Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome to the Neighborhood

We got some new neighbors last week.
The day after they moved in our neighbor was out in his backyard by the pool.  He was busy trying to figure out the pool pump when he suddenly felt a spray of water.
"Oh no!" he thought, "I have a leak!"
 He looked frantically around, searching for the source of the spray.  That's when he noticed it was arcing over the fence from the yard next door.  Yep.  Our yard.  Dallin had heard the neighbor in his yard so he got out his squirt gun and, though he couldn't see him, made a lucky shot over the cinder block.  The neighbor shouted his promise to buy himself a Super Soaker for the future.  Dallin just laughed.

We took over a peace offering/welcome gesture (cheesecake brownies) later that night.  Our new neighbor is a good sport, though he did repeat his promise about the Super Soaker.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Great to Be Eight

This boy was born eight years ago.  Wow, I can hardly believe that much time has past since I held my first newborn baby, exhausted and as happy as I had ever been.  Look at how much he has grown.  I love Caleb so much.  He is such a great example to everyone.  He is thoughtful and has a warm heart.  He tries to do the right thing and wants to.  He's smart and very logical like his dad.  In fact, he keeps me in line a lot, which I appreciate.  He is very helpful.  Because of this, and the fact that he is the oldest, I ask him to help me a lot.  And he always does.  He's creative - he's always coming up with stories or what-if scenarios, food combinations (have you tried carrot sticks dipped in vanilla pudding?), and he's really good at art.  His brothers always want to be around him because he's fun to be with.  I love you, Caleb.

P.S.  I made my first fondant for Caleb's cake, which, while not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I'm very pleased about (the possibilities are endless)!  And I got the idea for the freezer-paper transfer for Caleb's shirt here (along with some other great ideas for Caleb's Lego birthday party coming up next week).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April Fools 2010

Okay, so I need to find a new prank.  I planned to do something different this year (click here for last year's prank), but I just couldn't resist making this meatloaf cake with mashed potato frosting.  

My kids weren't fooled.  Except for Adam.  He was fun to watch.  ("Hey!  This isn't cake!")

I almost had Caleb and Dallin with this impostor made from chocolate rice crispy treats.  

At least there were no tears.  All I can say is they'd better watch out for next year.  Who knows what I'll have up my sleeve.  Whatever it is, it won't be meatloaf.  You can count on that.

P.S.  Although I failed to fool my children, I really got Austin when he went to pack his lunch the next morning.  He had not been there for dinner so he was very confused.  

Austin's Wedding

Austin moved in with us at the end of December, got engaged on Valentine's Day, and is now married.  He doesn't mess around.  Here are some pics from the happy day.

We're very happy for Austin and his bride, Heidi.  Congratulations, guys!

This is Austin's family.  We got to have them stay with us for a couple of days.

There was a chocolate fountain at the reception.  My boys had never seen one before so you can imagine what they thought of it.  These pictures say it all.  Look at the expressions on Adam's face.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sales-Pitch Susceptible

The vacuum cleaner salesmen paid a little visit to our house.  (Don't ask).  The boys, while in and out, stopped and watched the man demonstrate the vacuum suction power and were impressed by the amount of dust sucked out of our carpet/lampshade/couch/mattress (as were Mitch and me, if you want to know the truth.  Have you seen those things?!).  But, unfortunately for the salesmen, the price tag was too high and they left empty-handed.

A few days later I was driving somewhere with the kids.  From the backseat, Dallin asked, "What if there was this guy...and he had all the money in the world...and he bought one of those vacuums?
After a pause, Adam said, "Wasn't that vacuum shiny?"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Disappearing Clutter

For those of you who don't believe in magic, you're wrong.
I'm talking about everyday magic.  Like clutter that disappears all on its own.  The mischief in this magic is that, of course, it doesn't really disappear.  It just seems to.  For example, Mitch pointed out that there is an unpacked box to the left of the homework table.  But I hadn't notice it.

The thing is, I remembered the box, but it became invisible, oh, about two months ago.  Like it got it's own disappearing cloak to make it blend into the background.  And I've been ignoring it ever since.
In order to break this spell you must walk determinedly, and with confidence, about the house with "seeing eyes."  Which is what I did after Mitch pointed out the homework-table box.  I found that there were other bags/boxes/stashes of clutter that I had been seeing through for quite some time - all made visible again.  Now where's my dust mop?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I cut these roses from my bushes this morning.

I wish you could smell them.  They have been out there growing gorgeous and glorious, but I haven't really noticed because they are in a part of the yard I rarely go - on the side of the house back behind the air conditioning units.  I'm so glad I finally noticed because it really is important to stop and smell the roses.  Especially when they smell like these.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

And I'm Free...

This is Adam's idea of cutting loose.

Brandt's Band

Brandt has mild plagiocephaly, which means his head is misshapen.  He has a flat spot on the back left side of his skull, and it's from lying in the same position too much when he was tiny.  You can see it in this picture.

Insurance doesn't cover the treatment and we agonized over the decision, but in the end we decided to go ahead with it.  After taking a 3D image of Brand't head, the folks at Cranial Technologies made a custom DOC band for Brandt, which he has to wear 23 hours a day for approximately three months.  This is what a DOC band looks like:

The idea is that when Brandt's head grows it will fill in the shape of the inside of the band, rounding out his head.  They carve out some of the foam each visit to make room for new growth.  We take the band off every night to clean it and give Brandt a bath, then it goes right back on again.

When they first put it on his head Brandt seemed confused, and he fussed a little.  They have you wait for 10 minutes in the office after they place the band so they can check the fit.  That ten minutes was rough.  Brandt kept swatting at it and whimpering.  After the clinician made a few adjustments and replaced the band, he seemed to forget about it and, although it took a few days for his skin to adjust to the constant contact (sweat!), he's been fine since.

This is what it looks like now.

Brandt has now had his DOC band for four weeks and we've already seen improvement.  It doesn't seem to slow him down any.

Easter 2010

On Saturday Caleb and Dallin got up early and went on an egg hunt with Mitch.  When they got home Adam was still  asleep so they divided their own eggs and hid a bunch for Adam for when he woke up.  They had a ball.

We tried dying some brown eggs this year.  I think we got some amazing colors.  Thanks to my mom and sister for the idea.

Easter morning egg hunts are the best.  This dino has the right idea.  I love Dove chocolate eggs (although Cadbury mini eggs are still my favorite).    

Brandt found a foil-wrapped chocolate egg and before we could say "grab that egg!" he was tearing into it with his little teeth.  

Backyard egg hunt.

Dirt cake.  Wicked mmmmm.

The boys got some good use out of their new water-weaponry.

In addition to all the pictured fun, we listened to conference and celebrated the real meaning of Easter - something I'm very grateful for.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Loft Beds

These pictures are woefully overdue, as these beds have been completed since the end of February.
Mitch spent so many hours in the garage, after the kids were in bed at night and on Saturdays, to get these things done, measuring, cutting, drilling, sanding, staining, sealing (three coats!).    He built all three of them at once.

The kids love them.  Great job, babe.

Hot Broccolate

Mitch came home from Sprouts one day with this:

I've been successfully mixing the essence of 33 rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables into Caleb's and Adam's Nesquik in the morning without detection.  This morning I was busted.

Dallin asked for hot chocolate.  With whipped cream.  Furtively, I mixed in a bit of SuperFood in before he could see me.  When I squirted in the cream I noticed with dismay that some of the microscopic bits of green were barely visible around the cream.  However, when I plunked it down Dallin hardly looked at it because he was taunting Adam about his pink cup and he began to drink.  I went into the other room reassured.
It wasn't long before I heard Adam and Dallin talking loudly about broccoli in the chocolate milk.  Oh, boy.

At this point I thought, maybe if I had just made chocolate milk this way from the beginning, the kids wouldn't have had any issue with it.  It would be like, for them, that's just how chocolate milk is.  But then I got thinking about the moment when, at some elementary school lunchtime, my child would ask his friend, "What!?  You mean your chocolate milk isn't a source of antioxidants and three servings of fruit and veggies?"   I was considering gummy vitamins when I heard Dallin yell,
 "Mom!  Why did you put broccoli in my hot chocolate?!"
When I came in the room he was peering into his half-empty cup and stirring with his straw.
"What makes you think there is broccoli in it, Dallin?"
"Because it's green."
Can't beat that logic.
We had a good laugh about the "hot broccolate" and then I left the room again, certain that it was all over for Amazing Grass SuperFood. Dang!

But do you know what?  He drank the rest of it!  That's right, folks.  Dallin drank the hot broccolate by choice.  So did Adam, for that matter.  Just thinking about all those antioxidants floating around in their systems makes me smile.