Monday, January 31, 2011

Pixos, Parties and a Paper inspired by the Captain Underpants generation.

Most of this week was pretty quiet for the most part. 

One day Ashley pulled out her pixos to try them out...they worked great until I put too much water on her creation and we had to wait a long time for it to dry.

One afternoon we pulled out the leftover marshmellows from Ashley's cupcakes and decided to roast them on the stove....the kids loved this...Ashley wants to do it again.

Snuggling with the dog is a favorite pastime. She's getting almost as big as Ashley!!

1/2 way through the week I having one of those “housewife” days where you wonder if your wasting your life away not living up to your potential. You feel on the edge of not being needed by anyone or anything other than for cooking and cleaning and “being there” for the children to pick them up and make sure they’ve checked off their list of tasks for the day.

So the next day I ended the pity party and pulled out my ancestor journals for a project and poured over remarkable stories of incredible sacrifice, pioneer struggles, Indian attacks and remarkable testimonies of the church made more powerful by lives spent living what they believe. By the end of my time with these journals I was invigorated and got up and reached out to others more, and serving more than I have been lately. Nothing like reading pioneer stories to make me think that life isn't so bad!

On Friday Ashley got an award for Academic Excellence from her teacher. He said "Ashley give 100% effort to all of her classwork. She has a winning attitude and it show in her performance!"

I was so proud of her!

This weekend was the weekend for parties! Ashley had one on Friday night where she learned to love the Wii dance game.

We all got to go to a party to celebrate the temple sealing of the Mundo family at the Gardener's house.

(I was glad I got to go to the temple to be there with them and it was very touching. They were so happy :)

In the Gardener's backyard...the kids were having fun enjoying Taylor's rides...

They even had a beautiful cake.

My first time trying a tres leches cake. It was very good especially with the fruit inside...

you can see how much Taylor enjoyed it too.

That night Taylor was off to one birthday party and Jacob was off to another (I had a lot of presents to buy this weekend). 

This was Jacob's first boy/girl birthday party since he was little. He almost didn't make it because the girl had written the wrong address on the invitations...we weren't the only parents who were lost. We were about to give up until we saw a guy unloading pizzas at one of the houses and sure enough we found the party house.

The birthday girl told all her guests to dress "formal" Jacob said he was the only boy wearing slacks..but all the girls were wearing nice dresses so he was fine. I was worried about how crazy this party would get because I didn't know many of the kids. When I went to pick him up it was pretty mellow. I asked Jacob if anyone gotten wild he said "Well there was one time they were throwing gummy bears at each other." I think I can handle that kind of wildness ;)

So to end my post I am going to include Jacob's story he had to write for homework a "5 paragraph narrative". Taylor and Jacob were laughing over it last night. I think it's pretty obviously crafted by someone living in the Captain Underpants generation.

Jacob says his teacher is really strict....I'm a little worried she won't find his humor as amusing as he does.

One sunny day, in 15015, a group of friends were walking to a park. These friends, John, Jacob, Joseph, Joe, and Chip, were on their summer vacation. “It’s getting hot guys”, said Joe, “Let’s get something to drink”. Suddenly, the sky turned bright blue. “Hey what’s that?”said Chip pointing to what looked like a UFO. In an instant they were surrounded by a glowing, bright blue light. Then, the glowing stopped.

They looked at each other and they too were glowing. “Ok, I’m going home”, Joseph said. In two seconds he was home, this is weird. “WOW, I’m amazing!!!” He quickly ran back to the park and saw John flying, Joe spitting molten lava, and Chip digging large holes. Jacob was complaining, “What’s my superpower?” Suddenly, he flew up in the air followed by a smelly, green mushroom cloud.

Then John said “We should call ourselves The-Super-Awesome-Amazing Incredible-Mutant-J-Force-4 + Chip!” “And we should fight for all that is good and happy!!” Chip said. “No Way!!” said Jacob, “I want to hurt some people!” Then Joe screamed “HECK YES!!” “I don’t want to be a part of this!” Chip said and disappeared into a hole he dug. Soon The-Super-Awesome-Amazing-Incredible-Mutant-Force-4 started to pull pranks (like Toilet papering people’s houses) and Chip wanted to stop this.

This started world war 145.6 (Everybody was REALLY grumpy). This was all started by Chip spitting an acorn at Jacob who blasted it away with his super fart. The acorn landed on Johns head which was soon incinerated by Joe’s super spit. This epic battle caused friends to unfriend, mountains to drop, and anvils to fall.

Chip got tired of this and dug a gynormous hole creating mount chip (taller than Mount Everest). The-Super-Awesome-Amazing Incredible-Mutant-J-Force-4 started fighting their way up the mountain. When they got in space, Chip threw a Gynormous dirt ball causing The-Super-Awesome-Amazing Incredible-Mutant-J-Force-4 to vanish to a distant planet. Everybody (who wasn’t hit by an anvil) cheered for chip. Chip and all the survivors lived happily ever after.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nothing better than family

Monday was a day off for the kids and what a better thing to do than get out of the house and do something fun with family.

We called up Steve and Tahna and met them at the skating rink. (you can see Jacob in the background)

Jacob and Ashley might not run as fast as their friends...but they both can skate as fast as them ;)

The line was around the building when we got there but luckily prompt Steve and Tahna were already inside with a table waiting for us!

The place was packed but with it only costing a dollar to get in..we weren't too surprised.

We all had fun skating and playing card games

 (Steve and Tahna always come prepared)

Jenise came too even though the baby is a little young to be skating yet ;)

Before the session was done Ashley was complaining about feeling tired so we thought it was time to go. I thought her cold was done but I guess it wasn't...we got home and sure enough she started getting a fever again!

The next morning we both had a fever! The next couple of days Ashley and I were sick together sitting around not doing much of anything other than popping pills and watching TV waiting for the fever to come down some. Jeff would play super Dad every night after work and try and take care of me and the kids and house at night. Finally after some rest (and anti-biotics Ashley started feeling better and was back to school and I  and was good enough this weekend to drive up to Angela's to spend the night and go to her baby shower.

Jeff had flown out for a speaking assignment so I was on my own to pack everyone up, and drive the 2 1/2+ hours to Camarillo. That was a looong drive (especially with no one to talk to as the kids were all watching a movie)

I realized how many times Angela and Robert have made that drive to see us! Made me appreciate them more for doing it!

Robert and Angela had food for us and had rented a movie. Poor Robert kept getting attacked by the kids. For some reason they can't stop rubbing his head and snuggling him :)  I'm not to sure what he thinks about it but he's pretty patient because he never tells them to stop (even though I try and get them to stop)

Robert was the hero of the weekend when someone wanted to tow my car at 2:00 am and he rescued it as the tow truck was coming. Whew! That would've been a nightmare!

Here's Angela and her baby shower hostesses. They did a wonderful job and put on a great baby shower.

The brunch food was amazing!

And the house was great with a beautiful backyard and perfect weather.

Angela and Robert have supported us and our kids with all of their things through the years so it was so nice for me to be there while Angela was getting "her" day.

Lots of people came to the shower and I could see that Angela is loved by all those who know her! She is surrounded by great people!

Robert's Mom got them a great jogging stroller so Dad (and mom) can take the baby out for some fresh air ;).  Looked like a nice stroller and Carol was excited to give it to them.

Ashley loved Carol's dog who came to visit with her. She was the cutest thing and loved having us throw the ball for her. After the shower and packing up we said our good-byes and started the long drive back home.

All the kids ended up falling asleep most of the way home...the only good side to that was I could at least listen to music even if I still didn't have anyone to talk to.

Jeff flew back from Oakland and was on the couch when we got home. For the past 3 days he's been flat out with a fever and a cold....poor guy...I know how miserable it is! I'm just glad we weren't both sick at the same time now I can take care of him ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Ashley

This last Friday was Ashley's 9th Birthday!!

And...for the second year in a row she was sick on her birthday.

She woke up not feeling good and with enough of a fever that I had to keep her home.

I had spent hours the night before finishing her "bullfrog" cupcakes (to go with Mark Twain bulfrogs) and now she wouldn't be able to bring them in.

Well we dropped them off anyway on the way to the doctor's. She was set to have her party that night so I wanted to make sure she wasn't going to infect anyone!

The doctor checked her out and declared that she just had a common cold and not to let people drink after her or give her BIRTHDAY KISSES (she blushed at that one).  So the party was on!

After months of dreaming up what she wants for her party she finally got her "Late Over"!

We started off the party by eating pizza and letting the girls play Knect. They started out timid but by the end they were all joining in jumping, moving and being silly.


Then it was time for games. We played "hot potato" which was a favorite party game growing up. You wrap a present a bunch of times and the kids pass it around until the music stops and get to unwrap one of the layers. The last person to unwrap gets to keep whats inside.

Then we played a memory game where I had a bunch of stuff in a pillowcase and they had to feel around at what was inside of it and then remember as much as they could.

As they were reaching their arms into the bag I got questions like

"Is their germs on these things???!!"


"Is there broken glass in there???" I assured her there was no broken glass "Good, because if I got cut on it my parents would be very mad!"

Then we played the gift exchange where you could steal each other's gifts. They kind of liked it by there wasn't a lot of stealing going on because the girls were too polite.

The last game was glow stick scavenger hunt. They were running all over the house to get the next "clue" along with glow sticks. By the end they all had glow sticks, candy, nail polish and a gift set from the gift games.

Ashley had requested a pinata right before the party but I nixed it..."besides it'll be dark" I said (I really didn't want to mess with it).

Here is Ashley's "late over" cupcakes inspired by my new Hello Cupcake book.

Happy Birthday to Ashley!!

Next the girls all changed into jammies and snuggled with their pillows and blankets they brought and we watched Toy Story 3.

Along with popcorn and candy it kept them entertained until parents picked them up (except for 3 or 4 girls who went upstairs to tell secrets)

The next day Ashley's cold came on full force.

She hung out in her jammies and got to play with her new toys.

And enjoy her new snuggie thats just her size!

By Sunday I was feeling it in my throat. Got through my Gospel Doctrine lesson but barely my voice was going...going...gone by the end of the lesson.

Ashley and I are sicky twins right now.

It's dragging on so long I actually took her back to the doctor...just a cold he said.

Hurumph ... a miserable cold.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Long Lost Christmas pictures!

I found my missing camera!

It was in Ashley's purse that she brought to Cheri's house at Christmas!

So I'm going to play some catch up.

First the kids all did their piano recitals. They did great as always and of course it always makes it more fun with friends to perform with. (One boy stayed for both recitals just to hear Taylor play his song ;)

We feel so blessed to have Connie as a teacher!

We love her!

Once the recitals were done...we haven't heard too much piano playing around seems like that always happens ;)

Here is Ashley coming with me to get shots for Maddie. I love how they crunch up some dog treats for her and then give her a shot while she's licking them up...she doesn't even know what hit her and she doesn't seem to mind at all.

Missing family at Christmas was eased with packages like this one from my sister Virginia. She does beautiful needle work (that I don't have the patience for) and some wonderful divinity that she made. (I might just have to try it next year).

I also wanted to make some cookies that my mom used to make growing up...they are candy cane shaped cookies.

I couldn't remember where I got the recipe from...but I thought I'd check in here...which is a cookbook that my aunt compiled of recipes mainly from my Grandma Larsen. The first page I opened to in the book had the recipe for candy cane cookies. I guess it was her recipe ;) I counted it as a tender mercy and helped me feel close to her and my mom as I made them.

They looked pretty...but Jeff's family definitely preferred the chocolate peanut butter cup surprise there ;)

Christmas Eve we turned the TV to "Its a Wonderful Life" and watched it some after our Christmas Devotional and then we started to get the kids to bed. For some reason Taylor was really interested in it (we don't watch many old movies). He kept not wanting to go to bed. Well the movie wasn't over until 11:00, Jeff ended up dozing off but I enjoyed watching it with Taylor and then he got to come and help bring Santa stuff down the stairs. His first year doing that...I think he liked it :)

You can tell how excited Jacob is the next morning.

And Ashley. She is holding press on nails, which she loves but I hate. I spend forever trying to get them on her fingers and the longest she's ever kept them on is 10 minutes (It takes me longer than that to put them on!).  Then I'm finding them in the carpet...and so on....she Had to have these on before breakfast...I think they lasted 5 minutes tops. Hee hee.

MMMMmmm smell that smell. We got the boys "men's scented body wash" to "smell like a man" (we always laugh at the Old Spice commercials). They actually ended up liking using body long as it was a manly smell that is.

One of the only things Ashley wanted from Santa was a CD she can play her own music in her room.

Yah...random games of skill.

OK what could this be!!??

Whoa...a Barbie airplane! (MIght be the last year we can get away with Barbie ;)

The highlight was the Knect. Pretty fun to jump around and play the game without a controller. Two player is the best. Anyone who wants to come play with us is welcome.

Our kids were pretty much happy with whatever they got.

Thanks Grandpa and Grandma for the package of presents you sent too! They loved opening all your presents!

Next stop was Cheri's for Christmas with Jeff's family.

Our best Christmas present was the fact that Cheri was willing to host it at their cute house!!

Sitting around, eating and enjoying each other.

Waiting for the present opening to begin.

Cousin time...notice Ashley on the phone in the background. Josh called from the mission field while we were there so we got to pass the phone and talk to him. He's doing great!

Baby's first Christmas!

Jeff and I enjoyed snuggling...because we can never sit down together when we are hosting ;)

But before we left we had to join in on a game of Rock Band. So fun!

So now the Christmas pictures are caught up...a little from our last week.

Maddie keeps growing...I'm afraid that at some point she'll pass up Ashley! (even though she's still the best Doggy Mommy)

She's still got more growing to long will she get??!!

Taylor is the best one  to play catch with her.

And Jacob gives her love too (especially since she's not biting as much). For some reason she loves hanging out on top of this little table. It makes it easier to pet her but she'll hang out on it without anyone around.

She's doing better on the house training and we've been letting her in the family room more to hang out with us while we watch TV at night...yesterday was wash day though and she kept stealing the socks to chew on and trying to grab flowers from the plant...naughty girl ;)

This last week the boys were invited to participate in the Eagle Court of Honor for Josh Trupp.

They've become friends with Josh through the Nelson's and Bradfords and have enjoyed getting to know him better. They did an excelent court of honor which helped us get ideas for when we do Taylor's.

Josh's uncle made this board with all of Josh's patches, carved in place no less. I was impressed!

I was even impressed with the refreshments. They had eagle shaped sugar cookies and cupcakes with chocolate scout symbols on them.

Thursday night Ashley and I went to Marissa Belcher's baby

Friday night I went to Cindy Pendeltons to scrapbook...haven't done that in

And Saturday morning we got to go to Nathan and Soli's baptism.

It was hard to believe that it was about a year ago we were doing Ashley's baptism!

We were so happy for both of them.

That night Ashley was invited to a movie night at Marin Bradford's...she's becoming the social butterfly ;)

Well Jacob might be able to pass her up on that...he comes home every day telling me about all the people that wanted to give him hugs. Yesterday he said that 2 girls asked him out!!!

I asked him what he said...he said "I'm not Ready." 

Good answer.