Monday, February 28, 2011

Family Photo Shoot 2010

I've used some of these photos in some of my most recent posts, but I'm finally getting around to posting all of my favorites from the photo shoot we did last October. We went out after the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference and were fighting rain showers...but they turned out so good. I am loving all of the fun shots that our photographer caught of the kids, she is awesome! Sweet baby Lainah...not yet two years old.
Me and my girls
Matthew being always
My favorite picture of the dimpled hands and fingers
I love how his hair is so bright white in this picture. That's what it does in the sunlight.
Just having fun together
My handsome boys
And our cute girls...having fun with the telephone. Uh oh...
Brooklynn Belle taking a phone call....
I love this one of Tay. He is such a handsome boy.
Okay, I love this one too. Hard to believe he's starting middle school next year.
Handsome little Matthew. He thought this truck was so AWESOME!
And our sweet Rachel
trying out some fun poses
Brooklynn always giggling
Such a cute little 1st grader!
Lainah had so much fun pushing this stroller around. I love her little tongue sticking out in this one.
Love the dimpled elbows.
This is not posed. Lainah just climbed up there and started playing around. It was too cute.
I love the cheeser on Matthew's face. All five kiddos.
Here are the boys in front of our red barn...they grabbed the hammer and the football on their own, and it just cracked me up.
Tay had just finished up with his first football season and wanted a picture of himself and his football. This section of the barn is now gone so I'm glad we got documentation of it.
The traditional family pose. This section of barn is now gone too! We're slowly clearing off the land...ready for new and bigger projects!
I love this one of Andy and I. I'm so thankful for my beautiful, wonderful family and love them all so much. They are all so full of life, and personality...and make life very, very full.

Friday, February 25, 2011

That's Easy Mom!

Okay. I LOVE cub scouts. Taylor will turn 11 years old in just a few months, which means that he only has a few months to work on all of his Webelos badges, so we've been doing a lot of scouting lately. He has set a goal to earn all 20 activity badges...and has worked really hard.

Last night we were working on the Family Member one, and one of the requirements is to make a list of everything that our family spends money on each month and then to discuss ways that he can help us to save money on our family budget. I love requirements like this, because it gives me such a great insight into how our 10 year old views things. Here's what he came up with. Verbatim.

Stuff My Parents Spend Money on All the Time. (Seriously, it makes us sound so bad!)

1. Food (Come on! Listed first!?! No wonder we're a little chubbier than we used to be!)

2. Clothes (guilty)

3. Utilities: Electricity, water, sewer, trash, gas, phone and internet

4. Stuff like lotion and soap and shampoo, toilet paper

5. Cleaning supplies: lysol, laundry detergent, toilet cleaner, windex, and everything else under the kitchen sink. (no kidding, that's what he said)

6. Car stuff: gas, washing sometimes, scentsy car fresheners Mom buys. (guilty again)

7. Fun stuff: toys, activities, going out to eat, Mom and Dad's dates

And that is what he came up with for expenses. Now is the fun part.

Things I Can Do to Help Save Money:

1. Food: Not eat as much

2. Clothes: Not ruin my clothes as fast. Stop tearing holes in my knees. Buy my own clothes.

3. Utilities: Electricity (turn off lights) water (don't shower very often and go really fast) sewer (don't flush the toilet) WHAT!??? Trash (well, I don't know Mom, we have to throw things away. I guess we could just burn stuff instead of putting it in the trash cans.) Gas (What? Like the smelly kind? Me: No, like the kind that heats our house with the furnace. Tay: Oh, um, well, I guess I could just turn off the thermostat or something. Mom: Hey Tay, is the back door closed all the way? Tay: Nope Mom: What do you think about that? Tay: Oh, I don't know. Maybe Brooklynn should close it. Mom: Do you think that effects the gas bill? Tay: Hmm...maybe a little bit, but not a lot. Me: Hmm...actually it does effect it quite a bit, so could you go close the door? Tay: Where's Brooklynn? Me: What's the deal with you and Brooklynn today? Tay: Oh, no deal, I just think she should close it. Me: Big sigh...and then I give him "the look" Tay: But I'll just go close it instead. Me: Good idea.

4. Personal Hygiene items: Not wash hands as often, and forget about the lotions. Only shampoo when hair is really dirty.

5. Cleaning supplies: Oh, that's easy Mom. We could save money by just not cleaning as often, you know, like maybe once a month or something.

6. Car Stuff: Not drive around as much and stop buying car fresheners

7. Fun Stuff: (This one was my favorite.) Well, us kids do need to do activities once in a while, and it's good family time to go out to eat together, and toys keep us from watching too much TV, so maybe if you and dad just stopped going out on dates that could save some money. Mom: Hmm...that might be dangerous. Tay: Why? Mom: When you are the dad of 5 rambunctious children and you and your sweetheart don't get to spend much time together...we'll talk about it. Tay: Uh, okay Mom.

Well, Tay's way we would for sure save some money...but our house would be filthy, our hair dirty, we would freeze in the winter, how long could we go without flushing a toilet, and we'd all be a little skinnier...but we'd still be able to go out on family outings. Hey, there's priorities...right?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Champion Bowler

For a little bit of fun at the end of President's Day Weekend, we decided to take our kiddos bowling. I haven't taken the kids bowling for about 18 months, when we went with a neighbor during the day. Andy has never been bowling with he was in for the experience.

We had a little surprise when we got there...the alley was completely filled and there was an hour long waiting time. So, we put our names on the list and headed over to Costco where we ordered a cheese pizza, hot dogs, and a chicken bacon wrap. We sat there and ate our yummy dinner while watching shoppers laden down with carts heaped full of cleaning supplies, food, and all of those other miscellaneous Costco finds. When we were done eating, we headed back over to the bowling alley.

The kids were laughing at the funky shoes, and Taylor wanted to know if he really had to wear them. Ahh...I remember the embarrassment I felt the first time I put on one of those hideous shoes. I don't know what happened over the years, perhaps a spike in self-confidence, or a dip in fashion sense...or even a mixture of both, but I really don't care what those silly shoes look like anymore! Actually, I think they're "awesome possum" and maybe will start checking out the D.I. on a routine basis so that I can buy my own stylin' pair.

Really, I should have taken pictures of Andy's shoes. Given that he has a shoe size of 14, I was really surprised when they actually had a size that fit him. Go figure! How many size 14 bowlers could their possibly be? That was worth the money right there, just to see him wearing a pair of those things...huge colorblock bowlers. Nice.

Well, after we finally got everybody programmed in, and everyone found the "perfect" ball to use for the evening, we started in on our fabtabulous game. Andy was wearing his Superman t-shirt...which turned out to be bad luck or something. He bowled one of his worst games ever, which was still twice as good as mine.

Taylor kept taking a turn and then going out in search of a more perfect ball. He never did find one that he thought was the right weight with finger holes the perfect size. Still, he didn't do too bad, he beat me.
Matthew was awesome. He would put his ball up on his shoulder and strut up to the beginning of the lane, get into a strong stance with his legs apart, and then huck the ball forward like a shot put. We let him do it that way a few times before trying to get him to put it on the ground between his legs and give it a nice big push. There were a group of teenagers to our left, and one time Matthew went to take his turn and actually dropped the ball and it went down their lane instead of his and promptly went into the gutter. The guy whose turn it actually was laughed and hurried and threw his ball down the lane before Matthew's could reach the end. He did hit a few pins, but then their game was paused because the poor computer was confused as to why there were two balls down there instead of one.

Brooklynn was really cute too. She used the gutters along with Matthew and Lainah and she did really well. She bowled with a pretty pink ball. She sort of lost interest about halfway through the game and was more interested in the soda that Andy was buying for the kids. She made several bathroom visits.

Rachey also bowled with the pretty pink ball, and did really well. She and Taylor were more into the game, and Rachey did beat him. He bowled faster but she bowled straighter. She was also really interested in the soda after a while and I think I'll have to call and see if you can just buy a 1/2 game of bowling...sort of like golfing 9 holes instead of 18.

I found my nice medium-weighted ball of swirly orange. I have a really funky bowling technique that I've never been able to get rid of. So, I send my ball down nice and straight, but it does a weird back roll think before it starts rolling forward again. I know, weird. It's all in the way I send it off my hand. Usually I can do pretty well, but I was miserably off and only got one strike.

And now Lainah. Lainah was the sweetest, cutest little girl in the entire bowling alley. She would need help each time carrying her pink or yellow ball down to the end. Then, I'd put it on the ground for her, and she'd squat down on her little two year old legs, and push it as hard as her little two year old hands could push it. Then we'd stand there and wait. And watch and wait. And blow as hard as we could...and wait...until her ball finally reached the end. Amazingly enough, Lainah bowled a 3 strikes and won the game with a score of...get ready...116. Yep, we are lousy bowlers! She was so fun to watch. She would jump up and down and say "hooray!!!!" and clap at her ball until it reached the end. Then she'd skip back to the seats to wait her next turn. Too cute.
At the end of the night Tay and I were discussing our amazingly low bowling scores, I pointed out that had we been golfing my score would have won, and we decided that we could choose only one thing in this life that we were really really good would NOT be bowling. :) What a fun night!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Funny little Matthew

Andy and I are yet again in the middle of home remodeling projects. I look forward to the day when I will finally own a house that does not need to be updated...that I can remodel because I choose to, because I'm bored with the decor, and not because I have to in order to make it livable. Ahh.....
Well, I was working on a bathroom fixture the other day and needed a phillips head screwdriver. I called for 3 year old Matthew and asked him if he could please bring me a screwdriver because he usually knows where all of Daddy's tools are. He said, "Yep!" and ran off. A few minutes later he came back carrying....Andy's powerdrill.

I just had to laugh! He is such a boy! Forget hand tools Mom! What was I thinking anyway!? I got the job done much faster with a "real" tool.

Love that little guy!