Monday, March 28, 2016


Sometimes I take a picture of my vacuum lines because there isn't a chance on this green earth that Mark will ever get to see them. 

They were here.

And they were beautiful.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016

Happy Easter!

Don't you love that part where the kids come down in the morning and find their baskets and they start to look through them and it's so fun to see them excited about their Easter gifts and snuggle down in the couch in their jammies to have some chocolate for breakfast and the whole day is just super relaxed and we have a nice family day that culminates in a pot roast supper and.....


Not this year...because we are Mormons and we have choir practice at 8 am and it's going to take 30 minutes to drive there. And once we get there we will hope and pray that the kids won't burn the place to the ground while we try to polish up the songs we are supposed to perform during Sacrament meeting. Oh! And don't forget your viola because you are playing prelude with the ward orchestra....and for sure  you should remember all your visual aids for the Easter themed singing time you prepared and the plastic tote with jingle bells and shaker eggs that the nursery kids love for their own special singing time. 

And don't forget to put that roast beef in the oven because the only thing more stressful that getting that done before church is trying to think of something else to make when dinner rolls around....ROLLS! Don't forget to get the rolls in the breadmaker. Everybody knows that Easter dinner just isn't the same without fresh, hot rolls.

Once the kids are all in the car, you can run back in to "get something" and set out their baskets so they can find them and be excited when we all get home from church. 

And maybe you can grab a power nap while they sort their Easter goodies. 

Sadly, Laney wasn't able to join in any of our Easter fun or craziness...she was under the weather with a stomach bug. And in this house that means complete quarantine.

But no one ever said anything about lingering for a game of pretend in the doorway...

We did it. We pulled it all off and now we will take our own baskets (featuring various dark chocolates, Jordan almonds, obscene quantities of Ferrero Rocher and turtles) to a quiet spot and count our blessings.

Not the least of which is that we have each other. 

And we have homemade rolls, to boot.

Saturday, March 26, 2016


These images are super dark, but they are of Mathew and McKenzie dancing at her brother, Austin's, wedding reception.

Believe me, the video is even better!

I love my brave, uninhibited Mathew!

An art lesson

Sometimes my kids want to do things with me and, at first, I just really don't want to. Sometimes I might even procrastinate or distract them in hopes that they will forget about what they are asking me. 

I'm not proud of it.

But Laney is a very determined girl. And when she wants to hold an art lesson for the "entire family" should get out the paper and pencils because it's GONNA HAPPEN.

She learned how to draw a raccoon with a background of leaves and she was dying to help us draw one too.

And, you was fun! I liked seeing how everyone had a different idea of what their raccoon should be.

I gave Everly a couple of pieces of paper and let her "scribble" while we were listening to the instructions. And to my absolute amazement and delight, she produced her own raccoon! She was following each step!

About halfway through, Mark abandoned his raccoon and decided to start again. He googled a real raccoon and created his own. He's always been a nonfiction guy.

I think I will say "yes" more often. Might as well get credit for a good attitude.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Perfect timing

If Laney feels a tooth getting all wiggly, she will immediately stop all efforts to remove the loose tooth. She will then resume her efforts the next day at school. Because then she can take it down to the nurse's office and get a tooth necklace to bring it home.

That's just good time management.

Monday, March 21, 2016


How about that? We are painting eggs BEFORE Easter this year! We are so on top of it!

Megan is working on a two-toned egg. Hand cramps! They really should invent a tool for this....maybe a wire doohickey in an octagonal shape?

Those egg painting kits I got at the dollar store three years ago are really cool. Totally got my money's worth on those.

This is the look of a boy that thinks he's too old to color eggs. Don't worry. He'll realize how wrong he is sooner or later. (Maybe later?)

Eggs are awesome!


Grandma and kites, papusas and pie

One of the great things about kids reaching milestones, is that my mom comes to town. Which means I get to monopolize her time and keep her up late talking. The kids love it because she is willing to play games with them....something I gave up long ago, unless it's super fast. Like slap jack or Sorry! with only one game piece instead of 4.

This trip, she bought the kids these great kites. And it was a perfect day for flying....maybe even a little too windy. She showed us how to tie the tail together for better stability:

One of the kites flew beautifully and stayed up the whole time.

The other seemed to have a defect in the design, but Mathew tinkered with it and untangled it time after time when it plummeted to the ground. He wouldn't give up on that kite and he was rewarded with a single flight that lasted for a few minutes.  Look at the pride!

The girls enjoyed the sun and escaped the wind by laying close to the ground.  On top of me, naturally.

Even Everly got a chance to hold the strings.
I love this photo.

It was a gorgeous day.

And too soon, it was time for Mom to leave. So we went out to El Salvadorena for papusas and across the street to The Upper Crust to split a mini berry pie.

And it was so delicious.  I'm still thinking about that pie and trying to find the perfect time to go back for more.

In fact, I think it would be a good reason for her to come back for a visit!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chillin status

You know you've become real friends with someone when you feel like you can just lay around and hang out instead of sit properly on the furniture and keep the conversation going....

It looks like the Clarkes are there.

I'm not sure Tootsie feels the same way.

Laney's Baptism

It was a beautiful morning for a baptism. 

And Laney was ready and excited. She's been waiting and talking about it months. 

And I don't think there is anything I can say about it beyond these pictures and that I love her and hope she will feel the strength of the atonement and Holy Spirit guiding her through her life.

A beautiful day.

Laney and her 8-year old buddies. 

L to R: Eliza Clarke, Laney, Kate Guenther, Ethan Terry

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Looking for something to do

It's Spring Break. 

The week will soon be over and the kids are going to go back to school and then their teachers are going to go around the classroom and ask each child to say what they did for Spring Break and if I'm not careful mine are going to say, "I mostly just ate cereal out of tupperware and watched youtube videos of other people playing video games."

This cannot happen. 

So we're going to go ride the ferris wheel at Scheel's sporting goods store. 

We convinced McKenzie Clarke to tag along and met the Guenthers there. Friends make fun things funner!

My big kids paired with some of Mari's little kids so that everyone could go. Mat and Kate:

Ethan and Megan:

Laney went with McKenzie, I took Everly and Anna, Mari had her two boys, Seth and Aaron, and Ryan didn't want any part of it.

Which I thought was silly until I started going UP. At which time I realized that I had made a huge mistake. That Ryan is a smart kid. Do you see Mari's face? That's a face of a mother who is wondering how the heck she is going to save herself and both of those boys when this wheel falls of its axis and starts rolling down the street.

I absolutely related to that face.

I had to ask for a refund for the second ride's tokens I had prepurchased.  Because I am never doing that again.

I would like all of my kids to solemnly swear that they are going to remember this always and share all the details with their classmates come Monday morning.

Cross your heart.