25 April 2019

Mia is 12






Amelia celebrated her birthday while in Utah! I can hardly believe she is 12...it went fast and slow all at the same time. She is growing so fast, developing just like a normal kid. Seems like the past year between 11 and 12 she really grew from a little girl into a mini woman at least physically. She loves being in YW now instead of dragging her feet through that last year of Primary.

Snapshot of Amelia at 12:

  • silly and goofy, especially when friends are around or right when she wakes up! She yells "School!" when she jumps out of bed. 
  • hates cleaning, practicing piano (enjoys it once she gets practicing), and her annoying little siblings, except Josie. 
  • Loves playing Gotcha Life, a dress-up game where you can make movies of your characters in Anime style...
  • Has lots of friends, her best friends are Chloe, Zoe, Jacob, and lots of other aquaintences
  • Does not enjoy sports, but loves to play swim. Her hip aches at times but does not hinder most activities
  • Her favorite foods are Mac n'Cheese, hummus, chips and dip, and most pasta dishes
  • She loves slime, squishes, Harry Potter, Rick Riordian Books, Pegasus Series, crafts
  • She is wearing size 14-16 girls, probably a ladies small, size 6 shoe
  • Amelia often hits her siblings and bumps into them "accidentally"
  • Does not like to participate in Come Follow Me, but endures it 
  • Is an angel everywhere else, sort of a stinker at home
  • Gives excellent hugs
  • Is so smart, voracious reader
We delight in her development! Justin and I enjoy when she talks with us about her experiences and asks for our opinions. I love that she does not mind babysitting every so often.

15 April 2019

New Camera!!!!







I've read "Go, Dogs Go!" over 76 times in two weeks. Josie is obsessed. When we are out running errands she pay special attention to the red and green lights now. When I read it, I can't just read it. We have to decide which dog is our favorites, pretend to be scared about the toy dog, use a squeaky voice for the tiny dogs, and bark out Happy Birthday. It's pretty intense. Maybe she could read it to me after 76 times of hearing it!

Using my new serger I whipped up a knit dress for Mia in less than 30 minutes. Her Easter dress is complete. I also finished a darling bunny dress for Josie.

Tuesday was an epic day. My highly sought after new camera and lens came at precisely 2:36 pm. It looks the same as my old camera but man, oh man, the new insides make all the difference. Amelia was more than willing to pretty herself up and take some 12 year old photos for her upcoming birthday. She is a weird child...I think all 12 year olds are strange. A strange ring showed up in any photo taken under f/2.0, I knew it was some sort of setting I needed to change. Thankfully, the firmware setting did not affect the actual photos just the thumbnails. It's quite sharp and able to handle just like I imagined. Giddy!!

We had two days this week in the 90's, totally broke down and turned on the AC. Crazy to think that it was blizzarding in Nebraska! I have to admit it did get WINDY here, like a bona fide wind.  I heard stories of trampolines ending up in swimming pools. The wind squished our empty above ground pool against the wall! By the end of the day our lawn was littered with papers and toys.

I found a suit for Everett's baptism. His best friend is getting baptized this month so Kristin and I wanted some photos of the boys together. Everett's suit was quite large on him, the size 8 was more like a size 10/12. Unfortunately, the next smaller size was a 4. I hemmed the pants a good 5 inches and took in the waist 3.5 inches. He looked pretty snazzy in his cute baptism suit. Kristin and I met at the temple for some photos there with the boys. The sunset was so gorgeous. Everett was spoiled with three dates alone with me this week. I love the silly things he says, "mom, I could get used to be alone with you all the time." We enjoyed getting his scriptures together at Deseret Book, an outing for a hair cut, and then to the temple. He is a little poser! Towards the end his eyes started to get dry, he quipped, "this posing thing is hard on the eyes!"

Justin and I snuck out to watch the new Shazam movie on Friday night. Amelia managed to get all the kids to sleep...in their OWN beds even. The angels are singing! Ok, confession...I LOVED the movie. It was funny, ever so funny. A nice change from the normal super hero stuff.

Amelia had her spring piano recital on Saturday. She practiced her piece and performed it perfectly. After she claimed that she flubbed up by pressing the wrong pedal. No worries! The kids used up all the referral cards at the performance center, it kept them quiet. We were just down the street from the Mesa temple, took a drive by it to see it was barren and empty. Lunch, yummy, yummy lunch at Morenos. MMmmmmm. Amelia earned her first babysitting job watching the Jackson kiddos. Our stake organized the most amazing Easter concert, One Voice. President Tinker arranged for a sound system that blew our socks off. I got to attend while Justin stayed home with the rest of the kids. I rode my bike over since parking was limited. What a privilege! The concert was breath taking. So many talented folks in our stake. I was expecting something half done, but this was worthy of a concert hall like Carnegie. 

Evelyn adopted a worm. She made it a habitat and named it Hermie. I was stunned she actually touched it and held it.

09 April 2019

Crunchwrap Supreme











We experienced a death in the family. Cajey, aka Barry Allen, aka the Flash, Phillip's beloved hamster entered hamster heaven on Sunday the 31st of March. The water bead in the water bottle was quite stuck so the poor animal had no water for days on end. Just the night before he was performing back flips off the side of his cage. Now I think he was hallucinating and out of his little mind crazy. I felt so bad! Phillip was completely devastated. He did not sleep for a week, anxious out of his mind, couldn't stop thinking about Cajey.  He spent many sleepless nights on the floor in my room vying for space with Evelyn. Last week our bedroom felt like a hotel with kids sprawled all over the floor. Phillip and Evelyn carefully packed the hamster inside a toilet paper roll stuffed with soft toilet paper. After school Phillip dug a shallow hole to bury Cajey in. The hole was not deep enough so Evelyn brought in the paper roll a few days later, caused another 2 nights with insomnia. I reburied the hamster in a better place. We thought replacing the hamster would help...

Monday was also April Fool's. We had little jokes going all over the place. Amelia replaced the toilet paper with rolls of tape, stuck silly notes inside the fridge, and served brown E's for dessert. Everett printed out a cute photo of his face and taped the papers to the toilet seats. He loved surprising us all! Phillip's heart was not into celebrating.

Tuesday right after school Amelia informed me she had a choir concert at 5 pm. It was 4 and this was the first time I heard of this event. I did not get any emails from Mrs Munley so we called and clarified the information, which was correctly reported to me by Amelia. I rushed to get Phillip to Scouts, Everett was able to stay as well with the bears much to his delight. The little girls and I went to a furniture store downtown for the school district art show. Josie pretended to be a cute bunny hopping about with a bunny ear headband on. Amelia sang gorgeously! She sang American tears (again) and several new songs with her mates. I picked up the boys and Justin on our way to grab a quick dinner at Taco Bell. The boys wanted their very own crunchwrap for dinner, it was taco Tuesday and the dinner I had planned was put off due to the impromptu concert. After dinner we went to PetSmart to check out hamsters. Phillip found a larger white male hamster as his new friend. He was friendly at the store! We tried out a dozen names but I threw out crunchwrap, that was a hit! Justin wants the name to be spelled, krunch rapp! LOL. The kids and Justin got the new hamster settled in his new digs. His new wheel is so squeaky I kept waking up unused to the new sounds.

I got a new to me serger! Finally got it set up and ripped through a dress like butter! I am so pleased with me new machine. I had some frustrations with it but that is next week's story. The new machine is 10 times quieter and smoother than the one I inherited. I sewed up a pink dress for Josie using fabric she chose! Of course the dress is pepto pink with Princesses! I cannot wait to try sewing up some of those popular knit dresses. I sure have enough fabric to learn on. Most of my week was spent editing the plethora of photos I snapped on Saturday.

I invested a couple dollars in meal planning system through Etsy. The packets come with master grocery lists, weekly lists, month of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), AND the recipes. I'm hoping to save money by eliminating the excess and eating some different meals. So far the meals are delicious. I've switched around a couple days so the Monday and Thursday meals are either easy or crock/instapot easy. We really need to invest in a used freezer and fridge for the garage. I would be able to shop sales and buy more in bulk. Sunday we dined on oven roasted chicken with scalloped sweet potatoes. Yum!

Friday night we took the kids (minus Josie) to see The Music Man performed at Gilbert High. Our neighbor Jacob was in the production as Winthrop Paroo and his sister was one of the Pickalittle ladies. Jacob worked hard for 3 months going right after school to practice. We were all excited to watch them perform. The songs brought back memories of my mother singing those songs around the house. My favorite was the Wellsfargo wagon! It was quite a lovely evening. Evelyn enjoyed the first 20 minutes then was ready to leave, by the end she was almost asleep.

Conference weekend was so lovely. All the talks were focused on the Savior, simplifying our lives to easily turn towards Him. After three months of Come Follow Me, the talks all seemed to support what we've learned so far this year. Elder Holland! He's my favorite. Sell the ox and fill in the mire! LOL. Read his talk. We heard many references of the time being short, this chapter is soon closing, gotta step up our game and work hard as missionaries and at our temple work. The Chandler Calls came over for conference crepes Sunday morning. Laura brought cookie butter, quite possibly my new favorite way to eat crepes. The boys got bored, so decided to hoe deep holes into the back lawn and fill the holes with water. They threw mud and grass on the walls as a finale. Guess that's one way to aerate the lawn. Phillip wrapped up Crunchwrap in his ball in some paper to look like a giant candy. He was pleased with his creation.

05 April 2019

Just a Week







Mia has new glasses! She looks adorbs in her new frames. I "might" have upgraded her glasses because her old ones were too dark for her upcoming 12 year old photos. Geeze, that sounds vain. BUT when you have a vision...lol. I made the mistake of taking all the kids with me to Walmart. A load of kids whining about snacks, drinks, visiting the toy section....Argh. Drives me batty. Evelyn told me she hated me on the drive back home. Good girl! That's my job, you can't always visit the toy section and get a free (to you) toy. I had to smile when the littles found matching walmart doll carts. That offset the cranky me just a smidge. FHE was put on the back burner. Justin held down the fort while Mia and I went to a presentation by a non-profit group "porn kills love." Lots of valuable information went down like how to avoid porn, places where kids are introduced, sexting, and sexplotation. Crazy world out there. I feel naive even as a 40+ woman.

Spring is upon us! Half of us are suffering from allergies, the pollen count is hovering in the 90s lately. My head constantly aches from all the reactions my body is trying to tame. Our allergy sufferers are Justin, Mia, Evelyn, Everett, and I. Our area always seems green but WOW! the greens this week are electric with new growth, budding flowers, and freshness. I wish this season could stay, I don't enjoy the extreme heat.

Wednesday the kids dressed up as their favorite book characters! Mia as Heromine, Phillip as Chewbacca, Everett as Geronimo Stilton, and Evelyn as Shine. Josie spent the day dressed as a ballet, she quite enjoyed tapping around in her tap shoes. Her class switches between ballet and tap every other week. I had quite a few photo sessions including a cake smash, newborn cowboy, maternity, and a senior session! Phew! Josie helped me out during the studio sessions.

I was changing Josie's dirty diaper one evening. I exclaimed, "Dang! Josie is a Stinkerella!" She immediately replied without hesitation...."No, I a Stinkerelsa!" It was more the immediacy of her response that tickled my funny bone.

Mia had a long class at the library from 9:30-1:30 to earn her babysitting certification. The kids are taught basic lifesaving methods, how to protect themselves and the kids, and what questions need to be asked before babysitting. We have a certified babysitter now!!! Yahoo. We went straight from the class to pick up cookie dough for the YW camp fund raiser. I had no idea the girls and leaders made all the dough from scratch. Yum. Amelia earned enough to cover all her costs! Justin worked hard to empty the rest of the gross water from the pool. The mosquitoes are back and plaguing the kids. It took a sump pump and the water vac to finish the job. The little girls played trick or treat/santa for a good hour. Sitting near the laundry room knocking on the door and swapping toys and fake food! Josie got a crown at Burger King, dressed up then persuaded Justin to be her prince! He obliged and danced a few turns with her. I mopped the floor like 5 times just to make sure Gabi has a clean place to crawl about.