Saturday, December 27, 2014

christmas break

*This past week I've been working on a mailing project for my dad. Kendall always loves to help me. This time we watched some TV while we worked. I introduced her to Saved By the Bell. She LOVES it! I only show the older episodes and skip the ones about girlfriend/boyfriend stuff, but they have become quite a hit :)

*Christmas morning we opened stockings, had breakfast (our traditional Land of Nod), then let the kids open their present. Kendall got a huge craft supplies barrel and Cameron a 500 piece marble maze set. However after nearly four hours and constant hands on help from Chris, we all three decided the "8+" age on the front was not accurate at all. :(

So it was decided that the marble maze will be returned and instead we purchased what should have been purchased in the first place...Legos. :)

 *Back to Christmas Day, we started off at a park and then ended at our house for presents and lunch. It was a fun and relaxing day. :)

*Monday we head up to my in-laws for what the kids are calling, "Christmas #2". We are really looking forward to going, although a little bummed because it's supposed to snow here on Wednesday and I know the kids would be sooo excited. Hopefully it will happen again this season. :)

p.s. I mentioned before that we had been reading Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, which I really wasn't a huge fan of. My mom ended up giving me a different Advent book that we liked MUCH better. Each day we read about a different name for Jesus, then the kids chose one of the enclosed ornaments to hang on the tree.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


*Sunday was a big day for Cameron. We had just finished the fourth Harry Potter book and Sunday was our day to watch the movie. After church he and I came home and got started. The excitement he has over these, "Harry Potter dates", as we call them, is just too cute. :)

*While we watched the movie, Chris took Kendall to lunch and to do some last minute Christmas shopping.

*Yesterday morning as the kids and I were heading out, I noticed a dead cat on our lawn. I gunned it and drove off quickly so the kids wouldn't see it (funny enough, Kendall did see it and wasn't bothered a bit). Chris went out to take a look and the poor thing had gotten in some sort of fight, then got all tangled up in our Christmas lights. Luckily Animal Control came and picked it up before we had returned. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

random survey i found online

Household Chore I Actually Enjoy: Cleaning off my countertops. I HATE crumbs on the counters. I'm always bending down to see the counters at eye level to check for crumbs. It's quite satisfying to wipe them clean. :)

Biggest House Disaster: This isn't really at "disaster" status, but we have three sets of blinds that no longer work. Two of them are in the living room, so now one window is permanently closed and the other needs a screwdriver and a stool to change (so it never happens and they stay permanently open).

Before Company Arrives, I Hide: Bills to be paid that I keep stuck to the front of the fridge.

Most Recent Music Download: Dr. Laura podcasts.

The Last Thing I Bought Online: Tickets to Wild Lights at The Living Desert. We went last night with some friends and had such a fun time. It was much better than we had anticipated. :)

*I Hate to Shop For: Shoes for the kids. I always second guess if their toes are too close to the end or not.

*Favorite Family Ritual: Eating by the Christmas tree. The kids LOVE to do this. While it can be a little more messy as we are constantly telling them to eat over their plates, it's still fun.

*I'm Currently Reading: Boys in the Boat

Thursday, December 18, 2014

two teeth one week

*Last night Kendall lost her second tooth in a week.
Kendall: Mom, this is my shaltid tooth.
Mom: Your what?
Mom: Third tooth? No, it's just your second tooth.
Kendall: No, my SALTY tooth! Because it tastes like salt! (I love her lisp!)
--There was more blood with this tooth...hence the salty flavor. I didn't tell her that, though.

*Yesterday's Advent was a note telling them that we would bake/decorate Christmas cookies after school.

*Kendall's Christmas performance was the other night. What a doll.

 *I have been looooving not working out. However even after two weeks, I cannot seem to get my body to sleep past 5:00. It's so annoying. I'm sure by the time I can push past that hour, I'll want to get back into working out, making it THAT much harder to get up.

*Thanks, rain! That was a nice couple of days but you can go away now for a few months! I'm partially kidding because I know we need it. :)

*Chris and I watched the second Anchor Man the other night. Overall it was super dumb, but I'll admit there were several parts I laughed out loud...a lot!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

lost tooth

*We just installed a can crusher in our garage. The kids love crushing the cans. Here Kendall was attempting to crush a 2-liter...which she learned was a tad too big. :)

*The other day I got the BEST text from Chris while I was working. Our little girl lost her first tooth!

*Yesterday I spent the morning between drop off and pick up out running errands. I took a break and stopped by Starbucks as I had been saving a giftcard I recently received.I think reading at a coffee shop is up there with my other favorite relaxing activity, lying by the pool with a magazine.  And they almost got my drink to my requested, "scalding, boiling" standards. Almost. :)

* Last night my sister and her husband needed to go out to OC, so we kept the girls. Cam and Kendall were over the moon when I told them we were having a, "cousin slumber party"!

*Today we took the kids to their other cousins' birthday at John's Incredible Pizza. They had a BLAST. Here is Cam with his Uncle Craig:

Saturday, December 6, 2014


*Dr. Laura reads an, "email of the day" during each podcast. The other day I thought the email was so fitting considering what I've observed in the classroom related to Smartphones. Read it here... (it's super short).

*Along with the little treat/activity the kids open each day for Advent, we also read from a book I bought entitled, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. While I like that it has a good chunk of scripture to read each day (along with the book passage), I'm not sure I would buy it again. The author is VERY descriptive to the point of almost overdoing it (if that makes sense). But I still am glad to have something for us to read each day that prepares the kids for Christmas and celebrating Jesus' birth.

*A couple years ago a friend and I took our kids to the Pennypickle's Workshop, which is a museum in Temecula. We weren't THAT impressed (especially considering how far away it was). Lately, for some reason, Cam had been asking to go again. We decided to make the trip today and the kids enjoyed it so much more. It was worth the hour drive this time. :)

Friday, December 5, 2014


*When Kendall was younger, she had major problems with constipation, to the point that we went to see a specialist and she ended up taking Miralax daily for almost a year. We are going to start her back on Miralax as she has been having tummy troubles for the past few months. It's not like it used to be, but enough to warrant something more than just the prunes we've been trying. 

Often she'll wake up extra early in the morning complaining that her tummy hurts. Yesterday morning she woke up at 4:45am. I tried to tell her it was the middle of the night and to just rest, but no such luck. Here she is getting some coloring in before Cameron woke. :)

*We started our Advent on Monday. Each morning the kids wake to a small toy, snack, or note telling them of a fun activity we will do that day. So far Kendall's favorite has been a puzzle I found at the 99 cent store. It went with her everywhere that day, including on the bench outside Cam's school while waiting for him to get out. :)

*This morning Cameron discovered something really cool on the Lego website. It's an online Lego Advent calendar. It's REALLY fun!! Here is the link.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

nightmare before christmas

*My sister has asked me why I like to sub in high school, considering the attitudes I'm often met with. Among several reasons is the fact that I get out early quite frequently. Like yesterday, for instance, I was done with kids by 12:00, yet still got a full day's pay. Many teachers have prep periods at the end of the day, making it so I get to skip out early! Totally worth it because I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything at home. :)

Sidenote: I started this blog post yesterday and am not sure I have the same feelings I just shared. While I may have had a great/short day yesterday, the last two periods of my not-short day today were horrible. I threatened to take away the phone of one kid, and let's just say that I will NEVER mess with those kids' precious little phones again. Holy cow. It was ROUGH. However, I should say that I'm pretty good at appearing unaffected by punks like him....when my insides secretly are in knots. :)

*Chris has implemented a new rule for me. Whenever I roast veggies, I have to also light a candle. I will admit that cabbage, in particular, is exceptionally stinky. :)

Peach Mango was the scent of the day:

*The dollhouse we bought Kendall a couple years ago (that I was SOO excited about) lost its appeal very shortly after her birthday. She was actually excited when I told her I wanted to get rid of it since it was just cluttering up her room. I sold it for $15 more on Criag's List than I previously paid. Score!

*Today marks a week since I last worked out. Each morning when I wake, snuggled in bed, I glance at the clock and the darkness outside and I tell myself I'm going to take December off. Yep, I think that's a good plan. :)

*I must admit that despite getting plenty of show options through Netflix/Hulu, it still is a bummer that I can't watch my Hallmark Christmas movies this season. Luckily my MIL always records them for me so that I can watch them when we go and visit.

*I want to go back to last week's weather when this was my view from our back window:

*Nothing better on a rainy day than a movie. Right now the kids are watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. I held off for a while when they would see it on Netflix, but it's actually quite harmless and not scary at all.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

belated thanksgiving

Yesterday we had such a fun time celebrating Thanksgiving. My parents, Susan's family (including her MIL), and Chris' brother's family all came out for the afternoon. The kids were amazing and played non-stop the entire time. Chris and I were commenting afterward how much adult talking time we were able to get considering we had 7 kids running around. :)

A quadruple game of Solitaire...

The weather was great and made it so the kids could eat outside at their own table. I won't lie and tell you that our table inside was much more conducive to conversation with this arrangement! :)

Favorite Thanksgiving Foods:
Chris: Stuffing
Cameron: Stuffing, rolls
Kendall: Stuffing
Kelly: Sweet Potato Casserole, cake

Sidenote: Sadly, I think that my favorite Pumpkin Crunch Cake probably made it's last appearance. While I still adore it (as does my SIL), the general consensus seems to be that it is "too sweet". Considering the labor it requires, I'm just not sure it's quite worth it. Ahhh...we had a good run.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Our Thanksgiving celebration will take place Saturday as we just returned from two nights camping with my family. We had a fun time with PERFECT weather!

The kids slept great both nights. "Great" by our terms still includes very early wake times, but we would take that over waking in the middle of the night! Here we are on a short morning walk trying to let others keep sleeping.

The kids brought their scooters, which they used a ton!! Here is my dad riding around with them.

My mom led the kids in a small craft of painting some rocks.

Harry Potter during some down time. :)

The beach was the highlight for all the kids. We had no idea it would be as nice as it was and were delighted that it was warm enough for the kids to swim! Even better was the fact that there were very few people there, making it so we almost had our own private beach.

Here we are right before we left this morning. We sure made some GREAT memories :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

3/4 and 1/4

3/4 of my day was pretty yucky. Kendall woke at 3:45 a.m. When I went in to see what she needed I was met with a, "Nevermind!!". Nice. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal because we would both go right back to sleep. However, thanks to the thunder/lightning last night, all four of us were woken and awake for the day by 4:15 a.m.

A couple hours later I left for my sub job at the high school. It was NOT the best day. Note to self: Do not accept PE jobs. Wow. Wrangling 60+ high school kids (half who didn't want to do anything) is not  my idea of fun. It was just plain stressful. I was counting down the hours until I could get home to the kids because today was Christmas decorating day! Woohoo! Yes, it's a little early, however since I'm hosting Thanksgiving next week, I wanted to have the house nice and Christmas'y. :)

So the last 1/4 of my day totally made up for the first part!

Last year we started the tradition of letting the kids eat dinner by the Christmas tree the night we decorated. They were VERY excited about it again this year. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

four things

Four Places I've Worked
1. Manhatten Bagel
2. Mary's Shelter (home for teen moms)
3. Gahr High School: Guidance Counselor
4. Nordstrom: Lingerie department (lasted two weeks...ha!)

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once
1. Clueless
2. Father of the Bride
3. Runaway Bride
4. Sleepless in Seattle

Four Books I'd Recommend
1. Unbroken
2. Silver Like Dust
3. Harry Potter
4. Into Thin Air

Four Places I've Been
1. Germany
2. New York
3. Guatemala
4. Ukraine

Four Things I Don't Eat
1. Anything higher than a 0 on a 1-10 spicy scale
2. Lobster
3. Licorice
4. Most meat :)

Four TV Shows I Watch
1. Parenthood
2. Parks and Rec
3. Tori and Dean
4. Battleground

Four Things That Made Me Smile Today
1. Kendall today: "Mom, sometimes I feel like I'm doing a big poop. But then I look down and I'm only doing a small one."
2. 103.5 Christmas music
3. Seeing both my kids when I picked them up from school
4. Listening to Dr. Laura lay it out for someone on her show :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

dumb and dumber to

*I tried the Starbucks Chestnut Praline Latte on Friday. Holy cow. That is one yummy drink. However with my soy upgrade, my Tall was $4.75. Really, Starbucks?? Ugh.

*Today Chris went to see Dumb and Dumber To with his brother. They had seen the original a long time ago and it still ranks near the top of their favorite movie list.

*While Chris was at the movie, we went hiking with my sister, her kids, and my parents. It was a tad chilly, but still a beautiful day for a hike.

*Normally I make myself wait longer to start listening to Christmas music, but two radio stations have already started playing it. Why not?!! It sure puts me in a good mood. :)

*We are mid-way through Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow and are really liking it.

*I'm turning in my application tomorrow to hopefully sub at the kids' school. I'm not feeling the, "we are desperate for subs" vibe (like we were told at orientation) from my district. The jobs I've gotten have been the result of my orchestrating rather than them calling me. Plus, subbing at my kids' school will somewhat help the pick-up/drop-off stuff we have to figure out when I sub (since right now the schools I do get release later than their school).

Friday, November 14, 2014


*A couple of days ago Kendall had her ending recital for her dance elective at school. It was only one song long, but boy was she adorable!!!! My mom and sister came to cheer her on.

* I really, really want to try the new Chestnut Praline Latte.

*I'm in a work out rut...meaning workouts aren't really happening. I remember last year it being so hard to get up once the nights turned cold. Last year I gave up all together for the month of December and while it was QUITE nice for that month, it was SOO hard to get back in the groove come January (so I won't be doing that again).

*Yesterday I subbed and I can't tell you how nice it was to come home to an amazing smelling house, thanks to my crock pot. Why don't I use that more often??? Sidenote: While it smelled amazing, the chili recipe I tried wasn't so much of a hit.  I have two bean haters in the house so I had tried a pumpkin turkey chili recipe I found. It just didn't cut it. :(

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

long weekend

This past weekend was extended thanks to a day off from school and us taking off an additional day. :) Saturday started out at Chris' grandmother's home to help with her estate sale.

I don't think our kids would have lasted the whole day had it not been for their cousins. :)

Cameron was kept occupied by several road Atlas books he found in the pile of old books. These kept him quite busy for a large portion of the time. :)

On Sunday the guys golfed and Chris' mom treated Rebekah and I to pedicures. :) That night was SUCH a fun night and I got zero pictures. :( We had a bonfire with everyone, including our good friends Matt and Jana (and their kids).

Monday was a day my kids had been talking about non-stop even before our weekend. We all went to John's Incredible Pizza. All four cousins adore this place and it was highlight for me to see them have such a great time. 

The buffet was actually quite good and had a lot of variety (way more than Chuck E Cheese).

Our weekends up north are never void of yummy food. After arriving Friday night, we ate dinner which included a really, really tasty quinoa salad. Here is the recipe

The second yummy item came on the way home. Chris' brother had told me about a really good iced coffee he had recently tried. I NEVER in million years would have stopped at this place, but it was literally the best iced coffee I've had to date (and I've tried a lot of places). It's from a Vietnamese restaurant called Lee's Sandwiches. Fortunately there is not one near our house because I would be going far too much.  But if you are ever in the Riverside area (or there are other locations), you really must try it!