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

Monday, January 24, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday

Nothing new and exciting happening here, but that's to be expected. :) Paul did get a new computer (which I guess is new and exciting) for school, and that brought on the problem of our old printer not having drivers compatible with the new computer. Figures. I was really annoyed with having to buy a new printer until we looked into it and found that our new printer has ink for $10 less than our current printer! And it was "only" $50. Our other option was to buy a long cable to hook the old computer up to the printer and not have the new printer be able to print (PAIN!), but the new cord would cost $30. So I caved and we bought a new printer. I'm excited about cheaper ink, though. That THRILLS me!

Anyway, our cute little Aussie is definitely growing up. You can get him to throw his arms over his head if you yell, "Hooray!" It's adorable:

And then everyone gets so excited that he's just happy:

I've decided my little Shayla doesn't have nearly enough things for her hair. Her hair looks very cute just plain w/o anything done to it, so we usually don't. However, if I want to clip in a barrette or flower or something she likes that. But I've been cheap and haven't wanted to pay for them (being several dollars per flower barrette). So I have been buying flowers from the dollar store and bought a bunch of gems from the craft store. I went to Sally's and bought 100 clips, so now we're on a barrette-making frenzy. My favs are the "decorations" we turned into barrettes:

That butterfly is made out of feathers. I have no idea how it was intended to be used (maybe in a flower arrangement?), but we took the wire thing off the back and glued on a clip. Viola -- beautiful barrette!

I finally went and bought new pants for my Zachary. Poor thing was looking like a bum wearing holy pants to school every day. He had only one pair that looked nice, so I went shopping. Of course, I figured he was just going to be in size 8 since he's about to turn 8 and most of his pants are size 7 or 8. But when I brought them home we found that they fit perfectly. A little too perfectly -- if he grows even an inch they won't fit anymore. So we had to go up to size 10. Let me tell you how fun laundry will be trying to figure out if pants are Tyler's or Zachary's. In the past I've always just looked at the size and that solved it. No more. I might have to start buying Zachary 10H just so I can tell them apart! :)

Anyway, Shayla went to play with a friend last week and came home looking like this:

Other than that I'll just say that I'm still the best dancer in the house. We're really enjoying the Let's Dance 2 we got with our Wii. Even before we danced I told Becca that I was a better dancer than she was and to watch out. I don't think she believed me and was shocked to see me score higher than her dance after dance after dance. But now she KNOWS it -- we have proof. ;) When I told my family that she got grumpy and said there is to be no more trash talk coming her way. So I'll give it to all y'all instead: I bet I'm a better dancer than you are ... come on over and prove me wrong! ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Opinion, please

One of the hardest things about scrapbooking is making decisions. No, I'm not a good decision-maker. (At least not a quick decision-maker.) Oftentimes when you're designing a page you have two options and can't decide which you like better, because they both appeal to you the same amount.

This is when it's especially helpful to be scrappin with other people. However, Paul (who never scrapbooks with me but has to help me make decisions when he's around) often teases me because anytime I ask him which one he likes better, there's a good chance I go with the other option. This is not because I don't trust Paul's opinion or like what he's suggesting (remember I was considering it as one of my two options), but because if he says one and I don't agree then I realize that I really liked the other one better in the first place.

That said (and maybe I shouldn't have), even after seeking his opinion I still can't decide on blue or pink. This is where digital scrapbooking comes in really handy. Which do you like better?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday

Man has it been a long time since I posted! First I'll post some cool pictures. Paul and I took the kiddos sledding while they were out for Christmas break, and they LOVED it. There were little jumps all over the hill, and the boys were thrilled:

Of course, the landing part wasn't quite so fun. In fact, Tyler had to sit down and take a breather for a while after knocking out his breath and bruising his back. Shayla took full advantage of her brother being down:

She loved pulling him around everywhere. Zachary is probably the most fun to watch. He is so expressive when he's sledding:

And the best thing is that you always see this at the bottom of the hill:

Here are a few more pics of our fun time:

I was thinking of going sledding today since the kids are out for MLK day, but then it poured this morning. Last time we tried sledding on wet snow, it wasn't slippery at all. (Zachary stopped mid-hill one run down. That's never a good sign when sledding. :)

This year our kids have been challenged to read the scriptures everyday. I was so grateful to our primary presidency for issuing this challenge. We were reading as a family, but I didn't know how to get the kids also reading on their own. The primary gave each child in junior primary their own Book of Mormon reader with their name on it, and they are thrilled. They also gave a reading schedule to senior primary. My kids are loving the challenge.

So, as the new year started Zachary did an FHE lesson on the scriptures. He used a lesson from the old FHE manuals. He asked the question they outlined, "Why are the scriptures important to us?" Tyler answered, "Because they teach us about Christ." Zachary looked back in the book and then answered emphatically, "Nope!" It was hilarious. (Turns out the book says they are important to us because they're true and teach us how to return to live with Heavenly Father.) Of course, about this time Shayla started bawling. When we asked her what was wrong, she said, "Zachary, I don't know what to say about the scriptures!" You've gotta love FHE. :)

Actually, I get such joy watching my kids try to teach lessons. I try to help them prepare, like I did with Zachary in choosing this lesson, but sometimes they just want to prepare it all on their own. Zachary once grabbed his conference issue of the Ensign (we've started getting each child their own), and he highlighted specific lines to share with us. I figured it would be fine since it was from the Ensign. The first sentence he chose to read said something like, "I could tell when the couple walked into my office that they were having problems." Then he skipped to another talk and another line. Paul and I bursted out laughing -- it's so hard not to -- and had to cover with saying one of us made a funny face or something. What sweet kids. I don't want them to ever feel like their lessons aren't good enough, but man are some of them funny!

And the highlight of Tyler's life right now is Harry Potter. His grade gets really into it -- they have a sorting hat and sort the kids into houses. Each house earns (and loses) points by their actions and homework completion, etc. They play quidditch every Friday (with a bouncy ball being the snitch). It is soooooo much fun! At the end they're going to have a huge feast where they announce the winning house, eat things like Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean and chocolate frogs and drink things like butterbeer. So, I invited myself down to the sorting. Tyler got his first choice, which was Ravenclaw (his teacher is the house head, and his teacher is pretty cool).

After each child was sorted, they were given a scarf with a pin of their house:

They then went to sit at the table decorated with their house colors while the older students in their house (5th and 6th graders) cheered for them to join their house. It is such a cool thing they're doing. Notice his grade shirt with the Deathly Hallows? Needless to say, we're Ravenclaw fans for the time being. They are the smart ones after all, right? :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Family pinata party

Every year for Christmas my family does a pinata. I think this tradition is more than 30 years old. Growing up we did it every Christmas Eve as my mom's part of the "program." (Everyone was required to do something for our program, and my dad always did impressions of us -- which were hilarious until you were embarrassed by your own -- and my mom always did a pinata.) But since we've gotten so big and people are so busy during the holidays, we now do it after Christmas.

In the "olden days" we had a hook installed in the roof of the basement so we could do it in the warmth of our house. Then as people started getting married and upping our numbers, we had to move the tradition into the garage. Fortunately my dad has some awesome heaters we could put out there, and that worked for many more years. Recently we have had to move into a church. Since we don't think we should install a hook there (or at least aren't tall enough to ;) we use the basketball hoops for our ropes.

My dad LOVED to move the string up and down and get it swinging all around. Those movies you see where the pinata is still and the kids hit it? Not in this family. The person running the string (the father of the family) gets it moving so they have to make a lot of misses in addition to a few hits. And it's always hilarious to watch a person get whacked by the pinata without knowing it's coming. (And, by the way, no serious injuries yet.)

The tradition is to start with the youngest child first. They get a few hits before the bat moves to the next youngest child and so on. (Oh, I should clarify, too, that now that we have so many kids each family does their own pinata. Can you imagine all 20+ grandkids all trying to get in on one pinata? They don't make 'em THAT strong! :)

Anyway, with that said, I finally got smart (just this year) and decided I need to take a picture of my kids with each year's pinata before we get to hitting it. In the past we've had Nemo, a candy cane, Buzz Lightyear, Dora, Sponge Bob, Hello Kitty, etc. Here they are with this year's, a reindeer:

Of course, before we can get to pinatas we have to eat dinner. However, since we all know adults want to socialize a whole lot longer than do kids, my dad has started bringing his big remote control truck and chasing the kids with it. They LOVE it! I had no idea how much they loved it until this year Zachary asked if he could wear his Sunday shoes. Why? Because his gym shoes have a huge hole in them and his boots make him run too slow -- he needed the perfect shoes to get away from the truck. They are hilarious to watch running away from it!

After some good running around we got to the pinata. This is like a second Christmas with this much fun. :) Anyway, it's a blast of a tradition and I should make a photo book just of our pinata-hitting attempts ...

Speaking of attempts, here are this year's:

Austin's first pinata ever:





(The pinata was already had by this point, but we told her to beat it anyway. Her clenched lips are so she won't stick out her tongue, but she did anyway. :)

Anyway, thanks mom and dad for such a fun tradition. It's a blast we all look forward to every year!