Just Today

How is it already the end of the first quarter? I can't believe August and September disappeared like that and I only have 3 Christmas presents ready to go. Pretty soon I'm going to be one of those slackers that leaves Christmas shopping until Thanksgiving weekend. Or even worse -- December.

Current status update: Dustin is out of town. I'm knee-deep in planning two Halloween parties & Nate's birthday party. Sadie and I emptied out the toy room and hope to get it painted this weekend for a super secret project. Nate lost another tooth and we're packing our cold weather clothes for a trip up North! I love this time of year because there are so many projects, events to plan and lists to check off. I can't be the only person who loves making lists, right???

Today my do list looks like this: stay home, get some laundry done, clean the bathrooms, have some friends over for Sadie and wait for the big kids to get home from their half day. I thought maybe I should blog while I'm sitting around in my pajamas. Yes, I am in my pajamas. Who gets dressed when they won't actually have to get out of their car? The problem -- I have no pictures to speak of. I got out my camera to take a few and of course Luke is covered in yogurt and Sadie won't let me brush her hair, but here they are in all their cuteness.Have you ever seen her dimples? Of course you have. You can see them from space.
Also exceptionally handsome, despite being TROUBLE! Yesterday he repeatedly climbed out of his crib at nap time, took his diaper off and pooped on the floor. He's really lucky he is cute. And my last.
When I got the camera out, the kids were "sharing" Sadie's iPod (it's Fisher Price and so much fun if you're looking for Christmas gift ideas -- you can download songs straight from your iTunes account). It captures their personalities so well. Sadie is the performer and Luke is a "fixer."Last night the kids were suppose to be cleaning their rooms and I found Sadie playing in the bathroom. I totally didn't yell, "SADIE! Why aren't you cleaning your room??" I probably said, "Oh sweet Sadie, why aren't you making a good choice?" But whatever I said, Sadie replied, "Probably because I'm a scurvy pirate."



We are HUGE BYU fans. And that may be a slight understatement. We also happen to have friends who are Utes fanatics. Naturally, the BYU v. Utah game is a huge deal and sometimes people's lawns even end up with a giant red U spray painted on them (and our FedEx man thought we were Utes fans -- the horror). This year we had planned a rivalry party full of red and blue. . . even the food. And then (cue ominous music). . . Stake Conference was scheduled.

Already we (mainly me) were torn. I told Dustin he could do whatever he wanted, but the kids and I were going to the Bryner's. Dustin was convinced BYU would lose if we didn't go to Stake Conference (not really). And then (more ominous music) . . . they announced a General Authority would be coming. Dustin had meetings with him starting at 4 and I had a dinner with his wife followed by the Adult Session at 7 pm.

I felt like I was living Sophie's Choice!! Church or BYU? And isn't BYU pretty much the same thing as Church?? To the less awesome out there, maybe not, but you obviously do not love BYU as much as we do and therefore do not love the Gospel, so why are even going to Stake Conference anyway?

I know you're dying to hear our decision! You probably feel like you're reading Harry Potter right now and you have to know -- is Snape really good or bad??? Never fear, I will not make you read 7 books to find out.

We ended up deciding to be righteous. And by we, I think we all know I mean *me* because Dustin is always righteous and was always going to attend Stake Conference. But never fear, I had my sister all set up to text me updates. I only checked them in between speakers. I swear!! And Dustin made "I'm annoyed" sounds anytime I checked. But I bet he's glad I did.

In the end, it turns out being righteous results in immediate blessings: I did not have to suffer through that miserable game. BYU was trounced 53-10. At one point I asked my sister if she was making it all up because BYU could not possibly be playing this poorly. Sadly no. Our Utes friends said they were even hoping BYU would score at some point near the end because it was so sad to watch. I am so glad I didn't have to see the disappointment on my kids' faces. And the point of this story is: The tender mercies of the Lord are REAL! Even when it comes to football. And while the score was 40-10 we made to executive decision to go out for dessert with our friends and deleted the game off of our DVR when we got home.

Sunday night we headed over to the preplanned post-game party. I had been expecting to celebrate our clear superiority, but obviously I needed to learn humility and teach my kids that sometimes even BYU loses to the U. But not often. And clearly not where academics are concerned. We made some cookies and I even wore a red shirt!! My kids said congratulations and that was about the end of the story because as our friends so lovingly pointed out, "You can't even gloat over a win like that." Thanks for being gracious winners!!!

We had lots of yummy desserts and hung out while the kids played. Luke decided to use an airplane as a spoon and Sadie and Logan reminded us that Red and Blue can in fact co-exist:


Ni Hao

Sadie is always thinking. Her mind runs a million miles a minute and she is always full of questions and profound insights. Sometimes I need a little break from my bundle of energy and that comes in the form of a nap. Especially on days when my own crazy brain wakes me up before 4 am.

On days like these I like to turn on the TV for Sadie while Luke takes a nap and pass out on the floor of the living room for 20 minutes. During this precious 20 minutes there is a show on Nick Jr. called Ni Hao Kai-Lan which Sadie LOVES to watch. It's like the Chinese version of Dora.
Yes, Sadie likes to run and talk and make a mess, I mean CREATE! She does NOT like to stop and pose for pictures.

A few weeks ago at Sadie's Pre School Open House, I introduced her to a little girl who would be in her class on Wednesday. It went something like this:

Me: Sadie, this is Kailyn. She's going to be in your class.
Sadie: Oooooooh! Hi Kailyn.
Kailyn just smiles
Sadie (in her sappy sweet mothering voice): Oooooh, don't worry Kailyn. I speak Chinese! Yi, er, san.

Sadie is not only a constant source of entertainment, but she is also very considerate of others! And brilliant. I mean, she speaks Chinese.



I'll skip the excuses and get straight to the fun!

Real school started (not just Ellie's Playroom School) and we got back in the groove of getting dressed before 10 am, packing lunches, homework, after school activities. . . I decided that since I had agreed to be the Assistant Coordinator for Art Masterpiece this year, plus Sadie & Luke still at home that I would volunteer less in the classroom. I only signed up to help at a few parties in each class and teach Art Masterpiece for both once a month. Then came the desperate plea for more classroom volunteers. And following that came the news that Ellie didn't have a Class Mom. So needless to say, I've already put in a good 20 hours of school volunteer hours already.

We celebrated the First Day of School with a fun themed dinner. The kids came home to find the kitchen table decorated which was slightly poor planning on my part.
Ellie already had homework and Nate wanted a snack and I didn't want them to mess up the table before dinner, so I made them use the bar. They were both disgusted with me because they wanted to be under the paper airplanes.
However all was forgiven when I introduced the cootie catchers. We sat at the table for hours after dinner filling them out and playing with them.
And of course no Back to School Bash would be complete without an ode the greatest institute of eduction -- BYU. Dustin brought home a Cougar Paw Cake Pan from his trip to Utah. I know that is the worst decorating job ever, but I tried a new frosting recipe and it didn't quite set up right. It was the Best Frosting I Ever Had recipe which requires a level of patience I apparently do not have. It was obviously not the best frosting I have ever had.

Some of our favorite neighbors came for a visit (and yes, we had just seen them a week before in Virginia Beach, but we really do love them). I love when they come because it's a great excuse to get all the old neighbors together. Amy had us all over for a swim party.Of course we always forget to take a picture of all the kids, so here's a portion of them eating dinner. The next week we had a night out with just the Moms so we could actually catch up instead of chase kids (we have 24 kids between all of us).Forgive the hideous angle -- our waitress hated us. I seriously think she was independently wealthy and did not care what we tipped her. I am also thinking that was a wide angle lens because it is HORRIFIC. However, I will suffer through it because I love love my "freighbors." I will, however, be going on a crash diet before any more pictures will be taken of myself.

Luke ate a sandwich. Could it be because it was on a cow plate?? Yes, yes it was. I caved and bought Zoopals. Worth every.single.dollar.Luke is obsessed with animals. He can make any animal noise from turkeys to fish to dinosaurs. This has an upside because he is glued to any book with animals. The downside is all sacrament meeting he makes animal noises.

Somewhere in all this, Dustin and I celebrated out 12th wedding anniversary. Lucky me! Dustin bought me a new dress, a new purse, and a new necklace. I got him nothing. Why do men never listen when you say, "Let's not get each other anything"?? I wish we had pictures, but our poor sitter forgot she was babysitting, and then we were running late for our reservation. . .

Another fun night out with my girlfriends/our book club to see The Help. Have you ever tried to save 19 seats the weekend a movie comes out? Casey insisted it would not be crowded. I think we all know who was right.Loved the movie. Loved the book more. Love my girlfriend the most.

We learned to Hula at a fun Scout Activity at church. And since Nate hasn't gotten any face time, he gets to be the picture for this event.
Luke became the first member of our family to ever belong to an "Of the Month" Club. For Luke's birthday my parents enrolled him in the "Train of the Month" club and we have been having fun getting a new train in the mail each month. Between Dustin's church orders, Nate's LEGO club stuff and Luke's trains, the boys clearly get more mail than the girls. Someone send us girls a package -- PLEASE!

Sadie started preschool HOORAY! As enthusiastic as Sadie looks, we really do all love Miss Becky. Why else would this be the SIXTH year I sent a child there?She had a full month to wait after Nate and Ellie started school and everyday she would wake up and ask me what "fun" thing we were going to do today. Apparently running errands and going to the gym is not fun. On Sadie's approved list: going swimming, playing with friends, going out for lunch. . . About the only way I could appease her was copious amounts of trips to the library.She is much happier back with all of her friends. I vacillate between missing her funny little saying and sweet compliments and be glad she's not stealing food and leaving a hidden mess somewhere.

And then there have been the birthday parties, baptisms, temple trips, dinners with friends, game nights. . . It's been ridiculously hot so we have to make up our own fun to keep from getting cabin fever. Luckily there are always lots of swimming playdates and parties in Arizona. I can't wait for the three day weekend!!