Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Favorites

My kids are COMPLETELY driving me bonkers right now.  I just sent them to bed and told them: “You can stay up as long as you like as long as I never see you again.”  Which is why this post that I’ve been planning is a little ironic:

Favorite things about my kids right now


Emma and Gabe:

waking up at 6:15 (even thought it’s summer time),

dressing in running clothes and going for brother-sister jogs.

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saying, every time she falls down (or bonks her head, or bangs her elbow—

hello awkward growth spurt) without any questions from us: “I’m okay!!”

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adding 3+4 (or any other combination) by bouncing his fingers against his chin. 

See following picture.


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besides being so much better (post to follow),

saying the supposedly polite word “Pease (please)” over and over and over again in an extremely loud and un-polite voice. 

Ex: “pease, moob (move) Emma!”,  “pease all done, Mom!”, “pease pone (phone), Dad!”

Ftutu2 Ftutu


But, really, my Friday Favorite will be whichever kid stays far, far away from me until about 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.  Just telling it like it is.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Playing the Waiting Games

A few weeks ago, we needed to use our kids free tickets to our local theme park.  These can only be use on weekdays, so I talked Ryan into working from home, watching Faith while I took the rest of them to ride roller coasters and waterslides all day. 

Picture 007

It was hot and humid (for here) and there were looong lines.  Everyone was grouchy and complaining. 

So I got awesome.

For your parenting pleasure, I am sharing with you:

Stuff to do while waiting in lines with your kids at theme parks

1.  Download the Have You Ever app on your phone.  Ask your kids questions like:  Have you ever acted like a dog the whole day?  or Have you ever run outside in your underwear?  Avoid questions like “Have you ever passed gas on your brother?” (because you HATE body humor) or Have you ever kissed more than one boy in day?  (because your kids do NOT need to know the answer to that question).

2.  Have a dirtiest feet contest.  (Congrats, Emma!)



3.  Play on the rope that goes along the line, fall off, hit your head and then hit your brother because you’re mad and need to target it at someone.  Oh wait.  Just Jane played that game.


4.  Have a craziest face contest.  Take pictures, send them to the parent “working” from home and have him judge.






Bonus if you get your judge to send one back to you:


5.  Stupid Water Bottle Tricks:



6.  Play the Can You Take Small Enough Steps That You Never Stop Moving Forward In The Line? game.  Ignore the annoyed looks from people as they watch all 5 of you shuffle forward in slow motion.  They don’t have 4 kids to entertain, do they?


If you employ my genius, I guarantee kids who go from this:


to this:


Saturday, August 14, 2010

In case you missed it and aren’t an orthopedic surgeon:

When Seth got his cast off a week ago, Ryan was toiling away at his day-job.  Thanks to Mr. Iphone, we sent him play by play pictures of the deed.  Here, for posterity, is a photo journal of the process.  (Watch out for the one with the HUGE pins coming out of his arm…)  We’ll tell it from Seth’s point of view:

Yay!  I’m getting my cast off:


Oh, ha ha!  This kind of tickles and this nurse is awesome with kids my age:


Um…I’m starting to get slightly nervous as the nurse applies pressure on my weak, little arm in order to unstick the cast and gauze:


Ew.  This sickly little pasty thing doesn’t look ready to function in my rough and tumble world! 


I’m really, really nervous about moving this thing at all.  Can’t you guys see these huge piece of metal sticking out of my elbow!?


After insisting that they wrap it and whimpering all the way to X-ray, this lemon lollipop is making me feel alot better.


He’s going to WHAT?!  Just yank the things out, in broad daylight, with no pain killers?!  I’m glad the nurses were amazingly sweet and comforting.


They said it didn’t hurt, but I’m crying pretty hard.  Can I have another lemon lollipop?


After recovering for a few minutes, I think I’m able to totter out of the office.  I’m going to hang on to this thing pretty consistently for the rest of the day, I think.  Hey!  Why does Faith get a lollipop?  I didn’t see her getting stuff pulled out of HER arm!


Arm, what arm?!  Pins, what pins?!  I’m just happy to be swimming the very next day!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Post is Titled: Exhausting, but Fun


Here’s some big events that we must discuss, from July:

Our City’s Fun Run:

Our kids are good runners.  Gabe, especially, has taken to the sport and feels good about his endurance and ability.  Last year, when I signed my kids up for the children’s race, Gabe was mad that I didn’t sign him up for the adult loop, which is 4 hilly miles.  I told him that if he wanted to do it, he’d really have to train. He wanted to do it.

Starting in May, Gabe and I ran the course every Monday morning.  It was great bonding time, especially with a less than loquacious 9 year old.  He ran the loop in usually 40-44 minutes (which I thought was fabulous time, considering 1.5 miles of it is a steep uphill.)  He felt ready for the race.  On race day, he and I got started at a fast pace.  He kept a slightly sub-9 minute mile pace for most of the race.  At the end of the course, I talked to him a little about a “kick” and his uncle Matt, who was known for his powerful surges at the end of his cross country races.  Gabe decided to try to “kick” at the end.  With 1/10th of a mile left, he took off.  I decided to try to catch him.  It was a fun moment, as spectators cheered at him to “Beat your mom!” 


He finished that course in 35:01!!

Picture 159

He got second place in the under 12 category and we were beaming with pride at his effort.

The girls ran the children’s course: 1/2 mile for Jane and 1 mile for Emma.  They weren’t slouches either:  Jane took 3rd place in her age group and Emma (with a 7:45! minute mile) finished 1st. 

Picture 157

We love that our kids are active and strong and know how to push themselves toward a goal. 

Picture 160

It was also fun the Grandma Dorrie was around to cheer us on (and help with Faith), especially since Ryan was in the hospital with Broken Arm Seth. 

My  Birthday:

These are the two things I have to say about my birthday

1) I really didn’t like turning 36.  It rounds up to forty and is definitely not young.  I was bothered by how much that age bothered me.

2) I really had a nice day.  You know how you kind of decide you don’t care about your birthday, and you almost kind of wish it would go away, because it’s annoying that people have to plan stuff for you?  Well, I’m glad it didn’t go away.  I celebrated by sleeping in a little, going to a pool with some friends and our kids


and the next night went out to dinner and had dessert at our house with some of our best buddies. 


I also had a bunch of people drop off goodies and small gift cards and little presents during that day and I just felt special and loved.  Plus I also finally got some really good knives from Ryan, which I want to kiss every day while I’m cooking, because I’m so in love with them.

Trip to Utah:

We love visiting Utah, but, I must admit, it’s a little exhausting.  Those of you with Utah ties know it’s great to visit because a million people you know live there, and it’s stressful to visit because a million people you know live there.  We tried to see a few of the million:

Blog friends that have turned into FIRL (Friends in Real Life, for those of you not as hip as me to Internet lingo).

Ryan’s sister Betsy, who entertained us with milkshakes at 4:00pm (Jane asked her cousin: “does your mom do this every day?!),

Picture 176

fun tutus for the moms kids to make,

Picture 178

cherry picking and good conversation.

Ryan’s mission companion and family (no picture, bummer!)

And almost all of my siblings:

Picture 201

We did the obligatory BYU visit, where we had lunch at Stan’s:

Picture 179

reinforced the desire in my kids to be Cougars:

Picture 184

and did the Bean Museum scavenger hunt:

Picture 180

(who’s scarier when angry??)

I have to say…I was keenly aware as I wandered with 5 kids and stroller in tow, that when I went to BYU and saw alumni visiting, looking all tired and laden with messy looking kids, I decided I would never be that un-cool. 

Picture 181

Oh well.

My mom also got married while we were there and the whole event had a sweet, peaceful feeling.  Rick is a good man and we are delighted to have him in our family.  Here are some pictures from the ceremony and the luncheon afterward.  (Side note:  My mom’s on a 3 week honeymoon trip in France, Italy, etc.  How fun is that?!)

Picture 187

(The Romney grandkids at the ceremony)

                        Picture 188 

(My brother Sam and his fiance, Stephanie, Bekah, Kelsie, Luke and Nate)









Picture 193

(Saying the words)

  Picture 200

(Who needs a special Ring Bearer Pillow, when you have a pack of Trident to store the ring in, right Nate?)

Picture 210 Picture 218

(The Crazies eating a very yummy lunch at Johnny Carino’s)

Yay!  I’m done with July’s summary. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

How our summer’s going…

As anyone who knows me well can attest, I am a schedule girl.  Schedules make me feel calm.  So summer looms large with all of it’s unscheduled, chock-full-of-kids activities. 

I spent a lot of May and June trying to figure out how I wanted to work the summer.  I realized, last summer, that having 200 things for my kids to do wasn’t the answer.  Someone (there are 4 someones, you know) always didn’t do their stuff and I was always irritated at someone.  But I knew that the teasing allure of non-scheduling is kind of a lie (for me anyway), because here’s what happens:  I wake up and think “oh, hey, we’ll just all lay around in pajamas and just be together.  It’ll be lovely.”  At 10:00, I start yelling “Hey!  This house is crazy and messy and you guys are doing something and you all look too messy for me to enjoy!!  Get dressed, practice piano, pick up this house, mow the lawn!!!”

So, I came up with a pretty good compromise:

Picture 004

I stole this idea from my friend Stacy Julian. (I’m so name dropping.  She is my friend who just happens to be one of the country’s most well-known scrapbooker.  I only read her blog because she’s my friend and terribly creative.  Not because I’ve ever scrapbooked a single page in my entire life.  But I digress.) 

It’s called Summer Bingo.  I filled the days with things I wanted them to do in a week, that were mostly fun and a little bit educational and structured  Notice the squares that read “Have all jobs done by 10am”?  That’s my nod to a schedule.  The BINGO is my nod to un-scheduled.  They have stuff to do if they are bored or bugging me or need money, but no one’s making them do any of it.  OF COURSE, they still have to complete jobs/scriptures/dressing before they play or watch a screen, but that’s normal, right? 

Picture 005

They get a ticket for each BINGO.  A ticket can be redeemed for 50 cents, or 30 minutes of extra screen time, or a popsicle that is better than an otter pop.  So far everyone’s only interested in money.  They haven’t had a ton of BINGOs (the max is 4, I think) but they usually do 10-15 things on the chart and it’s worked out really well. 

This summer has been a nice balance of outside play, family outings, vacations and down time…and for the first summer in a looong time:

I don’t want them to go back to school!