Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bimmer Repairs, Part 1

Of course, the loud noise coming from the passenger window didn't sound good. Then, the window got stuck down. Hm, not so cool in the cool weather. The wood shim helped keep the window up, but really, why have a nice car if it looks all ghetto? Off to the Bimmer Forums! The best part about the loyal/crazy Bimmer owners is that they love to talk about their cars. So, I found the answer to my problem, but it required some real car work, which is not something I have done before.

Instead of a repair at the shop for hundreds of $$s, I got the part for $50, and we won't talk about my hourly rate. Now when the other windows go out (which is likely, thanks to the forum users), I can do it all myself and have a working car in no time.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

G-man is full of Pride

G-man participated in the school's annual fund raiser. We seem to like doing this one, as it is a physical activity for the kids. They run around the play ground, and each lap is 1/4 mile, and they have 20 minutes to finish. G-man made it around 10 times, which is about 2.5 miles. This year, he was running nearly the whole time, and was really tired looking afterwards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Increasing the Family Income

Kiwi wanted to join the missing tooth club. After much crying and a few good (really, really good) tugs by Mom (I don't do such things), Kiwi has added to the family income. Even with this economic downturn, the Tooth Fairy still manages to pay up. Somehow, the commodity price of teeth has weathered the downturn, and she still is able to offer a nice shiny gold dollar.

Halloween, Limited Edition 2011

A witch who likes candy (but, who doesn't?):
Spidey is not happy to be here:
Watch out, it's Batbaby! He'll take your lollipops:

Friday, November 4, 2011

9th for Gman

Gman turned 9. Nothing exciting this year, but the cake was cool:

But, no so happy to be sung to:
And we didn't even embarrass him this year.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mid-life Crisis Managed

You know how in the Harry Potter books when the characters are done with using the marauders map, they say "mischief managed"? Well, after telling myself that I was going to buy a BMW someday, I finally found what I was looking for: (cue gratuitous car pictures...)

Ah, yes, nice car = large maintenance bills. But, I was paying $$ already for truck. Now to find a sucker for that...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Diamondback Game

We went to a Diamondbacks game a month ago with my family.  It was fun to see everyone and to teach the kids a little bit about baseball.  We had some pretty good seats, the first row right behind the left field.  We couldn't see the jumbo-tron, but other than that, it was fun to be so close to the field.  Plus, the diamondbacks won!  It's always nice to leave on a high note. Thank you Paul for getting us all there! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Farewell To Summer

Now that October is here, I feel a need to reminisce on the things we did during those hot, hot months.  We were busy with traveling, swimming, summer HW projects, spring cleaning and such. Here's a look into what I found important enough to actually hunt the camera down and snap a 
photo of it...
We ran hard in G-ma's backyard in UT.  Wow that grass is green!
We found some stinky cows at the family farm
G-man walked on the moon at the planetarium in SLC
JW lost his shorts.
JW's hair proving he napped hard!
We took a jeep tour in Sedona.  Chad was the driver.  Kiwi doesn't have much faith in her daddy.
We played with fire with G and G up north.
We caught tadpoles and grew them into frogs.  Then they died. 
We did some hiking among the red rocks.  Some were happier about it than others. 
We are always watching out for the garbage man.  Mr S's love is being passed on to the younger one.
 As much as I love the freedom of summer, I think I love the cooler weather more.  Welcome back Fall!  We missed you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Letter Caterpillar

Another fun thing I do every week with Mr. S is our letter Caterpillar. We write the upper and lower case letter on a paper plate. I also draw some pictures of things that start with that letter. Then I help him draw the letter on the plate.
(Wow those pictures are crooked)
The paper plate is hung on his wall. It will slowly grow throughout the year until it is a giant 27 paper plate long caterpillar (counting the head). Mr. S loves to look at his caterpillar and the pictures.

Obviously we didn't start with A. He wanted to start with T, and now we're doing all the letters in his name. He's not great at writing letter yet, but he can make a pretty good capital H. It would probably help if he would decide what hand he wanted to write with. He keeps switching between left and right. Maybe he'll be ambidextrous. Who knows?

Most of my ideas I use with my kids are from a book I bought a few years ago: Alphabet Fun For Little Ones by HighReach Learning. In this book they have various activities to do with your child centered on each letter of the alphabet. Each letter has a few coloring pages, rhyme book, language activities, science activities, small and large muscle activities, art activities, and snack ideas. I pick and choose what i want to do based on what I have available. Some things work better than others, but overall it's a fun book to have around.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Preschool Fun

This school year I almost home-schooled Kiwi.


Then the charter school we put her on the waiting list for called to offer her a spot. My initial thoughts were: Awwww, and WHEW! Dodged a bullet on that one!

I had been gathering supplies and preparing myself for a few months to make this change and was getting excited...but I wasn't ready at all and still had a number of things to put together. Plus, Kiwi has always been a social girl and home-schooling wasn't my first choice. So I put my disappointment behind me and enrolled her.

Now I am finding consolation in putting those educational efforts into the younger set at home. Well, mostly the three year old. I hope to share a few of our little projects throughout the year. I also plan to share a few of our failures so other moms can know what works and what doesn't. I'll start with our favorite thing so far.

Each week we are focusing on a letter. Mr. S is fascinated by letters and the alphabet. He knows all of them by sight and has learned a majority of their sounds by playing Starfall. On Monday we talk about the letter, practice writing, and then label things that begin with that letter. At the end of the week we put the words on his word wall in the room.
We've done four letter so far, and this is his favorite activity by far. We did H today and put a label up "high," on his brother's "hair", and above the dress-up container full of "hats."
Plus we get to decorate the big empty wall in his room at the end of the week!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


We lovingly welcomed five new little ones into our home today...
Meet Pepper, Paprika, Snowball...and the other two still don't have names. After the mysterious* disappearance of one of our chickens last week, we felt it was time to add to the flock. Originally we were only getting four, but we couldn't resist getting one more. We're pretty sure we have a buff Brahma, Black Orpington, and White Leghorn. One is possibly a Rhode Island Red, and the last I have no idea. The lady we bought them was only guessing because she bought an egg laying pack, which is a variety of breeds that are all good egg layers. We're really excited to see what they grow into!

*the fate of Cinnamon is a mystery to the younger set. She escaped from the chicken run early one morning. By the time we came out around 6am, all we found were feathers in the yard and alley. According to the younger kids she flew out of the yard and went to live at someone else's house.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Some as Big as your Head

One of the cantaloupes that the garden grew was really as big as your head. Proof:

And to boot, it wasn't too bad when we ate it.

No More Cantaloupes!

The garden this year was a self-directed affair. We just didn't have the time/desire/energy/pick your excuse to do anything. We missed the tomatoes, so we will have to not do that again. But, since we do composting, some seeds get through. OK, a lot of seeds get through, but most don't sprout. Except for the Cantaloupes. We got five million or so through the Bountiful Baskets food co-op, and it turns out that they grow easily. The following picture is just a small selection of the ones we harvested.
Luann gave some to neighbors, friends, family, an I we still have one in the fridge. We probably got around 15 out of the plants. I do not want to see another one any time soon.

First Day of School, 2011

This is just the yearly picture of the kids on the "first" day of school. So it was really the second week for Kiwi, but G-man was starting that day.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Backyard (Near) Flood

It is always fun to play in the rain during the monsoon season. There is always the one storm that just dumps too much water at one time, causing water issues. We got a good one at the the end of July, and it happened on a Sunday, so we played until we were soaked.
What is not in this picture is the flood by the chicken coop. We have to raise the coop on some pavers to keep it out of the water. The chickens, being sooo smart, were huddled under the tree getting wet, instead of in the coop staying dry. That is the difference between dogs and chickens, I think.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I had to post this video. Who wouldn't start walking at 11 months with this kind of encouragement from an older sister. Kiwi loves her baby brother.

J-dub Turns One

This is my belated Happy Birthday post for my baby. G-man seemed so much older when he reached a year. Jared doesn't seem nearly big enough to be one. But he started walking three weeks before his birthday and has four teeth. G-man was toothless at a year and still not walking despite the diligent attempts by Chad and I to make him do so. Crazy first time parents...

I had a lot of fun getting ready for this birthday. We had balloons...
Which he loved!

We had presents...
Which we forgot to open until the next day.
They consisted of food and a ball.
He's lucky he didn't just get something cleaned up from the shed.

We had a homemade cake...
I got lazy at the end, so the face isn't the best.
But isn't it cute?
I've been having a lot of fun with my new decorating tips.

Finally, we had a mess...
Jare eating the Bear...the beginning...
The end.

Here's a rundown of our little J-dub at 12 months.
He can walk
He says mama, dada, and ball
He flirts
He points
He climbs
He has four teeth
He throws tantrums
He hits

but, he still loves mama best

Summer Swimming

We had another great summer of swimming fun with our good friends the Lottis.

Gregory had a lot of fun, he learned the breast stroke and how to dive.

Kiwi made a ton of progress this summer. She started out still terrified of jumping in the pool (even to mom), progressed to jumping in with floaties on, to floaty free belly flops off the diving board. My experience with her swimming has reinforced what I know about her. She will not be pushed. The harder we try to convince, persuade, or force, the harder she will resist.
Seth didn't make much progress. In fact he backpedaled. He would jump off the side last year with floaties on. This year he wouldn't even put his face in the water. He started pushing off me to the steps, without floaties on. But I learned from my last one. He will learn eventually if we keep exposing him to it.
JW loves water, but the sun was a little bright. The first day he fell asleep because he was tired and had to keep his eyes closed. We remedied that with some super styling sunglasses. He was really brave in the water and I hope I can keep him from developing the extreme fear of water Kiwi and Seth have had to work through.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


For about two years, Chad has been looking into getting chickens. We have allergies in our house and can't do cats/dogs. Plus, how often do you have a pet that is actually pretty useful? Shortly after he started looking into this I got pregnant and told him he could get some, but I would not be helping. I was not about to put up with animals in the middle of a pregnancy.
Then, when we found out some friends with chickens were getting ready to move and wanted to find a new home for their flock of two, we couldn't say no. This past weekend the chickens came home. I think we're in love...
The coolest thing about these chickens is they're super smart. A few mornings ago Little s had closed the coop door after letting them out. Unfortunately that is where they lay their eggs. I came out a short time later and they ran up to me squawking and carrying on about something. I walked over to the coop, found it shut, and opened it for them. They immediately jumped inside and laid their eggs. It was so cool. Kiwi LOVES these gals. They are now "her" pets. She is in charge of feeding and watering, and getting them out of their coop in the morning. The second day we had them, they had been harassed to the point that one jumped up on top of the coop, which is next to the wall. We found Kiwi in hysterics yelling "MY CHICKEN!" because she was afraid Nutmeg would get out of the backyard. Here is the first beautiful brown egg. One a day from each equals egg breakfasts every four days!
I can't believe how docile they are. They haven't pecked any of the kids, and they get picked up and held quite a bit. These are way better than a dog!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

At least in Chad's opinion. Between his birthday, father's day, and our anniversary, June is a pretty big one for him. This year he's one year older, celebrated Father's day as a father of four instead of three, and managed to be in town for our 10th anniversary! There was a time when we were pretty sure that wouldn't be the case.
Gregory with the massive ice cream cake I made for his birthday. Chocolate cake with Mint oreo ice cream and whipped cream frosting. It was delicious!
Father's day brought all of Chad's favorite things (plus some of the kid's favs too). Hot sauce, cheese, spicy chocolate, and black licorice. The kids enjoyed some soda, which is a rare treat at our house. Then there was the shirt. I think it has been officially deemed a pajama shirt due to my little addition on the back (in purple). I think it's cool to see all the kid's hands and feet together in one place.
I love you Chad! After ten years and four kids, I can honestly say I'm so glad I married you.