Thursday, December 23, 2010

Making the Nice List

We were in such a moving frenzy last year, I did not take the kids to see Santa.

Well, not much has changed.  The moving truck is scheduled for Wednesday.  But I took the kids to see Santa.  How is it that our one year of moving, moving, moving includes two Christmases?
The grandmas came to help and to see the kids, but Santa insisted that they be in the picture.  Patsy said that she could not remember ever having her picture taken with him!
 Yeah, I think he likes them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Perfect Thanksgiving

 This year's Thanksgiving was designed just for me.  My in-laws invited us, Nick's brothers, my parents, my siblings, and their families over to their home for dinner.  What a generous gesture.  They were quite overrun with my family and did not seem to mind.
 This meant that there was no rushing from one house to the next, no deciding which family gets priority, no trying to hold back on dinner number one so that there will be room for dinner number two.
It was a beautiful evening.

Patsy made turkey cupcakes for the kids.  Honestly, I wanted one (I've got an unexplainable penchant for candy corn) ... but pie is more important.
I started this session just taking pictures of Sterling (the infant below), but look at the great crew that formed, posed, and smiled!  Normally, these pictures require coercion.  I guess these guys have been coerced so much it has become habit.  What a great set of cousins.

A word about doorbusters... Yes, I do them!  Some people throw such a fit about how dumb anyone is to get up so early for sales.  Try living in my shoes.  Running the simplest errand is an all-day ordeal.  Diapers, coats, shoes, diaper bag (two sizes diapers, wipes, snacks, extra clothes, baby toy), another round of diapers, whining, ruined naps, "be nice," "don't run," "no touching," "please excuse my crazy children,"combined 15 minutes of productive shopping, crossing the parking lot without anyone being run over, not letting them see the presents I am buying (barely ever possible), getting home late, without dinner...

If you could avoid all this by getting up early one morning, you would do it too.  You think it seems crazy?  To be out, running errands and accomplishing anything by myself or with Nick (left the kids sleeping at Grandma's) is rare and peaceful, no matter the hour.

I had Christmas nearly completed that morning.  I even bought paper and tape and wrapped all the presents that night.  Now who's crazy?

Disney on Ice

A random Wednesday in November brought us free tickets to Disney on Ice.  The show was the next day, across the pond from us (meaning a ferry ride), and began at bedtime, but free is free and Disney is Disney.
 They know how to put on a great party.
Bethelle was enthralled with each lift.  Rigby loved Shang the best.
 The kids have been "ice skating" around the house ever since.  Rigby gets out his big blue blanket.  He lays it flat no the floor and then the mooooves begin.  And boy, does he have moves.
C'mon over for your own performance of Disney (kids) on Ice (blankets).  It may be a ferry (or plane) ride for most of you, but show tickets are free!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Yes.  You read the title correctly.  Halloween.

Two months ago, we celebrated Halloween.  To begin with, I'm not a big fan of the holiday.  But I'm not enough opposed to it to prevent the kids from celebrating what they see as one of the best days of the year.

Bethelle saw some costumes at Costco and immediately wanted the most beautiful one.  She was Merliah, a mermaid from a Barbie movie.  She's never even seen the movie, but that does not bother her.
 Rigby was drawn to some of the muscle-y costumes, like Iron Man or the Incredible Hulk, but in the end he wanted to be Shang, Mulan's counterpart.
 I put a lot of TLC into Rigby's costume.  The man looks good, right?  His wig is really a crocheted hat, in case you're wondering.
 Curie was her usually cute self.  Except dressed as a chicken.
 Our ward hosted a "trunk or treat" night at the church on the 30th, due to the 31st being a Sunday.  I'm not so sure about walking from car trunk to car trunk for candy.  It's all a little too easy.  There should be a lot of running and strategy involved in trick-or-treating.  Just walking around a parking lot does not really make a holiday.  In the future, we should at least park farther apart.  Although, I think we'll be back to the neighborhoods when the holiday does not fall on a Sunday.

After the trunk-or-treat, the youth put on a carnival for the kids.  Below, Rigby is fishing for prizes behind a screen.  Bethelle and Rigby had a great time, even winning the cake walk in succession.
I spent about three minutes in the dress-up box to come up with a costume for myself.  And guess what? I won a prize for best "what are you?" costume!

On the actual holiday, Paul and Patsy (Grandpa and Grandma) came up to our home for dinner and to watch the kids answer the door for the trick-or-treaters.  They dressed up again and loved handing out the candy.  Rigby wore that costume every day for at least the next two weeks.  Maybe longer.  Two months later it is still his favorite dress-up.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pabby's Birthday

Let's all flashback to October 23rd for a moment.  Nick and I took the kids to his parents' home for a little birthday party for his dad.  I'm still having to catch up due to the season of computer trouble I had recently.

A good parent will take care not to call a function a "birthday party" if it does not include at least four of the following: streamers, bounce house, licensed character plates and cups, party games, and a goodie bag.

Upon entering their house, Rigby's first words to his grandma was to ask what kind of party this was.  What kind?  Umm... Pabby's birthday.  No, Grandma, what kind?

Grandma turned out to be no help at all, so Rigby deemed it a golf themed birthday.  I thought that was pretty sweet.  He went with his grandpa's favorite rather than his own.

So Grandma washed a golf ball for the cake, and here is Pabby's golf birthday party:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Soccer Season

After a summer of swimming lessons, I told Bethelle she could pick her next activity.  Go back to ballet?  More swimming?  Soccer?  Something else?

Bethelle quickly narrowed her choices to three: soccer, volleyball, or pick-up-sticks.  We tried very hard to be supportive of any of the three, but there did not seem to be a local five year-old volleyball team and pick-up-sticks, well, I don't even know what to say about that.

And so a soccer star was born.
 There were no positions.  Just a mass of girls moving with the ball, mostly remembering which goal was theirs.
 Rigby could be seen at every game.  What a great fan.
 Bethelle scored the first goal of the season for her team.  I think it may have been game three.
 Here's to a patient coach and some determined little athletes.  Well played!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Who Whair

I wasn't able to take pictures the whole way through Cindy Lou Who's hair session, but I did get one of the water bottle.  It's bobby pinned into a tiny ponytail on the top of her head.
 The answers to the two most commonly asked questions are:
        1)   About an hour and a half
        2)   Yes, it's all her real hair.  Except the water bottle and the chenille stems.  Those things really don't occur naturally.
Un-doing her hair turned out to be as much fun as doing it.
 Until she almost fell asleep in the chair.  This is not just a bad picture.  This is her honest expression.
It was pretty late by the time she was tucked in.  What a night.  Sweet dreams, Cindy Lou Who.

This Tiny Who Daughter

Our ward (congregation) Christmas party was a Grinch-themed Spectacular.  We have a resident theatrical genius who planned a dinner theater narration and presentation of the story complete with costumed characters and a flash mob of "Welcome Christmas" (the song from the cartoon Grinch movie).

The Grinch himself was fantastic.  He had a lot of energy.  Some of the kids were legitimately scared.
 All attendees were encouraged to dress as "Who's" from "Whoville" for the dinner.  Four of our five made a feeble attempt at being festive...
 ... but Bethelle was the crowning jewel of the night, as usual.  This time it was because she was Cindy Lou Who in the play.  My next post will be on that crazy hair of hers.  Oh, the hair!

Here they are in the green room.  Oh, that's funny.  The green room.
When I first told her about being in the play, she was so nervous.   I was shocked.  This girl of mine loooves being the center of attention.  She has a firm belief that the room lights up when she walks into it.  She likes nothing more than to be oogled over.  So what where those nerves?  At first she told me that she would not do it.  I told her that it was her choice, but that I wanted her to take a little time to think about it.  I knew that if she turned it down, she would be sad to watch someone else play the part.

As you can see, she came around.  She did a great job in her little part and she got all the oogling a girl could hope for.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ups and Downs

This fall, we experienced the best autumn weather that I can remember.  A couple days of rain threatened a change of season, but then the sun came back with a vengeance.  November even hosted a couple days of seventy degree weather.

I took the kids to the park nearly every day.  I'd like to say that I did it because I am such a great mom.  Truthfully, we went because we don't have a yard and because I was sure that each sunny day would be the last.  I am grateful to have postponed the shut-up-in-the-house blues.
 Another fall favorite for me has been seeing Rigby in a hat every day.  Boys just don't have all the fur on their head that we ladies have, so he always wore his Michael Jordan or his Masters hat when we went out.  He is so cute in them.  Just don't tell him that I said "cute."  He insists that he is only "handsome."

"And I'm not smart," he adds.  I am working to break him of that.
 Did you ride the tire swing as a kid?  It was my favorite.  I remember that it made some kids sick, but I loved it.  I seem to have given this love to Bethelle.  She'll ride it for what seems like forever.  She wants it fast and high.  I tried it again after probably 20 years absence.  Yes, I gave the love of it to Bethelle.  Completely.  I no longer have it.
 I've been considering a third haircut for Bethelle.  This picture makes me reconsider.
Two weeks after the November heatwave, the northwest froze over.  We had about two or three inches of snow just before Thanksgiving.  Our power was out for about 24 hours, but we were fortunate that it returned in the evening just as we were getting cold.  Most of the island was without for about three days, but living near the only major grocery store has its perks, including power priority.

By the time the roads were clear, the grocery shelves were wanting and the gas station had run out of all but the most expensive octane.  What a dependent life we lead.  Time to stock up!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Best Sister in the Wuld

I neglected to add these pictures to the post on Rigby's birthday.

Bethelle made him the most precious card:
 (Rigby, Happy Birthday)
 (Rigby, Happy birthday.  I *heart* you, Rigby.  You are the best brother in the whole wide world.  *heart* Bethelle)
 Who wouldn't love a gift like that for your birthday?  These two are best friends, and Curie is moving right in on their fun.  Let it last, let it last, let it last...

Bethelle is intensely creative.  She thinks and plans like it's a drug.  She begins shaking in withdrawal when she is kept from crafting.

When she saw me looking for Peter Pan birthday cake (or "kace") ideas, she drew this one up for me:
I think that it is incredible!  Look how she has the viewer flying over Never Land with Peter, looking down at the tiny island and ship.  That is great perspective.  I wish I could have made it, but Rigby changed his mind to Lightening McQueen (as seen in the earlier birthday post).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back to Business

Camille is back!  Yes, my iMac is named Camille.  Ten points to the reader who can tell me why.

(Sara, darling.  No, it is not the same iMac from college days.  I bought that thing in '98!  That would be miraculous!  This is machine numero three.)

I've got to clean and pack a bit tonight, but be expecting posts.  I won't be able to stay away from my blog for more than 36 hours now that I'm plugged in again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hiatus Excuses

I have a pet peeve about blog posts that begin with, "Sorry I haven't posted for a while, but..."

Unfortunately, I have four minutes at a library computer to make excuses before the library closes.

My poor, poor iMac has been suffering lately.  It slowed my post productions.  Then it died completely.  I took it to the Genius Bar at the Apple store.  I am pleased to say that my documents were recovered, but my Mac needs a new harddrive.  It may be a while.

I will try to get to the library again, earlier in the day.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Do it now.

Cancel your plans, if you had them.

Wake up the baby, if she's asleep.

Spend the next six hours looking for that absentee ballot if that's what it takes.

Do you ever wish you could do more for your children?  Then vote.


A few thoughts...

Imagine that you have moved your family out to a lone little cabin in the middle of nowhere.  Knowing that there are dangerous animals, thieves, and kidnappers in the world, you buy a rottweiler to protect your home and family.

You're not stupid.  You've seen these dogs before.  Necessary as they may be, they have an often violent history.  So you build a strong fence between your children and your dog, and you train him to follow commands and to respect your authority.  He knows that he only survives at your pleasure, and you teach him what is expected of him.

America is that lone family in the wilderness.  We have created a government (the dog) out of necessity.  Throughout world history, all but few governments have been corrupt, many to the point of violence against its people.  And so we have built a strong fence to protect what we hold most dear.  That fence is the constitution.  That document was written to protect our citizens from the tendencies of power.

In the hundreds of years since ratification, the dog has nipped at the fence.  We have left the dog unchecked.  The fence is now barely standing.  For neglecting the fence's upkeep so long, the family is now at the whim of the dog.  It is bigger and stronger than us.  The dog no longer depends on the family for its life, but now the members in the family must obey the dog to stay safe from its attacks.

The fence must be built back, restored.  Today the dog is sleeping for a few moments, and we have a chance to dig holes for fence posts.

Vote to restore the constitution.

Read the constitution.

Know when your elected servants act against the constitution, and then show them that they are only in office at your pleasure.  Vote them out.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Man Now

Rigby is three.  And precious.
Look how much he has grown in the last year.  He was a baby last October!  Friday night, he reported to Nick that he does his part around here by staying home and taking care of Mommy while Bethelle is at school.  And he does.  What would I ever do without him?

This next picture is his actual birthday.  I never let on to him that he was three now.  We spent the day with the pediatrician getting shots.  Bethelle was more scared than I had ever seen her.  She lucked out with just a nasal mist.  Rigby had just one shot in the leg.  He didn't put weight on it for the next 36 hours.  C'mon, Rigby.  Really?  I had to carry him around all the next day.  Curie had three shots.  She screamed like death.  No, wait, that was Bethelle screaming just watching the shot go into Curie's leg.  Thanks for the help, Bethelle.  The prize goes to my mom for meeting me at the dr's and helping me through the torture session.
 I'm pretty proud of this one.
 We had Rigby's party at the children's museum.  It was nearly a last-minute decision, and I am so glad that we did it.  The stress was minimal and the party was memorable.

Which of these boys is the real Nolan?  It was honestly twins day at the museum.  The boy on the left is a twin, but not with our cousin on the right.  These two looked identical and it was pure coincidence that they wore the same outfit that day.  Rigby kept trying to play with the boy on the left and calling him "Nolan."  He did not understand that this was not his cousin.  I don't blame him.  They were even born in the same month.
 Here's the party.
 Rigby changed his mind at least 30 times regarding the theme of his party.  He only settled on Lightning McQueen because I bought paper plates and made a cake.  He would have liked to change it 20 times more.
 Look at these girls.  Cousin-love is the best.

Playing Outside

This is my journal, and I want to document some outdoor play.  We will only live on our island for about nine months before leaving for San Fran, so here are a few pictures taken while playing lately.  The sun has seemed to really hold out this season, and we've been taking advantage while we still can.  The leaves are changing, but the rain is holding back.  Nick keeps talking about how great the colorful trees are.  Over and over.  To the point of annoyance.  He told me I could write that.  Love ya, Nick.  I tend to prefer the green, living trees.  But that's just me.

This helmet came with Rigby's scooter.  Also included were knee and elbow pads.  Even though the scooter is the three-wheeled, preschool kind, the knee pads swallowed Rigby's legs.  I gave them to Bethelle and put the elbow pads on Rigby's little knees.  Perfect.
 What a face.
 I can't remember why I took this picture, but I need to include my first baby in this post...
 This one is for you, Grandpa Frank.  You'd love her.
 I'll introduce you someday.
 Don't I look tall?  That is a first for me.