Monday, March 31, 2008

The good thing about Morning Sickness

So I'm in Utah on vacation, sick as can be with my morning sickness and feeling very sorry for myself. I took a minute (the only good thing about morning sickness) to check blogs and found this post, from Jessica (of doorbell-ditching, DDRing, Primary Presidency fame). If you are either

1) dealing with infertility
2) irritated with the not-so-fun parts of pregnancy or
3) have any inkling of ANY baby that needs the best parents I know

Go here.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring in the Northwest

View from my patio, March 27, 2008.

Ooh, I bet you are all wishing you lived in Spokane right about now.

Quick Quote #21

Seth has taken to issuing this warning (garnered from a new Dora movie): "Weememboh, Dad, watch out da witch!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Midnight Visitor

Let's just start off by saying...we are sleep Nazis. Our kids are Ferberized and Baby-wised and they sleep through the night and take great naps all without any sleep aids from us and certainly nowhere near our bed, from 4-5 months on. Ryan is not-so-pleasant in the middle of the night and I am a girl who needs my naps and we work hard with our kids till they figure it out.

So why is it that for the last 2 months, this little thing:

ends up in our bed most nights of the week?

How do you say no to the soft skin, sweet little hugs, and "Puh-leeeze?"s that creep into our room every night around 2am?

(We've gone soft! Don't tell Dr. Ferber. )

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Summary

(Seriously. By the time I get my kids fed and dressed and deposited various places, I have NO desire to do anything but lay on my bed. This is the worst "morning sickness" I've ever had. Even blogging seems annoying. But for posterity's sake...I will nobly carry on.)

Events that need documenting:

I meet Bridget.
You'd think that two bloggers hanging out for the first time would actually take pictures. But no. Ours had no working batteries and Bridget didn't think of it, till we were running out the door to catch our plane. You'll just have to believe us that we met.

We had the best time. Her house is beautiful, her kids were beautiful and SUPER friendly, and her husband was such a great guy. She made us dinner (no, I actually had just thrown up, Bridget, so I was feeling better...) and she and I had no problem talking the night away. It would be wonderful to live by her and hang out regularly.

Portland trip
So, Portland was beautiful (despite the weather) and the company treated us so well. We ate lots of yummy food and stayed in a gorgeous hotel.

But it just so expensive to live there. To get a house like the one we have now (in a cul-de-sac, with good schools and some sort of yard), we'd have to spend $200,000 more! It was so depressing...not to mention nauseating, as we wove in and out of streets, while I tried to navigate us. Blech. We finally chucked the house-hunting and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around downtown Portland.

Ryan got his offer from the company. He should get another offer on Thursday, from a Spokane company and we'll compare and be ready for a final decision, hopefully, by then.

Ryan puts on a party
When Ryan does his Elder's Quorum activities, I have at least three people say to me: "I'm sure it was YOU who did such a good job on this." Um, no. All the organizing, decorating, creativity....all him. It was fun, well-attended and had really good food. (Potluck! Yay!)

(Okay, this picture makes it look boring--thanks Greg--but it was super fun).

Easter Saturday
We started out the day with some Easter Egg coloring:

proceeded to the Ward Easter Egg hunt, at someone's gorgeous mountainous yard:

then had the family Easter Bunny visit.

Ryan and I then enjoyed a nice dinner with Ryan's mom (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for babysitting the kids while we were gone) and Heather and Kevin.

Easter Sunday

I miraculously felt good yesterday, which was a blessing because between choir practice, choir performance (which included a solo), having to find last minute nursery help, cooking Monkey Bread, Cheesy Potatoes, Strawberry, Key Lime and Lemon Pie...I didn't have time to be sick. Or take pictures. I sent Emma down, before church, to take them for me. This is what she came up with:

We had a nice Easter dinner with the Daines and Ryan's uncle Doug and Aunt Marcie.

During our Easter lesson, we asked the kids why we celebrated this holiday. Jane's answer? "Because Henly Fader told the Eastoh Bunny to come and he obeyed." Obviously, the true meaning of Easter being a little lost around here.

Stay tuned for more job/moving news and whining about nausea.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Like Rabbits...

Look what the Easter Bunny dropped off yesterday:

(He's a little presumptuous, don't you think?)
**This should explain the lack of posts. One doesn't feel exceptionally entertaining during this lovely nauseated period. Sorry.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Change of Plans

So I had another post planned, but I don't feel very good and I'm stressed out and I'm packing to go to Portland tomorrow, because Ryan has a great job opportunity there and so they are flying me out, so that I can get excited about moving to Portland.

Should I?

(Get excited, I mean.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

How to overcelebrate a minor holiday

1. Put little green footprints leading from the window to the landing on the stairs.

2. Fill a pot with gold foiled candy and rainbow Skittles, with a box of Lucky Charms.

3. Feel sorry for the teachers who have to deal with these kids on their breakfast sugar highs:

4. Dress your darling kids (and yourself, sorry Zeeny!) in lots o' green.

5. For dinner, invite friends to share in the feast of Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread,
and Lime Jello with Gold Nuggets (pineapple chunks). (Click on the dishes for links to the recipes).

6. Make these ridiculous leprechaun ears (thanks, Betsy), so your kids can look like this:

7. Set the table in all the green WalMart has to offer

8. Since in the their sugar-induced coma your children probably learned nothing at school, provide them a "Charming Math" worksheet, where they go through bowls of Lucky Charms, sorting and adding all the marshmallow shapes they find.

9. Finish off your pointless holiday celebrating with this yummy treat: Pistachio Dessert:

10. Thank your mom for all these fun holiday traditions; ridiculous amount of memories for everyone.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Summary

On Monday, Emma and Gabe OF COURSE informed me that it was "Dress up as your favorite character day" at school 10 minutes before the bus left. And because I am an awesome mother, this is what I came up with:

We are reading the Poppy series by Avi and so they were Poppy (Emma, with little ear buns, whiskers and a pink nose) and Rye (Gabe, with a furry hat, notched ear, and similar whiskers and nose).

We also had Miles,2, our cousin, over for an hour on Monday. Jane informed me (with Miles sitting in the car) that "I don't really like Miles, Mom, but I won't say that." Me: "Um, Jane, you just did." Jane: "I know, but now I won't say it again, because you will say it is a mean sing to say." Upon arrival home, she proceeded to play with him the entire time.

Emma also decided that she was done with piano on Monday. Her friends came over to ask her for a bike ride...and a lifetime of piano-playing was tossed out the window. Except I wouldn't let her, even though I was informed VERY emphatically that: "It's my choice, MOM!!"

On Tuesday, Emma and Gabe completed the much coveted (let's be honest, mostly by MOM) Reading is the Ticket Program, in which they receive a free ticket to the local amusement park if they read a certain amount. The month previous was filled with a bunch of (mostly idle) threats of "You are NOT going to Silverwood if you don't do this. I'm serious. Really. We'll get a babysitter and leave you home, because we can't afford to take this whole gaggle of kids to an amusement park. And you'll pay for the babysitter. I'm not kidding.) They were scared into submission.

On Wednesday, at Cub Scouts (Tammy will appreciate this) we learned about Litter to Glitter by reading children's conservation books, discussing how we can help and then Saving the Earth by collecting trash at our local park.

Friday we got to attend this Mexican fiesta:

at the Nebekers, where we ate steak, potatoes, rolls, spinach salad and asparagus. The plans for a fiesta were obviously changed, without the Albrechts knowledge, who came fully decked out and then forced the rest of us to dress-up and take pictures so they wouldn't feel dumb.

(we had SUCH a fun time)

Saturday was filled with the usual chores, basketball games and Ryan/Jessica date. Most notable, however, was Seth's nightmare episode, in which this bear:

kept us all up for a good hour.

I heard Seth crying and came into his room to find the bear lying on his face. He, crying hysterically, told me: "The bear is eating me, mom." I dropped the bear to the side of the crib. Seth cried louder: "NO! Dat bear tan't wook at me mom." So I dropped the bear, down the stairs. Seth, relented a little, checking: "Did dat bear go back to his mom's house, now, mom?" I white-lied, "Yes, he's back at his mom's house." I kissed him, tucked him in and left.

He cried again, on and off, for another half hour. Each time I would go in, check what was wrong and he would say, "I'n dust fine, mom. I'n happy. I'n scared, mom." After an attempt to have him sleep by me, so he would calm down, during which he chatted with me for 10 minutes about the whole scary bear problem, I laid him down and instructed him to sing a Primary song if he was scared. Upon returning to my bed, I heard in the other room, at the top of his lungs, Seth singing "I'm a Child of God." He eventually went to sleep but upon coming downstairs in the morning, was re-traumatized that the bear was not ACTUALLY at "his mom's house". He took him downstairs, and returned upstairs, telling me" Dat scawy bear is watching Amewcan Idol, now, mom." We're hoping Simon scared the Scary out of that mean Care Bear and that we'll have a good night's sleep tonight.

Sweet Dreams (Care Bear-free), from the Romneys.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Blogging News

1. I had to add those dumb letter verifications on the bottom of my comment page, because I was getting tons of spam. Sorry. Is there any other way to deal with it? Are you commenting less (horrors!) because I did that (Paige!)?

2. If I don't know you, and you leave a comment (yay!), I will always click on your name to see if I can find your blog. I love to know who reads, and where they came from. If I come to the page that says this:

Profile Not Available

The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile. If you're a Blogger user, we encourage you to enable access to your Profile.

then I cannot visit you (Alison from Connecticut) which makes me sad. Do people do this for safety reasons or just out of ignorance?

3. I now have TOTAL celestial justification for this lovely hobby:

Isn't that the best?! I went around all day in the best mood when I finished it and sent it off. It was wonderful in real life. I have NEVER journaled (no one leaves comments in those!) or scrapbooked (hate projects) and besides random notebooks here and there and a big pile of pictures in my basement, we had little tangible memories of our happy little life. (It was surprisingly affordable. I got 66 pages, hardcover, for about $45 after tax and shipping.)

Do you know how thrilling it is to have this book filled with quotes, and pictures, and recipes, and travel logs, and musings sitting on my living room shelf?! (You checking out Feel free to email me, or leave comments, with any questions of how it works. )

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Weekly Story Corner #5

After getting some time with Jessica, I couldn’t get her out of my head. I wanted to see her again. I finally decided to put her to the test. I posted the following letter on her front door in classical Lutheran style.

(We can't seem to get these to get larger for the reading audience so here's the translation:

Jessica Buttercup Sherrill,

I, Ryan Park Romney, on the twelfth day of February in the nineteen hundred and ninety seventh year of our Lord, Challenge you to face me, man to woman. Due to the shame which has brought upon myself, the many members of my family (immediate and extended), and the good citizens of my blessed homeland of Tracy, I am forced to restore my honor by challenging you to a duel. While you are probably querying yourself about the manner in which you have inflicted such great injustices upon us, I feel that justice can only be truly served if you are forced to see the embarrassment which you have inflicted upon us. Thus your false pretense of such innocence may be unmasked as you meet your demise. I have made countless attempts to court you properly, in hopes that one day I would have the satisfaction of coming to our home only to be met by your found embrace. Such hopes, I have come to see, are the whims of a foolish romantic. I can endure rejection, but the blatant humiliation with which you torture me is more than my honor can bear. Thrice spurned by you, I feel it my duty to resolve the matter once and for all. The honor of my family and home land has been equally tarnished by association.

Therefore, as you fancy yourself a woman of great wisdom and learning, I feel that in all fairness to you, we should meet on your terms. Thus let it be sounded throughout all the city, that I will meet you are a distance of three paces with nothing betwixt us save it be honor, one-sided love, and a Trivial Pursuit board. If you perchance by some stroke of luck emerge victorious, then you will no longer be pestered by my undying love. Yet, when I have claimed the victory, then you r hand will finally be given me in marriage. I find this the only logical path towards an ultimate resolution of our star-crossed fates. So, if you be woman enough to meet me, I will meet you at the twenty-first hour of the thirteenth day of February in the nineteen hundred and ninety-ninth year of our Lord.

--Ryan P. Romney)

In response, I found the following missive waiting for me when I returned home the next day.

(Translation #2:

Sir Romney,

Being much grieved on the receipt of your plaintive message, I feel compelled to reply in haste. Forgive me for what may have seemed unkind rejections. I am, as thou canst see, a woman much occupied with teenage students and hungry travelers. Thus, my time for social romps is much limited. Many a night, I have retired to my bed much exhausted by work, rather than entertainment. Do not think yourself the object of my scorn or that I am at all wearied by your kindly requests--in fact, your invitation are, by far, the ones I look most forward to receiving. This is due to the much laughter I experience in your company. Please use this letter as a salve to your wounded pride and extend my apologies to those in your family affected by my unknowing injuries to their honor.

Having thus said, I am worried on only one point. IN your letter you requested my company for one day and two years hence. I was much grieved when I read that you think to see me on the thirteenth day of February in the year nineteen hundred and ninety-NINE. Perchance, may we meet earlier? Like, maybe tomorrow? If not, I truly understand, due to my many rejections, that you may be nursing resentful feeling towards me and feel to punish me by this long absence. If, in fact, you would capitulate and assent to a meeting of the minds on the night after this one--I would be most glad.

I must warn you, however, that your pride may be hurt once again. I am a formidable opponent in the game of Trivial Pursuit and upon thoroughly destroying you, I fear I may lose your friendship. Keep this in mind as you approach the game!

If everything is understood, then I will anticipate your phone call around the twenty-first hour. Let the games begin!!!

Your humble servant,

Fair Jessica)

Jessica did not fail to impress. At one point she got some ridiculous geography question about some Chinese river. “I wouldn’t know this one either” I admitted after encountering the answer for the first time. I knew I wanted to marry her when she easily bust out the “Yangtse River.” Simply phenomenal.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

There she goes again...

My blog-friend Annie, has a blog called Letters to a Parent. Because my own blog is simply NOT forum enough, I wrote one. It's titled--To the Parent Who's Not Perfect. Should that apply to you, read it and then come back here and discusss.

If that wasn't enough, Ilene, has also decided to spotlight the Romneys. Head over to her blog to salivate over her yummy pot pie (and also to view me for the 5th time in my Blog Outfit).

See, when you are ALL OVER the don't need to do anything on your own blog.

Quick Quote #20

Jane came up to me the other day and said this:

"Wememboh when I was yelling in the bathtub yesterday? Well, I was so loud, I was a little bit wohwied (worried) the cops were going to come and take me to jail."

Cops, unfortunately, do nothing about 4 year olds who yell too much.

Monday, March 10, 2008

You'll be in my heart

Because we have, between our two extended families, 5 grandparents, 10 siblings, 8 siblings-in-laws, and 22 1/2 nieces and nephews--we don't do birthday posts here. Sorry, all of you lovely relations. (We hope you can manage to have a good one regardless.)

But this one's a little different.

5 years ago today, while I was pregnant with Jane, Brooke (Ryan's sister) and Spencer gave birth to Braxton. He was born with a severe heart defect and was, within the hour, life-flighted to the nearby children's hospital in Pennsylvania. Braxton lived for 6 months, never leaving the hospital and changing all of our lives forever.

Because of his birthday, I have learned better

  • how important and real my belief in the Resurrection is

  • that I truly KNOW families can be together forever

  • that God knows us, and orders our lives and we are safe in His hands.

  • that He will bring amazing peace during trials as we seek Him

I so wish he was here to play with his other 5 year old cousins, Elise and Jane, on his birthday. I am glad that I know where he is, and that someday we will all be able to give him a big birthday hug.

We love you, Braxton!

(Brooke and Spencer have been blessed since with hilarious and cute Carter and Abby. Go here for a sweet slide show chronicling Braxton's life.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Summary

The first picture of Emma is at Dad's n Donuts at the school. As Ryan described it: "We walked in, got a donut, ate it, and were done in about 1 minute" Apparently, fabulous bonding occurred. The second picture is Emma in ecstasy. For her birthday, my dad got her a gift card to Michaels. She and I went yesterday to cash it in, and she COULD NOT BELIEVE the amount of crafty projects she could buy. After we showed them to Ryan, he said, "Why don't we just dump it on the ground and vacuum it up right now, to save ourselves the trouble." Nice. We have made about 72 bouncy balls and 28 beady, iron-y melty things today. Too bad Gabe didn't have some of them around for his White Elephant sale.

First of all, I apparently do not take enough pictures of Gabe. This one is from a month ago (though he did wear this shirt this week). Second of all, Gabe rips holes in jeans like they are tissue paper. We went on a little date on Friday to pick more out. I'm hoping they last till next Friday. Third of all, he was the VIP in Primary today and brought an x-ray (to signify his MANY bone breakages), a soccer ball (to represent his love of sports. If you could see me right now, you'd see a questioning look in my eyes, but don't tell Gabe) and a flash card (because he's really good at math. That one's for real). I tried to make him show some Uno cards (because Gabe loves games) but he wouldn't because it said on the card to bring 2-3 things and that was number 4. Where did that extreme rule -following come from anyway?

Jane got to accompany dad to work again on Friday. When they are closing down your job, they don't care if you let your 4 year old do it.

Here's my favorite picture of Seth from the week.
I'd made cookies and had left the kitchen. When I came upstairs, he was naked and holding a BIG ball of dough. This illustrates the difference between me and a two year old: about the only time I don't want to be holding a big ball of cookie dough, is when I can easily see the havoc wreaked by too many dips into the batter. Not Seth. That kid needs all the dough he can get.

Also, after months of very bad hair due to (equally?) disastrous hair appointments with Jane and Ryan, we took Seth in for a real haircut. He's now cute again.

Ryan started his part-time job this week. It's called Being the Ward Clerk. But everyone is so super supportive here at home, so don't even worry about me. We did get some time to watch Our Mutual Friend (which you should only watch if you love those slow, British, history movies that never have an attractive person in them. Which we do, so we LOVED it. Really, it was good, if you like Jane Austen-ish stuff). We also had a lovely, relaxing date to Dockside at the Coeur d'Alene Resort, which has ice cream sundaes bigger than your head. Seriously. We love that place.

You want to come with us sometime?

Friday, March 7, 2008

A snake, a doll with no clothes, a stuffed dog, a bag of puzzle pieces...

Who remembers that memory game in elementary school, where your teacher brought out a platter with a bunch of items on it, and then removed one or two and then asked you to write down what was missing?

Let's play...shall we?

Our first picture is of the items/junk Gabe had procured for his "White Elephant Sale" at school. (His teacher pays them play money for good behavior and school work and then twice a year they can bring items/junk from home and sell it to unsuspecting/dumb second graders). After attempting to locate pieces to several baby puzzles (what 7 year old wants that?) and begging his sister to let him sell some of her BuildABear clothes (ha!)--this is the pile he came up with.

Now I know what you are thinking. I know, because I thought it last year, when Emma (who had the same teacher) prepared for her first "White Elephant Sale" at school. You are thinking: "What a great way to get rid of some lame, junky toys!"

Please view the following picture of what Gabe brought home from school:

(This is where the game starts...

1. What is missing?

2. What is new?

3. In the total count, did the household end up with more or less junk?

You know what? I'll make it easy on you. Here are the answers:

1. It doesn't matter what is missing because


3. The only reason we might have come out ahead was because he got a ton of junk food and the remnants of those (though, truly, smeared on my stairs) can be disposed of.

Do you think Gabe's teacher has a hard time keeping a straight face as he writes his first letter home about this activity?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Weekly Story Corner #3

I dated other girls for a while. One night I took a girl that I had gone out with a bit to a local high school basketball game. Tracy is kind of fun because you run into people you know all the time, but especially at functions like the high school basketball game. While I was at the game I bumped into one of the kids from my class (I taught the 13-14 year old Sunday School class at church). Nate was a super cool kid and I liked him a lot so we chatted for a while.

Later, he mentioned to his older sister that he had seen me at the basketball game. He also mentioned that I wasn’t alone. Suddenly, he was fielding questions about who I was with, how close were we sitting together and whether or not we looked like “girlfriend and boyfriend,” etc. To this day, I have a soft spot for my brother-in-law Nate.

Retail is known for using the “One Day Sale” to create an impetus to close a sale by creating the perception that the deal is too good to last. I became the unwitting beneficiary of this primal female reaction. Within 48 hours, my phone began to ring.

I had actually gone to sleep early that night. Luckily my mom was the one who picked up the phone. My dad has an unpredictable streak, and can not be counted on to appropriately handle important phone calls. I have to share an example:

One Sunday afternoon when I was about 17, I told my family that a certain girl was supposed to call and that it was IMPORTANT!! I was going to take the traditional Sunday snooze. Everyone was thoroughly informed that they should wake me up when she called. I was woken up about an hour later by my dad coming into my room saying,

Dad: “Uh Ryan, … JaneDoe just called.”
Me: “Okay … give me the phone
Dad: “Oh, I told her you couldn’t come to the phone because you were asleep.”
Me: (completely baffled) “Whu-huh? … why are you waking me up to tell me this then?
Dad: “I just thought you would want to know.

This is why I'm glad my mom answered the phone...She knew the importance of this call and decided to come wake me up before hanging up on the caller. I was awoken by her urgent whispering that Jess-i-ca was on the phone. Bleary eyed I picked up the phone and asked “are you calling to tell me that you love me?

Jessica is the only girl I have ever seen that could make a Saturn look sexy

Jessica informed me that she had just purchased a new car and that it was in need of a test drive. Quickly, I seized the much-sought-for opportunity and a date was made for the following afternoon. The date baited me back in. It was time to raise the stakes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Deja Vu

As you know, Ryan's company has said they are closing his division.
It's all a little too eerily familiar to our last job loss...
  • We live in the same town.
  • We have the same friends calling and dropping by with job leads and concern. (When Megan Guinn came over and started listing all the ideas her husband had--exact same scenario as last time--I was a little spooked.)
  • We are again contemplating having another child.
  • We have friends again doorbell ditching us with goodies to lift our spirits. (Cute things like: "We hope you SKOR a job really QUIK". After Ryan accidently came home during a delivery--and discovered to REALLY cute little girls with a deer-in-the-headlights look leaving our door, the next delivery of Smoothie ingredients included this message: "ORANGE you glad you have such SMOOTHIE and sneaky friends?" So unnecessarily nice. Another example:).

  • I am still SO grateful to be married to Mr. BudgetSaver.
  • We have felt the same Peace that everything will be alright.

Luckily, a few things are different:

  • Ryan's brother in law wasn't the one firing him. (Thanks, Kev.)
  • 6 words: Masters Degree, 5 more years experience.
  • A MUCH better economy for high-tech jobs.
  • It will NOT take 8 months this time (please please please)!

Ryan actually has lots of possibilities (GOOD ones) and has been grateful for a chance to re-tool his career plan.

I am just grateful for all the treats the Albrechts left us.

In fact, their week is done...anyone else up for providing a nightly Romney dessert?? We promise not to catch you... I wouldn't want that scale to show lower numbers, or anything.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Su-Monday Summary

(Phew! Raise your hands if you are happy not to see my big old feet every time you pull up our blog. Not a good time to miss a few days posting!)

Events of last week include:
Ryan being out of town all week
Which is weird, considering his job has been discontinued...they apparently still need him to go to conferences to see if their product is compatible with others? Despite arriving 9 minutes before his flight left, he was able to make it home for the second of:
Ryan's 5 birthday parties
That guy is such a prima donna. Party #1 happened in California with his parents and my dad and step-mom. Party #2:

involved me and the kids (and his favorite breakfast--for dinner--Caramel Peach French Toast (go to the link and add peach pie filling instead of apple pie filling), hashbrowns, bacon and fruit).
Party #3:

involved me and Ryan and Brian Regan, the comedian. We'd gotten tickets for the 29th and had a great time!

Party #4:

involved me and the kids and Ryan and a few families we are close to...and Chocolate Cheesecake, Lemon Meringue Pie and Cherry Pie.
Party #5:

involved the famous Daines and some yellow cake with chocolate frosting (I was done with fancy desserts by this point).
He got some socks (kids), a suit (Mom), a gift card (my mom), some workout clothes and a hose (my dad and Genie), a book (Daines) and this lovely shirt (the Albrechts--who have a thing for Ryan's biceps).

I got him nothing, because he forbade gift-buying until he's actually employed again. What a baby.
The Blue and Gold Cub Scout Banquet
Which I would not recommend attending withOUT your husband and WITH your 4 horribly, unruly kids, as it is impossible to navigate the potluck (woo hoo!), the CubCakes, the tempting-to-run-wild-through-hallways, and cups of water without serious disasters and wanting to KILL your children.

Here is the CubCake that won, courtesy of this same neighbor. Look closely for the rat droppings.

Emma's Third Basketball game
They might not ever come within 10 points of the opponent, but they sure are cute. And Emma's loving it!

A VERY crazy Sunday
that included Emma fasting THE FULL TIME, (and falling asleep on the floor from exhaustion (no joke!)), a YUMMY dinner at the Proudfoots, Ryan's new calling as Ward Clerk, and Seth's second degree burn from an iron turned on by un-named siblings (bawled for hours...awful! Today it's blistered into a 1 inch bubble on his hand and he just came downstairs telling me "Hey Mom, look! I got a ball!")

The End!