Being helpful. . .

Dustin stayed home Monday and Wednesday to give me some time to get around to all the projects that I never seem to get around to. So Monday morning, I get home from the gym, we eat some breakfast and he asks me, "Sooo, what do you normally do on Mondays?" It was then that I had to say, "uhhhhhh. . ." I usually get a bathroom cleaned and that's about it. Other than that it seems like I spend the whole day cleaning up after children, feeding them, running them places, talking on the phone while they insist on sitting in my lap (I admit, half of those calls are just me yapping away with friends), reading stories. . . you know the drill.

Anyway, I got sooooooooo much done with Dustin around to entertain children and deal with Nate's need to always be in someone's lap. I cleaned out the entire office, shelves and all, shredded 4 bags worth of credit card offers, old bills. . . organized and de-junked my linen closet, caught up on all of the laundry, de-junked the laundry room, vacuumed every inch of our house, did all the base boards, de-junked my bed room, sent an entire truck load of crap off to DI so my house feels sooooo much roomier now.

After I accomplished so much on Monday, I decided to be ambitious on Tuesday and tackle rearranging Ellie's room. I quickly realized why I never get anything done with the kids around. They make everything about 5 times messier. They knew I was putting things away, so they were drawn into the room in order to pull everything back out again. For every 5 books I got back on the bookshelf, 10 came off. Everytime I got the freaking Pooly Pockets picked up, I'd find a trail of minature shoes across the carpet. Finally they decided that crawling into the oven of Ellie's kitchen and shutting the other one in was more fun than continually hearing the clean up song. Even though it took me all day to accomplish a seemingly easy task, it was totally worth it. Her room seems so much bigger now. YEAY for me. And yeay for the fact that I should be done with a good cleaning for another year or two.



WHOO HOO! The Primary Activity is ov-ah. For those of you who don't know, I got stuck throwing an Activity I wasn't very hip on because the previous Presidency planned it. Then it was supposse to be a Ward party, so I planned on some help and the Activities committee bailed on me last minute. Plus my Secretary and 2nd COunselor were out of town. But boo hoo, enough whinning on my part because it went well. Of course my measure of success was the fact that we didn't lose any kids and everyone left smiling.

So now all we have left is the Elder's Quorum FHE tonight, which Dustin is in charge of. Yes, we're throwing two major Church function within 2 days of each other. You may calll it poor planning, but I'll just balme it on the Activities Committee. Doesn't matter anyhow, we like to live at the Church ;). As one little girl put it, "I get to come to Church three days in a row? This is the best Church ever!" So we're off to Costco later today to pick up 17 pizzas for dinner.




Our friends just got a boat and they were sweet enough to take us along for one of the maiden voyages. Susan just sent me some pictures she took and they were too cute to pass up. Ellie was pretty brave about the whole boating thing. I was suprised when she jumped off the boat and straight into the lake. She was also the first of the kids to ride on the big raft that they pull behind the boat. She had sooooo much fun until Dustin took a turn with her and Nate on the raft. His weight must not have been balanced correctly because as soon as the boat started up, the raft flipped and there was poor Dustin holding onto both children as they floated down the lake. Thank goodness for life jackets.
Nate and Ellie decided not to spend anymore time in the water after that and chowed down on snacks in the boat. Other than that, we just spent the day relaxing on the boat. Susan and Royce water skied, we all went for crazy rides on the raft, the kids played around, went swimming, Ellie even peed in the water for the first time in her life (that was stressful enough convincing her that she could in fact *pee* in the lake).
Nate got a little tired of the wind by the end, so he just sat on my lap and did what little boys do best -- whine unless their mouths are full. By the time we were done it was pretty close to 8, so we had to hurry home, wake the kids up to feed them dinner in the car and put them straight to bed. All in all, one of my favorite Saturdays this summer.


In other news

Ellie got stripey tights. You'd think this was the most exciting thing ever if you asked Ellie. It's probably because I haven't bought her tights since she was 2 and she's just excited to have some she can actually fit in again. Ellie will only wear skirts, so I thought I'd better get something to cover her legs this Winter. Of course, Winter is still months away. . . it's so hard to wait sometimes!

Nate needs a brother. Seriously, the poor little guy is really into too much girl stuff. He *had* to have his toenails painted last week, loves lip gloss and this week we hit a new all time low -- the ballerina costume. Ellie had a birthday party last weekend where she had to wear a princess dress. As soon as we got her dressed, Nate ran into her room and grabbed the pink tutu and yelled, "Pllllleeeeeeasssssse," which is so cute in his little voice. I gave in way too easily, to which Ellie told me, "Dad is going to *freak* out." Luckily Dustin is so laid back he didn't have a coronary. Nate did insist on wearing it Sunday morning as well, but we all thought it would be best if it went into hiding for a little bit after that.


Holbrook -- Part 1

So, I had this whole blog about our trip to Holbrook all typed up and then my stinking computer froze up on me yesterday. However, I snuck in here to do some stuff for Primary and the kids have miraculously left me alone so maybe I can get this up today after all. (Of course as soon as I typed that Ellie started screaming something and I hear them running down the hall. . . oh, they’re laughing, all is good).

My good friend Susan is from the itsy bitsy town of Holbrook. It’s up in the part of the state where the summers are actually bearable so we’ve always talked about going up for a week when school was out. So the time came, I hemmed and hawed, but decided last minute to go for it. So we packed up our 5 kids in her Sequoia and headed off on the three hour drive. It was full of all the fun road trip things you remember as a kid – fights, peeing in bottle, trying to keep the babies awake until we stopped for lunch, are we there yets. . . but just fancier now because all the kids have to be strapped in to the most uncomfortable car seats imaginable. At least we had the DVD players.

Now Susan had told me she lived on a farm, but being a city girl, all a farm means to me is that it has a horse, maybe a cow or two. I didn’t realize she really meant a farm. Her dad owns well over 10,000 acres which is littered with thousands of cows and goats, a few horses, some of those bee boxes you always see on tv and lots and lots of trees. If you look at the picture of Nate, you can see part of her dad’s land in the back. It stretches all the way down to the river, and then East and West for miles. And yes, I realize Nate is happy in the picture. He didn’t cry the WHOLE time we were there. Just 80% of the time we were outside.

The trip can best be described as fun peppered with moments of disaster. I don’t know how we could have expected any less with our combination of kids. We rode horses, ate breakfast at the truck stop (you can see it in the distance in the picture of Nate), climbed hay, chased cats and dogs, got dirty, went swimming in the river (which is a blog all of its own), got lost, let the kids run wild. . . just did the whole country living thing.

One of Holbrook’s claims to fame (or maybe its only?) is the Wig Wam motel. I guess right before we came up, Oprah had been in town and came to visit them. She did not stay in them in case you were wondering. In front of the Wig Wams, they’ve parked a bunch of old cars like from the movie Cars so the kids were dying to go see “Doc” and “Sally” and “Mater.” It was definitely one of those moments of disaster – the kids were all bickering and Nate was crying because it was windy – but the pictures turned out kind of cute. And that’s all that matters right?



So today was Ellie's first day of fall dance and it was beyond adorable. See how sweet her teacher is? I just think little girls in tap shoes have got to be the cutest things I've ever seen. Ellie is beyond enthused about her "tapper shoes" and ballet shoes and that she is back in a leotard and skirt. The class is about 20 minutes tap, 20 minutes ballet and then 20 minutes in the gym on the bars and beam and doing sommersaults. I must be the worst mother in the world because Ellie was the only one who didn't know how to do one. By the end she was doing it all by herself, though. So we can all breathe easier.

They learned first (as seen to the left -- does she not have that natural dancer figure -- ha ha) and second postion (below -- once again, a BORN natural, what other child could stand with their legs apart so effortlessly?) in ballet and then top taps and heel taps in tap. I just love all the little plies they do. Sooo cute. Plus the class is nice and small (just 4 girls) so she got lots of individual attention -- which she loves.
Just in case you thought I was exaggerating how much Nate hates nature