Showing posts from October, 2008

The Candy Tax

We had a great Halloween. I helped drive Michael's class to a play this morning, and took pictures of class parties for the yearbook this afternoon. As I was driving kids home from the play, one girl begged me to take her trick-or-treating "right now." I told her that wasn't possible and she explained that she wanted to go right now because they aren't allowed to trick-or-treat anymore because candy isn't good for you. I thought that was a bit sad.

When I came home from taking pictures this afternoon, I saw we had some early trick-or-treaters in our backyard:

When the kids got home from school, we loaded up the van and drove downtown to trick-or-treat at the businesses there. This is probably the third year we've done that. I love it because it's light outside, there's plenty of candy and lots of costumes to see. Allison kept going up to complete strangers and giving them hugs because she liked their costumes. She's my most exuberant chi…

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone!

a look at Halloween 2008 . . .

2007 . . . (the vampire belongs to the neighbor)
and 2005 . . .
Halloween is awesome!

For Better or For Worse

The pictures are taken. I haven't seen them yet, but I hope we have at least one that is okay. Allison and Sarah were silly and crazy and pouty and difficult. Joey kept smiling weird. Michael was standing awkwardly. After a little bit, Eliza decided that was IT for her and started screaming. DH and I tried to smile while whispering bribes and threats in certain children's ears, reminding everyone to look at the camera, calling Sarah to "get back here NOW" and in general feeling a bit stressed out. On the bright side, Harmony was sweet through the entire thing and so was Lillian. Two out of seven ain't bad. I'll show you the pictures -- good, bad, and crazy -- when I get them later. While we waited for Toni to come, I got some beautiful pictures of Harmony in her blessing dress.

Isn't she adorable?

Please reassure me this won't be a disaster . . .

Tomorrow, we're getting our family pictures taken. I'm so worried it's going to be a disappointment; that my kids won't look at the camera or will pull one of their cheesy smiles or worse, that one of them will start sulking. Our cousin Toni is an amazing photographer, but I don't know if the kids will cooperate.

The last time we had our family picture taken, we went to a studio and tried to simplify it by making the appointment for right when it opened so there wouldn't be any waiting around. We had them keep the same background through the whole thing and we didn't even change poses that much. They took over a dozen photos and I was very excited to see them, thinking surely there would be at least one where we all looked good. Nope! We had lots where most everyone looked great except for the two or three children who didn't. The picture we finally settled for is this one:

Great, isn't it? Just don't look too close, or you'll notice M…

I love Photoshop

It's been a while since I've just played around in Photoshop, but tonight I've been having a great time. First I worked with Eliza's two year old pictures:




And then I played with photos from our gold-panning at Calico Ghost Town:

Growing up and looking back . . .

Harmony is growing up way too fast! She's quick with a smile, loves to be held and rocked, and she likes to look around when we put her on her tummy. She's been rolling from front to back for about a month and just this week started rolling from back to front. We'll be blessing her in Church next Sunday, and she's two weeks shy of 3 months old. The time flies!

I look at this picture of her on her tummy and it brings back memories -- Since the twins, I have always thought a single baby on a blanket always looks a bit lonely. Below is one of my all-time favorite videos of the twins.

Something seems a bit familiar . . .

Oh I know! This reminds me of the way my kids sing at the Primary program! Enthusiastic and off-key.

Identity Crisis?

As I drop the twins off at preschool this morning, I apologize to their teacher,

"They wore their nametags home last week, and now I can't find them."

"That's all right; if you can't find them by Monday, we'll make them new ones."

"I do feel bad, though. Of all the kids to lose their nametags, it would have to be the two who look exactly alike."

A few hours later, I walk in to pick them up. I notice Sarah right away, throwing a temper tantrum. "It's not here! My picture isn't in my cubby!" Stomp, stomp, glare, pout, "they said they'd put my picture in my cubby!" Stomp over to the books and start picking them and dropping them on the floor. She stops when I tell her how mean she is being, and goes back to pouting. I leave her to calm herself down while I go over to Allison.

Allison is fingerpainting on a picture that says, "Sarah Jane" on it. Ah ha! I've discovered the missing picture! …

Taking the Freak Show on the Road

There's nothing like a vacation to remind you that your family is far from the average size. Most of the time I don't mind the looks or the comments, and most of the time the things people say to me are positive. I do start to wonder sometimes if I'm the only woman in the world with more than a few children, the way people stare, count, and comment.

This trip, there was no hiding the size of our family. After all, we were driving this monster:

And even when we divided the kids up, someone always had four or more kids. Four seems to be the magic point at which reaction goes from, "Cute kids" to "You must be crazy."

But being a bit unusual does make for some fun vacation memories, such as:

*A few years ago we took our family of five children to Universal Studios. Right after we walked in, we were surrounded by Asian tourists eager to take our picture. We were the main attraction that day. One Japanese woman came and stood next to me and put her hands o…

Vacation Memories

Southern California is such a magical place. We just got back from our last trip to Disneyland for several years. It was a long trip and we had a great time -- it’s hard not to when you spend four days at Disneyland! Here’s some of the highlights of our trip:On Friday the 10th, we picked up the kids from school at 1:00, had them put their backpacks away and go to the bathroom, then got in Clifford the Big Red Van and we were off. We did our best to find things to see and do along the way so we weren’t in the car for more than 3 hours at a time the whole trip.
We stopped at Cove Fort in southern Utah at about 4:00. We watched a video and got a tour of the grounds. The beds from that period were so small and the workload enormous.

After a few hours, we had snacks and were on our way to Las Vegas.

We spent the night in Las Vegas at a Residence Inn and DH took everyone but Harmony swimming.

Eliza is obsessed with swimming. She loves being in the water and laying her hea…