful on Christmas day and beyond.  In fact, we actually left it up past January 6 which was when our wise men finally made it to our nativity scene in the hallway.

Little A was highly fascinated by the decorated tree, but mostly left it alone.  Of course we don’t go in the living room much, so, out of sight, out of mind?


The Saturday before Christmas we went to the Utah Symphony’s children’s concert, and had to take our annual picture in front of the dusty Chihuly sculpture.

E was there too, but didn’t want to be in the picture.  We were running late so of course the car was almost out of gas.  I gave up trying to hurry at that point and just resigned myself to dropping the boys off at the hall and taking Little A to go park.  When we had to walk in, between pieces, I realized there were only four seats for our six tickets.  I’m not sure who was sitting in our other two seats, and at that point couldn’t very well talk to the people around us to figure out what was wrong, so I spent most of the concert with both E and Little A on my lap because neither one would give me up for one of their brothers. It was most uncomfortable, but the music was good.

That same day we had our family Christmas party, in Bountiful, and didn’t want to go home only to turn around and drive back in a few hours later.  DH was at work anyway, so the rest of us went to the dinosaur museum one last time on our membership before heading to the party.  It was a fabulous day at the museum.  It was practically empty and I just told the boys to go and explore and don’t try to keep with Little A and E.  They do museums in their own way.  So everyone got to spend time doing what they most wanted to, we weren’t pressed for time, and it was just lovely.  And we all had enough fun.

On the 23rd we went downtown again to finish up some shopping, see the Christmas windows at Grand America, and see the lights on Temple Square.  Now that we don’t live right downtown, we can’t spread these things out quite as easily!

Grand America always has these amazing window displays for the holidays.  This year each window represented a Christmas song or carol, and we had to fill in the blanks to get a cookie at the end.  I also like to see all the decorations throughout the hotel.

The Twelve Days of Christmas are represented here:

Every year the bakers there make a massive gingerbread house.  This year’s used over 700 lbs. of chocolate and 800 lbs. of sugar icing!

Little A got covered in cocoa by leaning a little too hard on the fence.

It was starting to rain a little by the time we got to Temple Square, but C was excited to see the bagpiper busking outside the gates.  The weather wasn’t doing his pipes any favors, but we just had to get a picture.  C’s learning to play the bagpipes, by the way.  I should blog about that someday.


This was a new nativity this year that A’s Sunday School teacher made.  He had shown us pictures of the plaster casts in his garage, so it was fun to see the final product.

DH was supposed to work Christmas night, but his boss offered to trade shifts so he could be home with his family.  Then someone else needed a shift covered or traded or something.  In the end, he worked from 6 p.m. Christmas Eve until 6 a.m. Christmas morning.

I told the boys we could open presents as soon as DH got home from work.  I even let them stay up later on Christmas Eve watching a movie so they would sleep in a little bit.  C woke up at 4:30 a.m. and said, “It worked, Mom!  I didn’t wake up at 3:30 like last year!”  I think D was up shortly after that and I remember looking at my clock and seeing 5:something.  Still too early!  It was snowing quite heavily and it took DH over an hour to get home.  Finally at 7:10 he pulled up.  We opened presents and then he crawled in bed for 4 hours of sleep.  It worked out well.  By the time we left for dinner at Grandma and Poppa’s house, the snow had stopped and we had relatively dry roads the entire way.

Little A had a really cute Christmas dress, but this was literally the best picture I ever got of it.

One request for a picture after church resulted in a meltdown, plus someone had already given Little A some chocolate by the time I got in the house from church which then landed on her dress, so we tried again the next Sunday.  Still one meltdown, so here are four happy children at the end of December.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016

For Today…
Outside my window… It’s now dark and 37 degrees, but it’s been gray and rainy most of the day.  I think it’s still raining actually, which is just great since we’re supposed to be reading snow books for Five in a Row with the 6-year-old.
I am thinking… I really ought to finish posting Christmas pictures–now that it’s January 18.
I am thankful… it was a holiday today and we had nowhere to go, as I have to go into Salt Lake or to points further south every day this week.
I am wearing… plaid pajama pants and my Nova Scotia sweatshirt.
I am creating… a new apron for Little A’s birthday present.
I am wondering… when I’ll feel caught up or even better, ahead of the boys, on school.
I am reading… The Iliad with A.  Or rather, he’s waiting patiently for me to catch up so we can discuss it.  We’re also listening to Book of a Thousand Days for our next book club.
I am hoping… the music for our concert this Saturday won’t be too difficult as we won’t see it for the first time until tomorrow night.
I am learning… (make that relearning) about irrational square roots.  We’re almost done with algebra!!
In my kitchen… lemon bundt cakes for the birthday girl on Thursday.
In the homeschool room… South American geography, Robert Frost poetry, a new geometry book, and yet another writing program.
A few plans for the rest of the week: two rehearsals, one concert, one new cello student, one birthday
A peek into one of my days…Birds in the bushThe birds love our bush.  It’s not uncommon to see fifty or more sitting on the branches at once, making them bounce up and down.  It makes me smile.
Read about more days at The Simple Woman’s Daybook.

Now I Am Six!

January 11, 2016

But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.

~A. A. Milne

I need to teach E this entire poem, now that he is six!

(I also need to catch up on all the December photos, but I’m trying to be done with birthdays, at least for a while.)

So E’s birthday was last Monday.  It should have been our first day back to schoolwork after Christmas, but I was more than happy to take one more day off. I was not ready for school again.  Liahona classes began though and A had seminary, so it wasn’t a complete day off here, but E enjoyed a day doing pretty much nothing of consequence.   He kept changing his mind for weeks on what he really wanted to do for his birthday, but when the day was finally here, it came down to playing in the basement, watching movies, and playing Minecraft.  Oh, and cake.

He also wanted a candle in his French toast just like A.

Daddy had to teach a class in the morning, but he came home for lunch and E opted to open presents then so he could start playing with what he was sure were toys.  He was not disappointed.  He had a good pile of presents and most of them were toys.

He got some card games, a fire engine puzzle, a Star Wars snack/drink cup, an airport playset, Legos, and another Richard Scarry book.  I think soon we’ll own the entire Richard Scarry collection.  We love them!

Just a note about E–I make a photo calendar every year for the grandparents for Christmas and I couldn’t find a single picture of all seven of us from 2015.  There are quite a few pictures of six of us, and many more of four of my children, but E always managed to be missing, or was grumpy and didn’t want to be in the photo.  Ofttimes I’d just take the photo anyway because I figured that was real life and it would show what E was like in 2015.  One word: contrary.  He definitely has a mind of his own and a strong will to go with it!

He was a perfect angel for the camera on Monday though.  Maybe he just liked all the personal attention he was getting on his birthday.  Anyway, I’m glad.  He is such a good looking kid!  While he’s definitely got some quirks, we are so grateful to have him here in our family.

He really wanted to go to the Nauvoo Cafe for dinner, and we had plans to do that on Tuesday night when we were already headed to Salt Lake, but then D was sick all night Monday and spent Tuesday mostly asleep on the couch.  So we postponed that until lunch on Saturday before attending my orchestra’s children’s concert.  

We still have plans to go to the Firefighter’s Museum in Grantsville for a birthday activity.  We were planning on going Friday as it is only open on Fridays and Saturdays, but Little A threw up on Thursday and I didn’t want to chance taking her anywhere on Friday.  It’s been a great week. . . So there are still birthday activities to come.  As long as no one else gets sick.

We’re crossing our fingers.


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