Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas!

I'd be proud that I'm getting a Christmas post done before Valentine's Day, except that the reason it's getting done now is that we all got the "Merry Christmas flu." I'm blaming Mike for being the giver of that gift.
I didn't take very many pictures this year, but I managed to capture pretty much how Christmas went for us:

The aftermath of present opening

And how the rest of the weekend was spent:

On Christmas Eve, we did manage to get out and see our favorite light display. The boys decided it was worth it, even though it was super cold. 

And Isaac has come to realize the joy of napping in a sunny spot. The other boys were slightly jealous. Nobody was as jealous as Mommy though. Except maybe Daddy. Naps are awesome. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

December is kicking my backside

But at least I've taken a few pictures...

Kai loves these pajamas because they have dragon cats on them. 

It's blurry, but he's still cute. 

Isaac thought this was hilarious. I thought it was a little creepy. 

Mike has been assisting me in demolition. Hopefully, I will be able to post "after" pictures in our garage before the end of 2016...

Andalyn brought some early Christmas presents to our boys. (Don't worry, Kai has a present too - he named it "Beautiful Truck" and it is very loved.)

Allowing "Team Umizoomi" to babysit while I take a shower must not be rotting Kai's brain too much. He finished this, shouted "Rectangle!" and sang "Super shapes!"

Monday, November 23, 2015

Apologies to the Grandmas

Sorry it's been a while. Hopefully, the amount of pictures here will kind of make up for that, right? :)

Spinning office chairs are so fun! I'm super glad the ER is close by...

Malachi LOVES otoscopes. He'll make them out of anything. (like Tinker Toys and ear buds)

They were being pirates...

I'm claiming this as fine motor skill practice, not just sticking pins in my throw pillows and bean bags. 

I asked if he wanted to pick up French fries on the way home from grocery shopping, but he rejected that idea in favor of a rotisserie chicken. Healthy eating win! 

 Future trombone player? 

We're really good at accidentally freezing cans of paint. I decided to finally dry out those cans so I can get rid of them. I think we need to figure out something else to be really good at. 

Jon got sick. He spent most of his day asleep like this. That was two weeks ago, and he's still not feeling a ton better. This year's flu is a bad one. 

Isaac decided the mandala needed a little something extra. I love that kid's art! 

I'm hoping these guys well get better at helping with laundry eventually. 

Speaking of laundry, I learned a new way to fold t-shirts, and I love it! I also went through and got rid of all the too small/stained/worn out shirts. Seriously, it makes me happy to open up the dresser drawers to this sight.

We road tripped it up to get to Mark's youngest brother's wedding this past weekend. My boys are getting a little too good at these whirlwind trips! 

Totally worth the 9 hour drive to get to hang out with cousins! 

Isaac demanded the phone so he could take a picture of the cake cutting. 

These guys sure clean up good! 

(My littlest pirate's picture didn't post above, but I HAD to get him in there!)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Jon was Spyro the Dragon, Isaac was Charmander, Mark had an awesome cape, and Kai's costume was a waste of $8 (it was a super adorable lion costume, which he utterly refused to wear).
Our pumpkin stack was made of real pumpkins and candles this year, and was totally worth the work to make it!
We had our Elders over for dinner and made our traditional Stuffed Pumpkin. They enjoyed it just as much as Mark did - which is saying something!
I added our house to the FARE "teal pumpkin" map, but (so far), we haven't had a single trick-or-treater take us up on the non-food treats (glow-in-the-dark mini rubber duckies, bubbles in Jack o' lantern bottles, and Halloween stickers). I guess that just means my boys will have more stuff to choose from when we swap out their candy!
Hope your Halloween was as much fun as ours!

Sunday, October 25, 2015


This is Isaac's latest project for Technology. I think he's got cats in the right category...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dragon Cat

Kai looked out the kitchen window the other day, and pointed out a "cat." When I corrected him that it was a squirrel, he argued briefly, then watched it thoughtfully.
After a few minutes, he asked if it was a dragon. Once again, I assured him it was a squirrel.
He kept watching it eat peanuts, then proclaimed "Dragon cat!"
Totally a better name than "squirrel."

Monday, October 5, 2015


Our garden was a miserable failure this year - I think we got four tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 5 ears of corn, some peas... and PUMPKINS! Considering the level of neglect the garden suffered, and the fact that we didn't even attempt to keep the chickens from eating everything, I'm considering the pumpkins a huge success. We brought in four that were definitely done, and we're hoping to get a few more worth bringing in before Halloween. The boys are pretty pleased.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

In the last two weeks we...

Replaced the windshield that we broke driving to Albuquerque last thanksgiving.

Had a visit from Sboy and his lovely wife, Josie (who loves dark chocolate as much as we do).

Hung out a bit with Mike and Jill (and found out Jill loves peanut butter M&Ms and Junior Mints).

Went home and visiting teaching for the month.

Completed the last of the temple ordinances we reserved before Kai was born.

Celebrated two years since Mark's car accident.

Power washed the back patio (the power washer may be my favorite toy).

Had Kai's blood test done - he took it like a champ and responded to the poke with "Owie" and then just waited for it to be over.

Found out Kai's ferratin levels are almost as low as Isaac's were (which means he may sleep better after his iron treatments).

Had a parent/teacher conference for Isaac - he's doing great.

Sent Isaac on a field trip to learn about trees. He came back more excited about his lunch than anything else.

Started the big boys in Chess Club. They're pretty darn excited to learn a "nerd game" to play with Daddy.

Took these pictures:

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Before I go into why I'm overwhelmed, I feel the need to explain that I also feel exceedingly blessed right now. I know there's the term "mixed blessings", but what about when something appears bad at first but is actually amazing? That's where we're at right now.
First off, we got a new chicken. (Overwhelmed because it's taken a lot of time and emotional energy to try to get her into our flock. Blessed because we weren't expecting to be able to add another chicken until these ladies retire, but we needed more eggs.) Isaac chose the name Phoenix, and it's perfect for her. Our friends tried to introduce her and one other chicken into their flock. It didn't go well. Their flock pecked at her mercilessly. The other new chicken tried to protect her by putting her wings over her. Unfortunately, after a few days of this arrangement, the protective hen was pecked to death. Knowing that if they kept her, this one would meet the same fate, our friends asked if we'd like to take her. When we brought her home, she was terrified of our birds. She would rather sit on our back step and stare in the window at us than risk being pecked out in the yard. She wanted to be held all the time. Over the last week though, they've all started to adjust. She's still not assimilated, but she seems to be rising from the ashes.

We got to go to a reunion of sorts for some of our best friends from the Sable Ward. Only two of the five families are still in that ward. We have really missed being social, and especially being social in a group where we already feel loved and accepted. It was wonderful! Why was it overwhelming? Food. Trying to keep Kai from eating things that everybody else is enjoying is getting more difficult. We made our own hamburger and hotdog buns (check out how awesome the long John and muffin top pans worked out!), but there's just no substitute for things like Doritos. 

Kai's allergist appointment... It was the three hour appointment where they test by pricking your back with serums containing potential allergens, then wait to see what you might react to. When I saw his back, I expected Kai to start flipping out - if my back was reacting the way his was, I would've been grumpy and miserable! He, however, was his normal, cheerful self. It turns out though, that he is severely allergic to finned fish (not shellfish). We can't even cook it at our house anymore. He's now got to carry Epipens everywhere he goes, and soon he'll be sporting a cool bracelet with all his medical info. Luckily, finned fish is relatively easy to avoid, as long as you never go out to eat. Now that we know just how bad his allergy is, Mark and I have been extremely grateful that the reaction he had when I last blogged was so minor!

I've been logging Kai's sleep now for about a week and a half. There's no rhyme or reason to how long it takes him to fall asleep, how many times he wakes up, or whether or not he naps. Our next appointment with the sleep specialist isn't for another two weeks, and logging every part of his sleep disruption is getting to me. I'm more tired than I've been in a long time. I'm so glad we finally have someone who knows how to deal with this to help us though! She seems pretty positive about it, so I'm being cautiously optimistic. 
Lastly, Mark got a new responsibility at church today - he's now the Elders Quorum President, instead of the First Councilor. It's a lot more meetings and a lot more time. I'm still in the Relief Society presidency, so our time is pretty tight. We're both super happy to serve, but not really sure how to juggle everything. Luckily, we've been blessed to be able to do everything so far, so we know there will be a way to do this too.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

School, a birthday, and chickens

These past two weeks have been BUSY! (Just a heads-up: I REALLY like parenthesis today.)
My phone broke right before school started, so Mark was the photographer for Isaac's first day.

 Luckily, the phone broke two weeks before the end of the insurance plan on it, so I had a new phone in time to take pictures of Jon's first day. 

(Which Kai celebrated by getting a Kai-safe powdered donut! He wasn't sure he liked it...) Isaac and Jon both have been quite happy with school this year - a couple little blips, but mostly loving it! 

Kai's birthday was Jon's second day of school, which meant we had no big birthday celebration. I took Kai in for his doctor appointment, and we finally got a referral for a sleep specialist! (I think the pediatrician was finally worried when I explained that Kai was up screaming for hours two nights previous because he was convinced there were snakes in his bed.)

Because of all the busyness, I didn't get to make a super cool cake for Kai, but he only cared about the Nutella buttercream I frosted it with, so it was all good. He went around singing "Happy day a you!" all day. It was adorable! He's still amazingly tiny for his age, which makes his antics even cuter. I just love it! (Which is good, because he also took blue and purple markers to the carpet this week. Why do they call them "washable" if they don't come out of carpet when you shampoo it?)

A few nights ago, I woke up at about 3 am (remarkably, still in my own bed!) to the sound of panicking chickens. Mark was missing, so I ran out to rescue them on my own. Three raccoons were in the coop, but no birds. Luckily, once I scared the raccoons off with a broom, I was able to find all of the chickens, and they were all just fine. Unfortunately, they were not keen on getting back in the coop. Jon had woken up when I ran out (he's been camping out in our room lately), and he found Mark - in Jon's bed. The chickens trust Mark enough that they went home once he came out. I had too much adrenaline going to fall asleep after that, which was a total bummer because Kai chose that night to be one of the five in his life he's actually slept through.

Two mornings later, Valkyrie laid an egg! It was our first so far. She's laid three days in a row now, so Mark is feeling pretty proud of his farming skills. 

I've lost my big boys to reading. They've turned into super bookworms lately, and it makes me super happy. 

Four of us had dental appointments in the last two weeks. All three boys escaped with no cavities! I had a root canal right before we left for San Antonio, so I went back for my crown - not my favorite experience, but I got to watch the special machine sculpt the crown for me. My awesome dentist, in his Russian accent, proclaimed that the crown was "perfect" (as he always does), so I'm hoping this is the end of that particular tooth's woes. (I'd had a not-so-fabulous dentist do the previous filling, which was redone twice and still failed, causing the need for this root canal.)
I also found out the hard way what the physical results are of two years of chronic sleep deprivation. My doctor gave me some very specific instructions on changes to make to try to fix some of the damage done. One of those was to eat more fish. We all like salmon and tilapia, so I figured that would be easy. Kai and Jon helped me make tilapia tonight. Once it was cooked, the big boys couldn't wait to dig in. Kai shared their exuberance for about three bites before the put down his fork and started scraping at his mouth. He was gagging himself with his finger, trying to scrape this throat. Then, he started crying and screaming. Another minute or two later, his whole mouth and chin were bright red and covered with hives! We got him some benadryl and called a doctor (thanks Uncle Greg!). After a bunch of drugs in his system, he seems just fine. Apparently, some people are allergic to finned fish... So, now we get to visit an allergist next week. Maybe eating more fish will be more difficult than I thought.