Sunday, January 30, 2011

I'm the guy!

Has it really been 10 days since we blogged?!? Sorry about that. And honestly, we've mostly been sitting around watching Oprah and eating skittles, so there's really no excuse. I guess we have put a little time into some ragamuffins that call us Mom and Dad.

Christi is my hero! This past week I was in Orlando on a business trip from Monday to Thursday. She got the kids to school, Sophi to a school evaluation, boys to basketball, Graci to young women, girls to dance, breakfast, lunch and dinner, kids to bed, I could keep going on and on and on, all by herself!!! Wow! I can hardly keep MYSELF fed. OK, that was a joke. Anyone who knows me can tell I have no problem keeping myself fed. Xander recently said, "Daddy, when I grow up I want to be a Daddy with a fat tummy, just like you!" Thanks, bud:)

At the meeting in Orlando, I won a leadership award. It is something I am very grateful for. It came with a beautiful plaque, a very nice watch, three extra vacation days to take a trip, and a substantial travel budget to pay for the trip. The award is officially called the "Sales Consultant Leadership Award" for the region. To make it easier to explain to Christi what I had won (and I was totally surprised by this award, so I hadn't even told her it was a possibility), I just said I won "Rep of the Year" for my region. Later that night I was talking to Taylor, and Christi had shared the good news with him. He got on the line and said, "Dad, it's great that you won "Guy of the District!" I like it. I'm going to suggest it for the official title going forward:)

"Guy of the District"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Practical Advice

Taylor and Graci had science projects due on Wednesday. Tuesday afternoon I brought home the display boards they had to complete to show their projects. At about 10:30 pm we were finishing up Taylor's. (Graci's was finished first.) At that point, Christi gave Taylor some great advice. "Taylor, it would serve you well to learn to prepare ahead of time and complete your projects early. It would serve you equally well to learn not to worry about things until they need to be done and then do a good but efficient job on the project.:)"

Christi is the undisputed queen of the "let's-do-a-fantastic-last-minute-job" project. Lucky the kids don't have to depend on me for that!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here Comes Trouble!

Due to the incredible demands on Christi's time right now, we've hired a recent high-school graduate to come help Christi for a few hours on weekday mornings. She is coming to help tomorrow, and since the kids are out of school, they will meet her for the first time. Tonight, Christi told Taylor, Parker and Graci that she would be coming. After they heard about it, the following conversation ensued:

Parker: How old is she?
Christi: She's about 18.
Taylor: She's WAY to old for you, Parker!
Graci: It's great to have a maid.
Me: Let's not call her a maid.
Taylor: What should we call her?
Parker: (Without missing a beat and with a big, goofy grin on his face) Can I call her my date?

That kid is funny, and was mostly joking, but you can bet I'll be keeping my eye on him over the next several years!!!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

I love my Parker...

(And yes, this is my FOURTH post tonight!) (:

While scrolling through pictures on Jer's phone tonight, Parker said, "OK, Mom-- that has got to be THE cutest picture I've ever seen!" He was referring to this photo, taken at one of the little shops in China. Sophi was pointing to these glasses and was so happy when I put them on her.

What we've been up to lately...

Sneaking candy into church

Dancing with Dad

Reading with Dad

Playing Secret Agent

Playing Quelf!

More reading with Dad

Conducting science experiments

Making messes

Going on her very first playdate! (:

Rocking a new hairdo

Combing toilet paper out of wet hair (this does NOT do the whole thing justice, and was taken toward the end of it all)

Playing mermaid

Making his little sister laugh

Making Brownies

Playing with Daddy

Club Meetings

Playing peek-a-boo

And building this VERY cool Rube Goldberg machine (I love my genius boys!)

Shhhh... don't tell!

Today I…

Ate 4 brownies (large ones, too)
Sat in the van by myself for at least 10 minutes just trying to work up the courage to go inside my house
Didn’t want to go to church (but I did—that has to count for something, right?)
Heard about 1% of the talks given at church
Put a sweatshirt over my dress and white socks over my black nylons (which had several noticeable runs in them, by the way) as soon as I got home
Played “Angry Birds” on Jer’s phone when I had a million other productive things I could have done
Forgot to change Elli’s wet sheets, and when I realized it, just put a blanket on top for her to lay on (they were dry at that point—as if that makes a big difference)
Danced with Jeremy in our very messy bedroom and still thought it romantic
Cuddled with every one of my kids at some point (ok, you can tell on me for that) (:


PS. This is Jer. Tonight was the first time Christi played Angry Birds. (If you haven't played it yet, don't start. It's very addictive.) Taylor, Parker and I were huddled around Christi as she tried to get the hang of it. At first she was really struggling to make her shots go where she wanted them to. After several somewhat pathetic attempts, Parker said, " you know what angles are?"


Our little monkey...

Disclaimer: We do know there is such a thing as a bib.


Am I the only dad who finds toothbrushes on the bathroom floor? Is there much more of an "ick factor" than that? I mean, c'mon!!!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

5 Things I love about...


1. Her motherly nature
2. How she gets sassy sometimes (not bad sassy, just cute sassy)
3. The way she keeps her bed. She has hardly ANY room to sleep—it is full of animals, dolls, blankets, favorite books, her scriptures, her “sleeping kit” (which is endearing in and of itself and consists of her sleeping mask, ear plugs, tissues, etc), her Zhu Zhu house, and more!
4. The little projects she does with Jessica
5. How she loves to keep her room organized


1. His grin when something is really funny
2. His willingness to help others with homework or doing other things, without being asked!
3. His incredible, amazing, uncanny knowledge of sports facts
4. The way he is not embarrassed to show affection to me in front of his friends
5. How I can talk to him for hours and LOVE it


1. His genuine sweetness and tenderness
2. His face as he plays sports (very intense!)
3. The way he always wants to look his best
4. That he still loves to cuddle
5. His protectiveness over his brothers and sisters-- he is so good to them


1. Our conversations as I tuck her in at night
2. The little trays of food and “tea” she is always making and serving
3. Her dress ups
4. Her innocence
5. The “books” she is always writing. Her last one read: “I rot this boock all by myself. This is calld my specil boock. I am a suidard (sweetheart) and I am speshl to my mom and dad. I love ranbows and I love all the colors. I am speshl to my mommy and daddy. The end.” All of course with wonderful illustrations.


1. Her amazing, silky hair
2. Listening to her play the piano
3. Her giddiness over all things sweet
4. Playing the “M & M game” with her. This is where each member of the family takes two M & Ms and spreads out to different places in the room. We call out to her, “Elli, this is ‘Taylor’ and I have two M & M’s. She finds the person and then gives them a hug and a kiss before she can have her candy. She gets so intense and it’s so much fun for us all.
5. When she uses her words


1. Her breathtaking smile.
2. The way she will find your hand and kiss it so tenderly
3. Her independent nature
4. The way she says “say what?” (soooo cute!)
5. Her gentleness and the way she has so quickly become such an important and special part of our family


1. His energy
2. The way he almost always says, “sure!” when you ask him to do something.
3. His love for others and willingness to always share and give hugs
4. Watching him do “kung fu”
5. His fun imagination

1. The way she always wakes up with one eye open. We call her the “one-eyed moster” or “the Soph monster.”
2. Her expressions. They are priceless.
3. The way she will scoot around and follow me if I am holding anything edible and get almost frantic to have a bite
4. Her puppy dog eyes
5. Her wave. And everything she does with her feet. She is AMAZING with those little toes.

And what I loved best about writing these little lists? That my heart just swelled with love for EVERY ONE of my precious kiddos. Oh, how I love them! I could write hundreds of things I love about each one. I am so grateful for their individuality and also for the ways they are the same—all sweet and loving and just such good kids. I am so blessed to be their mother!


1. Bananas-- 48
2. Christmas decorations--0
3. Dishwasher--3
4. Kids Jer took to church when I was sick--7 (Taylor was sick too)
5. Doctor-- 4
6. Toilet paper pieces-- Hundreds (It looked like large snowflakes flittering in the air as I combed them out)
7. Laundry-- enough to make me crazy
8. Ramen-- 15
9. Bathed children--5
10. Clean bathrooms--1 (Disclaimer: Don't be too impressed that I actually have a clean bathroom because a) there was a reason it had to be cleaned that, trust me, you don't want to know about, and b) It's no longer clean.)
11. Science fair projects--2
12. Kids who have interrupted me--6
13. Taylor asking for haircut-- at least 10
14. Additional square feet-- thousands (or even a large front closet would do wonders)
15. Darling kids to tuck in--8

Meaning... Aus-- you are amazing! I had no idea anyone could come as close as you did-- especially someone I've never actually met! Maybe you'll be getting a fun package in the mail sometime. Maybe. (:


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Daily dose of Jesi and Graci

As we're rushing to get everyone ready for school:
Me: "Jesi, where's your backpack?"
Jesi: "In my room."
Me, after looking around her room: "Where in your room?"
Jesi, with a teenager-roll-her-eyes-tone-of-voice: "Hellllo! Somewhere!"

Christi and I took Jesi out to dinner by herself tonight. Christi said to me: "Guess who Jesi's 1st best friend is?"
Me: "Who is it, Jesi?"
Jesi, with a coy smile, "Mommy! And guess who my 2nd best friend is."
Me: "Who?"
Jesi: "Graci. You're my 3rd best friend." Then, with an impish smile "Ha ha. You're close to lastest best!"

Tonight I was working on Graci's math homework with her. She asked if her answer to the last problem was correct. This is what she had written: "alike the bout will have #s go on for every different they will get difererct if 2 is Pall it not the same has if you have nine."
It does make slightly more sense (but only a LITTLE more) if you have read the question. I am so proud of our sweet Graci and how hard she has worked and the good grades she has earned in spite of changing languages 3 years ago!!! Way to go, Grace:) I love you:)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Numbers of...

Can you match the numbers?? Maybe I'll send a Perplexus to the person who gets the most right! I say maybe, because my list of things to do is so long that I'd be crazy to promise anything right now. (:

1. Bananas that Jeremy recently bought during one trip (and which we ate ALL of)
2. Christmas decorations I have taken down
3. Times I run the dishwasher every day
4. Kids Jeremy took to church all by himself when I was sick on Sunday
5. Doctor appointments we had during the first two days of this week
6. Little tiny pieces of toilet paper I had to comb out of Elli’s hair after she put a roll of toilet paper in the tub with her
7. Loads of laundry I am behind in
8. Packages of Ramen noodles our family eats in one meal
9. Kids who actually took a shower or bath today
10. Clean bathrooms in my house
11. Science fair projects to complete
12. Kids who have interrupted me as I’m writing this list
13. Times Taylor has asked for a haircut in the past two weeks
14. Additional square feet I would love
15. Darling kids I get to tuck in tonight

Answers (not in order) are:

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, at least 10, 15, 48, hundreds, thousands, and enough to make me crazy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No More Tangles!


Jessica has been saying for months now that as soon as we come back from China, she is going to cut her hair short. I'm not sure what prompted this, (perhaps the tears as we combed through it each day) and I had mixed feelings as I cut off those precious 14 inches-- but I have to say that I am soooo happy with her decision! Even Jeremy (who took months to come around to the idea) loves her new look. (:


This is the look I was given when I asked for "just one more picture."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sophi and Sophi

This Christmas gift deserved a post of its own. (: The cousins on my side of the family draw names for Christmas. This year, Colten had Sophi, and this is what my sister, Leslie, helped him come up with. We knew it was a hit when she didn't start to scream as we placed it near her (remember, she's terrified of most stuffed animals, dolls, etc) but when she kissed it, we knew it was something very special. (: Thank-you, Colten and Les!