Thursday, November 15, 2012

When hitting is acceptable

Compensation for being home maker

You know the days where you you're struggling to make it from hour to hour or even minute to minute? If you have to fold even one more load of laundry, or break up one more argument between your kids, or change one more poopy diaper, or deal with one more temper tantrum, you'll explode? Well, today hasn't been one of those days for me, but the next time I'm struggling with the daily routine of a stay at home mom, I'm going to read this note that Annabelle left for me tonight while I was gone. It makes it all worth it.

Just so you know, the drawing is a picture of me doing Annabelle's laundry. The purple squares with the black circles are the washer and the dryer. Look at how happy I am to be doing laundry.

Cute Thanksgiving craft

Annabelle and Jillian wanted to make some sort of Thanksgiving craft so we made turkeys out their hand prints. It was a huge hit. What kid wouldn't love getting to paint with with hands?

A night in Russia

Sunday night, we hosted several youth and adults from church so Michael cold share some of his experiences as a missionary in Russia. There was a good turnout and it was fun to hear some of the stories and see pictures.

We wanted to give people a taste of Russia so Michael found some recipes and asked if I would make them. I agreed and ended up spending 6 1/2 straight hours in the kitchen making 3 or 4 batches of Russian black bread (which I hate to say was horrible. Not because of anything I did, but because of the ingredients. I followed the recipe to a tee.), pirozhki (kind of like a hot pocket filled with meat and eggs), and chocolate chip cookies (obviously not Russian. I just wanted to make something I knew how to make and something I knew would turn out delicious even if the other foods didn't). Both the bread and the priozhki were very difficult to make because the dough for each wasn't like any dough I was ever used to making. The pirozkhi dough was made out of flour, sour cream, and a little bit of butter and that's it. I had to keep adding more and more water to make it even remotely dough-like. It was all worth it though. Michael said the food was close to tasting like what it tasted like in Russia. But most importantly, I think it was an uplifting experience for everyone.


Beauty and the Beast

Annabelle and I attended the musical Beauty and the Beast put on by the high school. It was the absolute best high school I have ever seen. The cast was great. The girl who played Belle belongs on Broadway. The live orchestra was one of the best I've heard from a high school. The high school is brand new and the auditorium is huge and state of the art. It was a great experience. Annabelle absolutely loved it. Her favorite part of course was seeing Belle come out on stage in her yellow ball gown. And of course, she had to get a picture with her.

I bet I can make you smile...

Sunday, November 4, 2012


A few weeks ago, our ward had its primary program. Annabelle's assigned part was very long, so we cut out a few lines. But she memorized it and did great.

Both Annabelle and Jillian love to sing. As soon as one starts singing (it doesn't have to necessarily be a song they know. A lot of times, they just make up the words and the tune as they go), the other one has to start singing as well. Neither one can be out sung by the other, so they just get louder and louder. It's quite funny for the first few minutes, but after that, you're ready to tape their mouths shut.


It was such a beautiful day on Friday that I decided to take the kids to the park. My kids are huge fans of swings. Sometimes, we'll be at the park for 30 minutes and almost the whole time, all they want to do is swing. I end up running back and forth between the giving Annabelle an underdog on the big swings and pushing Jillian in the baby swings. This was the case last week, although the kids did take a swinging break to play in the leaves, which made for some cute pictures. Sarah was most especially interested in the leaves. I couldn't get her to keep them out of her mouth!


Halloween Fun

Halloween day was filled with lots of fun activities. It started with a Halloween parade at school. All the kids in school paraded around the halls for the parents and siblings to see their costumes. Of course, I had to get Jillian and Sarah dressed up in their costumes as well. One of the faculty members had a great giraffe costume and Jillian was obsessed with it.

Sorry for the video being sideways.

Later that afternoon, we went trick-or-treating to an assisted living home where I volunteer to play the piano every month. The residents were sitting in big circles with bowls of candy and they would just hold out their bowl and let the kids grab handfuls of treats. Some of them didn't remember which kids had already gone around the circle. I was busy talking to someone before I realized that Annabelle and Jillian were halfway through the circle a second time. Needless to say, by the time we got home, they had so much candy that I almost didn't see any point in going trick-or-treating around our neighborhood.

I took the kids out trick-or-treating and Michael stayed home to hand out candy. The kids did great and got a good amount of candy. One of Annabelle's favorite things she received was this set of vampire teeth.

Actual Halloween Costumes

We had a great Halloween this year. Part of what made it so special was that I decided to hand make the girls' costumes. Please note that I HAVE NO SEWING MACHINE! Yet, I did it anyway. I asked Annabelle and Jillian what they wanted to be and their responses were a mermaid and a peacock, respectively. I chose Sarah's costume for her - an octopus. I was most concerned about making a mermaid tail. I planned on making up my own pattern and would be hand sewing everything. I should have taken pictures during the process. It was quite a difficult feat.

I started with Jillian's because I was most excited about it. I bought a teal colored headband and tied different colored tulle to it to make the tutu. Then I cut out pieces of felt to make the feathers.With her peacock feather headband, teal shirt and black pants, she made one of the cutest peacocks I've ever seen.


Sarah's cosutme was next. It was super easy. I just stuffed 6 pairs of socks and glued them to a ribbon to tie around her waist. Her own two legs served as the additional 2 legs. Annabelle and Jillian had a blast stuffing the socks with me and helping me glue the buttons on.

 I purposely put off Annabelle's costume because I had no idea what I was doing. After Annabelle picked out the color of material she wanted, I started by sewing the waistband. I had to redo this twice, but finally got it so it would stretch around Annabelle's legs and sit comfortably around her waist. I took 2 wire hangers and shaped them like the 2 sides of the fin and sewed the fabric around them to keep the shape. Then I sewed down the back of the tail. It looked better than I expected it would, but Annabelle couldn't walk very well in it, so she held it up off the ground the whole time she wore it and you couldn't even tell it was a mermaid tail. Oh well. She loved it and that's all I could have asked for. We added jewels to her shirt and headband and the mermaid outfit was complete.

I love with how her hair turned out with the headband. She looked amazing and so grown up!

And here they are all together. What a bunch of cute girls!

I was very please with how all 3 costumes turned out and considering that Annabelle and Jillian have worn theirs several times since Halloween, I think they liked them as well. However, it was a lot of work and took a lot of time, so I think I'll take the next few years off and buy them their Halloween costumes.

Carving Pumpkins

The day before Halloween came and we still hadn't carved our pumpkins yet. Michael was able to come home early from work and with no time to spare, we got to work. Though Annabelle still doesn't enjoy getting her hands dirty with the insides of the pumpkin, Jillian had no problem diving right in.

Both Annabelle and Jillian got to have a turn carving with Michael and I think in the end, the pumpkins turned into marvelous jack-o-laterns.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crazy Hair Day!

Sleeping while running

When I came home from a run pushing Sarah and Jillian in the stroller, this is what I found. I'm so glad my hard work of pushing a double jogging stroller made for such a relaxing ride. Utter cuteness!