Friday, December 26, 2008


Caleb got a cool remote control spider from Santa. Anna and Alex are actually kind of scared of it. It moves like a spider.

The kids had a lot of fun opening presents. They were excited to give the presents they had picked out also.

Alex loved his new car toy. We've been pushing him in it all over the house since it is too snowy outside.

Caleb dressed up as a shepherd at the Challis family Christmas party nativity

Anna and Rachel dressed up as angels for the nativity for the Challis Party.
It seems like we celebrated Christmas for several days. On Tuesday, we had a Christmas dinner with all of my family. Everyone came, so there was over 30 people. We exchanged gifts and had a good time together. We watched the family movie I made with all of our family pictures. I enjoy hanging out with my sisters.
For lunch on Christmas Eve, we went to the Challis family Christmas party. This is always a big hit with the kids. They get to act out the Nativity and hit some Piniatas. On Christmas Eve, we ate dinner with my family again. This was just a little family gathering. Only those who live right in the area came, for a yummy ham dinner. We didn't do any program or anything this time. After leaving my parents house, we went down to the Rowleys for a family home evening/hymn singing. I actually didn't sing much because I was chasing Alex all over the house, and for some reason I had hiccups off and on the whole day. I just don't sound good singing and hiccuping at the same time.
We woke up on Christmas and had a fun time opening presents with the kids. Alex got crabby since he was hungry, so we brought the highchair in the living room so he could snack while we opened presents. The best thing that Dan bought me was PaintShop Photo. It is like PhotoShop. Its gonna take me a while to figure out how to use everything. I was glad he bought it for me--I'm too cheap to buy such expensive software. After spending a while at home, we dug out of the snow and went back to the Rowley's for a gift exchange and lunch. We had a good time. I have a hard time keeping Alex out of trouble when we go to other people's houses though. We didn't exchange our present yet, since we have George and Lorianne, and they won't be here until Sunday.
Then we went home and had a long nap. I love long naps, but I rarely get one. Actually, the older kids watched our new Wall-E movie while the rest of us napped.
After we got the kids to bed, Dan and I watched Batman Dark Knight. I bought it for us for Christmas (Dan and I, not the kids). Neither of us had ever seen it. I wished that I had just rented it. I didn't really like it. It was too dark and scary. There's no way I'm gonna let the kids watch this one. Maybe we'll give it to someone who might like it.
We had a great Christmas. It is nice now to have the rest of the week to take life slowly and just hang around the house.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Caleb can be such a cute, funny little boy sometimes. Last night we were practicing his spelling words for his spelling test. When I do spelling with Rachel, she writes hers down. When I do spelling with Caleb, he spells everything back outloud without writing anything down. Caleb decided to spell all of his spelling words backwards when he spelled them back to me. I thought it was funny. Amazingly, he spelled everything correctly, backwards.
When I tucked Caleb in and listened to his prayer last night, he said such a cute little prayer. In his prayer, he was thankful that our van has cupholders. I had to bite my tongue not to laugh during his prayer. How in the world did he think up that one? I guess I need to be more thankful for the little things like cupholders.
Lately, Caleb and Anna have become best friends. Up until now, there never really played together. Now, they love to sleep in each other's rooms too. All of our kids have their own rooms. Caleb has a bunkbed in his room. You would think that Caleb and Anna would be content to sleep on separate bunks. But no. They both sleep in Caleb's bed. I am glad that they are such great pals. I hope it stays that way.
My nickname for Caleb is Caleby (Caleb-ee). When all of my kids were babies, I made up songs for them. It is their "I love you" song. When I sang Caleb's song, I needed an extra syllable so his name became Caleby. Caleb can be such a difficult child sometimes. But I really love my sweet little boy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmases Past

Rachel's first Christmas
Christmas 2005 (Above) Christmas 2002 (Below)

Last night as I was laying in bed, I was thinking about all of the Christmases since Dan and I have been married. Bear with me while I list them.

Our first Christmas
We lived in the apartment behind Mom and Dad's house. We were both in school, and we had only been married a few weeks. The only Christmas decoration we owned was a wedding present that was a Christmas snow globe. We bought a real tree. Then we went to Kmart and got a few of the last decorations they had left and decorated our tree. On Christmas Eve we lit a candle and drank sparkling cider while we admired our first Christmas tree. We had a hard time picking gifts for each other since we didn't know each other as well as we do now. I was working as a Math tutor, and Dan worked the 2-10pm shift at Modus Media.

Our Second Christmas
We still lived in the apartment. This year we used a hand-me-down fake tree. I was 5 months pregnant with Rachel. At the time, I worked at 1-800Contacts, and Dan was trying to make it as a Realtor.

Our Third Christmas
Rachel was 7 months old. She was the highlight of our Christmas. We lived at our Condo in Midvale. We were really poor at the time, and couldn't buy too many gifts for Christmas. We were really happy though.
Our Fourth Christmas
We still lived at our Condo in Midvale. We were both still attending UVSC. Dan worked all day and went to school at night. I was pregnant with Caleb at the time. We didn't have a lot of money for presents, and Dan got a speeding ticket for speeding in school zone. We were hoping to buy a DVD player, and we scraped up enough money for that. I bought Rachel presents at Savers. I felt like puking since I was pregnant.

Our Fifth Christmas
We had just moved to our first West Jordan house. We bought the house thinking that our condo would sale soon. But it didn't. We were making two mortgage payments at the time. On top of that, Dan's truck broke down, the furnace broke, and the tv broke. This Christmas things seemed so hard. We managed to get a few presents for each other, and Leslie bought our kids presents. We were so happy to be in a house. Let me tell you that I hate living close to people. Our neighbor at our condo complained about our TV being too loud. I never complained to her that I could hear her singing in the shower. At this Christmas, Dan was in grad school, and I was still working on my Bachelor's degree.

Our Sixth Christmas
Can you believe the double mortgages almost dragged out for a year? We had several renters fall through, and a sale that took 3 months to go through. Right before Christmas, we finally got rid of our Condo. That was the thing I was happiest about. I was also happy because Dan finished his Master's degree right before Christmas. Somebody did a sub-for-santa for us this year. We didn't ask for it. Somebody in our ward who knew that we were making double mortgage payments arranged it. It brings a whole new meaning to humility when you see what others have done for you. I felt so humbled.

Our Seventh Christmas
I finished my Bachelor's degree right before Christmas. That was a huge relief. It was our first Christmas that we weren't poor. Now, I am not saying we were rich. But if you look at our other Christmases, we were rich. Caleb was 2 and Rachel was 4. We had a lot of fun. We got a new hand-me-down tree since I rat made its nest in our other tree that we had in a box in our shed.

Our Eigth Christmas
This Christmas we had 3 children. Anna, Rachel, and Caleb. We were all so delighted to have a baby in our family again. I don't remember much else, except we were happy.

Our Ninth Christmas
Anna was 1, Caleb was 4, and Rachel was 6. This was our last Christmas at our old house. We put up our tree in the entry way this year. Anna got a ride-on toy that played music. Rachel made up a little dance that went with the song. It was cute. Recently I asked Rachel to do the dance and she didn't even know what I was talking about. We got a trampoline this year. Dan and I put it up on the 26th. (Can you believe he wouldn't put it up on Christmas Eve?) We were so cold by the time we were done.

Our Tenth Christmas
This was our first Christmas in a new West Jordan house. We were so thankful to be in a much bigger house. It was also Alex's first Christmas. It seems kind of strange, but I think Alex was the highlight of our Christmas.

As I look back through the years, I can see that it really is the people that made Christmas great. It is family that is important. I am so thankful for everyone. I am thankful for those that helped us during our poor years. Most of all, I am thankful for Jesus Christ. It is only in and through him that we can be saved. I am thankful that we can celebrate his birth.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Keeping up with Alex

These are pictures that Rachel took with her digital camera. Sometimes when I look at her I can't believe she is getting so grown up. She is often my "right-hand-man". She took these pictures and then she took Alex off the table. Unless the chairs are all knocked over (which we do when we are sick of getting Alex off the table), he is always on the table. I would just keep the chairs knocked over all of the time, but I hate the way it looks in my kitchen.

I thought Anna gave me a run for my money. I think Alex is going to beat her out for the busiest toddler award.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Getting Rid of Stuff

When Dan and I were first married, we were really poor. At that time, I picked up the habit of not getting rid of things. Well, as our family grew, and our house was still the same size, I started to get rid of some stuff.
I'm proud to say that now I get rid of stuff all the time. I have an ongoing garbage bag of stuff to donate.
Tonight was a bit of a sentimental closet cleanout. I dumped all of my maternity clothes and baby clothes in bags to give to people and donate. We've decided that we have our hands completely full with 4 children. There's no reason to keep those clothes anymore. They are just taking up closet space. In a way, it seems kind of sad. It's the end of this chapter in our lives. We will never stare in wonder at our own newborn again. We will never sit in excitement and watch the ultrasounds. But then again, it will sure be nice to be done with diapers as soon as Alex is potty-trained. No more sleepless nights. In a few mores years we'll be able to take all of the kids to movies. Before we had Anna and Alex, we had started taking Rachel and Caleb to movies at the theater. It will be nice to leave the diaper bag behind.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Zoo in November

Since the kids are off-track for 4 weeks right now, we are trying hard to stay busy. Today we went to the zoo. I've never been to the zoo in November. I found out it was free zoo day, and thought it would be a fun thing to do. It was actually quite warm, and we were all hot from wearing our coats, by the time we got done.

We stopped and picked Dan up from work on the way, so he was able to come with us. I always appreciate having an extra adult along since I'm outnumbered 4 to 1.

Alex thought everything was a kitty. He called everything a kitty. Anna was running down the hill, and tripped and fell. It sounded awful. One of her shoes came off in the fall. Remarkably, she didn't even end up with a single scratch. I guess her think coat cushioned the fall (and probably was the horrible skidding sound). Thanks again for the coat Jen.

It was a fun trip to the zoo.

Friday, November 21, 2008

10 Years!!

I changed the song on my blog in celebration of our 10 Year Anniversary today. Kind of silly, but when we engaged, Dan bought the Phil Collins CD at the store. When we got back to his parent's house, we put the CD in the CD player in the kitchen, and danced to this song. So, whenever we hear the song "Groovy Kind of Love" we remember it.

I wouldn't trade the last 10 years. It has been some of the best years of my life. We've had good times and hard times. Looking back, we've:

1. Owned 3 houses

2. Had 4 kids

3. Had a lot of different jobs

4. When we got married, we were one semester from finishing our Associates degrees. Dan finished his Bachelor's degree, and Master's degree, and I finished my Bachelor's degree. Man, when I look back at our college days, I don't wanna go back. That was tough!

5. We've aged a bit---thankfully I don't look like I'm 14 still. When we were younger and people found out I was married I got the "You look too young" response. When I was pregnant with Rachel I looked like a young, pregnant teenager.

Since I know you're gonna read this blog, Dan, I just wanted to say "I LOVE YOU"!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Primary Program.....

Yesterday was our Primary Program at church. Rachel and Caleb got to sit on the stand, so we only had Anna and Alex sitting with us. Anna and Alex have a very hard time sitting still during church. Anna was flopping herself around demanding to know if it was time for nursery. Alex was quite the little ham. He snuck out into the aisle and began saying "hi" to everyone. He even gave the guy behind us a hug. From what I saw of the program, Rachel and Caleb did good with their speaking parts. I ended up in the hall towards the end of the program. I found it strange that after sacrament meeting a lot of people came up and told Caleb what a great job he had done. Later I found out why. During the last song, "I am a child of God", I was out in the hall. I could hear a child singing rather loudly into the microphone. In fact, I think that was the only child I could hear. I didn't know who it was. Guess who it was??? Caleb! I didn't know Caleb was even singing during the program. Caleb can be such a cute, sweet boy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Rachel said she was a rock star for Halloween. She actually looked like a flapper. She was cute and had a fun time.

Anna was the cutest bumblebee.

Caleb was really proud of his pumpkin. He had it picked out as soon as we picked the pumpkins from the garden. He named his pumpkin "Big Belly".

This was right before we went trick-or-treating. Caleb changed his costume several times on Halloween. It was actually the warmest trick-or-treating I ever remember. By the time we were done, Caleb was complaing how hot he was. I was getting hot too. I can't ever get all of the kids to look at the camera at the same time.

Here's a picture of me with the kids. I dressed up like an indian. I haven't dressed up since I was a kid. But Rachel and Caleb begged me to dress up this year. I had fun. I felt kind of dumb going places during the day when I was dressed up. By the end of the day, all the kids (except Alex doesn't talk well enough yet) said what a great day it was. We ran out of candy to pass out by 8:00pm. I bought 5 bags of candy bars. I guess next year I should buy more candy. Or maybe I should stop sneaking and eating some of the candy bars. I love chocolate. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My baby is One Year Old!

On Tuesday, Alex turned one year old. It is hard to believe he is already that old. He is such a cute little guy. We are so glad he's part of our family.

I think he was quite oblivious that it was his birthday. He played with his new toys, and got into the cupboards like usual. He enjoyed his birthday cake. He kept trying to grab the candle when we were singing to him.

It seems kind of sad when a baby turns into a toddler. They don't snuggle much anymore.

When I took Alex to his 1 year old checkup, he weighed 22 pounds, and was 31 1/2 inches tall. He has grown over a foot in one year. The doctor said that we needed a padded room for Alex. That's how active he is. He is into everything and only stops when he is sleeping. Its a good thing that he still takes naps, or I might just go crazy.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

At least my kids think so. It snowed on Saturday night and Sunday. We got about half an inch. By the time we got home from church it was all melted. Rachel was disappointed. She was hoping to play in in it.
On Sunday morning after breakfast, I sent Caleb downstairs to his room to get ready for church. A little while later, I came down to see if he was ready. I found him and Anna huddled together under a blanket with "Jingle Bells" blasting from his CD player. I laughed. It is not even Halloween yet. I didn't even know he had a CD with Christmas music on it.
On the way to school today, the kids were asking how long until Christmas. Oh man, don't start asking that already. I told them I didn't know because we were still counting down to Halloween.
It seems like just a week ago, we had our AC blasting. Now its the furnace. This was sure a wild temperature swing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Anna Turns 3...and more

Anna with her cake at the Rowley family birthday party.

Anna with her new dolls

On Monday Anna turned 3 years old. We celebrated her birthday with the Rowley family on Sunday. As you might notice from the cake picture, she had 2 of the 3 candles blown out before we had even finished singing "Happy Birthday".

On Monday, my parents and sister Leslie came over for the celebration.

Anna woke up really grouchy on her birthday. She is usually really grouchy in the morning. She threw a giant fit because she realized that she had fallen asleep and slept all night in her clothes. So, I quickly gave her the present that was her new princess pajamas. That cheered her right up, and then she was excited about her birthday.

Anna saw a picture of a barbie cake I had made for Rachel several years ago, and wanted a barbie cake for her birthday. She helped me make and decorate it. It looked pretty good until I let her get out the sparkly frosting gels. But she loved the cake anyways. And it tasted way better than store cake.

Anna had a fun day.

Anna is getting older now, and is enjoying creative play. She has played for hours with the "Peek a Boo Barbie" dolls she got for her birthday.

Alex's birthday is in just a few more days. He is actually starting to talk a bit. The other morning, he woke up first (like usual). We were laying in bed wishing we could sleep a little longer. He started to call "Mom". Then he moved on to "Dad". Pretty soon he started saying "Rachel, Caleb, Anna". I didn't know he knew how to say the other kids' names. I guess he was tired of waiting for me to get him out.

When I changed his diaper the other day, I said "Poo Poo", and he also said that. Yep, I guess I am already teaching him potty talk.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blog Update

Alex, the little climber.
Alex picking the flowers.
Rachel at her awards assembly.

Well, I haven't been so good at updating my blog lately. So here's what has been going on with us.

Last Friday, we took our kids to the Corn Belly's corn maze at Thanksgiving Point. I had a coupon for 93 cent admission. I was quite pleased, because it only costed us $4 to get in. The person in front of me paid $10.50 a person. (Ok, that's enough of the "I love coupons" for today)The kids had a blast. They didn't love the actual corn maze. After a while they got tired of going in circles and getting to dead ends. We did make it out of there fine. What they really loved was the carnival games. There was so much to do. Jumping things, slides, games etc. We stayed for a few hours. They were completely content after a good dose of sugar from the cotton candy.

On Saturday, I got up and went running with Mom and Les. We ran from Leslie's house to Mom's house. I didn't stick around for breakfast this week.

After showering, I headed off to swimming lessons. Swimming lessons for me. I am hoping to do a Triathlon in the spring. However, I need to learn to swim properly so I don't drown and so I won't be last place. I actually had fun swimming. I've been able to sort of swim since I was a kid. The thing I am working on is proper form and breathing. I had fun at swimming lessons. I haven't taken lessons for myself for something for a long time.

On Saturday evening, we went to a restaurant called the Bambara with Dan's company. It was nice. The food was strange and fancy. And someone choked and spit their wine on me. But all in all, we had a good time. People didn't get too drunk, which was good. Really drunk people are annoying. There was one other couple that didn't drink as well. I loved the dessert, Creme Brulee.

On Tuesday, we went to awards at Rachel's school. She was student of the month for her class. We are really proud of her. She is such a good girl. Her teacher adores her.

The rest of my week has been quite busy.

Alex is getting to be quite a climber. I just finished loading the dishwasher. He unloaded the bottom rack. Then he climbed on the door to unload the top rack.

I gotta go be the taxi mom, so that's all for now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just a quick picture

I learned how to use the macro lens on my digital camera. This is a picture of a tiny yellow flower I saw in the mountains during our family campout.
I was going to go outside this morning and take some pictures of our roses, but the batteries in my digital camera were dead. So, I'll have to wait until they are charged.
I love this time of year. The leaves are changing colors. I love to look at all the leaves when I am running. One of these weekends I hope to go to the mountains to take some pics of the leaves.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I just can't seem to get ahead

My day today hasn't been bad. It is just the end of the day, and I still have so much to do.
I got up, showered, and got the kids breakfast. While the older kids eat, I feed Alex. The little neighbor girl comes over in the morning, because I watch her before school. I usually end up eating breakfast with her.
Then, its time to run around and get everyone ready for school. I managed to get everyone out the door, with lunches packed, on time. Alex and Anna ended up wearing their pajamas for the car ride since I didn't have time to get them dressed.
When we got home, I threw a batch of laundry in the dryer and another batch in the wash. Then I worked hard to get the house clean. I got Anna and Alex dresssed, and played with them while we were doing things.
Then, I dropped the kids off at a neighbor's house. She watched them while I volunteered in Caleb's classroom. My kids are always happy when I help out at their school. In trade, I watch the neighbor's child on Thursday while she takes her special needs child to physical therapy.
After that, it was home again. I got the kids lunch, and they ate it while I cleaned up the living room. The kids had pulled leaves off the plant, and spread piano books, papers, and reading books all over the floor. My visiting teacher from church was coming, so I didn't want it to be a disaster.
After the VT came, Alex was asleep and napping. So, I cooked a frozen meal for lunch. I turned on Caillou for Anna, and ate my lunch while I was working online. I work for a virtual call center doing Quality Assurance. I download the phone calls that have already taken place, and provide feedback. (No, they aren't hiring for this position currently.) I worked for just over and hour, (two episodes of Caillou on demand) and then Alex woke back up.
Then we folded laundry. I folded about 8 batches. Then I played ball with Anna and Alex and read books to them. Then it was time to get Rachel and Caleb from school.
After school, I got the kids cookies and milk. We talked about their day, and they showed me what they had brought home. I read Caleb's reading book, and reading words with him. I found him a book to read.
After that, I taught a piano lesson to a girl named Faith. Caleb did his entire days reading during the lesson, while Anna and Rachel either played or watched TV. Alex gets to sit in the baby saucer next to me while I teach.
After Faith, it was Caleb's turn for piano lessons. I send Rachel to Faith's mom for piano lessons. But I have found Caleb does better with me. It had been a while since Caleb had a lesson, so he was eager.
By this time, it was nearly time for dinner. I made Rachel come in from the corn field (her favorite place on earth) and practice piano while I made dinner.
Dan called to say he wasn't going to be home on time, so we ate dinner without him. I feed Alex while everyone else eats, then I eat.
Then, we were out the door to go to Grandma Challis's house to pick pears. Dan said he would meet me there since he hadn't left work yet.
When we got to Grandma's house, there wasn't much left to pick. So, I called Dan and told him he could just go straight home.
Alex hadn't gotten enough napping in today, and Anna hadn't taken a nap at all. So they were both screaming as we left. It was quite a chorus.
When we got home, I decided that I need to cut and peel some of the peaches that we had gotten since they were almost over-ripe. It was mostly a waste of time and energy. I got two jars of peaches, and it made even more mess in the kitchen. Dan helped some with the peaches. The pears aren't ripe enough, so I can procrastinate doing anything with them for a little while.
After that, it was Family Home Evening. We read scriptures and sang songs. Then it was teeth brushing and bed time. I thought Dan had tucked Rachel and Caleb in. So, then I cleaned the kitchen. I hadn't gotten that done after dinner.
Then, I came down to work. To my surprise, Rachel and Caleb hadn't gone to bed. I yelled at them because they were watching Cartoon Network. Caleb cried and I felt bad and cried too. I guess they were waiting for me to tuck them in, and I didn't know it. I tucked them in and spent extra time with Caleb.
So, here it is, almost ten o'clock. I have more laundry to put in the wash and the dryer. I still have about 6 batches to fold. I still need to study my Gospel Doctrine lesson for Sunday. And I only got one hour of QA work done today. I can't seem to get ahead. I'm tired.
I'm not writing this for pity. I'm mostly writing this to relieve stress. I probably should have done something productive instead. My life is good. I just don't seem to have enough time in my day to get everything done.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Camping with the family

We went to the Heber Valley campground with the Marchant family. Everyone in the entire family came. So that's my parents, 8 grown-up kids, 5 spouses, and 22 grandchildren. That totals up to 37 people in our family. It was fun to get together with everyone. Dan was a bit peeved that it interfered with the BYU football game, but he came anyway.
I just finished reading my sister Leslie's blog about it. So, if you want more details, you can click on her blog link on my blog. Yes, I must be lazy. Or it might be that I am tired. Or possibly that I don't want to spend too much time on the computer since Alex has been puking today.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Funny Thing for the day....

I've got to find amusement in being a mom.....otherwise I might just go nuts.
I found Anna in the bathroom. That's not a big deal since she is potty trained. She put lots of hand soap in the toilet and had splashed a ton to make bubbles in the toilet. At least she had flushed first. When I mentioned it to Dan, all he said was "At least it was antibacterial hand soap". Well, at least it was. But I doubt that makes it very clean.
Now I am off to the doctor with Caleb. He has a few warts that need to get removed. I couldn't find anyone to watch the rest of the kids, so we are all going. Rachel and Caleb are out of school right now. I am reminiscing how much fun Kindergarten shots were. I had to wrap my arms and legs around Caleb to hold him down while the nurses gave him his shots. What fun.....time for more fun now. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Many Times have I called Poison Control since I became a mom?

The answer to that question is, "I don't know". Thankfully none of my kids have ever had to go to the ER.
Today was another day calling poison control. They keep a database. They have caller ID. They already know who I am when I call.
Anna got into the hair clipper oil this morning. I forgot and left it on the counter after I cut the boys' hair last night. She dumped it all over the kitchen. When I asked her if she drank any, she told me no. Then she told me yes. Then she told me no. I looked at the bottle, and it said "Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed". I called poison control, and they asked me all of the questions and told me what to look for. She didn't actually end up drinking any. When I mentioned it to Dan, he said "She wouldn't ever drink any of that. She won't even take a taste of dinner each night."
I got to thinking, what all I've called poison control over the years. Here's what I can remember, though I'm sure there's some that I don't.
Rachel brushed her teeth with Desitin. Not Poisonous.
I once found Rachel sucking on a washrag with Fantastik cleaner on it. Once again, she didn't ingest enough to poison her.
Anna also sucked on a washrag with some sort of cleaner on it. Not enough swallowed.
Caleb ate several children's tylenol. It wasn't enough to poison him. He also chewed up a couple vitamins (not children's chewables), but he spit them everywhere. He learned how to open childproof bottles at a young age.
Caleb ate kitty poop from a litter box when he was about one. Guess what? It's not poisonous. Gross, Gross, Gross. But Not Toxic.
Anna also sprayed Lysol Anywhere cleaner all over herself, from head to toe. She was fine after a good bath.
I know one of my sister's kids drank Visine. She had to go to the ER to get her stomach pumped.

Those of you who have never had a child get into anything, are lucky. But don't count your lucky stars. Chances are, you will be calling poison control someday. I try my best to watch my kids, but they can get into things in just a moment.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Provo River 1/2 Marathon

Today I ran the Provo River 1/2 Marathon. I was a bit nervous, since I haven't been able to train as much as I was hoping. For about the last month, my knee has bothered me a lot. I went to the regular dr, since the Sports Medicine Dr, couldn't get me in until late Aug. Thankfully, my knee didn't hurt. But I was only able to run 3 times in the last 3 weeks. (On a side note, it has been years since I have been injured from running).
Everything started out well. My mom ran it also. My mom is the greatest. It was fun getting up early and hanging out with her till the race started.
I felt pretty good. About mile 5, I got a side stitch. I had to walk for a minute to get it to go away. After that, went away, it was pretty much smooth sailing until mile 11. About mile 11, I felt really crappy and tired. I didn't walk. But I slowed down a lot. Usually at the end of races, I like to be the one to pick off the tired runners one at a time, and see how many people I could pass. Well, today it was the other way around. I finished with a time of about 1:47 (one hour, forty-seven minutes). That's the fastest half-marathon I've run. I haven't run many half-marathons though. I made it to the half-way point of the TOU Marathon a few years ago faster than that though.
Mom finished in about 2:08. I am proud of her. She hates that she is getting older and slower, but I hope I can run as fast as her when I am nearly a senior citizen.
At the end, there were lots of people and kids with "Go Mom" signs. But there was nobody there for me. I didn't expect Dan to come with the kids. It is really hard to take our little clan places, especially alone. But I did wish there was someone there to see me finish. I should have arranged a babysitter for our little ones, so he could have brought our 2 oldest kids to the finish. Oh well, maybe next time.
On the way home, Mom was telling me what she was going to have for breakfast: a hot fudge sundae with nuts on top. I was amused. But that much sugar sounded gross, so I didn't stick around at her house to eat one.
I was glad that I ran it. And I was glad it was only a half-marathon, not a full marathon.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Before and After

It has been nearly one year since we bought this house. It is slowly transforming. Our yard used to look like a dump. Now it is looking much better. We planted a garden. It is the tallest corn we have ever grown.

Some people might think we are crazy for buying trashed houses and fixing them. But we have had a lot of adventures together, and we've been able to build equity. I work with Dan as much as possible on the projects. We still laugh about tearing out the ceiling on our old house a few years ago. We only laughed and sang, while we worked because it was so horrible. The kitchen had a drop ceiling. The ceiling was tiled with ugly tiles, like the kind our schools had when we were in school. I don't know how long the drop ceiling had been in, or if it was original with the house. The house was over 50 years old. When we would pull out the ceiling tiles, dirt, gravel insulation, and mouse poop would start raining down in the kitchen. It seems like we yelled when it first started falling all over. Then we got to where we were singing, instead of "Raindrops keep falling on my head" we were singing about all the crap falling on our heads. The kitchen looked a lot better after we tore out the hideous ceiling.

Now at our current house, Dan started tearing apart the downstairs bathroom (aka the disgusting bathroom) on Saturday. I don't know what the former owners wer thinking, but the put sheet-rock up over the window in the bathroom. And they made the bathroom smaller, with just a shower. The bedroom next to it has an oversized closet. So, we are taking part of the closet from the bedroom, and make a regular, full-sized bathroom. I can't wait to get the whole house finished. That's gonna take a few more years though. We were hoping to add on a garage. But a few weeks ago, the transmission went out on our van. So, we used part of the garage money and bought another minivan instead.

A few years ago, back before I had this many kids, I swore that I would never drive a mini-van. But here I am, driving a mini-van, just like a typical soccer mom.

Caleb and Rachel started school last week. They are on year-round school. Caleb is in first grade, and Rachel is in third grade. Caleb gave himself a haircut on the second day of school. Now he has a buzz.

Friday, July 25, 2008

July 24th, Pioneer Day

We went to Dan's parent's house for fireworks and a bbq. We had a good time. Dan did not have the day off of work, so we were all kind of bummed. I was experimenting with my camera, and here's a picture I took. All of the pictures with the kids in them ended up too blurry.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Caleb Turned 6 Years Old

Yesterday was Caleb's birthday. He got a new bike for his birthday. He had certainly outgrown his old bike.

He is such a sweet boy. I sure do love my Calebee.

In the evening, he had friends over for a swimming party. We just got out the slip n slide, and filled up the kiddie pool. I think everyone had fun. My mom even fed Alex a piece of cake. He is not quite 9 months old. I think by the time you have 4 kids, you realize that they don't die from eating real food before they turn a year old.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The 4th of July 2008

I started the 4th of July quite early. I went and helped with the Riverton 10K before it started, and then I ran the Riverton 10K. My goal was to run it in 48 minutes, and I ran it in 47:32. I was pleased with my time. Leslie and mom also ran it. Leslie didn't feel well, but Mom did well. Mom is always disappointed that she is getting slower each year. But I think it is great that she is still running. She will be 60 years old next year.

We ate lunch with my family. Then, in the evening we had Dan's family over for a bbq. It was fun to have them over. Dan wanted to show them what he had done with the yard.

Tonight we have been watching a movie called "Gettysburg". Actually, just me and Dan and Rachel. Caleb and Anna were up in my room watching "Land Before Time the 20th". I don't think there is a 20th.....but its a library movie and they made tons of "Land Before Time" movies. Anyhow, we were talking to Rachel a little bit about American History. She knows some since she is now a 3rd grader. She said, "If Abraham Lincoln was so important, why is his picture on such a worthless piece of money". Good question. A penny didn't used to be worthless.

When I went in to Smith's to get a few groceries, I noticed the price of gas was 4 cents higher when I came out. And I was only in the store a few minutes. Maybe we need to buy a horse and buggy. Of course, we couldn't afford to feed a horse with the way the price of everything is going up.

Anna told us that she wants to plant marshmallows in the garden. I thought that was funny. She loves marshmallows.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Alex has a tooth, and Caleb has one less

Alex got his first tooth. So far he only has one. Most of my kids had more teeth by now. He looks pretty cute with his one little tooth.

Caleb lost his first tooth. He thought it was great and is now wiggling lots of teeth.

I've been working part-time from home lately, so I have a lot less time to spend online. Everything is good here at home though. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This boy can sure push buttons......

And turn knobs, switches, and everything else too. I'm talking about Caleb. He is so mechanically inclined. I bit too much. Lately I am feeling a little crazy. He turns the water off in the bathroom (I'm not talking about the faucets), he has flipped breakers, turns the sprinkler system on, turns the fridge temperature up, turns on the headlights, puts on the parking break, locks doors just so he can pick the locks, puts toys behind the van tires so I will run them over and changes the kitchen timer when I am not looking. And probably some other things that I haven't listed yet. Caleb isn't really an adventurer. He just does little things here and there. I go to get the milk out of the fridge, and half the stuff in the fridge is frozen. I go to wash my hands in the bathroom and the water doesn't work.
What really has made me feel nuts lately has been the kitchen timer. I trade teaching piano lessons. Kathryn teaches Rachel, and I teach Kathryn's daughter. When I am teaching, I set the kitchen timer for the lesson time, so I know about when to end the lesson. I don't have a clock in the living room. This week when I was teaching, the lesson, seemed to last a really long time. When I finally went to see how much time was left, there was still about 2 hours left on the time. Kathryn had been waiting outside for quite a long time for the lesson to end. About 2 weeks ago, Alex had the stomach flu. I only had about half an hour until I needed to take Rachel to piano lessons. I was so tired from being up in the night, so I set the time for a few minutes so I could rest, and then wake up to take Rachel on time. Well, when the timer beeped, it was far too late for piano lessons. Believe me, I have learned my lesson about using the kitchen timer for things. Yesterday when I made cookies, I threatened him that he wouldn't get any if he got near the timer.
Caleb is such a cute boy though. He just got his first tooth out. Now he is excitedly wiggling the next tooth. He can work all the electronics in the house far better than Rachel. And probably some of them better than me. Right now he is watching the washing machine.
I never knew how hard having 4 kids could be. Alex is starting to get into things. Anna is always trying to go on an adventure by herself. And Caleb is always messing with everything. At least Rachel is at an easy stage. I wouldn't trade my kids for anything. I love them so much. I just feel really tired by the end of the day. As our lives change, we just get different challenges.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rachel's Birthday

We celebrated Rachel's 8th birthday last week. It seems like we celebrated for a whole week. We had a party with my family on Tuesday, a party with friends on Saturday, and a party with Dan's family on Sunday. She got 3 birthday cakes, and plenty of presents.

On Sunday we met with the bishop about getting baptized. She is excited to get baptized. She was nervous to meet with the bishop though.

Rachel is getting to be such a big girl. I am forgetting what she was like as a toddler now that she is getting older. She likes Hannah Montana. She is really good at reading. For her birthday, my in-laws gave her the book "Anne of Green Gables". It was an easier, 150-page version. She finished it in a day.

Rachel is a sweet, friendly girl. She loves to be social. She is such a good helper with Anna and Alex.
I am so proud of Rachel, and I love her so much.