Friday, July 31, 2015

Kids are awesome

I never know what is going to happen around here. Sometimes it makes me want to pull my hair out. 

But usually I have to laugh.

Laney's chip clip earrings:

Trombone practice:

Froggy hat.

Taking a countertop snooze:

Batman clean and jerk.

One girl band!

And my favorite...playing "Funeral Home". (Anna is the body)

Thursday, July 30, 2015


We've had so much rain this year. The conditions are ripe for froggies!

I love the dirty feet, the snarled hair, sun burned noses. I want them to run and fill up buckets with the hoses. I want them to spend the whole day in their swimsuits....making up games and building forts. 

Summer of the frogs!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mango girls

If I have a mango in the fruit bowl, at least two of my kids will always have a snack. These girls love nothing better than a sliced up mango. And they're always happy to share. In fact, if I slice one up for Everly, she'll pick up her fork and call, "LANEY!!"

Monday, July 27, 2015

Old favorites: Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I will teach you the ultimate comfort food. 

The Monte Cristo Sandwich. Blanchard style.

1. Whip up a couple eggs. Smash up some cornflakes. Add a little salt and pepper to the cornflakes. 

2. For the sandwich, you need plain old white bread. Square. No fancy stuff.

On one slice place some lunch meat ham and white american cheese. It's best if this cheese was wrapped with an individual wrapper. Don't get fancy.

On the other slice, layer lunch meat turkey and orange american. From a wrapper. No fancy.

**now would be a good time to put about 1/4 inch oil in a smallish frying pan. You can only fry half of a sandwich at a time, so you don't need a big pan. Plus, it saves on oil.  Turn up to med-high heat.

3. Stack 'em up.

4. Poke two toothpicks in at an angle on each side. Then slice at the diagonal.

5. Dip each side into the egg, then coat with cornflakes.  Place in the hot oil and let each side brown. Watch carefully! It browns pretty fast and you don't want to scorch the cornflakes. If it's too hot, it will only cook the outside. You want a nice golden brown and a nice melty inside.

6. The results are a crunchy, gooey, savory delight that will make you pine for old times.

You know have one of the keys to happiness. Use it wisely.

And don't forget to take out the toothpicks.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Blessing Camryn May

Sweet Camryn May was blessed today. We made the quick trip down there to participate and be a part of the joy. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

SBL: Family Band

One of our Summer Bucket List items was to have a family band. Just picture it! Happiness, singing, laughter, music!  We thought we would try to learn "You are my sunshine". 

Me on violin, with a country-fiddle feel

Megan on her pioneer dress 

Everly on vocals. She is a very vocal gal.

Laney making the most of her clappers and peppy attitude...

Ethan and Mat on guitar...

Even though they play trumpet and trombone. But guitar seemed cooler. I argued for the brass. It would've made it a little more "mariachi".

And Anna rocked it out on her washboard and spoons.

Now, this was no easy task.  It took us all day to figure out the chords for the boys and when we had finally done that and we were ready to add Megan in on the piano, we realized that she had learned it in a different key.  I knew she could learn it in the new key, but it stressed her out and she yelled, 

"I quit the band!!"

This started a domino effect of unsatisfied musicians. At one point during the day, I had two on strike, 2 giving me the silent treatment, 1 in tears and another on a snack break. 

But we finally hugged it out and settled our differences. 

We performed our debut and finale all at once for Mark when he came home from work. He smiled and clapped and we checked it off our list. 

It was the best!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A bargain

When you have a bird feeder hanging above a flower garden, there will soon be a meadow of sprouts underneath. Birds are messy eaters. 

So I paid the girls a penny for every weed they pulled. 

Megan came in on top with 117. And the others weren't far behind. 

The whole job cost me less than 5 bucks!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Working for the money

It's happening! The boys are starting to make money! Work = money!

Walk those puppies! Mow those lawns! Whack those weeds!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Let it go

We love a good sing along on the way home from church. Disney songs a preferred. 

Some of us love it more than others.

Day of rest

This is my ideal Sunday activity. 

Blankets on the grass. (All poop in the vicinity removed, of course)

Nowhere to be.

Shade from our growing tree.

A cool breeze.

Nowhere to be. 

A steady stream of snacks and crackers provided by hungry, capable children. 

And ABSOLUTELY nowhere to be.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pioneer Bike Trek 2015

It's a miracle that we find the starting point of the bike trek every year. We've been given directions that are sketchy at best. "You know, at the Indian Creek Trail. In MidAmerica Nazerene University."
Uh....that's a 26 mile trail system and a 100 acre campus. 

But. We find it every year. And then I promptly forget it again and have to sniff it out again next time.

*Justin Sirois, Laney, Ethan in his pioneer clothes, Juliet Sirois, Mathew, Thomas and Lisa Gotfredson.

*Chris and Joshua Diggins, Heather and Bruce Jensen, Cami Diggins, Sarah and Laura Jensen.

Everly and me!

It had rained the night before, which made the temperature bearable (hallelujah!) but the trail full of puddles.

All the kids had stripes up their backs from their wheels splattering on them. Ryan and Seth modeled for me.

Mark skipped the bike ride and drove himself and his gear over to the destination at Frontier Park. He was met there by Charles Andrews, Fred Clarke and Karina Fugett.

Megan helped out at the fishing booth.

Laney observed from above.

There's Sister Dallman, the mastermind of these activities. She's fearless in her pursuit and execution of fun, memorable traditions.

Courney Flynn passed out otter pops to the grateful kids.

Ethan recounted a few of experiences on the pioneer trek. I was pleasantly surprised at how big my child has gotten and how well he speaks in front of people.

Then the "band" played songs and we all sang in a circle. I was thinking three things:

*I really love these people.
*This turned out a lot more fun than I thought it would be
*We truly are a "peculiar people"

Let's dance!

Ethan's first Stake dance.... Sweaty hair and gorgeous to a good start!

Friday, July 17, 2015

SBL: Drive-In Movie

This year we added a new item to our list. We had so much fun at the drive-in on our trip to Utah, we thought we'd find one around here. 

It was fun!

We saw "Minions" and then "Inside Out" (again).

The "Lava" short was still the most adorable thing ever. Highlight of the night.

Here are a few things that could've made the night better:

  1.  The Minions never being made. Never thought of. Never produced.  Never released. 
  2. We needed WAY more snacks and drinks. We needed a cooler. 
  3. Every single one of us needs their own camp chair. Snuggly babies are awesome. In cool weather.
  4. We need to not be in Kansas. The humidity is going to be the end of me.
  5. We need to be the kind of people that are willing to come early to get a good spot. 

Next time I'm going to be totally prepared.

Or not.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ethan artwork

There are no words.


We thought it would be fun to try on a little lipstick.

Which made this an absolute certainty a couple days later.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

SBL:Valley Rope Park (and creek)

Now, this is a cool park.

There are huge rope structures the kids can climb and then a slide at the top so they can, well, slide down. 

There is a pretty fun zip line. Ethan stationed himself there and appointed himself the kid thrower. They loved it. Perfect for the 7-12 year old set.

Ethan and Everly. My e.e. siblings.

Mathew got bored and went on an exploratory mission up the creek bed. I was fine with it right up until the moment that I couldn't find him and started to freak out a bit.

So I sent the troops in after him and they eventually emerged with their looted treasures. I had to insist that they left it all in the its natural environment. Abandoned drawers and car radios covered in creek moss are happier staying with their families.

And now we are all dirty and tuckered out.

Just the way I like it.