Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Summary

Highlights of this week include:

Santa not waking up our kids
Despite Emma's best efforts...
(dear Santa Please do what this says. stomp, clap and whisle as loud as you can. {heart} Emma. P.S. Merry Christmas)

Santa was impeded...
(Ho Ho Ho! Emma, I clapped but my soft gloves make it so quiet. My big boots do the same for stomping. And, well, with my bushy beard, I can't whistle at all. Sorry. But your note sure made me laugh Ho Ho HO! Hope you like the scooter. {Heart} Santa C.)

Christmas Day
I have been trying to figure out how to blog about Christmas in an interesting way and couldn't come up with one, so I just saved it for the Sunday Summary. Here's the magical before and the thrashed after and the what-you-were-hoping-for after:

Here're are some things we did on Christmas:
(Seth played for HOURS with his Dora Buildable House)

(Mom and Dad cooking Garlic Crusted Prime Rib, mashed potatoes, strawberry pretzel salad, cheesy vegetables and rolls. Of course, lots of pie for dessert.)

(Mom got a DDR II for Christmas, but it was everyone's favorite present.
(Even Grandma Dorrie joined in the fun.)
(Between the 6 of us, we got 8 we did LOTS of game playing all day and all week.)
Lucky for you, this blogger did NOT get a picture of Aunt Bekah enjoying her gift from us: the stomach flu. Poor poor thing. She did not savor the smell of the roast beef cooking quite as much as the rest of us.

Lots and Lots of Snow
I sent Gabe out to get a picture (hello...I wasn't heading out there my own self) of Emma being buried in the snow. This was all I got. He's fired.

Lots of shopping trips and, lucky for the kids, shopping treats:

This week also included dates with Grandma, the movie "Enchanted" (so fun), a wild and crazy game night with the Daines kids, and a teary good-bye to Grandma Dorrie and Rebekah.

We had more than our share of hilarious quotes, but this was the most recent:

Gabe's explaining why he should be able to play video games on Sunday: "The monkeys need to be saved and when you do it unto one of them, it's doing it unto Jesus. And they are in the water, like Jonah, and also, Jesus likes animals. So it's appropriate."

On that spiritual note...we hope you all had a good Sunday, a good Christmas week and will be our blogging friends all through 2008. We love you!

Quick Quote #17

Jane came up to me a few weeks ago, with this astute observation: "Hey mom, you know what I dis noticed? I do a siwwy dance and a siwwy walk when I have to go potty."

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gab's Good Gift-Giving

So, a group of us cah-razy blog friends decided to do a gift exchange. (My mom's always amazed at the cards and gifts and stories I have from women "you've never even met?!" but sometimes I think I know about what Holly's kids did yesterday or what Lisa-Marie thinks about having more kids, than my friends down the street! So, we're close.) Anyway, Gab drew my name...I was very excited because she's cool and down to earth and smart.
So, the Saturday before Christmas, I received her gift. The box included a bag of their family's "very last bit of Christmas toffee" which she told me to appropriately appreciate. Which I did...all of it, within 3 hours. By myself.
And then, because I am big on rules and Christmas surprises, I did not open her gift until Christmas morning. She included a book (because she knows I'm a reader) and a Hill Cumorah pageant CD (because she knows I am very jealous of her East Coast-ness).

(who posts a Christmas morning/no makeup picture on her blog? Oh, the same person who has had 2 posts in a row displaying her chowing down on un-healthy food. So classy.)

LOVED THEM. Given the exhaustion of the Christmas "vacation", I have fallen asleep holding (but not opening)her book the last 3 nights...but one of these days I will resume my nap schedule and then I will have plenty of energy to read and read late into the night.
Thanks Gabi! How about we have a book review about your book in Utah this summer?
**Should any of you want to join in a blog-buddy gift exchange...there are rumors of a "Christmas in June" one, so we'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tale of Two Christmas Eves

It was the most secular of Christmas Eves ...

Lunch out at the Onion (with Aunt Bekah and Grandma):

Movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (good if you're a kid, watchable if you're an adult):

It was the most sacred of Christmas Eves...
Bethlehem dinner (fish, lamb, pitas, olives, spinach salad)

The Awesome Nativity play (let me introduce the players:)

The girl who got to be breech-birthing Mary (Jane)

Narrator and baby (Uncle Kevin and Court-eh-nee)

The "No room for costumes" Inn keeper (Cousin Mallory)

A Royal, growling jaguar and a brown-fur covered camel making up the manger animal menagerie (Seth and Cousin Adrienne)

The appreciative audience (Grandma Dorrie, Bekah and moi)

The Shepherds, sore amazed (Cousin Austin and Gabe)

Heavenly Angel (Cousin Elise)

A Wise Woman (Emma)
Birthday Cake for Jesus:

Very holy pajamas:

We had only the best of times!
(And no matter WHAT I do, I cannot get this to look right and now I'm really really irritated at the Blogger word processor!)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Summary

Though she looks lovely here, Emma wasn't quite so appealing Friday night as she barfed from 9:00-3:00 a.m. We're proud to report total adherence to Barf Training. Way to go, Emma! She worked hard all week, helping mom with Christmas cards, to earn money for the sibling gift exchange. Totally willing. Really. I didn't have to keep reminding her five times a day that she had only $2 and that her recipient would appreciate more than a candy bar. I promise.

Here's Gabe, our returning winner of the Worst Idea of the Night award from Wednesday. After a friend podiatrist and a trip to the urgent care, we have been assured he doesn't need an X-Ray, because nothing is broken. He hopped on one foot for two days, while playing football and dart tag with the neighbor boys...Emma simply transported him long distances in the wagon and then he hopped out (and around) until it was time to move to the next location. Yesterday we were relieved when he started using BOTH feet.

Jane did NOT receive a passing grade from the Barf Training Personnel, during her stint with the stomach flu. We forgave her...until the she admitted the reason she had so much money (when it came time to shop for previously mentioned gifts) was "Oh, I stole it." Good luck with Santa, missy.

Seth is our only un-injured, un-barfy family member. So that means he'll be sick tomorrow night during all the festivities. Yay. He's been LOVING his Grandma Dorrie and Aunt's arrival and basically runs tattling to Grandma when Mom or Dad are "mean a him."

Ryan and Jessica continued to enjoy marital bliss during Twelve Days 8 (8 hours taken off from work on Thursday), 9 (9-point massage), and 10 (10 point van longer the smelly mess mentioned in the last post, at least for a few days). It (the marital bliss) was slightly discontinued during the annual fight that starts about whatever and ends up being about Ryan being stressed about the money draining from our bank account like it's a sieve. I promised to take all of his presents back. Jessica sang in 2 Christmas cantatas and Ryan actually worked normal hours, so all in all it was a great week.

Merry Christmas, from our crazy crew!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"The Fun Game"

We have friends (why do you look so surprised?) who had us over for a dinner party. After dinner was finished Meghann introduced a game that was partly made up and partly copied by her sister. She read us the directions that she was very keen on us (not necessarily her) following to the letter. The directions were printed off from an email her sister sent and the game components consisted of torn paper shreds, whatever writing implements could be scavenged and a Tupperware bowl. My favorite part of this homemade moonshine game was the name. The Fun Game. It still makes me laugh, even now (a month later). Doesn't the word game imply fun? I walked away from the experience wondering "if you have to name your game 'The Fun Game', maybe it isn't really that fun." It starts feeling a little oversold.

That being said, we have our own "Fun" game here around the Romney house. Actually it is played whenever we are away from the homestead. For those of you who have a hard time grasping complex game rules, let me distill it down for you into a more digestible form (I actually believe personally that reciting a long list of rules is a complete waste of time. This is partly due to the fact that it has been scientifically proven that no one just can sit and listen to someone else explain the rules to a game that they already know how to play. They are physically compelled to interrupt with random rules that are intended to clarify but actually just confuse the people learning the game while irritating the other three people who think they are explaining the rules coherently. This usually leaves the dim newbie with more questions which of course requires that enthusiastic and now slightly quarrelsome experts to re-explain the game from the beginning. I am a firm believer in just playing one round "face up" and letting the smarties figure it out and the dummies lose like they will anyway after never being able to grasp the shuffled rule explanations. ... but I digress). Our "Fun" game is Jessica's brainchild. Since she thought it up, she refuses to concede that the game is not really fun for anyone under the age of 10. So for the record this game is fun for everyone under the age of 10 and for Jessica. Really, it is. This is a Christmas game, so don't try playing it after the 25th. The game goes like this:

Game Components:

  • All you need is a car stereo,

  • a radio station that plays nothing but Holiday songs

  • and some time together in the oh so pleasant family van that really hasn't smelled quite right since 2003.

Game Play:

  • Each member of the family guesses what song they think will be played in the near future.

  • Family then drives together as the parents try to maintain a coherent conversation while the kids wrestle, scream, laugh, tattle on each other, fight, and interject various questions from the rear of the aromatic van, all while listening to "your official station for the holidays."

To Win:

  • Your song is played before anyone else's.

Important Notes:

  • Actually, if you don't win, don't worry because the game doesn't end when a winner is declared. The game can only end when the key to the family van is removed from the ignition. So you can just try to be the "next" winner.

  • Feel free to burst into tears, or hit someone or pout if you do not win this time around. With stakes as high as the title of "winner until someone else wins," you have the right to fuss around a bit.

Helpful Tips:

  • If you are not under the age of 10 and not Jessica you can actually just listen to the DJ and then call the song as he/she tells you what song is up next. This will amaze your children and really impress your wife (even though she will try to hide it).

  • If your kids are fighting and you can't focus during the DJ then you can wait until the next song begins and then based on the opening notes decide you want to change your song to whatever you might feel is right based on those opening notes.

So if that game sounds as fun to you as it does to me you have two choices. You can begin selling it to unsuspecting dinner party guests as "The Fun Game" or you can simply put off re-installation of the stolen stereo until December 26th. Not that I would ever do that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Superlative Post

Most progress towards a new trick:

As I'm getting in the shower, Jane says "Oh, huh, wow." I say, "What?" Jane says "See dis?" I say, "Your fingernail clicking?" Jane says, "Yes and I'm so cited because I'm almost to snapping."

Nicest thing that someone did this week: Last Friday, I was just getting dressed when I heard it...the sound of the garbage truck leaving WITHOUT MY GARBAGE. I go zooming down the stairs and outside, in my bare feet (on snow), and see it on the court across from ours. I begin yelling, "PLEASE COME BACK~!!" And guess what? He backed that big old truck all the way back into my court and up to my garbage can and dumped it in!!!

Second Worst song of Christmas: So my super-cool and fun friend from college Carie has a blog (it's private, so I can't link you, which is too bad because it is fun). Yesterday she told the world that one of her favorite Christmas songs is "Last Christmas" by Wham! Um...there's only one song worse, in my opinion (Christmas in the Northwest, which is a regional favorite here). She seemed to think that because she had 3 whole commenters who liked it, that that meant it was a cool song. Has she not seen the cover of the single to the left?! So I decided to do a survey. Please comment and please tell us if you like it and if it not the worst Christmas song you know...what is?

Most stressful part of day: Trying to pee for my life insurance physical. We were at home, I had just gone to the bathroom and the nurse shows up. I could not, could not go. I drank a total of 10 c. of water, stood in warm water, all while the nice lady waited downstairs. Ryan was accusatory, but I could not help it. 8 minutes after she left, I tried again and succeeded. I called her cell phone and she came back for my, um, specimen. (Aren't my posts so awesome, with the bra story and now this?!)

Biggest accomplishment of week: Oh YEAH! Finished (and mailed) the Christmas cards. (Here's a re-enactment of the final licking.) NEVER NEVER NEVER homemaking them again. Appreciate it this year, because it's the last one EVER.

Worst charade player in our family: I am acting out the BEST Joseph you have ever seen in our Christmas charades game. Here's Gabe: "stocking? um, star? um, camel?" And then he laid on the ground and rocked for his "opening Christmas presents"--he said he was pretending to be a rocking horse. WHAT? And this picture is him being a Christmas tree. Try to avoid having him on your team, is all I'm saying.

Most expensive lunch ever: For the 7th day of Christmas, Ryan arranged a 70 minute lunch date. He had a babysitter all lined up and I drove downtown. We were going to go to a little cafe until Ryan informed me, that upon mentioning our lunch date to his boss, his boss offered to pay for the whole thing! So we quickly changed our plans to the most expensive restaurant we knew and enjoyed 2 drinks, 2 appetizers, soup and 2 entrees. It cost $70. For lunch. So fun. (And now I'm not mad about all his working. Because of one lunch. Talk about raising morale.)
Worst idea of the night: Gabe is the winner, here again! During the writing of this post, Gabe decides to relax on the second story railing of our 2 story staircase. OF COURSE he falls and makes the biggest thump on the wood floor you've ever heard. And now he can't move his ankle. He's not in pain when he's not moving, so we're applying ice, ibuprofen, elevation and an ace bandage. Cross your fingers for him.
(DON'T FORGET: Comment about all the fun stuff here, too, but MAKE SURE you vote regarding that oh-so-lovely song mentioned previously!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Warning: Don't read if you are mad at your spouse...unless you want to use it as evidence

Anyone notice, I haven't been blogging much in the last few days? Three posts in seven days...really falling down on the job, huh?

I've actually been too swamped to blog. (I'll let that sink in for a minute...)

Notice I'm blogging now? Is that because my cards are all done? No. Is that because a single present is wrapped? No. Is that because my toilets have gone from brownish to sparkling white? No.

It's because I have the best husband in the world:

Now, I totally hesitated to do this post, because I know that there are husbands out there who don't do the kind of stuff my husband does. And that's okay...or I hope it's okay with the wives. But I can't not talk about this cool stuff he's doing, just because every husband doesn't do it, right? Sometimes you tell people how great your kids are, or parents are, or friends are...and that's okay.

So I'm going to tell you how great my husband is...

Every year, he does the Twelve Days of Christmas for me and it's always fun, but he's SO outdone himself this year.


First day--One hour of helping me with my infernal Christmas cards...even though he swore he would not help me, "so that you will suffer and remember what a pain making cards is and never do it again." But he helped me anyway. And it was SO nice to have another adult working, for even an hour.

Second day--Um, money for a new bra--2 cups, get it? (boring normal bra...nothing exciting, but I've needed a new one forever and didn't want to spend the money). Is that too much information for a blog that my dad will read?

Third--THREE backrubs (morning, pre-nap and at bedtime!!) Isn't that the most heavenly sounding thing ever?

Fourth--4 parts to a meal, so I didn't have to do anything on Sunday. Appetizer, Main Dish, Salad and Dessert.

Fifth--Five fun things for a movie...2 treats, 2 drinks and 1 DVD. Except we were too sugared out to eat anything he brought and ended up watching the Survivor finale, but I looked forward to it all day and that was most of the fun.

And today--he gave me 60 minutes of alone time, while he clears the table and puts kids to bed and runs an errand.

So that's why I have time to blog right now. Tell me he's not the greatest husband ever (besides yours, of course).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Summary

Did anyone else have a week that had so much stuff in it, you could have easily spread it out into 3 weeks and still have been busy? Well, that's the kind of week we had. Sorry you have to read about it.

The highlight of Monday was Ryan saying these magic words, "Why don't we just go out to dinner because it will be easier than trying to fit it in at home." He almost never says them and it was the best thing of the whole day. Except he forgot to order my balsamic vinaigrette salad, but I bullied the waitress into bringing it anyway. I really like Mojo's vinaigrette, alright? And it was Monday, so I was pretending I was going to stay on my diet all week so I really needed my salad.

This day, Ryan said the un-magic words, "I'm sorry, when I said I thought I was done working my head off, I lied and I am going out of town again for a week. Starting tomorrow." But then I bullied his boss (I'm pretty intimidating) into letting him come home for the weekend.

Also Emma's grade put on their Christmas music program (it was darling) and she got to play the drummish thingie. She was totally grooving...really:
(Gabe took this picture, which explains the excellent lighting, but I'm WAY too embarrassed to get that close up. Luckily Gabe loves that I send him to be the photographer.)
I actually worked on my Christmas cards. It was a momentous occasion.

It now begins to blur into too-much-to-do-no-father-around-trying-not-to-kill-the-kids here. I did get to attend another ward's Enrichment (where I sang "Little Lamb"--watch for another appearance--with a friend) and got to hear the Daines speak on having CHRISTmas instead of a christMESS. No comment on what I'm having.

Ryan's plane was of course malfunctioning and so he said he wouldn't be home in time for the ward Christmas party. The state of our family was evidenced by Seth's lack of hair-combing or shoes, Jane purple socks and red strappy shoes, and Emma's dirty shirt. She and I sang, again, "Little Lamb" and she did SO's a high song, and I sang harmony and she sounded great. Not that you could hear us, as the ward seemed to think it was background music, instead of an actual program and talked through the entire thing. (My mom-in-law asked, "Isn't that how it always is with Christmas programs?" And she's kind of right.) But the best part was when Ryan walked in just as our accompanist started and got to hear the whole thing (and he looked so cute!) couldn't have been better if it had been a movie.

This was the best day. Our primary president (who has un-ending ideas and the energy to pull them off) organized the Primary Activity at a women's shelter. The ward provides Christmas gifts for all the families there, the children earn money for and provide toiletry items. When we get there (Senior Primary only), the kids get a buddy and go through each of the craft areas with them and we end with a musical number. I told my kids last week, that if Jesus was to pick a way to celebrate his birthday, of all the things we do all month...I think he'd pick that activity. It was neat and Emma and Gabe were sweet with their buddies and the Spirit is always there testifying that He loves each of his children.

(Kids with buddies at the shelter)

In the evening, we got to do a family baptism session at the temple with our newest temple-aged nephew (Austin). We were baptized and confirmed for 119 of Ryan's mom's ancestors and then had a chance to talk in the baptistry and share our testimonies of the temple. It was made all the more special because Friday was Ryan's parents 40th anniversary and previous to the baptisms, they were sealed for her parents and grandparents. (Ryan's siblings are doing a 40-day blog to celebrate. If you are related, or want to hear some pretty funny stories about Ryan's childhood: go here. I know he's my husband, but I was dying.)

(Ryan's parents as newlyweds and 40 years later. CONGRATS!)
Saturday made the whole crazy crazy week worthwhile and really helped us remember why we do all the things we do.

Jane told us today, "I lost my purse! Now I'm not having the best day of my life anymore." We found it, though, later and she said it was the best day again. Pretty easy to please, eh?

We love our kids, we love our extended family and we love the Savior and celebrating his birth! We hope you have the best day of your whole life one day this week, too!