A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What do you think?

So, 99 percent of people who say something about who Austin looks like say he looks like Tyler. I've never thought so, because I know that he doesn't look like Tyler did as a baby. And Tyler and Zachary looked very different as babies (totally different head shapes), so I pulled out the pictures to see if he looks more like Zachary did. My conclusion? They all look totally different. I think Austin doesn't have the same nose ... but Paul looked at the pictures and said, "They all have the same nose." It's funny that we see it differently!

I actually find it humorous when people are surprised my kids don't look alike. Then again, I have been asked multiple times from people (when they're looking at my family pictures from growing up) which kids were adopted. None of 'em -- all eight from the same mom and dad! And Paul is TOTAL milkman's baby -- all of his siblings have dark brown hair and brown eyes. (We always joke that it'd be awesome for us to have a dark baby since it's obviously in both of our family's genes ... just not in our pale individual genes. :)

I guess we'll see if I can tell the baby pictures apart when they're grown and I look back at them. :) That'll be the real test, right? (My mom can tell us all apart just from looking since we all looked so different. Most of the time, anyway ...)

What do you think?

Tyler at 6 months:

Zachary at 6 months:

Austin at 6 months:

Shayla at 6 months:

Friday, October 22, 2010


So I haven't been to a yard sale in a while. Not that I don't enjoy them, but I always find too many things I want to buy. And the kids bug me to buy stuff for them. So, I've sworn off yard sales until I have something specific I'm looking for. However, the kids got lucky! While Paul and I were on an anniversary getaway, my mom took the three middle kids to a yard sale. I keep finding new things (pumpkin cups with straws, a Star Wars dictionary, stickers, stamps, etc.) and asking where they came from, and the kids say, "Grandma got it for us at a yard sale." Tyler was so excited about buying a Lego set. My mom was afraid he was getting a little ripped off, so she paid $5 of the $10 cost. When I saw it I knew it had been a steal of a deal. I looked it up on Amazon to see what the selling price is: More than $300!!! I couldn't believe it! And it hadn't even been opened! You can see here that he's thrilled:

(It's the space shuttle discovery, and it had a Lego satellite. Boy do my boys love Legos!!!)

Another exciting thing is that Zachary lost another tooth:

The tooth fairy has decided to up her payout amount to $1 per tooth since these kiddos have waited so long to lose their teeth. She figures that since they're older they deserve more money. She's just hoping this decision doesn't break her!

Shayla had a little accident on her bike (which taught her the value of wearing a helmet since she wasn't and would have been fine if she had been!), so she had a huge goose egg on her forehead. That's a first for our family! Anyway, a couple of days later she had a very nice bruise. However, the funny thing is that it blended well with her hair:

Yesterday I went up to Woodland Hills to take pics of my sister's family. We pulled off the side of the road where we thought it looked pretty and got out to take pics. When I looked up I saw this:

Can you see 'em? There are three deer in the picture. I could have gotten closer, but I figured there was no need to scare them away when they were having a perfectly good time in someone's front yard.

And even though it's getting colder and very autumny, we still have pretty wildflowers that Becca planted for us:

I think I'll buy a box of wildflowers from the dollar store every year -- they've bloomed all summer and been beautiful! (There were also pinks, purples, etc. I love that the yellows are left last as if summer is trying to hold out just a little longer ...)

Hope you're getting into the Halloween spirit like we are:

(I guess this makes it obvious I haven't cleaned for a while ... ;)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So, yes, we have an announcement. Leslie cracked me up with her initial reaction, but then quickly corrected herself. :) I just asked my mom today how old you have to be before you can say, "We have an announcement" and people no longer assume it's pregnancy. She informed me I've got about 10 more years. Sigh ...

We do have adorable babies, but our news is this: Starting in January Austin and I will be the only two in the house who are not going to school.

Paul figures he might as well take advantage of his company's education reimbursement, so he's going to get a bachelor's degree in IT, Networks Design and Management from Western Governors University. The best news is that it will cost us very little due to this reimbursement.

We have talked for years about Paul going back to school to get a degree, but it's never been right until now. Not only was he stressed at work (which isn't the case nearly as much anymore), but I wasn't ready to give him up during the evenings when he'll have to do classes. I can't say I've changed my mind in wanting him home and available :), but I definitely know it's a good thing for him to get this now.

I'm excited, nervous and thrilled all at the same time. Is that possible?

Donations being accepted now ... ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Okay, it's not really beginning to LOOK a lot like Christmas, but I'm in the spirit early this year. Last weekend Paul and I took an anniversary getaway (10th anniversary is in two weeks!), and we had two full days without kids. Heavenly. :) So, what did we do on our time away? Christmas shopping, of course!

I do have to admit that we had a short conversation about how we spent our anniversary thinking about and buying things for our kids. We've seen several sitcoms or magazine articles where they think they're pathetic or give suggestions in case you can't discuss anything but the kids. Well, we CAN discuss other things, but we sure love our kiddos! And shopping to buy the coolest Christmas presents ever? That was totally fun. So, yes, we did think about our kids a lot while we were away, and we still enjoyed every minute of it.

Now, back to Christmas shopping. We've got two things left to buy and we're done! We get jammies for the kids to open every Christmas Eve, and we buy a new game to open on Christmas Eve as well. Those are the only two things we have left. (Helps that each kid is only getting two things in addition to the family gift ... which I can't mention in case any of them happen to read my blog! WE don't want to ruin the surprise. ;)

I now realize how wise my parents were in starting these traditions: When you get new jammies for Christmas Eve, you look great in the Christmas pictures. (If my kiddos wore the jammies they wear to bed every night, there's a chance they'd have jammie bottoms clear up to their knees! ;) And the new game on Christmas Eve helps the day go by faster so the kids have something to do instead of just asking over and over how soon it is until Christmas. On that note, anyone have any great game ideas? We've been playing Bang! recently and that's a lot of fun. We bought Killer Bunnies last year, and although the kids enjoy it Paul and I don't. So we'd love suggestions ...

Other than that, we have a fun, exciting announcement. Something great is going to be happening next year. Any guesses???

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Silly boys, cute girl, adorable baby

Lotsa pics comin' your way ...

My boys crack me up. A few years ago we bought these long butterfly nets that we've never really had use for. (Let's face it, there just aren't a lot of butterflies swooning around here.) So, they've sat mostly unused in our garage. However, my boys found a use for them. When we had the Bear Cub Scouts here getting ready for our carnival we put together a Quidditch game. They decided they needed to be "flying" around while they play -- it's only fair, I suppose -- so they pulled out our trusty butterfly nets:

My sweet Shayla saw the pretty sunflowers by Becca's school every time we went to pick up Becca or went to Grandma's house. So, one day she asked if I would go take her pictures in front of them. She got dressed in a pretty outfit she picked out and we went and got some cute pics of that cute girl:

And my sis-in-law Christina sent some leggins when Austin was born (thanks again!). He's just growing into them, so I was surprised when I pulled them out that one pair perfectly matched an outfit we were given by a neighbor. How cute!

I love pictures. How would I ever survive without a camera?!?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Carnival fun

This week has been cold and rainy. I was getting worried for our Bear Cub carnival. But, thanks to a few faithful prayers by some little boys, we got a break in the rain just long enough to have our backyard carnival as planned.

I asked Tyler to decorate the welcome sign, and he did a fantastic job:

My cute Bears had each planned a game to run for their families. We had a coin toss, a tic tac toe bean bag toss, a frisbee throw (Tyler's), and a Quidditch cup. They each decorated their own posters, too:

Then once they had completed each game, they got a sticker on their wristband. When they had stickers from all of the games they got a prize (bubbles!) and popcorn:

Here is Shayla completing the obstacle course, which was required to get your wristband and entrance to the carnival:

And here's Becca manning our info center. Tyler was soooo worried when I hadn't planned to have an info center. I mean, what if someone needed info? So I made a poster and put Becca on duty. Good thing -- we didn't want anyone to get lost in our backyard! ;)

Here's Zachary with his face painted. I had asked a couple of older sisters of the Bears to paint faces for us, and they came through. I'm sure you can tell what this is:

And what did Austin think of the whole thing?

The cub scouts were soooo excited to host this special day, and I know many younger siblings were as well. I hope they weren't disappointed!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Six-month pics

I took Austin's six-month pics last month and have been playing around with editing the colors and lighting to make 'em look good. Not so sure I'm very good at it yet, but I thought some turned out well. :) Here they are -- he's so cute! :)

He discovered his ear the day before pics:

How can you not love these lashes?

Same hat as his baby pics:

And, of course, Austin and Austin: