Thursday, April 30, 2009


The awesome thing about growing onions is that (as far as I can tell) bugs don't like them and they survive any kind of weather. These are some of the green onions that I planted in spring 08. We only used about half the row and the rest we left in all winter. They are still growing (that's why they have flowers..heh heh). They're about 5 inches taller than Laney. We needed a few for our dinner last night and I had to laugh because they look so ridiculously huge! This is a gardener's dream come true....a veggie that stays in the garden with little to no effort from me and is ready to pick whenever you need it. Why can't tomatoes be like this?

Monday, April 27, 2009


A lunchtime ritual. Guitar. Laney loves her dad and a good beat.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A week

It was Earth Week at the school this week. On Monday the K thru 2nd grades had a bit of an assembly during which they performed the Salsa for the rest of the school and the parents that cared to come early and see it. I arrived a bit late and had to park on the grass. I didn't mind that much but of course I rehearsed in my head what I would say to anyone that dared comment on my choice of an unauthorized parking spot. I always prepare one snotty thing to say and one patient, gracious thing...depending on the mood I'm in and the attitude of the confronter. So watch out. You never know which one you're gonna get (just ask the "grandma" that scolded me for not leaving my 3 babies in the van in order to return my shopping cart to the cart coral. That'll teach her).

Anyway, I slip into the overcrowded gym and try to visually locate Ethan and Mathew. I spot them and stand there while some guy finishes up convincing us that we must send all of our children's snacks and lunches in reusable containers because baggies and other plactic disposables NEVER break down and return to mother earth. Thank you. I needed one more thing to feel guilty about. Check.

Finally we finish up with the REDUSE! REUSE! RECYCLE! screaming match that they have going between the two groups of performers and the audience (charming) and we're on to the Salsa. It was very entertaining and that little dance teacher was shaking her bickies (Hufford lingo for 'bum') like nobody's business. I would have been slightly embarassed for her, but I was too busy trying to wrestle Laney and convince Megan not to help herself to the baggie of cookies some child had inadvertantly left on the bleachers...of course simultaneously attempting to capture the performance on camera. Suddenly the Salsa was over and they let the kids break into freestyle. FREESTYLE? Mathew immediately hit the floor and started breakdancing and Ethan started shoving his "neighbors" until the librarian told him to cut it out. I would have addressed the shoving issue with him after school, but I just didn't have the will. Instead I decided to find out who taught Mathew to break dance. He couldn't remember but he did give me a few pointers and I think we may be able to work something up in the event of a Ward Talent Show.

Because Wednesday was Earth Day, the kids were supposed to wear green, but we forgot. The awesome part is that when we were pulling into the school and I realized that we weren't 'with the program', I offered to bring them both a green shirt to wear. To my surprise, they both just said "nah". Nothing like apathy on Earth Day. I was absolutely on board with not having to make an extra trip so I said, "awesome" and sent them on their way.

The best part of Earth Week was definitely the smencils. Oh yes. Pencils with a smell. I personally think Rootbeer was by far the best one, but grape and orange are in a tie for second. Something about the smell of those smencils in the car after school with the windows rolled down and listening to the kids talk about not having any homework and "what are we going to do when we get home, Mom?" reminded me so much of being that age.

We got home and I parked a lawn chair on the front lawn in the "shade" of our new tree and let the kids ride bikes and listened to them negotiate who's the leader and make up new rules and tattle on each other when things weren't going their way. Laney is slowly tasting each non-edible substance in the front yard. Today she covered tree mulch and driveway gravel. We stayed out as long as possible and then ran in for dinner and came right back out to play until bedtime. I have an earlier bedtime for our kids than the neighbors do, so inevitably I was the mean mom because I made my kids come in before everyone else did. Didn't they appreciate the fact that I let them stay out almost an hour later than usual? In my experience, kids are generally "glass half empty" kind of people. So we head in and the kids get their pajamas on and we wash their filthy feet and faces. I pick three very short books for storytime and move right into scripture time. By now, Laney has lost her composure and she's screaming. The boys can't hear me hollering our few verses in 2nd Nephi, and then Laney reaches over and rips out a chunk of Megan's hair. Megan falls to pieces and as Mark tries to pick her up, she gets a book corner to the eye. The volume ramps up! Mark takes her to her room and calms her down while I take a few breaths and ask the Heavens above to "give me strength" because I can feel my will to live slowly being sucked out of me. Somebody up there is listening because we make it through prayer and drinks of water and bathroom visits. Lights are off. Laney's in her crib....did I mention I'm trying to wean her? Yowza.

And then suddenly everything is quiet. Every small member of the family is unconscious. I look at Mark and he looks at me. We made it. Nobody yelled. Nobody cried themself to sleep. Success.

Another week done.

Have pity..

I am a fan of outside dogs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Evidence of an excellent afternoon

When I was a kid I rarely wore shoes. The bottoms of my feet were half an inch thick and were impervious to thistle or thorn. I was proud to see that although the Hufford genes are clearly dominant in our children....there is a bit of the Blanchard shining through (perhaps 'shining' isn't the word?)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Autumn Blaze Maple

What the ice storm taketh away....

Garden City Nursery "giveth".....


Don't tell them this, but when I'm not telling them to "stop talking, please" or "zip it and go to sleep", I'm around the corner listening to them giggle and swap jokes and stories. I love that even though they fight and compete and tease until someone cries, they also wrestle, race, confide and stick up for each other. Last night they had pushed their beds even further apart to make a wide aisle where they could make a couple of makeshift sleeping bags and talk and read by the glow of the nightlight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Easter least the day before Easter... was down right beautiful this year. It was a busy day...a new tree planted, horse riding lessons, Primary Activity, Ward Easter Egg hunt, coloring eggs with the neighbors, a Hufford Family hunt, and of course the obligatory melt down at the end of the day...effectively wiping out all the fun, peaceful happy feelings and replacing them with crying children in their beds and fuming parents muttering under their breath, "Why do I even try?" (Little ingrates!)

I distinctly remember those exact words coming out of my mother on many occasion over the course of my childhood and I have to say that Karma is having the last laugh.

Now that it is a full week later, I feel that already we can look back and be selective about what we choose to remember. Therefore....I give you.....


At the ward hunt.

Coloring eggs at the Squire's house. I had no intention of boiling several dozen eggs this year. We don't like hard boiled eggs much at our house and I kind of forgot about this tradition. Luckily Jennifer saved the day and invited ours over to dip and crack with hers. The tradition of going to church with blue hands lives on.
Our benefactress.
An impromptu game of kick ball.

The Hufford Hunt. A good time was had by all. We put coins, chocolate and little coupons in the eggs and surprisingly the coupons were the coveted item...especially those that granted the owner an extra 10 minutes to stay up late. Mathew and Ethan each found one of those and cashed it in by staying up to watch the Nightly News with mom. Fancy fancy.

Other coupons to be had:

An extra 5 minutes to play in the tub
Choose your favorite cereal
Pick your favorite meal
Pick the movie for movie night.
You are the leader on our next bike ride
You get a scratchback
An extra book at storytime

And they're off!
Mathew is hipless and therefore instinctively holds on to his pants whenever he runs.

Laney got a bit of a as not to be mowed over.

I spy a purple egg.
Yes, I am a queen of camoflauge.

And the piece de resistance'.....a bit of bedhead. Who was taking a Saturday nap?

The upside of going to bed on a bad note, is that we woke up with a healthy dose of guilt and a renewed determination to be patient parents. The actual Easter went quite smoothly and we enjoyed peace, harmony and Pork Barbacoa.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Planting too early

As I have mentioned before, I really love to garden. I mean I REALLY REALLY love it. It is necessary to my happiness. So of course I never fail to get excited and start planting too early. These are some photos of me (the girls and the wagon and a dog) putting in tomatoes and peppers two days before a hard frost.

Everything melted.

And I'm thinking maybe I do this on purpose (subconsciously, that is) because then I get to plant it all over again a couple weeks later.

There must be support groups for this.

Anyhow...I'm off to Walmart to get a few tomatoes and peppers! It's that time again!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You thought Treasure Hill was good...

We took a little bike ride out to "Shining Rock River" this afternoon. It actually isn't a river, it's a pond and there are no shining rocks that I've seen, but Shining Rock River sounds better that Shining Rock Pond and there you go. (Let's keep the magic alive, people)

So I strapped on my helmet, loaded the girls into the bike trailer.

Doesn't it seem like Megan is totally diggin the idea of being driven about in her "carriage"?

Hmmm... I wonder why she doesn't feel the motivation to learn to ride her own bike?

I look up from getting the girls clipped in and I notice something weird about the boys' helmets. Their straps seemed all screwy. Upon closer inspection I realize they found a couple of my stretchy hairbands and were wearing them on their foreheads.

"What have you got there, guys?"

"These keep us cool, Mom."

I had to turn away as I laughed to myself because they were both wearing a spot on "Blue Steel" expression. I, of course, asked the for a few of their coolest poses.

And I give you:
My personal favorite:

I love those boys.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Harvest time...

It's that time of year again.

We have to chop down the ridiculously large amount of ornamental grass we have in the backyard.

One must protect oneself from the giant razor sharp blades (very fitting word, 'blades') of grass by wearing a long sleeve button-up shirt and leather work gloves. Don't forget the bajillions of tiny itch-fest fibers that will fly around you and down your shirt when you start cutting into the grass. I get around that by tying a dishtowel around my neck (bandana style) and then one more around my mouth so I won't breathe it in (stick em up!)

Just take a moment to let that mental image wash over you.

I know, GORGEOUS. But this is not a time for vanity.

Once it's all down, then throw it over the fence and let it go back to mother earth.

This year, I chopped and Mark chucked.

And for the first time we enjoyed to fruits of child labor. Here's to many more years to come.

I really hate doing this, but I love how the grass looks in the spring. It blows in the wind and makes me feel like Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edwards Island. (I loved that movie in middle school).
See what I mean?

It is pretty enough for 6 months that I'm willing to put up with the ugly and the dreaded "chaff in the whirlwind" (hack hack) every year.

Do you think a chainsaw would be overkill for next year's harvest time?

Yeah baby! We could do it in record time....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dear Arkansas,

While I was visiting in Utah, I noticed that they are getting really creative with their cell towers. Why can't we do this? I think it's very clever. Looks totally natural. And it also makes it look like this "tree" is so special that it requires its very own fence. Now that's thinkin.

I'm not saying we have to make them all look like very well pruned pines...but maybe we could even try painting them like barbershop poles or candy canes (ooh!) or perhaps a totem pole or two. We could form community committees to come up with seasonal "spruce up the cell tower" festivities. I think I'm really on to something.

Just a thought.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

While I make dinner

I picked up this trick from my sister, Kaira. It works like a charm....assuming you don't need to use the sink.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A week of Utah

We visited my family in Utah for Spring Break. Poor Mark did not take the week off, but unselfishly was willing to drive straight through the night with us, work every day using his laptop and cell phone and then drove straight through the night back again. Words cannot express the's been almost two years since I've seen most of my siblings. So here are a few photos of the visit:

Visiting the "Museum of Ancient Life" (of course I ended up holding the baby and pushing the stroller)
Loved the "hands on" exhibits.
The kids especially enjoyed the water and sand station.
I really liked the idea that they got to excavate a dinosaur. Cute idea.

I took the kids up to Temple Square just as a crazy blizzard hit. The construction combined with one-way streets and my "back woods" driving skilz made for a stressful parking situation. Luckily the senior missionaries in the South Visitor's Center were happy to direct me to a suitable parking garage. We enjoyed looking at "the real temple"...the one they've seen in "The Mountain of the Lord". I tried to explain that they are all real temples, but it fell on deaf ears. We visited a couple from our home ward that were serving in the Family History Center and we took a VERY thorough tour of the North Visitor's Center. I would have liked to see the film at the Joseph Smith Building or go peruse at the Church History Museum, but let's be serious....I was already pushing my luck. So we opted for lunch and Hagelman's deli. I thought it was fantastic, but my kids rejected their fancy food. Rejected it to the tune of 28 smackaroos. So in my thrifty manner, what I couldn't eat myself, I wrapped up and added to the crazy stroller madness. The snow subsided and we made our way back to Spanish Fork. All in all, a fun day with my favorite kids.

Last but not least....a much anticipated trip to Cafe Rio. Amazing food, true. However, I would be lying if I said it was better that Kaira's. Her's just can't be beat. In fact...I think that just got added to this weeks menu. ooh....Pork Barbacoa....visit me in my dreams....

M & M
Kaira's girls, Charlie and Addie

Brian and Heidi with Laney (thanks for the break, it was heavenly to eat with two hands)

We were sitting in the blinding sun. At some point throughout the meal each one of us took our turn being blasted by UV. Uncomfortable, yes, but not enough to stop eating flan.

Laney's turn in the sun. Cheyanne, Ben, Mom, and Lara.

The above, take away Ben, add Thayne, Hali and Jordan

Our family is big enough that if you are sitting on opposite ends of the table, you may not even speak to several people (sorry Lara, Ty, Jordan, Ben and Mom. I was hampered by distance and blinded by the sun...also I was stuffing my face at a rapid pace.)