Birthday Boy!

Hooray -- the birthdays are over. As usual, this birthday was an exercise in excess. I once told someone that we don't really give our kids birthday presents and they were in shock. I just feel like they get so much stuff anyway and I usually throw them a party -- so that's the gift. So much time and money -- and sanity -- goes into those parties that I think I can get away without a gift. ;p

Tuesday was the party.
In the blistering 95 degree weather, we ate lunch, played at the park, drew race tracks and raced our cars around, raced our race cars in a heated games of Red Light Green Light and Follow the Leader, ate cake and opened presents. Here is the hideous cake for your laughing pleasure. Do you love the scale of the cars? Or the beautiful placement of them? Nate decided they needed to be back to back. And they suggested you use a fork to make the grass look more lifelike. HA HA HA! My grass looks ridiculous. I could spend all day laughing about the cake, but I'll move on! You, however, are more than welcome to join in!

That night he went to bed and I told him when he woke up he would be 4. Then he started crying because, "I really like being 3. After 4, I'll be 3 again?" Nope. I told him, "After 4, you're 5 and then 6 and then 7. . ." Finally I could see he was going to start crying again, so I lied. "And then 9, and then 10. . . and then 3 again." HUGE smile and then he could sleep.

Wednesday was his actual birthday where he was spoiled rotten! We went to the gym, where they made him a birthday crown. Then to his Pre-school Halloween party where they got to wear costumes -- not his actual Halloween costume, just something so he wouldn't melt -- eat pizza for lunch, and trick-or-treat to all the parents. Then to Jackson's to play for the rest of the day followed by more presents from Garndparents and even his Sunbeam teacher, cake and ice cream.

Oh, and this is the part where I admit that I bought him a present anyway. He had a Speed Racer party and he told me that all he really wanted was a Speed Racer car. When we were at Costco I found these giant cars from the movie and gave in. I figured Ellie got her ears pierced this year, so maybe Nate deserved something too.

I should probably write something really sappy about him, but I'm no good at that. Let's just end with one last story. Nate's Halloween costume is size 4-6 so I told him he couldn't wear it until he was 4 because he wouldn't fit into it. First thing he did when we got home from our adventures was grab the costume out of the closet and scream, "IT fits me now!" He hasn't taken it off since. Could this mean the end of the tutu?


I Get Around!

In honor of my sister -- a marathon post! Since I've been on last, we've been up to a few fun things.

Schnepf Farms -- I love that place! There's a train ride for Nate, the Merry-Go-Round for Ellie and the "spooky slide" for Sadie. Poor Sadie did NOT like the Carousel. We put her on a horse and even the thumb in her mouth was shaking. There are also all these cheesey fair type rides for the kids that they just go on over and over again. Plus a petting zoo, pig races, a pumpkin patch, face painting. . . It was actually even cold enough that we had to put on our hoodies. Look at poor Sadie's face. She's screaming: GET ME OFF THIS THING!

Probably the last thing Sadie enjoyed.

It's dark but that's Dustin, our friend and Nate waving from the train. Ellie is not waving because she is crying. The ride on the roller coaster before she had to sit by a stranger and I guess it was too traumatic for her to recover from.

He's a boy!

I think Sadie is trying to get off this ride too. See the look of joy on my face??

House of Tricks -- Dustin's friend and his wife were in town, so we met them for dinner up in Tempe at the House of Tricks -- recommendation courtesy of Lisa. When Dustin was checking out their website, he sent me a picture from their website. :D And on our way up, we got a text message with a picture of the newest Casabar baby! Congrats Holly and Damon!

Primary Program -- Saturday we had our practice and a pizza party for the kids. Sunday the kids did AMAZING! I was so proud of them and so grateful to Jill for writing such a great program. They were little rock starts up there singing their hearts out and almost all of them had their parts memorized. We have the greatest kids in our Primary. I also made it over to watch my friend Rickie's Primary Program and to two meetings on Sunday. It was kind of fun to sit and watch someone's Program instead of scrambling along through it, but that was a long day.

Somewhere in here, the kids had three birthday parties. Including Ellie getting to watch High School Musical 3 -- I'm kind of sad I missed seeing it with her, but Nate told me I could take him.

Dustin's birthday -- I threw him a party where we went on a family vs. family photo scavenger hunt, idea courtesy of Kasia, and then back to our house for cake and ice cream. A few items: Everyone with hats on. Yes, Ellie picked out her own hat

Ugliest Halloween Decoration. You had to have a member of the team in each picture and it was Sadie's turn. We gave her the thing and she THREW IT BACK AT US! "I don't want it." So we tried to explain that she needed to hold it. Gave it back to her. BAM! Throws it right out. "I don't like it." So then we decided it was pretty comical how much she hated the thing -- which meant it must truly be hideous.

Tacky shower curtain. I love the tongue through the tooth hole smile and I think my sister would have LOVED this shower curtain when she was younger.

Dustin even came away from the hunt with some awesome birthday gifts -- like a Santa tee shirt, fish net stockings, and a birthday card from George and Laura Bush! Our friends know us too well.

And today is Nate's birthday party. Like in an hour. And I'm still in my running clothes from this morning, dinking around on the computer. I should probably be getting ready for it, all I have to say is: If I ever decide I want to make Nate's birthday cake again, please remind me of my lack luster cake decorating skills!


House of Crazies

And the photo evidence to prove it!

Sunday morning, Ellie got a hold of the camera while I was showering and getting ready for church. I actually think this picture is creative genius!
Sadie really cracks me up. Except when we're walking back into Sacrament Meeting and she screams across the chapel, "DADDY! DADDY! I GOT YOU DADDY!"
Ellie drew this frog for Uncle Kyle.
Nice face!

And the craziest of them all: their mother. I haven't been sleeping very well lately because I wake up at about 5 am every morning worrying about everything I need to get done. My brilliant idea this morning was a way to cut down on shopping for my Halloween costume. I needed to get some fake clip n hair so it would look like I had bangs, but instead I decided to save myself the time and energy and just cut myself some bangs. FOR A HALLOWEEN COSTUME??? What was I thinking? Not that I hate them, but it's been a good ten years since I've had bangs and I just woke up one morning thinking this would be a good idea?? I guess in my defense I had gone to bed with the idea. Of course my artistic photo director took my picture. She even told me how to pose. Thanks Ellie!
See the vacuum cleaner in the background? That has been living there for over a week. I keep thinking I'm going to get everything vacuumed on the same day and then I get around to one, so it just sits there waiting for all the rooms to be finished at the same time.


Being Productive

Every Monday, Nate goes to pre-school and then Jackson's mom and I switch off having the boys over after school. Today was my day off and I took full advantage of it. As my girlfriend, who I kidnapped and made going shopping with me, asked where we were going I rattled off everywhere I needed to go. I was definitely not productive over Fall break and today I had to make up for it!

I was on the hut for Christmas gifts, Christmas PJs -- because you know you have to find them in October so you can get the cutest ones in sizes that fit, Halloween costume stuff, birthday stuff for Nate and Dustin, goodie bag stuffings, plus other various odds and ends like anti-wrinkle cream which I ran out of this morning.

We went to: Mervyn's, TJ Maxx, Target, Ross and then Barnes and Noble where we had lunch. I want to eat lunch at the Barnes and Noble Cafe every day! The food is good and there is NO ONE there. Which worked out well since I had Sadie with me and she was not in the mood to sit.

Then Kohl's and finally to Carter's since I couldn't find PJs I like in the sizes I need. I still need some for Nate, but Sadie and Ellie's are so stinking adorable -- and on sale :D

I made a huge dent in my Christmas shopping, got a skirt for my Halloween costume and got all the stuff for Nate's birthday party. WOO HOO! Somewhere in there I managed to go for a run and get my Visiting Teaching done too. YAY me! I guess it makes up for 2.5 weeks of laziness. OH! And throw a blog tag in there -- 7th folder/9th picture Holy cow -- could that chunk be Sadie?? It doesn't even look like her. She's so tiny with her little blonde hair now!

Back on topic of my AWESOMENESS! I still need to hit Costco, Toys R Us, Sally's Beauty supply and Wal-Mart. So if anyone is up for another marathon trip -- call me!!!

And so that is my COMPLETELY boring update. And since I know no one will have anything to comment on, leave me a comment on what you're doing to prepare for Halloween/Christmas, what your best shopping find was lately, a gift you're super excited to give. . .



Do you have facebook? If so will you please freaking friend me so my sister will leave me alone? I joined the stinking thing so she would get a blog -- sort of a fair trade -- however, I never go on the thing because I feel like it's a massive over-load of "stuff." It really overwhelms me. My sister is OBSESSED with checking how many friends I have. This week I've woken up to invitations to join groups from my sister just so I can make more friends. Right now we're on the phone, "Karen almost has as many friends as you. And she changers her picture more often than you." That would be because I never use the thing.

So I told her I was going on-line right now and BEGGING for friends so she will leave me alone. At least until Karen has more friends than me ;p. So please, friend me!


School Days!

Oh yeah, school is back in session. I love the routine and structure of the kids being in school, but I hate all the work. I know all school moms know what I mean. Is it better to get to sleep in, have no homework and never pack a lunch, but have to come up with something to do every day? Or to have those few hours of chaos first thing in the morning and afternoon just to have sanity during the day?

Monday night Ellie had a sleep over to get her ready to go back to school! I made the mistake of telling them they could play with make up while I ran and took a quick nap in the living room. Not only did I not get a nap due to the giggles and shrieks, but my bathroom is now full of glitter that I cannot get vacuumed up. You know what did keep them entertained for hours -- making "lemonade." They picked all the limes off our 3 trees and squeezed all the juice out. Then they added some splenda. YUMMY! After a few sips, they decided it was not good enough to sell. Drat! They were obviously going to be rich! I think I got off easy on that one since I was suppose to be the taste tester.

We did make it to bed before 11 pm. Those girls are so cute and sweet together.

Nate is back at Miss Becky's and learning about the letter A. He makes a super cute ant. But an ever super cuter Ballerina Vampire!

Sadie came with me my girlfriend's to can her peaches today. While we were talking she found the last 7 or 8 peaches in the box and ate a bite out of There are boogery pictures of the event, but I am not in possesion of them.

Speaking of peaches -- I used my first 2 jars yesterday. I made a dump cake since our neighbor Casey and her kids were coming over. Here's how you make it: Dump 2 quarts of peaches in the bottom of a greased cake pan. Then dump 2 boxes of yellow cake mix in a bowl with 2 sticks of melted butter. Mix and then crumble the mix on top of your peaches. Top with brown sugar and bake at 35o for 45 minutes. Super super easy! You know it has to be easy if I was willing to make it.

Also I want to give a shout out to the girls who have been kicking my butt lately! Some friends and I have been running in the mornings three times a week -- gearing up for Janel's challenge?? We're up to 4 miles and I swear I would never run that far by myself and enjoy it, but for some reason it is so much easier in a group. So if you see me napping, now you know why. Thanks girls!!! I really need this.


Other things that happened

I know it's been 24-7 political coverage around here lately ;p, so I thought I'd lighten it up with some of the other events of last week.

Halloween shirts came from Grandma Rogers! My kids have a real obsession with Halloween shirts for some reason. They each have 3 or 4. No other holiday demands this many t-shirts. I buy most of them on sale after Halloween and save them for the next year. Grandma Rogers' light up, though! You can't beat that.

It was spirit week at the Childcare at my Gym. My kids were really into it. See Crazy Hair Day? Nate surprised me the most. For the first 6 months he was potty trained, he always put his underwear and pants on backwards. We worked REALLY hard on getting him to put them on the right way. So one day was Backwards day and guess who REFUSED to wear anything backwards? Little booger.

We went up to Prescott. My girlfriend Lisa has the CUTEST girls. My kids had so much fun playing with them. Nate basically loves anyone who plays dress up. We even went swimming. I think the high was like 7o that day and the wind was horrible, but the pool was heated so the kids actually swam.
The hot tub didn't hurt either. Lisa also has the coolest Halloween house. Ellie told her, "Your house is the spookiest house I've seen so far in my life." She has one of those huge guys from Target that talks and black flowers in skeleton heads. Her table centerpiece is glittery skulls and bugs. It was so so fun!

Lisa is also super talented, so we had her take our pictures while we were up there. I think it was hurricane season or something because poor Sadie almost gone blown over it was that windy. You can see a sneak peak on her blog. She does such a great job because my kids were HUGE stinkers. They refused to smile or sit still and instead of saying "Cheese," Sadie would throw her head back and scream, "LISAAAAAAA!"

And then to end the week, Ellie's tooth fell out last night. It needed to come out a week ago, but she would not let us pull it out. It was so gross to see it just hanging there, so thank heavens it's gone. The Tooth Fairy came and left a little note about how dirty her room was. Is that mean?

And Sadie acknowledged that I was the funniest person in the world


The End

Sorry I was MIA -- we took a little trip up to Prescott since we're still on Fall break over here.

The number one question I got at Church today: Did you get your sign back?

Well after a few more adventures, and a long story involving me running down the street with a hippo around my waist
Obama came home! See my "Yes on Prop 1o2" sign in the back? I feel so political this year.

Anyway -- now you can all sleep at night since I know you were dying to know the end of the story. I will have you know that it is now the SECOND Obama sign in our neighborhood.

I still have Katherine and Scott's hippo, though. Any clever ideas?? I haven't quite decided how I should make them suffer before I give her back.

Back to normal posting tomorrow now that the Obama saga is over. Thanks for all the laughs Katherine!


Come home -- I miss you

Desperate times call for desperate measures: I'm offering a reward. Free dessert for anyone who can capture my Obama sign alive. The group we are dealing with clearly has no respect for hippo life because we still have no sign despite negotiations last night. In fact, I woke up to an e-mail this morning.

Luckily I had a few kids over for the day who were willing to assist in the torture process.

Dress up: The hippo had to be a lowly hula girl, but not a Princess like the rest of the girls -- and boy A drive with Sadie: Forced slavery. Lunch time: Dino nuggets. Definitely a cruel and unusual punishment.


We Know Who You Are

Bama'nappers beware, we know who you are! Below is the incriminating evidence that lead us to the nasty culprits.

This Hippo may not make it through the night if Obama doesn't come home safely.

Obama Update

So far everyone I suspected has vehemently denied being the kidnapper. However, my sister has come up with her own form of retaliation. From her blog:

First off Madelyn's Obama sign has been stolen from her yard and I have an ultimatum: I will peel a McCain sticker off a car every hour the sign is not returned. Seriously. Consider my neighbor's bumper peeled.

I have received two more e-mails today:
Why does my Obama sign get to more delicious places for lunch than I do?
I swear that toilet seat had better have been disinfected before my beloved sign was placed upon it. Or else someone has to to buy me a new sign!

There was a knock on the door earlier this afternoon and I ran to the door, "That better be my Obama sign!" Dustin replied, "Darn it, that means we can't forcefully take it back." It was the missionaries. So no sign, but I don't even know who has it to take it back by force.

I've been burgaled

We actually spent the entire day over at the Ashton's yesterday -- watching Conference and then letting the kids play. While I was there, I got an e-mail from WhereisObama? with the message line: KIDNAPPED. . . but alive. And then there was an attachment. In this day and age, I'm not stupid enough to open an attachment from an e-mail address I don't know and figured it was some sort of political propaganda.

So we pull in about 8 pm and hurry put the kids to bed and finished picking up. Right before bed I go check my e-mail again and there is another e-mail from Mr. Where is Obama. This time the header says: Soakin' up some rays. I look at Dustin and say, "I think someone stole our Obama sign." He goes out to check and sure enough, our sign is GONE!!!!

So I open up these attachments to find the following pictures

Well now I know it's part of the McCain campaign's promise to "turn the page," but i know neither McCain nor Palin is personally responsible. We all know McCain can't use a computer, much less attach a picture to an e-mail, and Palin's from Alaska -- if you know what I mean. . . But I have no doubt that this the dirty works of someone from the campaign trying to restrict my Constitutional freedoms and crush the hopes and dreams of our children's futuresFinding the ransom note this morning.

PS The whole McCain/Palin internet thing is a joke. Hopefully you know my humor well enough to know that.


Oh Happy Day!

In one hour I'll be dropping my kids off to my AWESOME neighbors and then I'm headed to the mall with an AWESOME friend. . . I'm giddy with excitement. I haven't been shopping without kids in about a year.

Yesterday was another happy day at our house: Scrapping Day! Meredith offered to teach the girls to sew over break if I would teach them to scrapbook. What? Be productive on break??? We had a ton of fun. I just bought one of those kits that has paper and stickers and then supplemented with glittery flowers, small flowers, big flowers, brads, cardstock and then whatever else I had on hand. You can't go wrong when everything matches. Hard at work. They got ten pages done in their albums! Pretty good for 3 hours of work.

The last hour we spent on fun projects -- bookmarks and cards. I let them have total free reign when we got to the cards.

AUGH! My kitchen table.

Other good news for the day: Nate's Obama sign came in the mail. Below is his photo essay on the Obama yard sign.
Hooray! My yard sign is here. Oh yeah, Obama's number 1! And he's totally going to win in November.Why wouldn't someone vote for Obama anyway? And why are my neighbors giving us dirty looks? love you guys, hope you still let me live on the street. In deep thought over Obama's awesomeness. GO OBAMA!

And one last shot that made me laugh -- my little bag lady. She's depending on Obama's socialistic welfare programs.