Saturday, January 31, 2009

I’m The Biggest Loser


Since I’m not about to get into a sports bra and pose, Ali (from last season’s Biggest Loser) will have to do. 

Our fabulous and creative neighbor, John, (responsible for all things fun in the neighborhood:  Halloween decor, backyard campouts, all the street hockey equipment), has come up with something “fun” for the adults in his life.   He sent out an email after Christmas inviting us to participate in his version of The Biggest Loser. 

Here are the rules:

1.   You contribute $25.  The winner takes the pot ($350 for us).

2.  You get 1 point for every day that you:

a.  Have a good eating day (however you define it…for me, it’s eating around 1900 calories per day due to the extra nursing calories I get).  You get 0 points if you have an okay day and you get –1 points if you “garbage out” as John puts it.

b.  Exercise (7 points max per week)

c.  Sleep 7 hours a night (thus, Ryan’s sleeping goal referred to in the whiny-wife post)

d.  Keep your personal goal.  It can be whatever you want…for me and Ryan it is writing down everything we put in our mouth and calculating the calories.

**That 4 points possible per day.

3.  You get 5 points for every percentage of weight loss.

4.  You get 1 bonus point (per week) for turning in your point total by Monday at 5pm.

5.  You are honest with your competitors.  The person with the most points wins.

This is really working for us (I’ve only missed one point in all of January) because

a.  I’m super motivated.  I gained way too much with Faith and cannot fit into anything.

b.  We weigh on Monday.  I’ve never done that before…I’ve always weighed on Friday or Saturday and so I goofed around on the weekends, figuring I had lots of time to make up for it.

c.  This competition rewards the work you do, not just the weight you lose.  I can’t fudge a little and hope that I lose weight anyway…if I’m not eating according to plan, than I lose the point for the day. I can’t always control how much weight I lose but I can totally control my points per day. 

d.  I can’t take days off.  I’m the queen of “days off” and have figured out that, at this age, I really can’t take days off (read: blow my diet by at least 2000 calories) and still lose weight.  I just can’t.

e.  I really want that money!  (I am currently in 3rd place, because there is a girl that is blowing everyone out of the water…I’m hoping slow and steady wins the race.)

In January I lost 10 lbs. Kind of a drop in the bucket, but this thing goes for the next couple months, so I have high hopes for long term results.  I love doing it with Ryan (he’s one point under me in 4th place) and guess what?  I feel a lot better when I’m not eating cookies all day—who would have guessed?




Wednesday, January 28, 2009





Favorite Toy:Seth's Ponies 2 Favorite Song:EyeoftheTiger
Babbles on and on and on like:
(Jessica) Picture 275
Looks like:scan0003
Favorite outfit:Picture 130 Favorite loungewear:IMG_3593
(the Hugh Hefner “robot”)

The verdict’s still out…

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Sunday Summary without relevant pictures because Emma broke our camera. Third camera in 3 years, but who’s counting?


I had a choice between a glasses shot and a non-glasses shot.  You know why I chose the non-glasses one?? Because Emma got contacts this week, that’s why!  She got dropped off at the appointment, because I had to take Gabe to piano and when I got back to pick her up, she was all ready to go.  The ladies at the front desk were all, “She is one mature girl.  She just walked in here and said ‘I’m Emma Romney and I have an appointment at 3:30.  And then she figured out so fast how to put her contacts in and out.  We’ve never seen a 4th grader that competent ever.”  Yep.  That’s what happens when you are the oldest of 5 kids and your mom forgets you aren’t 22. 

She loves her contacts—no slipping off during basketball,  no blurriness when peeking out of the corner of her eyes, and we can see her beautiful blue eyes even better now.

And she actually finished her Mini-Book assignment on time.  Mature?  yes, but that girl gets a teensy bit distracted when it comes to completing projects.  Thanks to cousin Mallory for inviting her to a sleepover and, thus, providing needed incentive.









Yesterday we took all five kids ice skating.  Which was lunacy.   Two of our five children can actually ice skate and so it wasn’t so much ice skating as having various children hang all over you as you limp around the rink.  ANYWAY, Gabe came skating up to me, yelling, “Hey mom, I just went all the way around the rink without …WOAH…(falls to the ice).  Never mind.”

School was exciting for Gabe this week because a) they are learning about Native Americans and he can’t stop talking about it and b)their classroom got roof repair and so he got to have class in the room with the ovens.  Apparently he got to bake stuff.


Anyone want to tell me why my 5 year old cries more than my 3 year old?  Sheesh.  I find copying her in a demeaning way works well toward curbing the behavior.

In more-like-a-five-year old news, JANE IS READING. I realized over Christmas that she was completely ready and if I hadn’t been preoccupied with the other 48 people that live in my house she probably could have been reading months ago (she was that ready).  She just started sounding out words and blending and remembering words like I’ve never seen a beginning reader do before.  Very exciting.

And, no, she still hasn’t lost the tooth, though she prays every night:  “Please bless I will lose my tooth and the Tooth Fairy will give me lots of money.”


Seth continues to take no less than 20 minutes to use the bathroom (including pants removal and reapplication and hand-washing).  I’m serious.  We are working on “No Leaving The Bathroom Unless Your Pants Are Back On.” 

He loves his Christmas game Cranium’s Hullabaloo.  I basically just love to hear him say the word and figure out ways to get him to repeat the game’s title the whole time we are playing. 

He giggled LIKE CRAZY while he crazily slipped all over the ice yesterday.  It made the whole thing fun because he seemed to think the point of ice-skating was to slip all over while his parents tried to keep him upright.  I giggled my way around the rink whenever I was assigned to Jello boy.


Big news!  Faith’s clogged tear-duct cleared out!  Ryan was wiping the gunk out and it just started draining and it has been crystal clear since then. 

I know.  What if you hadn’t read the Summary this week and missed that?!

Also?  She sleeps from 9 pm to 7 am every night.  Awesome, huh?

And, really, why does it continue to be HILARIOUS when Ryan makes Faith’s arms move like she’s doing something real?  Tonight Emma taught us a church song (for a Faith in God thing) and she taught us actions to go along.  So Ryan makes Faith’s arms move approximating the actions and we are ON THE FLOOR dying of laughter.

How To Have Fun With Your 2 Month Old.


Ryan and I are rocking our Biggest Loser competition (in an attempt to look like we did in the picture, pre-anniversary cruise, again)…I’ll have to post the rules later, because it is SO motivating.  Ryan’s grown a beard and is waiting till he hits a certain weight to cut it.  You can imagine the comments he gets from everyone, but I think it’s sexy. 

We had a fun night out with the Daines (Ryan’s sister and brother in law) and pumped them for Love and Logic info while eating yummy food. 

It’s still January so Ryan is still really busy, but we try to be patient with him. 

Due to the Love and Logic info gleaned last night, Emma will be paying for the camera she broke in $1 job increments….it will probably take her till June, but we’ll be purchasing one soon.  Stay tuned for pictures of Emma sans contacts, Gabe with a Native American headdress, Jane reading and Ryan with a beard.  We’ll spare you Faith’s cleared up tear duct…and Seth emerging pants-less from his long Potty odyssey. 

Even I think some things aren’t blogworthy. 

Till next week…




Friday, January 23, 2009

The morning after


The following post is what happens when you have a funny, light-hearted idea for a post, but don’t write it until late on Thursday when you are tired and un-funny and all alone because your husband is at meetings again, but you want to try posting with your new Windows Live Writer.

You write it and then you wake up the next morning and read it and realize you sound really whiny and wenchy and ungrateful for your fabulous husband.

Read on at your own expense.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Ryan sets these really difficult, crazy goals every New Years. They are not MY goals. They are HIS goals.

And yet interestingly enough, every January, my life gets harder because:

all of a sudden, Mr. Full 8 Hour Days Even Though I’m SALARIED can’t come home for lunch and won’t email during the day and rushes me off of the phone.

all of a sudden, Mr. I’m Getting 7 Hours of Sleep Every Night can’t watch 24 and so we’re a million episodes behind. (GoodReads pals, this is why I’m reading so much…my husband is snoozing every night so early, I have nothing else to do.)

all of a sudden, Mr. Do 2 Hours a Week EXTRA On My Calling, won’t be coming home right after church, so I’m left to wrestle hungry, stir-crazy kids all by myself on Sunday afternoon.Picture 159

all of a sudden, Mr. Half-Ironman has this crazy workout schedule that is ridiculous to try to work with

all of sudden, Mr. My Goals Aren’t Humanly Possible, is crabby and short with everyone, because he can’t do all of that stuff he’s trying to do.

February can’t come soon enough…

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Site to See (My mom will LOVE this Punny title)

I realize I complain of having no computer time. That's a lie. I have plenty of time, during the hours I spend with Miss Lazy Nurser, to look at the computer. I just don't seem to have any time to actually type on the computer. Although I do hunt and peck with one finger very effectively if I'm using the Boppy pillow. (Talk about multi-tasking).


These are some websites we've been enjoying around here:

So, this is what you do: You go to this site, you type in your favorite band or song or type of music and then they play a bunch of stuff that sounds like it. And you can put a thumbs up on the screen if you like it and a thumbs down if you don't and they start making a "station" that's totally tailored to you. Which is why I have Erasure on the picture above. I typed them in and it just basically plays my high school soundtrack (Depeche Mode, New Order, Yaz, Erasure) over and over. Bliss.

So, in case you haven't noticed the blubberiness of every picture of me...I have a few pregnancy pounds to lose. I got a trainer for Christmas (his name's Jacques, which couldn't be more awesome) and he gave me this 35% fat/45%carb/20%protein diet to do. So after I eat anything, I head over to CalorieKing and put in whatever I ate and up pops all nutrition stats. Totally free and it has tons of brand names and restaurants.

Which is why the weight is just falling off of my body.

Okay this one everyone knows, I think. But just in case, this is my favorite website, I mean, after YOUR blog, of course.

In case you didn't know, I'm kind of a voracious reader. I used to have slips of paper all over my house with lists of books to read. No more. Now I have GoodReads and I have all these friends that are on there and they read a book, review it and then it comes up on my screen and if they liked it and it looks good, I push the little button that says: "Add to my To-Read shelf" and I have it saved forever. I read and review it and then, if YOU are on GoodReads you can add it too. So great. I get reviews from people whose standards and educational levels I trust and it's all so organized. I read everything in order (cause I'm like that) and so I read a total variety of books. Get on there and then invite me to be your friend.

My favorite recipe website ever. I barely use cookbooks anymore, especially if I'm looking for a new recipe. I love it because it has reviews. (Don't ever pick one that has less than 4.5 stars!) You find a high rated recipe, you look at it, you read some of the reviews below so you know to add extra salt, or whatever, and then you make it. And it turns out great 99% of the time. This is why I'm a good cook: I have good recipes and I follow them.
This you like because your kids will LOVE it. It's basically just a site where they can virtually cut out snowflakes. For hours. With no white stuff all over your floor. The only downside? They will ask you to come look at their awesome snowflake every 2 seconds. It's still worth it.
If I'm not know where I've been.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Summary

(I know, I know, too many family/kid based/summary type post. The only way I actually can make myself take time to blog is when I feel the guilt about not recording cute kid stuff. Sorry to you.)

This weeks highlights include:

The complimenting of children
We were at Costco after a long morning of errands. I was getting the hot dogs and Jane was feeding Faith her bottle (filled with formula powder, hot water from the coffee machine and oops! soda water--I had nothing else to give her and didn't want to spend 40 minutes nursing her --and she totally chugged it. Hilarious.) Anyway, Seth and Jane were nicely helping Faith, playing games and eating all their food and some random older man came up to me and said: "I just wanted to let you know that you have extremely well-behaved children" which completely made my day. Of course everyone ended up with a Reward Churro and I had a smile on my face the rest of the day.


The only reason that this is a highlight is that I actually took pictures. Not that they weren't nice missionaries. They were. I just have nothing memorable to say about it.
Emma loses her tooth

(self portrait, by tooth loser)
I realize this is, like, her millionth tooth. It just warrants highlighting because over Christmas we realized that Emma (of course!) knows The Big Secret regarding fun people that give you stuff at holidays and tooth losing time. So she, being aware of Non Secret Knowers in the vicinity, but also wanting to make things as easy as possible, began to quiz me: "So, um, Mom, should I put my tooth just, like, on my desk, so it's easier for the tooth fairy? Would she, like, want me to put it in a bag so she doesn't have to touch it? Is she going to come, um, tonight, or does she want to wait another day?" I let her know that under the pillow would work as well as usual.
Which is to say, it doesn't and Emma got her dollar handed to her today. To which she replied "She should have given me dimes...(like the SHE?) it would have made it easier to do tithing."
We'll let "Her" know.

Further tooth awesomeness
Jane came running into my room and, seriously, HOLDING BACK TEARS OF JOY (her eyes were literally brimming) announced: "I have my first loose tooth! I'm just so happy because I've really been waiting a long time." You'd think she'd just gotten proposed to, or something. And the rest of the night was very surprised that we didn't mention it again. Because she certainly did:
"I'm just so very happy about this tooth."
"Every time I touch my tooth, I just feel so happy inside."
"Oh, I just forgot about my tooth, but then I realized it again!"
Faith is adorable
Reason Number One: Laid, cooing, in this warm bath for 45 minutes:
We just kept checking on her and she was happy as a clam. And Faith isn't really happy just lying anywhere for 45 minutes. It was big news.
And Reason Number Two: Laughed!!! Yeah. Laughed. All choking and cute while I tickled her neck and she gazed at an apparantly HILARIOUS Finding Nemo book that I had on her changing table. See? Adorable.
(This isn't a picture of her laughing. This is a picture of why during our car ride she was really mad. We were laughing, not Faith.)
I'm continuing to drown in a sea of children
No further comment necessary. Just wanted everyone to know: 5 kids is hard.
The end.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I totally forgot we blessed Faith!

On December 29th, in sacrament meeting
Ryan expressed our thanks that Faith is in our family
She was blessed with a healthy and strong body
She was blessed with a happy, good spirit
She was blessed to spend her days doing the work of the Lord and finding joy in service
She was blessed to grow to maturity and to be married in the temple
She was blessed to know that Heavenly Father is involved in our lives, that He will keep his promises...
She was blessed with the gift of Faith

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Mother of All Summaries

(First of all, for journaling purposes, I have to catch up. If you are too bored to read, I totally understand). I just finished it and it's really boring. You've been warned.

Let's just pretend you are visiting. And let's also pretend that you say, "Hey Jessica, how was your December?" and I say, "Oh funny you should ask! I just put together this darling December In Review photo album (now we're REALLY pretending!) and you should check it out." And so you sit down on my brown leather couch and ignore the stained and holey striped fabric ottoman (aren't you nice?) and put your feet up and have a look-see at the pictures that encapsulate this crazy month:

In December we did lots of her. Lots and lots and lots of her. She's a great night sleeper, a not-so-good napper, she's only happy if she's held and she's the laziest, longest nurser EVER. At least she's really pretty.

Christmas festivities started with the ward party. Here are the kids getting ready to attend in obligatory holiday attire (and Gabe only has a red shirt, because apparently boys over 6 are too cool for holiday shirts. Whatever.)

We watched the LDS Christmas Broadcast at the Nebekers and made gingerbread boys and girls for dessert.

This is the picture I took after everyone left our Third Annual Neighborhood Cookie Exchange. Too busy eating to shoot pictures.

These are pictures of the obligatory, but suprisingly entertaining, holiday concerts. Gabe played the "bar instrument" (not xylophone, in case you were stupid enough to make that mistake) and Emma on drums. You haven't lived till you've experienced "Polar Puppy"--ruff!!

We held Jessica A's baby shower the same week as the 29 other holiday events.
Cause we are dumb.
These are pictures, taken the night, of 4 of the 5 babies born in the last few months and their hideously exhausted mothers.
This is from the Rowell's Ornament Exchange Party. Everyone tries to buy the tackiest ornament they can find, but someone brought ONE pretty one...which we got and promptly had stolen. We ended up with a really darling moose on skies. If you get something resembling a darling moose on skies next year, forget you read this.
There are other pictures from the Bishopric Holiday Dinner. But, for obvious reasons, this is the one I'm choosing to show. Aric Albrecht getting what he deserves...
On Thursday, December 18, Spokane had more snow in 24 hours than EVER BEFORE. Seriously. 31 inches. Our house looked like a gingerbread house. There were walls and walls of snow. And, obviously, no school.
Despite the weeks of crazy snow, Heavenly Father blessed us with a 24 window to drive to Boise for Ryan's brothers wedding. Here are Grant and Zaundra:
And the best sisters-in-law EVER:

The whole family (except Brooke, frown!) was there in the Boise Marriot. We did lots of swimming with cousins:
and dancing at a fun, beautiful reception.
Above is my brother, Nate, who is close friends with Grant and below is my sister Bekah, also friends, who joined us for the wedding. Bekah braved the icy roads BACK from Boise and came a few days early for Christmas.
Nate and Kelsie and Luke (and Grandma Dorrie) showed up on Christmas Eve. Luke and Faith really enjoyed each other:
We did our usual Christmas Eve lunch and movie (Bolt...good, not great).

Then headed over to the Daines for the annual Bethlehem dinner. Here are Bekah and Grandma Dorrie in authentic (as Bekah did BYU's Jerusalem Study abroad program) attire. The rest of us shlep it in bathrobes and leather belts around our heads.

We always have a birthday cake for Jesus (because EVERYONE needs more dessert by Christmas Eve).
and then the pajamas

Winner of the My Pajamas Fit My GoofBall Personality award:
Getting ready for Santa (in the makeshift bed in the basement, as the houseguests had displaced the kids from their beds--they LOVED it.)
Christmas morning:
Faith was SOO excited:
Pictures of the Loot...
Gabe (why is the most expensive pile also the smallest???)
and Faith:
she'll love it two months, really!
For New Year's Eve, we took the kids to Spokane's First Night Extravaganza, where they watched shows (Gabe got called on stage) and did millions of crafts:

Here's Seth in his crafty costumes. During the night he was
a robot

a marmot:
and a viking:
After the crafts, we marched in a big parade through the center of downtown...

We capped off the night with dinner at Olive Garden and a fun game night with the Daines. Don't tell my 19 year old self that crafts, parade, mac and cheese and games with 5 kids is really the funnest way to spend New Years Eve...she won't believe you.
Here is one of the 2 billion activities I came up with to occupy my children during their horrendously long winter break. I'm too scarred to discuss it further.

Thanks for coming over and looking at my photo album (and not at the ottoman...I'm getting it reupholstered soon, I swear). Next week, I'll come to your house and look at your cruise pictures, I promise!