Tuesday, August 28, 2012

List of 16.

1.  What I’ve learned having a chef as a neighbor: If you procrastinate making dinner long enough, it will appear on your doorstep.

2. Thankyou for all the nice comments about my pregnancy!  I think if I ever feel sad or lonely, I can just announce that I’m pregnant and everyone will comment and say nice things, and I will feel happy.  (Although then I’d have to say- ha ha, just kidding- and then maybe you’d comment and say mean things, but I’d probably be happy to get comments anyway.  Win-win.  ;) )

3.  I got my hair trimmed today.  I didn’t want to pay for washing it first, but they said it was a package deal, so I couldn’t opt out.  And you know what?  It felt SOOOOO nice.  Ahhhh.  Getting your hair cut in Switzerland costs WAAAAY too much.  But they offer you a beverage… do they do that in the States?  Maybe I just never went anywhere nice enough.

4. I got a package today in the mail from my sister Megan and it was full of all my favorite Canadian candies (oh, Mr. Big and Aero, I love you!) and yes, Megan is the best sister in the world, and yes, you should be jealous.

5. Orrin took two baths today (once in the morning after I cut his hair, and once after dinner because of normal extreme messiness from eating dinner), and BOTH TIMES he pooed in the water.  Ruff.

6.  How come I can choose either to have a tidied-up house in the evening, or I can choose to have happy, generally peaceful children?  Is it this either-or situation for anyone else?  (Tonight is VERY untidy, but hey, I didn’t spend 20 minutes barking at my kids to pick up, quit whining, no-that’s-not-clean-yet, etc.)

7. Why why WHY can’t the two days of sunshine within 10 of rain be on the weekend???  I really want to go have the in-honor-of-my-birthday celebration we have planned but it won’t work if it’s going to rain and be cold all weekend long!!!!

8. The other night when I was tucking Talmage in to bed, he said, “When I get as big as Daddy is, I will marry you.   …What’s marry?”

9.  On Sunday we had some friends over for dinner and we borrowed our neighbor’s grill and had hamburgers.  It has been way way too long since I’ve had a hamburger.  And that is a shame.

10.  When Brett went to the US, he brought back a handful of clothes that he found when rifling through some of our boxes.  And one of those items was this shirt, which made me SOOO happy:


You see, I totally remembered it from when I got it at a garage sale years ago, and Hazel wore it in these pictures and I couldn’t wait to have a boy to fit it:

Ha ha, look at cute tiny Ethne and cute little Hazel!  Now they’re HUGE!

Anyway, you’re probably thinking, it’s not that amazing of a shirt, and it’s not, just a little Old Navy shirt, but I liked it.  And I was super surprised that it happened to be somewhere that Brett saw it and he happened to snag it up, because really, I wasn’t about to try to describe it and have him search for it.  Happy accident.

11.  A while ago, Brett and I watched a whole bunch of these videos (starting with number 10 and going backwards)—gosh they’re exciting! :

The really cool thing about this particular video is that the clip that starts at 6:56 is at Utah State University campus and the guy in the blue shirt is my brother-in-law’s younger brother (and my other brother-in-law’s uncle).  It’s a cool story and you can find out more about it here, on the Ellen show:


12. I think all those ‘Luckiest People’ videos we found by various links from the original video I looked up:

The bull ones terrify and fascinate me. 

13. Does anyone have any really good Halloween picture books to recommend?  Since Halloween is not really done here (just a bit, the stores try to get some money out of a few little Halloween trinkets), I wanted to be sure to bring in lots of Halloween goodness (since I myself love the holiday), but I’m coming up blank for favorite books.  Anyone? (Also your very very favorite Christmas picture books while you’re at it.)  Please and thank you.

14.  Anyone know how to find jeans for a really skinny 10-year-old boy?  I find some really nice-looking jeans for Jethro and have him try them on and you could almost fit two of him in the waistband.

15.  So I knew my sister Andrea was pregnant before everyone else in my family, and then my sister Lindsay ratted me out to everyone, so then I ratted Andrea out, so then she was ticked at me.  So Brett’s cousin is in her ward, so she went to her and said, “Go tell everyone in the Bell family that Kayli is pregnant to get back at her for telling everyone about me being pregnant.”  But then, Brett’s cousin wouldn’t do it.  Ha ha ha.  That’s funny.

16.  Another funny—when I went to the doctor I took Talmage and Orrin along, and Talmage just stayed in the waiting room the whole time playing with the train tracks (once my sister Amy picked her obstetrician by calling all of them and asking how many/what kind of toys were in the waiting room), and so when I came out of the actual doctor’s office, he said, “Where’s the baby?  I thought we were going to get the baby.”  Ha ha.  Go to the grocery store, pick up eggs and milk.  Go to the doctor, pick up baby.  I like that idea.

That’s all.

Monday, August 27, 2012

My Baby Boy.

Orrin is getting so big and so smart and so funny and I can’t believe he won’t be my baby for much longer!  Here are some super cute pictures of him for his 1.5-year-old shoot. 

He calls me or Brett ‘Mama’ when he wants our attention.   He looooves to make messes with his dinner.  He likes doing whatever Talmage does, especially fighting or playing with cars or airplanes.  When he gets mad he folds his arms all angrily and pouts.  It’s pretty funny.  He loooves cats and always follows them and tries to pet them.  He likes to throw things out of the grocery cart (not so bad when it’s hotdogs, worse when it’s yogurt), and sometimes when he’s in the mood, he’ll wave to strangers that walk by.  I love him!

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The end.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Guess who’s pregnant!

If you said my sister Lindsay,

you’re right!

If you said my sister Andrea,

you’re right!

If you said me,


You’re right!!  And isn’t he/she CUTE?!?!?!?!?!

So, I was hoping to know the sex, but unfortunately, the legs were crossed.  So, that means we can have a fun guessing game!  Next time (and every time) I go to the doctor I’ll get another ultrasound (plus Brett has an ultrasound machine at work, and he wants to try it out on me, but I don’t know about that, and if we did try it out, I don’t know that we’d know enough about what we’re seeing to be able to tell anything), so soon I should know.  Every person in my family thinks it will be a girl.  Talmage is especially adamant.  When I say, “what if it’s a boy?” he says, “We already have a boy.”  What do you think???

Due date is the day before Valentine’s Day 2013.  (Which REALLLLY messes up my year pattern, dang it!  2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013? ruff)  But it’s okay I guess since at least I will still beat my sisters with their babies, THEREFORE, *I* get to be the one who has the 40th grandchild of my parents, in honor of their 40th anniversary which was this month.  Yahoo!

Happy sixth baby to me!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book List for Early-Reading Girls

I have been asked a couple times about books I would recommend for beginning readers (beginning in this case meaning beginning to read books all on their own, not just barely beginning to read words), and both times it happened to be for girls, and since I am a girl, most of my favorites are for girls anyway, so that worked out nicely.  :)  So here is a list of ones that I really love and recommend.  Some of them you’ve probably seen, but hopefully some of them you haven’t.  Or if you have seen them, but never happened to pick them up, maybe this can be a good motivation to do it.  (For some reason I feel compelled to confess that I have never read ‘The Secret Garden,’ ‘A Little Princess,’ ‘Little Women,’ or ‘A Girl of the Limberlost,’ so you may refuse to take any of my recommendations anyway.)  (I would also like to point out that making book lists always makes me sad that I have so many boxes of books just sitting in a dark shed, far, far away.  Sniff.)
1. Ronia, the Robbers Daughter –Astrid Lindgren
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
This book easily tops the list—it is the FIRST one you should buy because it is the best.  At least, in Hazel’s and my humble opinions.  From my goodreads review:  The perfect story. Really-- there are no flaws, no boring parts, nothing that you don’t love. Every character, every scene, every feeling is absolutely right. I love Ronia. I love Birk. I love Matt and Lovis and Noddle-Pete and everyone. This book made me laugh out loud and even brought tears to my eye. I love the adventure and the cockiness and the love and the, well, everything!    (p.s. I even wrote out a ‘scene’ from the book and tried to get Hazel and Jethro to memorize it and act it out so we could make a little movie, but while we almost got there, the project never reached fruition.)
2. Little House on the Prairie –Laura Ingalls Wilder

I’m sure I don’t even need to put these on the list- everybody knows that they’re fantastic, but still, they’re SUCH good books!
2. The Fairy Rebel –Lynn Reid Banks
The Fairy Rebel
What a perfectly magical story.  I’ve loved it since I was little.
3. The Ordinary Princess –M. M. Kaye
The Ordinary Princess
Super super fun story about a princess whose fairy godmother gave her the gift of being ordinary. 
4. The Light Princess –George MacDonald
The Light Princess
George Macdonald is a master writer.  Another princess story where the princess is cursed from birth—this time the curse is a lack of gravity.  How will the spell be broken?  (Okay, I have to also recommend more books by George Macdonald—he really is sooooo good, and kind of like in the Narnia books, his stories can have deeper meanings.  I remember when I read ‘Day Boy and Night Girl’ when I was a kid, I wrote down some quotes from the book because they were so wonderful.  So also check out that one, and ‘The Princess and the Goblin’ and ‘The Princess and the Curdie’ which I must admit to not having read yet, although I own them but they are in Utah, so I actually just re-ordered the first one so I could read it to the kids while we’re here.)
5. Caddie Woodlawn –Carol Ryrie Brink
Caddie Woodlawn
I’m a sucker for books about adventure on the frontier.  This one is great.
6. Naya Nuki –Kenneth Thomasma
Naya Nuki: Shoshone Girl Who Ran
This book I remember reading and loving as a kid.  There are several other stories about Indians by the same author, and Hazel has one called ‘Doe Sia’ about a Mormon pioneer and an Indian girl.  They’re quite easy-reads, but I didn’t notice that when I was little, just that they were very exciting.
7. Castle in the Attic –Elizabeth Winthrop
The Castle in the Attic
Exciting story about a boy who goes back in time to the ages of castles and knights.  This one in particular is great for boys too.
8. The Moorchild –Eloise Jarvis McGraw

This is actually still one of my favorite books, so I went and checked what the age recommendation is on Amazon, and it said ages 9-11 / grades 4-6.  Not that it’s scary or anything like that, it’s just a bit more mature than some of these other books, and I would definitely let Hazel read it.  But anyway, go read it, it’s awesome!  (And it always reminds me of the time my older brother asked for different book recommendations, different meaning not a Louis L’Amour, and so I gave him this, and then he read it and completely mocked it-and me-for a long time, dancing around trying to sing in a high, elfish voice and pretend to play the bagpipes- pretty awesome.   So, I guess I don’t recommend this book for young twenty-year old men who only know how to read Westerns.  Go back to your Louis L’Amours!!)
9. The Fledgling –Jane Langton
The Fledgling (Hall Family Chronicles #4)
I have always loved the idea of flying, and this book is a very enchanting story about a girl who meets a Canadian goose who teaches her to fly.  It’s really beautiful.  I think there are quite a few other books about the same family, but I’ve never read them.
10. Children of Noisy Village –Astrid Lindgren
The Children of Noisy Village
This I discovered only recently.  It’s just cute little stories about the life of some children who live next to each other on their farms in Sweden (Astrid Lindgren is from Sweden)— it’s just really simple and funny and sweet.  There are more books about the Children of Noisy Village (Happy Times in Noisy Village and Christmas in Noisy Village) but awesomely, when I was at a second-hand store here, I found a German book of Noisy Village that had all of them together!  And I thought, you know, this is really strange that my 8-year-old daughter can read stuff, and I have no idea what she’s reading.  So weird. (Yes, I do get that feeling quite a lot, in case you haven’t noticed.)
Here are our English and German versions together:
And Hazel asked if it was okay if she colored the pictures in the book, so I said okay, so now about the first half of the book has nicely colored pictures (and there are lots of pictures).
While we’re on the topic of books in German, here are some other books we have found in second-hand stores here.  Astrid Lindgren Fairytales, which includes a ghost story about a ghost/dead body, which I had actually seen a separate book for on Amazon once, in English it’s called ‘The Ghost of Skinny Jack’ and kindof wanted to buy it.  You can read a synopsis here.  It seems quite creepy from the pictures (such as below), and I’m kindof sad that I couldn’t read it.
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Hazel also liked the book Emil’s Pranks (also by Astrid Lindgren, we have a lot by her, the best being Ronia of course, but also Noisy Village, Emil’s Pranks, Lotta on Troublemaker Street, Pippi Longstocking (by far the most well-known of hers, but I find it totally annoying), and The Tomten, which is a picture-book), and we found another book of him at the store.  I’m not sure if it’s the exact book, because there are more than one Emil books, and Hazel hasn’t read it yet, but I thought it was funny that his name is ‘Michel’ in German.
And then, just recently, what did I spy but LAURA books!!!  I just saw one, and recognized it as the Little House in the Big Woods, and I didn’t buy it.  But when I told Hazel that I had seen it, she begged me to go back and buy it because “I always tell my friends about her, but they don’t know her!”  So I went back and found not one but THREE.  What an exciting day, I tell you what.
It’s so funny to us how names are changed and things.  Of course Ma and Pa aren’t called Ma and Pa.  The dog Jack is called Nero, Charles is Karl, and Carrie is Kathrin.  Although, the books are translated by different people, and it’s not the same between books (even though you’d think they’d try to be consistent).  Anyway, and it’s also strange to see the different pictures.  I mean, the Garth Williams illustrations are just part of the books it seems like.  Fun stuff.
Okay, in case you’ve made it through all that, here are a few extra books that we like and  recommend:

  • The Moffats, Eleanor Estes
  • Half Magic, Edward Eager
  • Rascal, Sterling North
  • Narnia series
  • Indian in the Cupboard series, Lynn Reid Banks
  • Gwinna, Barbara Berger
  • The Wish Giver, Bill Brittain
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School
And, here are some of the books that I’d really LIKE to try out/have Hazel read, but haven’t ordered yet (it’s hard to order ones I haven’t read when there are so many I want that I already know are good).  So, you can try them out for me and tell me if they’re amazing or if it’s okay to pass, let me know.
  • The Children of Green Know, L.M. Boston
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden, Philippa Pearce
  • The Brothers Lionheart, Astrid Lindgren
  • Five Children and It, E. Nesbit
  • The Saturdays, Elizabeth Enright
  • The Enchanted Castle, E. Nesbit
  • The Enchanted Wood, Enid Blyton
  • The Golden Name Day, Jennie Lindquist
  • The Railway Children, E. Nesbit
  • The Runaway Princess, Kate Coombs
  • Little Old Mrs. Pepperpot, Alf Pr√łysen
  • The Year of Miss Agnes, Kirkpatrick Hill - SOOOOO GOOD!
  • Understood Betsy, Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  • The Apple Stone, Nicholas Stuart Gray
  • The Glassblower’s Children, Maria Gripe
  • The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken - Loved it!
…to name a few.  :)
And now you have plenty of ideas.  If I have missed any of your favorites, tell me!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Handsome Talmage.

Things I love about Mr. T:

  • He has really good hair.  And has had, ever since the day he was born.  When I have just barely cut it, and I’m not really a very great haircutter so normally there needs to be a little while of grow-out time before things look better, it still somehow looks great.  When it is really grown-out and needs a cut, it still looks great.   When I style it for church it practically does itself.
  • How he talks.  It is sooooo cute.  When he counts it sounds something like, “One, Two, Blee, Bow, Bive.” 
  • He has started asking really interesting questions, about super powers and how Heavenly Father made the world, and does everybody grow old and do you want to?, and how do the stores always get food, and sometimes things I don’t really understand. 
  • Sometimes when we ask him something he give an affirmative “yiiiip” that is so cute.
  • He gives me good hugs and will still kiss me on the lips.
  • He loves Dr. Seuss.  For his birthday he got ‘Happy Birthday to You’ by Dr. Seuss, and later when we were hiking he said to Brett, “What if you were a wasn’t?  Then you wouldn’t have any fun.”
  • He’s a good brother and cares about Orrin, and likes him to be happy (although you know, he’s 4, so there are moments/hours/days…)
  • He loves cars and any time he asks for me to print a coloring page he asks for a racecar.  I always try to talk him into trying something else for a change, but to no avail.  Once he decided to color a Batman picture, but ended up picking one of the Batmobile.  :)  When I was taking him to the hospital to get stitches we were walking in and he had to pause for a few minutes to look at some really cool motorcyles across the street.  And along the same vein, the other day we went on a little walk and on the way back Talmage passed Brett's motorcycle and went over to it and stroked the side of it and said, "This is so cool I can't stand it!"
  • He is going to make me a very wealthy woman when all the women who want him to marry their daughters try to outbid each other.  (Andrea, I was totally going to write this earlier, and then you left that comment on the post about his birthday about him marrying Kate, and I had to laugh.)
  • His gorgeous face.

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How old are you?

What makes you happy?

What is your favorite thing to eat?
Rice krispy squares (I almost never make these, but I made them today so they’re in his head)

What is your least favorite thing to eat?
Spicy stuff

What is your favorite thing/s to do?
Play with my stuff from my birthday

What is your favorite movie?

What is your favorite color?
All of them

Who is your best friend?
Jacka, Caelen

What is your favorite sport?

Where is your favorite place to go?
Out in the backyard

What is your favorite book?
Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Artist in the day and Batman in the nighttime

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