Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

This is a shameless post where you all get to comment and tell me how cute my house looks. It only took me 10 days to get all of my Christmas stuff up. I love this time of the year but sometimes spending every evening doing my normal clean-up and then decorating is exhausting.

But I was excited to decorate this year because I got some new stuff.

New stockings and tree skirt:

The tree skirt is really just a quilt that I wadded up and put under the tree. The stockings are PBK and were my second choice. Last year, after Christmas on Amazon, I found this amazing deal on 8 red and white knitted TAG stockings.

I ordered them and then immediately emailed some friends and my mom and sister to brag about my deal. Yeah, I'm classy like that. When the stockings finally arrived three months later (they were back ordered) they were tiny--like little socks for cats. No wonder they were so cheap. I was devastated. I ended up sending them back and just buying my kids these PBK ones on Ebay. The kids are thrilled.

I also rigged up this stocking display in my entry:

When my mom and I attended our cooking class at Thanksgiving Point, we saw a cute bar with all these stockings hanging on it. My mom convinced me I needed to do the same for my house and she purchased the stockings at Roberts Crafts with coupons. (Don't be jealous Ashley.)

For the first time since having kids, I put up my olive wood Nativity that I bought in Jerusalem cough 13 cough years ago when I was in college. That makes me sound sooo old. Now that we have a piano, I felt like I had a safe place to put it where baby Jesus wouldn't end up in the Barbie house:

I remember buying it from this cute little man named Baghdadi. I gave him my wad of cash and he assured me he would pack it up and ship it to me. When I arrived home, my dad told me I was a total sucker. He said "you will never see that nativity." Low and behold, about 8 weeks later, an old beat up, taped together box arrived on my doorstep with this bad boy inside. It doesn't go with the rest of my decor (for about 1 minute, I considered spraying it white and rolling it all in glitter but decided against it!) I still love it because it reminds me of the Holy Land.

That's it. My five trees are up. My gourmet dinner night that I am hosting is this week (Heaven help me!!) and Sam has recovered from hauling a gigantic chair to the basement at my request. Tis' the season!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I Can't Wait for My Golden Years

The ONLY thing that keeps me putting one foot in front of the other and trudging through life is knowing that one day, my kids will leave home and I will wake up and wonder what I'm going to do with my day. That day is years away.

Here is what my day looked like:

Sam is out of town (Don't come murder us--by the time you read this, he will be home.)

7:00 a.m. wake up and rush around to get four kids ready to go for the day (no time to shower myself!)

8:00 a.m. Dentist appointment for three older kids. Buster doesn't feel well and cries the whole time. Ryan screams bloody murder and refuses to get in the chair. Somehow at the end of the appointment, the dentist ends up holding Buster and the hygienist is holding Ryan and I'm empty handed. I don't know how that happened.

9:15 a.m. Drop Luke off to school.

9:30 a.m. Drop Sammie off to ballet

9:45 a.m. Go to my mom's house and drop off a Christmas tree (d0n't ask!) and proofread an invitation for her.

10:15 a.m. Pick up Sammie from ballet and pick up bagels because the kids are screaming for them. Ask for a side of butter. Realize as you leave the drive-thru that they don't give you a knife. Listen to the kids scream for butter all the way home.

11:00 a.m. Get Sammie ready for school. Help her make a birthday card for a friend. Nurse the baby.

11:30 a.m Sammie gets picked up.

noon-3:00 p.m. Blur of crying baby, nursing, crying two-year-old, cleaning up messes, laundry, phone calls.

3:00 p.m. leave to pick up carpool at school.

3:45 p.m. arrive home. My two good friends drop off their kids that I am babysitting while they set up for a church activity. Referee eight children for the next hour and half.

5:30 p.m. Drive all nine of us over to the church in my van and pray I don't get pulled over. Drop kids off to their moms.

5:45 p.m. Take baby to the doctor and find out he has another ear infection. Wait in the small room to see the doctor for 15 minutes while my four kids touch every surface in the room. Pray they don't get Aids. Listen to them fight over the crayons, the books and the rolling chair.

6:30 p.m. drop the prescription off to the pharmacy.

6:45 p.m. Come home and make breakfast for dinner. Feed the baby rice cereal in the bumbo while manning the stove and cutting up food for the older kids.

7:30 p.m. Go back over to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription.

7:45 p.m. Start helping kids with homework. Luke announces he has a book report due tomorrow. He hasn't finished the book.

8:30 p.m. Nurse the baby and put him to bed. Help the kids with their piano because they have lessons tomorrow.

9:30 p.m. Finish up homework, book report (he had to make a turkey out of paper, etc etc) and get the three older kids to bed.

9:45 p.m Relief Society president comes over to visit. Chat with her (She is awesome and it was actually really fun to talk to her.)

10:30 p.m. Call Sam and threaten to leave him if he doesn't get on a plane and come home tomorrow.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Real Men Eat Quiche

Tonight I cooked up the most nasty concoction my kitchen has ever seen. A quiche with waaaaay too much (frozen) spinach and mushrooms. The thing didn't set up properly and was slimy and slippery and stinky. I got the recipe from a cooking class my mom and I recently attended at Thanksgiving Point. It was delicious when we ate it there. But at home, something went horribly wrong.

Enter Sam. He was a desperate man. After his first bite, he said "not bad." Then after a few more bites, he admitted it was BAD. After polishing off an entire piece, he admitted it was horrible. But that didn't stop him. You can see how much he ate.

As bad as it was, he maintains that it isn't the worst thing I've ever made. When I asked him what was the worst, without hesitation he said, "the goulash you made back in 2002." He is referring to the time that I got a recipe for chicken rice soup from my mom. The thing fed like 100. We had vats and vats of it in our fridge. It wasn't good but we ate it for days. Ironically enough, my mom dropped off that very soup to us tonight and my kids loved it. Everything she makes is delicious.

To my gourmet dinner night friends: Don't be scared. I'm not making you quiche when you come in three weeks. I've begged Sam to make a bird again for me to serve that night. No dice. When he makes a bird, he has to babysit it all day and since GDN is on a weekday, he won't be home to do it.

I've learned from past experience. This year, I'm serving a Honey Baked Ham.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Family Photos

I'm trying to see how much mileage I can possibly get out of these new pictures. I just posted them on Facebook today so you've probably already seen them.

My photographer friend extraordinaire Jill took our photos again this year. She is a miracle worker and managed to make us look decent. Check out her website here. If you live in Zion and want a very affordable, fun, laid back photographer, Jill is your lady. Drum roll please:

Which one do you think we used for the Christmas card?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekend Roadie

This last weekend, Sam and I took the kids on a little road trip to St. George. If you have read my other road trip post, you know how we roll.

Highlights (or really low lights):

Eating a greasy lunch at Larry's Drive-in in Fillmore, UT (Known to our family as Scary Larry's)

Stopping at the Chevron (with the Dairy Queen and the big white chair out in front) in Beaver because they have the best bathrooms according to Sam. He will deny this but he actually told me he thinks they have nice tile work.

Enjoying everything the hotel has to offer; Namely, jumping on the beds, watching tons of tv and abusing the complimentary breakfast--have you ever seen how much my kids eat?

Watching my kids fight over who gets to push the button in the elevator every. single. time. we got in.

Finding this outside the room next to ours (those are rose petals) Apparently someone was having a more romantic trip than we were.

Praying that my kids didn't wake them up at the crack of dawn.

Seeing this car in the parking lot--explains the rose petals! You gotta love the spelling on "married."

Taking our kids to run in their first race:

Having Sammie chicken out moments before the race and refuse to run.

Enjoying this huge indoor swimming pool at the local rec center.

Dressing Buster is the world's largest swim trunks and the world's tiniest top (I was short on time with packing and had to grab whatever I could find!)

Seeing this couple taking a snooze and wishing I could do the same.

Eating dinner at a Mexican "restaurant" that was literally inside a gas station. Sam read that they had great food so we tried it. Food was relatively good--Sam loved his steak torta--but the atmosphere left something to be desired. Why didn't I get any pictures!! Of course, Ryan spilled his drink all over the floor so we had to make a quick get-away.

Letting Ryan take his wet shirt off and just wear an open jacket with no shirt underneath the rest of the evening. I think we really impressed the workers in the Polo outlet.

Packing the car to the gills on Sunday morning and driving home. Look how happy everyone looks.

Don't say we aren't classy.