Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ethne is 8 months old (tomorrow)

Sorry. I was going to narrow it down more, but I just couldn't. All of her expressions are so sweet. I just love the length of this dress. I would amuse you longer, but I MUST go clean my house and do the dishes. I WILL!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Five days left.

So, it's a bit of a catch-22 that when you have kids, they generate a lot of work for you to do, and then impede you from doing any of it. I'm not saying I blame them. I did the same thing to my mom (let me just mention however that my mom was a million bajillion infinity times better at getting things done notwithstanding children than I am). I'm just noting the paradoxism of it.

I was starting to be driven just a bit crazy with Ethne beginning to have the 'stranger anxiety' that is I understand, usual at this age, but it's more like 'my-mommy-is-looking-in-the-other-direction-which-may-mean-she-is-thinking-about-leaving-the-room-without-me-so-I'd-better-scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs-so-she-doesn't.' (okay I exaggerate. Slightly.) Anyway, so I was feeling a little aggravated because it's impossible to weed the garden, or practice the organ, or go to the bathroom with this going on and I have no husband to spell me, and THEN my sister Kami calls me and tells me how their moving truck is late with all of their stuff so they're living with a few pans and a wooden spoon that their bishop's wife lent them, and their apartment is extremely nasty and falling apart and Leo's sick and her baby is getting four teeth and doing the same attached-thing as Ethne, and I felt abashed. Quite.

So anyway, that's me. I'm doing well. I realize now we were imbeciles to plant pumpkins and watermelon (I think it's watermelon now that I got out there and started hacking off the proliferate runner-thingees). All the chocolate chips in our house are eaten. I think I'll head to the farmer's market tomorrow and see what yummy things I could come home with. We ate our first zucchini today. Hazel loves waffles and pancakes. She can out-eat me at breakfast any day. All our chocolate chips are gone, which makes me sad. Oh, I guess I already said that.
I miss him ---->

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Story of Us

My sister Kami tagged me to write how Brett and I hooked up. Which I'd wanted to do anyway, since way back on our anniversary actually. Here goes.

Our story.

Once upon a time, a beautiful maiden descended from the desolate and freezing north to a lush and blossoming valley to acquire learning and edification. Because of her tremendous beauty and captivating grace and charm, every man who saw her fell instantly in love with her. Though gracious, she was indifferent to their vows of affection.

Then one day, she beheld a man who had recently returned from far-off lands, who posessed such intelligence, valor, and gallantry that she immediately lost her heart to him. Naturally, the man returned her devotion, and they felt that they had all they had ever dreamed of. But the ill-fated couple soon found that their love was not to be. For the man learned that the maiden was far too young to be wed, and seeing this as a deception, he refused to see her more.

This maiden grieved greatly, and was so overcome that she drowned herself. When her body was found, the man was tremendously guilt-stricken, for not only had he cut her off, but he had been guilty of an untruth himself. For he was a swineherd's son, and not worthy to marry the lovely maiden anyway. He could not stand to live more, and shortly after threw himself in front of a chariot and was trampled to death.

The end. (touching, isn't it?)
p.s. all of you gardener-extraordinaires reading this (and I know there are a lot of you), how do you keep your pumpkin plant from over-running your entire garden. I lifted one side of it onto the fence and so now it's not only threatening to take over my garden and my yard, but my neighbours yard as well. Aunt LaVerle, have pity on mom's in Scotland and I can't call her. (Even though I live a thousand miles away from my mom, it's always annoying when she leaves.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Day 1

Brett left this morning to go to the Scout camp in Boundary Waters Minnesota. He'll be gone ten days. This morning Jethro was saying the blessing and I reminded him to say please bless daddy, and he said, "Please bless daddy to not get bitten by a snake or a lion, and please help him to come home safe and that he won't get bitten by an eel or a shark." Amen.

Then Jethro was saying that he was so hungry and he said, "I'm as hungry as a hippopotamus!" and Hazel said, "And I'm as hungry as a PINK hippopotamus!" It was so funny.

Then Jethro said, "Do prophets eat?" and I said yes, and he said, "Then what did the guy that talked to the bad guys eat?" and I didn't know what he was talking about, so I said what? and he said "The guy that had to be fed for several days." And I remembered that we had read in the Book of Mormon about Sherem in the Book of Jacob, who denies Christ and demands a sign, and then is smitten and fell to the earth and it says that he had to be fed for many days (that's what it said in the illustrated version that we were reading---in the BOM it says he was nourished for the space of many days). So funny what kids pick up on.

Well, I'm off to try to be productive at least a little bit. I often find that difficult when I know Brett's not going to be home. Anyway, that's all for now.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pictures, pictures, pictures

My happy 3-year-old.
My cute 8-month-old. (Eating grass.)

GOSH I LOVE this one. Soooo beautiful. Makes me just have the 'awwwwww' feeling. I could look at it and look at it.

I love the arm around Ethne's shoulder. So sweet. Ethne's face is pretty adorable too.

Ethne's such a spaz these days. When Elena was here Brett and I were shocked at how mellow she was. We painted the front of the house, and Elena sat in the same spot the WHOLE hour and a half, just chilling and chewing on some grass. Ethne, on the other hand, kept crawling up to us, pulled herself up the step, whined and cried to be picked up and played with, then would be happy and excited when we played with her, but none of that keeping-herself-occupied stuff. And lately, her favorite thing to do is to SCREAM at the top of her lungs when she's excited. We were at the store buying some special 100% nylon pants for Brett's Scout trip to Boundary Waters in Minnesota, and Ethne was excited to get into the dressing room with the big mirror and she kept SCHRIEKING sooooooooo loud!!! Crazy head. We always say "Screamer no screaming!" like from Dora the Explorer. :)

Ethne and Elena

Hi. I know I abandoned you all this week, but it was for a good reason. You know how I was so excited for my sister Kami to move to Chicago so we could hang out sometimes? Well....I got to do just that!! It was fabulous. She drove up to bring her car to Chicago (because although they haven't moved there, Leo has been flying from that base and needed a car) and to look for an apartment. So, she called me on Saturday night and said if we came and got her she could stay with us for a few days. Church was conveniently cancelled because the gym floor was redone and the fumes were still fumey, so then we picked her up and her daughter Elena, and our other sister's daughter, Olivia--she's nine. Anyway, we had a lot of fun.

We did some Rook-playin (Brett and Kami stomped on Olivia and I, it's true),' some arm-wrestling (I TOTALLY beat Kami, and then she wanted to do another one right after, which she beat me---of course, because I had given my last droplet of strength beating her the first time--and she wanted to do best out of 3, which is ridiculous of course because everyone KNOWS that it's the first one that counts.),

some stompin (Olivia and Brett worked on learning to do The Worm (Brett successfully, Olivia--not so much, but as you can see she DID have a super-cool outfit),

some fondue-eatin,

some tutu-wearin (Kami told me not to post these pictures of her. heee heee hee),

some cute picture-takin of the little E babies, and other varied and fun activities. Another of my sisters called and said "Is it just like old times--Brett the polygamist with his two wives?" referring to back at USU when Kami spent a lot of time with us. ;) I must say--polygamy would have a few perks---Kami did the dishes for me every day. I LOVE YOU KAMI!!!!

On Saturday Brett and Seth (from his lab) got the new front windows put in. The only injuries sustained were a twisted ankle (Brett's) and a cut thumb (Seth's) when the window broke. I put a couple band-aids on Seth's thumb, and then he wrapped it in duct tape. I thought it was funny, but he said it works well.

Hazel also had her 3rd birthday this week!!! So we had a little flower fairy party for her (that's why there were tutus around). It was pretty fun.

Kami was also going to make me a cool banner for my blog, which I was so excited about, but the trial version of photoshop elements that I had wouldn't allow it to be uploaded. It was really rude.

Oh yeah, for Father's Day Brett got the obligatory tie (a sweet one from Goodwill), a cd of songs that remind me of him (including but not limited to: theme song from 'Lonesome Dove' a song from 'Bourne Identity' (it's called Extreme Ways by Moby--which is one of the songs they were stomping to), and 'If You Could Hie to Kolob'), and the Bourne trilogy books, which I've heard are really good and different from the movies. Oh, and a hat.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm not dead.

Here's the lowdown:

Ethne can pull herself up on the couch and things. Just now, in fact, I went in to her room to get her and she had pulled herself up on the side of her crib! She has two teeth now too, and is getting so big so fast!

Jethro bonked his head the other day on the piano and it was bleeding pretty good. I washed him all up and it wasn't a big deal, but later that day Hazel got a TEENY-WEENY scratch that bled a half a teeny droplet of blood and she fake-cried and said "You dot to wass it." Hee hee, so carefully washed it.
I don't like making dinner in the summertime. But, here is an INCREDIBLY yummy recipe for gyros. It tastes SOOOO good. If you like gyros you should try it. It's not hard and tastes GREAT. I think it will be a weekly meal around here.

1 lb ground lamb or beef
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
Mix all together. Shape into 4 (or more) thin patties. Cook over medium heat, turning frequently, until done.
4 pita breads (6-inch diameter)
2 cups shredded lettuce (optional)

Cucmber sauce:
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp dill weed
1 tsp minced garlic
Mix together

Our garden is doing pretty great. I put some of our extra tomato guards around the peas because they're getting so tall. I thinned the lettuce a while back, and we have had it on taco salad and tuna sandwiches. I don't like thinning. I feel bad, those poor little shoots that have made it up....who am I to tell them they may no longer live? Also, our roses that we planted have buds.

Brett has started pulling our windows out of house and replacing them with new ones. The problem is, then he sees other things that need to be replaced. He came in saying we should get new siding cause the siding we do have is hud. I said, "NO NO NO!!! This can NOT be one of your projects that turns into a million other projects because then before you know it you'll be knocking down the entire house and building it from scratch." He laughed, but we both know it's true that that could really happen!
We watched a movie last night called "turtles can fly" and it was HEARTBREAKING! Seriously. It's a movie shot in Iraq. Here's the back-cover synopsis: On the Iraqi-Turkish border, enterprising 13-year-old "Satellite" is the de facto leader of a Kurdish village, thanks to his ability to install satellite dishes and translate news of the pending US invasion. Organizing fellow orphans into landmine-collecting teams so that they can eke out a living, he is all business...until the arrival of a clairvoyant boy and his quiet, beautiful sister.
Seriously the saddest movie ever....I actually threw a little tantrum and made Brett fast-forward a spot cause I didn't want to see it (although I think it was pretty much over and didn't show anything). The other saddest movie ever is 'Miss Evers' Boys.' You should watch them both.

What else? Oh. I cut my hair again. It was a mistake.

Hmmm. That's all I've got for now.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

If your house is really a mess....

If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet them with, "who could have done this? We have no enemies." ~Phyllis Diller

I can't remember where I saw that quote, but I *LOVED* it. I'm saving that idea to really use some day when my MOM comes unexpectedly and sees my house.

The other day my Dad called and he said, "What are you up to?" and I said, "Oh, just trying to clean my house." And he said, "What, is this like a yearly thing?" Ha haa ha ahem. That's right, you wouldn't want to overdo it. ;)

So, I FINALLY did some scrapbooking. YAY! It's been For-eeeeever! So I had to post them right away. That one with the one large picture of Hazel I've been wanting to do forever...when I saw it (I pretty much copy to some degree all my saves time and I know it'll end up cute!) I bought the same paper, same little wooden flower, and I just waited for The Perfect Picture. Now after a year or so...I got it! The top one is a Shelly Laming lift. Anyway.

Poor Jethro, some of you may remember his Big Ear day, and then the day after that, he was peeling carrots for us for dinner--no problem, but then he tried peeling a potato and cut his thumb quite badly.

Then the next day he woke up with a swollen eye. I don't know why he had a swollen eye, perhaps he'll die. Actually we think he just got a mosquito bite or something and it puffed up extra big. It was a rough few days there for him.
This is Hazel and Jethro with their river that they made. My sister Andrea has been writing a little preschool curriculum and mailing it with all the little worksheets to me. So, we learned about rivers and went on a walk by the river to gather all kinds of stuff like shells and grass and sticks and rocks. Then we made salt dough and made our river bed, and sprayed it with glue spray and put sand on it, then put all the stuff we gathered on top. It was fun. I should have taken pictures of our sugar cube pyramid from last month when we learned about Ancient Egypt. We spray painted it gold and everything. I could totally homeschool. That is, if my sister did too, and just sent me all of her plans. :)
Here's a little inch-worm I found in my kitchen. Isn't it so cute? I thought it was. She's really crawling pretty great these days. Goes and finds all sorts of good paper and fluff on the floor to eat.

Here's Brett's latest project. In case you can't tell, it's the passenger floor of his Scout--all gone--and he's made a new floor that he's going to weld in. The old floor was so rusty and corroded that I actually made a hole in it one time when I stepped on it. He's already made a new floor on the driver's side. Why do we have a vehicle that we have to put entirely new floors in--doesn't that sound like the point when it should be given to the junkyard? I don't know, I just married the guy.

Ethne decided she'll skip baby food and go straight to grown-up food, particularly bananas. Actually though, she is doing a little better now at eating some baby food, (yahoo--I won't have to nurse her until she's 10!) and bananas are a favorite.

And here's what we did today. A little of throwing rocks into the water, a little wading/swimming, a little climbing trees (look at my huge guns! (or arm muscles, in case you don't know the Brett slang)), and a little cooking hot dogs. Fun fun fun. Summer is so fun for stuff like that.
I guess that's all. There were quite a few other funny things I was going to share, but I've forgotten it all by now. Have a night.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Time for a game of Guess Who.


This one is my Dad. He's a really nice, weird guy. I like him. Shall I find a small anecdote from The Dad Book? Okay, here it is. This is a note between Dad and Kami one sacrament meeting long ago.

Dear Dad, When will you come home from Chigco?

Kami, That's Chicago--I will return to thee when the flowers bloom in the field and the green leaves are in the tree-and the ice is off the bay.!!
Dad, What day in what month is that? By what you say it will be in August, though hopefully March 1. That's when it opens.

Fear not thou miniscule assortment of corpuscles. My return is imminent. Keep thy energies focused on the development of thy talents so that ye may support thy parents in their reclining years. Amen (the supporting of him in his old age is a VERY common theme of his)

Who are thou to say what I will exert my energies in. When you are grey with age I will take your boat, put you in it, and dump your ailing body over its edge into the icy waters of the cold Willard Bay, for your soul to haunt its waters forever after that. Kami

It is my responsibility as patriarch over this litter of mongrels to direct thy barking that it might bring joy to thy soul and money to my silken purse. Fight not against my authority or thou mightest be lashed unmercifully with Mongolian noodles and slimy seaweed. Now let me draw this epistle to a close by calling you to repentance--rebel not--smoke not noxious weeds--inject not peanut butter into your veins--Amen again.
This is Derek, my older brother, and his son Tyson. If you did not guess that, you are not held accountable as he has not yet been featured in a Meet the Family post. (Unless you know my family. Then you are accountable.)

This is GORGEOUS Lindsay. Did I mention she is gorgeous? I love this picture of her and her guy friend (he's not a boyfriend, she insists) Allen. Alan? Anyway.

And THIS --really why I wanted to play this Guess Who game--is Ethan. My *little* brother. If you did not guess that it's okay, even though he has been featured in a Meet the Family post--because *I* almost wouldn't recognize him. This definitely does not match what is in my head. And why is his hair allowed to be this long? It's a puzzle. Well, actually, it's because he's the youngest and gets away with whatever. Anyway, had to post this picture since I find it a little bemusing.

And THIS is my honey. Isn't he hot. Doing what he loves (and is very good at, I might add). He got the NAPA hat for free for trading in his old one the other day, but I kindof prefer his old Utah Power one. Oh well. You'd like to see some more pictures of him??? Fabulous. I'd be happy to oblige.


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Another day, another 71 pictures.

Hi. I took a lot of pictures today. (sorry, I didn't get this post finished last night, so although it was yesterday, it'll say today in some places.) Do you want to see them? I thought so. :)

Here are some funny stories. Last night, Jethro told me his first joke. It wasn't funny. But it was funny that he thought it was funny. You ready? "Once a bee wished he was a fly." Yeah. That was the whole thing. Ha ha.

Last night, when we were getting the kids to kneel for prayer, Brett put his hand out, so that when Jethro straightened up (kneeling still) he bonked his head on Brett's hand. Then he said, "HEY!" So, then Hazel said, "My turn!" And Brett put his hand out, she bonked her head on it and yelled "HEY!" Ha haa haa.

Brett had a Scouts activity this morning, and so he was taking the car, and I really wanted to go to this one garage sale, because it advertised clothes 4-6, which is what Hazel will soon be wearing, so anyway, I sent Brett to it, wondering what he would come home with. He did well, he bought a pink shirt and some jeans. He said, "They all cost too much in my opinion, but I thought you'd be mad if I came home empty-handed." Ha ha. I asked him if he felt silly looking for little girls clothes, but he said no. (Obviously he's too macho to feel silly.) ;)

Here's the kids playing in the little tree-house they had after Brett trimmed some branches of our trees. They are putting their heads next to the "fire" they built to make "tin-koil dinners", as Jethro called them. Notice Jethro's ear...more about that later.

Then we decided to go to the Potholes. They were AWESOME! I SOOO loved them. But anyway, here are some pictures from the trip. So you can see what Indiana looks like (those of you who do not already know), and feel like you were along with us. There is more than corn in Indiana as the song says, but there's still definitely a lot of cornfields. Okay, I don't know exactly where this text is going to end up between pictures, but the picture of Jethro's ear shows how HUGE Jethro's ear swelled up. We don't know why--maybe a bug bite or something? But it was ENORMOUS! We kept calling him Big-Ear and Dumbo all day, but he didn't mind. Oh, and there are some of the sites in Attica, Indiana, in case you wanted to know what Historic Attica Indiana looks like. My goal for the drive was to get a picture of a cow, and finally on our way home, Brett said "There's a cow!" and generously slowed down so I could snap a picture of the very big calf nursing. And a little cemetary on Potholes Road. And a chicken. Which is cool.

So anyway, here we are at the Potholes which, as I said, were AWESOME!!! (Ginger, I know you said they were cool, but you really did not use as many capital letters and exclamation points as you should have, however, you did have a sick kid, so that can be a dampener--speaking of your sick kid, when we passed Pamida, I said, "That's where Sam threw up!" so he's pretty much famous.) So, you walk up this little gorge with a small amount of water running through, but there are these holes in the middle (hence--the Potholes) that are somewhat deep. Deep enough, in fact, that we almost lost one of our children in one. You see Hazel tramping boldly through the water in the first picture...then see how wet she is in the following pictures? Well, I was helping her through one of the pothole areas, then I set her down to wait while I helped Jethro, and she just recklessly walks forward, right into a pothole, and bobbed at the top--little hat floating on the top of the water. It was kinda like on cartoons how one minute a person is walking on land and the next their gone into a big hole. I quickly grabbed her, and asked her if she was okay. She said "Yes," --didn't cry or anything, but after that she was MUCH more cautious. Anyway, it was SOOO fun and SOOO exciting--too short though. And Jethro was scared of the potholes, but we made it to the end of the journey where we found Ming, a guy from Brett's department taking pictures of the waterfall, so of course, I asked if he would take a picture of our family. How convenient. Then we hiked back and ate our sandwiches sitting in the back of our car.

Brett said he thinks we are the worst people at being prepared of anyone he knows because we didn't bring extra clothes with us when we should've known we'd get wet (but we didn't know just how wet), but I thought that was rather harsh (at least in this particular situation--we kinda sometimes are not very prepared) since we had sandals instead of shoes, hats, sunscreen, bug spray, good food, baby carrier, camera, AND we did have extra clothes in the back for Jethro and I because we had a bag of stuff we were going to drop off at Goodwill. Maybe we will leave a set of clothes in the back of the car permanently for just such occasions. Brett also said to me "Isn't it against the rules for the parent to come out much more wet than the kids?" But hey---I was having a very good time!

Anyway, lots of fun had by all.

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