Friday, October 23, 2009

Monkey broke the record

On Sunday Alysee broke the family record of sleeping-in. Alex had held out as the winner for the past three years of sleeping-in until 10:30 am after recovering from a surgery.

Alysee was sawing logs until 11:15 am. HOLY COW!!! I couldn't believe it! I kept checking on her to make sure she was breathing. The even better part was that she woke up in a stellar happy mood.
She also earned her date with dad by completing her jobs for ten days. Alysee had a great time showing off all her "monkey" playground skills. I never knew Alysee has a "tongue" thing when concentrating.

This girl sure loves her daddy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Up to no good

Yesterday Coop walked up behind Nate and just whacked him on the back. Nate hollered, "MOM, Coop hit me for no reason."

Coop quickly replied, "Yeah, I did it because it was fun!"

Where does this kid come up with all the things he says?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Renewal

I know everyone is dying to see our remodel work in the mudroom/laundry room and the basement bathroom. These were both items that we had wanted to spruce up but hadn't quite saved up enough pennies to do so. Thanks to a split washer hose and some great house insurance we are now enjoying two beautiful remodeled rooms! I was wishing that I had a wide angel lens so I could better capture the rooms.

Basement Bathroom:

Here is a shot when we first moved into the house:
Right after moving in I ripped down the wall paper and went a little "yellow" crazy -- hey, I wanted to hide all the boy potty:

After the remodel:
Birch and I spent a late night painting the walls and ceiling before the tile was laid. The new Mystic Blue give the bathroom a whole new look.
Front face of the new maple cabinet Laminate countertop w/ maple edge trimming and tile backsplash Love how this tile floor came out -- we purchased all the tile from Home Depot The new sink and faucet were bought on a great deal from a plumbing appliance store that was getting rid of it's overstock. Love the old school metal plaques that I got at a fun little store in Spokane.

Mudroom/Laundry Room:

Mudroom/Laundry Room when we bought the house:
We didn't change too much to the mud room after we moved in. We did paint over the blue paint with a nice taupe color but we left the wallpaper up.
As a result of the water damage the floor was taken up to the sub flooring in order for everything to dry thoroughly.
We tore down all the wall paper (some was greatly damaged by the water) and then painted this really nice wheat color. We also added the great cabinets above the washer and dryer. I love having the extra storage. I was surprised how relatively "cheap" of an addition the cabinets were.
We put in these great lockers (purchased from IKEA) when we first moved into our house. They sure make a great spot to put all the kids coats and backpacks.
LOVE how this floor turned out! Again, the tile was purchased at Home Depot.

We were able to reuse the cabinet in the mudroom, though it did require a new toe kick to be built and some touch up work on the door faces still need to be done. After installing a new countertop and backsplash we put in a new sink and faucet. I found these fun prints while I was on my Girls' weekend in Spokane. I still need to add some vinyl something...Annie and Deena, do you have any ideas for me?

Thankfully Birch just finished all the dry wall repair in the shop. It was a disaster in there until just this past weekend. Birch also repaired the mud and tape on the ceiling so we are good as new.

I must put a disclaimer that most of the time when I said "we" did blaa blaa it was really our great sub-contractor guy that has done the other remodel work in the two upstairs bathrooms. In reality "we" painted the rooms and did all the shopping (and let me tell you it takes a long time to save money and go to a ton of different stores). If anyone in my town is needing any remodel work in their house we know the man!

The hardwood floors will be refinished Thanksgiving week and then the carpets will be cleaned the following week. After that we will be as good a new (really better than we were a couple of months ago). This whole experience has reminded me that God knows best and wants to bless us even if it doesn't always feel that way. I'm thankful for a beautiful home!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nine Lives

Tyler was just treated to three days of celebrating his ninth birthday. His real birthday fell on a day when most of us all felt crappy. We still had pizza and sang to him. That night he had the time of his life going to our new Walmart and going on a little shopping spree with some money Grannie sent him. He came home giddy with all his new loot.
Then Saturday after we spent most of the day sanitizing the house to kill all of our friendly swine flu germs we opened some presents. Tyler had been DYING to get a Rubiks cube. He was delighted (the picture was his re-enactment of his delight) when we opened it up. I think he has been able to get one side put together so far.
That night we watched a movie and had popcorn mixed with skittles. Since we hadn't had a cake yet we had him blow out his popcorn candle.
Sunday we wrapped up the party fun with a real cake and nine candles.

Tyler is a great kid! He is fun loving, eager to learn, a skilled runner, great scooter rider, and loving to his siblings. This past year I would have to say that he had gotten a hair better at eating more foods. Hopefully his palate of yummy foods will keep growing as he gets older.

Like his big brother Alex, Tyler set a goal last year to read the entire Book of Mormon by the time it was his birthday. He actually finished a month early and really had some insightful questions that he asked. We haven't been able to go on his earned award yet of a movie and dinner with mom and dad but that is in the works. I'm really proud of him for accomplishing that great goal!!!

We love you Tyler!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

On the mend....oink, oink

Just a little update on our household health...we are on the mend. Alysee has been the last to join the sickies but is feeling quite a bit better today. Birch made a chart a few days ago for each of our meds because it was getting way too hard to remember who had what when. I feel like we have a little pharmacy going on at our house.

All I can say is...thank goodness for TamiFlu, an anti-viral drug! I sure wish I had an inside connection so I could stock pile some for the future. It can also be used as a preventative drug if you are around people with influenza but in our community there is not enough to the drug to be used in that form, darn it!

Tyler went back to school today. We plan on celebrating his birthday tomorrow since yesterday we were all still on recovery mode.

I can almost feel the warm sunshine that will be coming my way in two weeks! I'm considering hibernating until then so we don't pick up some other bug.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Faces of Swine Flu

We're dropping like flies at our house. Last week Tyler came home early from school on Wednesday with a fever. By Friday sixteen kids were gone from his class so they invited the remaining six kid's parents to come pick them up. Yep, we've been attacked by the ever-famous media Swine Flu. I write about it lighthearteningly but really it has been nothing but a pain in the bum.
Poor Tyler has had DAYS of doing THIS! First it was a fever for about five days, extreme tiredness, then a cough, and sniffy nose, and then super achy joints and muscles. This kid is dying to return to school. It is his birthday tomorrow and who wants to be sick on your birthday?!!
Then Saturday night Chloe woke up around 10 pm with a 103.6 degree temperature. ALL NIGHT long she tossed and turned in our bed only getting a few minutes of sleep throughout the night. Monday morning we were able to get her into the doctor's office and get a prescription for TamiFlu. I can tell already that she is doing so much better, which is so nice to know that she will not suffer as long as Tyler has had to.

Yesterday morning I woke up with the aches and pains, fever, and cough. Am I ever grateful that there was enough TamiFlu for me too! It seems to be a treasured drug around here.

When the kids came home from school they were all sad to see me in bed. Alysee took one look at me in bed and started crying while saying, "Now who is going to take care of us if you die." I thought that was very sweet to know that she cared so much for me. --at least I'm good for something.--

By 4 pm I had Nate in my bed sleeping, coughing, and with a fever. By 5:30 pm Coop was saying he wasn't feeling well either (though we couldn't be for sure since he was quite eager for a dose of his favorite Tylenol). He was up during the night with a fever, though.

I haven't heard back from the doctor yet to see if we can pick up some TamiFlu for the newest sickies but I'm sure hoping they say, "yes."

Meanwhile all my mind can think of is how we need to get healthy TODAY!!! Birch and I are scheduled to head out on a most anticipated trip in two weeks. We all need to be healthy to make that possible; plus I am really looking forward to the visit with my mom, sister Emily, and niece Sage before our departure.

I'm grateful for Alex who whipped us up a big pot of ramen noodles for dinner last night, Birch who entertained the kids for the evening so I could go hide in bed, priesthood power, relaxing music, my comfy bed, and a stocked refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Upright and Squirmy

I was just realizing this morning as Chloe was dumping books off the bookshelves and then "running" to the garbage can to throw away things she feels are garbage that I haven't mentioned that CHLOE WALKS. She's been walking since the end of August; like the other kids, we were sure she would have walked much earlier than she did.
Having so many siblings it seems like Chloe always had a hand that was willing to help her travel around.
Yep, Chloe has a crooked foot just like Nate and Coop. Doesn't seem to hinder any of their running ability, though.
One of the things that I was most excited about with Chloe walking was that she would be able to wear this cute skirt that my sister Leah gave Chloe for her birthday. Dresses and skirts just aren't as fun when crawling.
Chloe is loving her new freedom. She is always ready to sneak out the door and head to the garage to take her bike out for a spin.
This little girl is already getting quite a mind of her own. The last few days she has had a little bit of a snotty attitude...something that makes Birch and I chuckle and then we quickly stop and remember that it is much easier to teach her at this age that she doesn't get everything she wants than when she is five years old and throwing a major tantrum. I'm constantly amazing though at what an early age they learn cause and effect. Recently she has been perfecting a good little witch squeal when her brother's take away something that she was playing with. Chloe is learning to talk but Birch and I were commenting yesterday that if she knew a few more words it sure would be helpful. We sure love this girl!

Enjoy a little video clip that my sister Laura took while visiting here in August.

Friday, October 2, 2009


For the past nine years Birch and his brothers have escaped to the mountains for a weekend of brotherly bonding and the smell of the fresh outdoors. For months the boys eat, sleep, and dream of the annual ABH (all-brother's hike) adventure while us mommies dread it's arrival ("dread" might be a bit of a harsh word since it has gotten easier for me with ABH taking place when school is in session and the kids getting older). Anyway, this year us girls decided that it was our turn to have an AGW (all-girl's weekend).

This years' ABH hike took place at Mount Stuwart and AGW took place in Spokane, WA. The boys were missing two brothers this year.

So here we go with ABH vs. AGW:

We ate nothing but the best...
Gotta love that Mountain House food!
A friend came over and taught us all how to make homemade pasta, focaccia bread, and molten lava cakes. Check out our new Domestic Ditto Divas blog for some tasty recipes.

We drank only out of logo adorned water bottles...

Kelly enjoying a swig from his pumped mountain fresh water.
Blayre showing off her new AGW water bottle.

We pampered each other...
Birch taping Brent's heel up after a painful day of hiking.
Julia gave pedicures to most of the sisters.

At the end of a long day hiking/shopping we treated ourselves to a nice dinner...
The boys culminated their hike by a juicy burger and greasy fries.
The girls enjoyed a tasty dinner at Laguna Cafe after a long afternoon of shopping.

We stayed up late...
The nights were extra toasty for the boys since Logan surprised each of them with stocking caps in their alumni college color.
I was just plum tuckered out from all that chatting, shopping, and crafting that I couldn't even make it through our movie-a-thon.

We treated ourselves to an afternoon of relaxation...
Nothing like relaxing in a lake of freezing water!
Saturday afternoon we went to Highland Spa for two hours of heaven. The spa has a spa school in the basement and offers some great deals on discount spa parties. Our afternoon included a foot bath and massage, table massage, hair mud mask, face mud mask, and plenty of time to eat treats and visit with each other. I'm counting down until my next visit.

We were silly...

We were quite crafty...
Brent threw the Frisbee in the water and so Birch and Brent were "crafty" with their method of retrieval---a hiking stick.
The nights were busy with us girls making flower and ribbon hair clips and earrings.

We worked really hard...
Kelly making it through the rough terrain.
Deena breaking out a sweat after purchasing this great rug at TJ MAX.

We thought of others...
Well, I'm sure the boys most of been thinking of others at some point during their weekend away.
Sunday morning Debbie (Birch's mom) organized a great little service project sewing together School Bags for worldwide humanitarian service. We were busy beavers but still have some more work to do to finish our goal.

We took pictures of ourselves...
I call this "ABH Boyz 2 Men" pose.
I just love all these ladies!!!

So there you have it!!! I'm sure both of us would openly say that our weekends weren't quite long enough but that we relished each minute we were together. What a great that I am going to keep looking forward to!!