Friday, January 30, 2009

Briant & Kensington

video
When Briant came over to play last week, he and Kensington spent some quality time together.  I thought they were both being so cute.  Kensington had dumped the water from her sippy cup into the tray of the cash register.  She enjoyed licking it like a dog.  And Briant thought the scanner was a phone!  Cute little squirts.

Bored?

We've been a little bored lately.  The van is in the shop (going on the 4th week in a row now), so the girls and I are left without a car while Dallas is at work.  And that has left us with less places to go.  So we've gotten CRAFTY.  (The Beastie Boys song is in my head now.)  Pictured above is one of those whatchamacallits that we used to make in elementary school.  Remember those?  I thought I'd pass down some of my childhood to the girls.  They had fun making their own.  And we made sure that the fortunes written on the inside were all nice compliments.  The best one was: "You have a nice nose."

Too bad these little stars are not chocolates because they're not.  They're homemade crayons.  Madeline and I spent the afternoon peeling crayon labels off of broken crayons.  Then we sorted them by color, melted the wax down, and poured them into candy molds to make NEW crayons.  We are using them for the girls' school Valentines in a couple of weeks.  These were a lot of fun to make, despite shattering two glasses and overheating the microwave (never knew that was possible.)  Luckily, the microwave revived itself.  

New Number

If you call our house and hear that our number has been disconnected . . . it HAS!!  Thank you, Kevin for introducing us to Magic Jack!  We are sold!  I won't post our new number here, but if you call our old number, you'll find out our new one.  (And it is so much easier to remember.)  

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spanish

The other day Dallas was sitting with Raleigh and Madeline discussing world policy or something when something came up in the conversation, and Madeline asked, "Is that Spanish?"  Raleigh asked, "Where do they speak that?"  to which Madeline answered, "China."  Raleigh quickly responded back (being the all-knowing older sister), "No.  They speak Spanish in Spanish Fork."*

*For readers outside of Utah, Spanish Fork is a small local town.

The Q-Tip Bandit

video

Breakfast with a Marsupial

video
I have been trying to get this video to upload for weeks!  I think it is just precious, and it is finally here!  This is Kensington eating breakfast with her little marsupial.  I try to call it her "koala bear," but Raleigh informs me that "koalas are not bears, Mom; they are marsupials."  That's a great public education, I tell you!

After discussing thrift stores tonight, Madeline added some wisdom to our conversation: "A man's treasure is another man's not-treasure."  Thank you, Madeline!

We are not an interesting family these days.  I've had a couple of migraines this week.  American Idol was fun to watch- the SLC episode was funny to see- reminiscent of our EFY hookups (my cousin Jessi & I) with the Osmond boys when we were fourteen.  That was fun.  Great memories.  Taxes are done.  The girls and I went outside for like 10 minutes today and hung out on the freezing cold driveway.  I shoveled slush.  Raleigh was the first to go back inside.  Then Madeline.  Kensington was the only one who loved me and stayed outside the longest!  It's been boring, but I enjoy boring sometimes.  We ate a really good dinner: homemade sweet & savory chili with all the toppings.  (Please pass the fresh guacamole!)  And then we had a dance party in the girls' room to the Remember the Titans soundtrack.  We were all busting a move.  Even Kensington.  Should've taken a video.  Didn't.  I guess this is what I sound like when I ramble.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pharmacy Follies

Miss Choobers has been sick all week with quite a fever, and after holding her non-stop for three days, I finally decided to take her in to see the doctor.  It turns out that she has (and I quote), "a really bad ear infection."  Poor kid.  She's been quite lethargic and feeling yucky.  So on the way home from the doctor, we stopped at the grocery store pharmacy to pick up her prescription.  The poor kid was feeling so terribly that she lay her head down ON the shopping cart handle with her arms dangling below her like she was dead or something for the duration of our shopping-trip.  It was really sad-looking.  We got a lot of pathetic looks from fellow-shoppers.  

So imagine a mother-of-three, standing in the pharmacy line (which was a little busy tonight), with this poor dead-kid in the front of the shopping cart.  I was chatting happily with the girls when Raleigh picked up a package of Keebler Fudge Stripe Cookies out of our buggy, started stroking it and said (to the cookies), "Okay, now.  Let's draw the fever down from the head."  Maybe it's because I haven't been out in several days, but I was laughing hysterically when the pharmacist came to the window to hand me our prescription.  Oh . . . that girl!  

In other great news, Kensington is now resting at home, peacefully in bed.  And Raleigh got to eat one of the cookies!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Laundry and Such

Ah, there's nothing like falling asleep to a good book!  We're glad that Raleigh has caught the fire of reading.
Then there's Choobers here with oats on her head.  She had just had a bath- phooey.  She took off her bib by herself and thought the oats she had spread everywhere were hilarious.  They were.

Here's three sillies in the tub.  Nothing like everyone getting in the tub to get the giggles out!  Madeline taught Kensington how to say "hi" to her reflection in the chrome.  I personally got soaking wet.

The other night Dallas' parents were over at our house, and Ray was the lucky one to go into the bathroom where SOMEONE had not replaced the empty toilet paper roll.  He came into the living room to find out who the last person was in the bathroom, to which Madeline informed us, "I was the last one in there, but I didn't use any!"  Toilet paper, that is. 

Here's a random poem about my evening:

The ridges and rills of laundry hills
Ere once had lined my wall,
Taken from the dryer and then
Tossed into the hall,
Now lie in wait in plastic baskets
Folded, piled, (not pressed).
My only prayer, Dear Lord, next morn
Is that no one will get dressed.

And THAT's how I feel about laundry these days.  And why it comes out in the form of third-grade poetry I have yet to understand.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this day we got to have a new president.  Thank you for the prophet and the scriptures.  The new president will make new laws.  Please help him to make good laws that will bring our family back to Thee."

Yes, Mr. President, we pray for you!

Love,
Raleigh's Family


Monday, January 19, 2009

A Morning with Raleigh & Madeline





Raleigh asked us this morning, "If you eat a neutron or electron plain, will it taste gross??"  I would love to know how you would respond to that one! 

Rikki & Kevin were visiting on Friday, and I warned them to watch out for Kensington because she hadn't taken a bath for two days.  Madeline added, "She's going to be moldy when she grows up!" 

You can see the "food faces" that the girls made last Sunday for a snack.  Somehow that always helps them to eat more healthy foods during the day.  Madeline didn't finish her beans at dinner, so Raleigh kindly bagged and labeled them for her.  These are just some of the things going on at our house!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some Morning Quotes

Howzabout some family quotes for today?

I was slicing an apple for the girls to munch on, and I said, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."  Raleigh looked thoughtful and said, "Uh . . . Mom.  I don't think that's true because you have to go to the doctor for regular checkups."  

Yesterday, I knew Raleigh had a good quote coming when she sighed really loudly and said, "I miss 2008."  I was like, "Why, Raleigh?"  She said, "I miss 2008 because '8' is curvy, and I love curvy things."  I never would have guessed!

Oh, yeah!!  My mom called me last night, too, laughing hysterically, saying that she HAD to tell me what just happened.  She said that she had tried calling our house, and some guy answered the phone.  She was like, "Is this Dallas?"  And the guy was like, "No, this is Utah."  She was doing one of her usual late-night-laugh-so-hard-you-cry-and-then-cough-hard-and-sneeze-twice routines.  Or is it the other way around?  Anyway, it made my day!!  

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I found my first real inspiration for a kids room I would like to do for the girls.  Love the color.  Love the life in it!  Love it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

S-N-O-W





Yeah, so I should've used my new camera trick in Picture #1 up there.  Oh well.  But can you believe all of this snow??  Our car has gotten stuck TOO many times this year.  I think this is the first year we've EVER gotten stuck in the snow after being married.  I think it is an omen telling us, "GET OUT OF UTAH!!"  

Speaking of omens, I read The Alchemist a couple of days ago.  Read it in one night.  It's one of those kinds of books.  It's very good, if you haven't read it.  I'd give a quick review here, but I am about blogged out for one night.  Just know that is worth reading, and I have thought about it many times the past couple of days.  Lots of symbolism.  Many themes and parallels worth analyzing.  But very simple and straightforward.  I recommend it.

OH!  And how can I forget the quotes of the evening.  Just classic.  Here goes:

Raleigh is such a girlie-girl.  (And so is her sister.  But back to Raleigh.)  The other night I bent down to give her a goodnight kiss and hug after tucking her little tush in bed, and she started jingling my dangly earrings and said, (imagine, if you will, the sweetest, girliest tone you can muster), "Oh, Mom!  I want my ears pierced SO BAD!  I just love your earrings!  I love the jingle crackle they make when I touch them and they are so DECORATIVE!  I really think they are becoming quite the FASHION, don't you think?  I mean EVERYONE wears them!"  
WOW.

Then tonight at bedtime (which seems to be a quotable time of day), Raleigh got a little hungry, so I cut up some thin apple slices for her to munch on in bed while she was reading.  I went back to check on her and asked her how her apples were coming.  In the same girlie tone, she said, "Oh, Mom!  I can barely eat them!  They are just so BEAUTIFUL!  It's like I can hardly eat them, I just want to make a necklace out of them!"
WOW.

Then there's Madeline.  We've been trying to help her to be more sincere in her prayers, and lately she has truly been saying what's in her heart.  Tonight it was, "Thank you for the green begetables because they will help me not to be blind when I am old."  HA HA!  Who do you think has been spreading the propaganda about healthy begetables at OUR HOUSE?!!  Except after she was done (anal as I am), I praised her for being sincere and thankful for her green vegetables, and then I went on to remind her that it is actually orange vegetables that provide the necessary beta carotene and vitamin A we need to fight degenerative eye disease in our later years.  WOW.  I know, I'm a little intense sometimes.  But it sure was cute!

A Little Camera Trick from Dionne

Okay, I found this little camera trick online somewhere, tried it out myself, and now that I know it works, I am sharing it with you!  We just got a new camera recently and one of the features that we love is the optional flash.  No technicalities involved- just pop it up, or snap it down, depending on your preference.  I usually always leave it down because the image quality from the natural lighting is so much better.  But that's not my tip.  (Unless you found that useful.)

So here's my little tutorial:
This is how Kensington looked when I was sitting beneath her looking out the window.  (You gotta love the no-pants-long-socks-look!  I love having a third child because I never care if she has a "complete look" about her, and these half-done outfits are just scrumptious, in my opinion.  Except when we go out, of course.  Back off tangent.)

THIS (below) is what the camera wants to say I was looking at.  NOT SO.  So how do I capture the good lighting when the direct sunlight is blaring right in through the window and wants to darken my subject??  (Here comes the fun part!)  

1. Point your camera AWAY from your subject (and the window) on a nearby object that is not being GLARED upon- like your pants, or in this case, the couch.
2. Hold the button down halfway, as if you are focusing the picture.
3. Keep your finger held halfway down, and then point it back at your subject.  DO NOT LET GO!!
4. Push the button all the way down.  
5. SNAPSHOT!!
Voila!!  I find that extraordinarily helpful.  I hope you do, too.

After the Buffet . . .

While we were in SLC, we thought it would be nice to take the girls inside the LDS Conference Center since they've never been.  We loved all the cute old people working there as missionary tour guides!  Dionne was in heaven.  They catered the tour to children per our request, and we learned some interesting things about the Conference Center.
The Conference Center is the largest assembly hall in America.  It seats 21,000 people: 7,000 on each floor.  Here you can see the decorations from the Christmas Devotional that were left on display through the holiday.  We were there on the day they began taking the decorations down, and it was amazing how quickly they worked!  Everything on the stage, including the TABERNACLE ORGAN can come offstage.  The organ slides back behind the wall if needed, and all of the seats can be taken out if there is a performance where a full stage is needed.  Also, the organ in the Conference Center has (I think she said) 7,000 pipes, whereas, the tabernacle organ has 20,000.  Unbelievable!  In putting in the organ for the Conference Center, they didn't want to upstage the tabernacle organ because it is the premier organ.  Interesting.
I want to live in this little Christmas villa!  I would be Mrs. Claus, and Dallas would be Santa!!
Beautiful.  That is natural light coming in from the skylights up above.  I can't remember how many there are, but it seems like she said there were 70 of them.  And they close off during performances and Conference sessions.  


This is how we all felt after we were finished with our two-hour brunch and one-hour tour.

Who Doesn't LOVE a Good Breakfast??

I have heard it said that when your kids ask you to do an activity this year that you did last year, what you have on your hands is a TRADITION!  (Think Fiddler on the Roof.  By the way, have any of you ever seen Jonathan Clarke do that impression?  It is hilarious.)  So our latest and greatest tradition is going out to breakfast close to New Year's at the Little America Hotel in SLC.  The buffet has a great selection, the dining area has the right amount of class, and it is family-friendly enough for our little breakfast-lovers.  And we love to look around the lobby for a bit after we are finished.

Here's our precious girl stuffing her face with lots of oranges (ORaNGeS??  At a breakfast buffet??), pancakes, bacon, and strawberries.
Raleigh is such her father's daughter when it comes to eating.  She ate LOTS and LOTS of fruit.  And bacon.  
If you know how much Dionne loves old people, then you know how much she wanted to break through the glass and pinch this Santa's little cheeks and take him home with her!


And Choobers wanted to take this dog home.  This was the least-blurry shot we could get with all of that hugging and smooching and running around she was doing for this dog!

Christmas Pictures Continued

Amid all the chaos and abundance of treasures on Christmas morning, Kensington's favorite finds were the ribbons and clementines.  And that rhymes.
I think I love clementines as much as she does.
Did I mention to anyone that I bought Dallas a tabletop fooseball set??  We love fooseball!!  And this was the best-kept Christmas secret because it was the biggest present under (behind) the tree, and he had no idea that it was coming.  He thought it was going to be a bookshelf.  ha ha  If anyone wants to come and play us, we will officially kick your trash- that's how good we are.  Just kidding.  Sort of.
Mama and the Choober-Luvs.

Dionne got a few different books this year (which always makes a great Christmas), and this one is from MOM.  

More Pics from Christmas

Dallas was thrilled that Kensington LOVED the little piggy he bought her for Christmas.  He was most excited for THIS present because she loves animals so much.  The little piglet looks so real and cute, and its snout and hind legs move when you turn it on.  She carried it around and fed him.  They looked like little piggy twinners.
If you know Raleigh well, you know that she LOVES buses.  She wants so badly to ride the bus to school- if only she really knew how stinky and dirty they really are!  But whenever she plays with her Polly Pockets or other little dolls, they are always loading up onto a bus.  Over Christmastime, we had a miniature sleigh for the girls to play with, and she would line all of the little manger scene characters up in a line waiting for the "bus" sleigh and give them all rides.  We have like four sets of nativities that we let the girls play with each year, and so far the sleigh-bus was the biggest hit.  Here's a picture of Raleigh opening another thoughtful gift from her Daddy: a BUS!  It's the second in her collection. 
Two anxious sisters on Christmas Eve, ready to spread the "Reindeer Dust" given to Madeline at preschool.  It is a hearty concoction of oats and glitter that lure Santa and his team to your house on Christmas Eve!

Here are the girls out in the yard spreading the Reindeer Dust.  I love this picture of them helping each other.  It really is a joy to have daughters who love each other.  Notice the beautiful luminaires lining the street- so beautiful.

There's our angelic little Raleigh-Kroggies singing in the back row at the school Christmas Sing-In!  She got put in the "tall row."  Poor girl.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nate . . .


Check out this cool poster I made out of your face!!

Mom, These are for You!

My mom made these gorgeous heirloom dresses and outfits for the girls this Christmas.  Aren't they adorable?  If you saw them up close, you could see all the detail and finishing she added.  I am in love with the dresses (and the girls who are wearing them!)  And, yes, they are FREEZING in this picture!  But we had to catch some good lighting!  (The indoor shots below just don't do the dresses any justice.)

Madeline is doing her typical "one foot placed lightly on the other" pose.  I don't know where she got that!
Sweet sweet Raleigh playing with some new toys in the windowsill.

Big sis and little sis.

Ours Was Great, How Was Yours?