Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Jarom tells me that there is "just enough goofiness" to love about me. Sometimes I feel like I am ALL goof, but maybe that just makes me more loveable?? My motto in life is "You better be able to laugh at yourself, because everyone else WILL laugh at you." So without further ado, here's a story that we can all laugh at about little ol' moi.
I got invited to join a book club in my neighborhood. I was SO excited about it. I've had a bit of a hard time adjusting to this move (I know, it's been THREE years.). I REALLY miss my Boise/Nampa friends a lot and haven't found anyone to really bond with here. Now I KNOW I am judging here (so slap my hand), but sometimes I feel like I live in a neighborhood filled with hopelessly perfect women. They are beautiful, have meticulously kept homes, children dressed to the nines and NEVER dirty, are eloquently spoken, and the list goes on. They have talent and poise oozing out their noses. And then there is me, 100% goofball, dirty house, weeds in my flower beds, and kids who wear their clothes 2 days in a row. I've been a bit intimidated (okay, a lot) and haven't allowed myself to make many friends.
Anyway, I was really excited to go to the book club hoping to finally get to know some more people. I wanted to wear just the right thing of course, so I decided on a black shirt. I didn't have any black shoes so I bought a new pair specifically for the evening. (Emily, I got the black mocassins at Target, so cute!)
When I arrived at the house, wouldn't you know it, it was a no shoes house. So I took my brand new shoes off at the door. (Bummer.) Then I remembered my toenails weren't painted and in fact my big toes had chips of paint on them. (Oh that's just great.) But THEN I remembered my velvety soft heels due to the PedEgg (At least my feet won't sound like velcro as I walk across the carpet.) and I was okay with myself. I glanced down at my feet, and horror of horrors, my lovely new shoes had DYED my feet BLACK!!!! I started sweating and tried to pull my pant legs a little lower to hide the fact that I looked like I had just run barefoot down the road.
I finally gave up and just admitted my hideous flaw. And you know what? Everyone just smiled and laughed and it was okay. They were very friendly and I think just maybe I'll be able to make some friends. I don't know why I put the pressure on myself to try to be perfect. I honestly do know that no one else is. We all have our hidden black feet somewhere.
So, I've made up my mind to just be myself, goofiness and all, and I'm going to try a little harder to make some more friends. And I'll remember that it's okay if everyone is laughing at me, because I am laughing at myself too.
Posted by Elena at 9:08 AM
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Yesterday Carter had his first run-in with the law. Okay, he just tried to swipe a candy bar, but still....
I was doing the self check out thing at Albertson's. I turned around to tell Carter it was time to go and I noticed he looked EXTREMLY guilty about something. His arms were folded so I thought maybe he had stuck a pack of gum up his shirt or something. I made him unfold his arms and checked his pockets but didn't find anything. That was when I realized he was secretly chewing something and trying to swallow without me noticing. I made him open his mouth and smelled chocolate. I asked him to show me what he was eating but he wouldn't even talk to me. So I scanned the candy shelf and this is what I found:
Of all the candy bars for me to HAVE to purchase. A DARK snickers. Why he couldn't have biten into a milk chocolate something that I would have enjoyed eating later is beyond me.
We talked about stealing and I asked him if he was a "robber", he just hung his head. Then I told him that Heavenly Father was very disappointed in him and that Carter had just gotten a "black mark in heaven". (That was my mom's old trick to make me feel guilty. NOTHING was worse than thinking I had a black mark in heaven.) We talked about repentance and he really was pretty ashamed. It was so blasted cute I couldn't even be mad at him. Hopefully he learned his lesson and won't ever do it again.
Posted by Elena at 8:46 AM
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Our local news does a segment every now and then testing products to see if they are all they're cracked up to be. They featured the PedEgg a couple months ago and said that it worked. Then a lady at my church said she had used it and loved it (Hi Brenda!) and my sister-in-law (Hi Nat) also agreed that it worked. I decided that I would give it a try.
Well, I couldn't find one to buy. I'd heard they were at Walmart, but I looked and looked and never found one. Until last night. Guess what? They were right by the check stands with all the other "As Seen on TV" gadgets and gizmos. So I threw one in my cart and couldn't wait to get to home and work on my heels.
Now, I'm telling you, I have ROUGH heels. Not just sandpaper scratchy heels, but cracked, callused, nasty heels that could match the surface of Craters of the Moon lava beds. They always snagged my bed sheets, socks, and hose (if I ever wear them), even on carpet my heels would catch. I've tried everything out there from creams, emery boards, cheese grater looking things, lotions and potions, but nothing ever quite left my poor cracked heels feeling smooth and silky.
After a few minutes of scrubbing with the PedEgg, a smoothing with the emery board provided, and a slathering of mint foot cream, my heels were softer than they've been in years! I am SO excited. And the best part of it all is that it doesn't hurt what-so-ever. I'm almost excited for my heels to get nasty again so I can use my fun new favorite pampering toy again.
If you don't have one, GO GET the PedEgg! It really works! (Do I sound like a commercial?)
Posted by Elena at 10:07 AM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Today's recipe comes from a blog I frequently stalk/lurk/look at. (Whatever you want to call it.) I have commented maybe twice, but more often I just lurk and look at her beautiful photography and try not to covet her gorgeous home. Meg Duerksen's stuffed shells have become a favorite at our house. (If you click on her link it'll bring up her version and then if you click "next" you can see a gorgeous picture of the meal. Way better than anything I can take. I hope she doesn't mind that I've linked her on here; I haven't asked permission, but seeing as how her blog is on the world wide web for all to see, I can't see as how she'll mind.)
My kids actually request this meal. All of the time. Thanks Meg Duerksen (whom I don't know from Cain) for a favorite family meal! I have altered the recipe a bit to tailor to our own home. Here's my version:
Monday, August 25, 2008
When we asked Halle how her fist day of class went she said, " It was a zipedy-doodah morning. It just went so fast." I think she had a good day.
Is she not the cutest thing?
Alyssa also enjoyed her first day. She said her teacher is nice, but she really misses having Bailey around all day.
Posted by Elena at 5:41 PM
The big day has arrived. It's the first day of school.
First day of 2nd grade; Halle. Halle is really excited to be in Mrs. Ball's class for the 2nd year and this year she gets to help mentor the 1st graders. She's in a spectrum class that stays with the same teacher for 3 years. No nerves for Halle.
First day of 4th grade; Alyssa. Alyssa, on the other hand, will be without Bailey for the first time since 1st grade. She's a little sad. And I have to admit, it was strange not to send Bailey off to class this morning too. I felt like I was missing a kid or something. They don't even get to line up on the same side of the school this year. I think that if their friendship can survive this year, they'll have it made for life. They're such cute little friends, I hope they make it.
I can't believe my girls are in 2nd and 4th grades!! I remember those years so vividly from my own childhood and it sure doesn't seem long ago. I had the same teacher for both 2nd and 4th grade, Mrs. Williamson, and boy did I LOVE her. Those years are probably my most favorite elementary school years. (Well, I loved 5th grade too with Mr. Wood.) I hope my girls have as enjoyable 2nd's and 4th's as I did.
Good luck babies!!!
Posted by Elena at 8:43 AM
Friday, August 22, 2008
We've been busy getting ready for school to start. We've fought our way through the massive crowds near the school supplies isles. (Elderly women think their helping me by taking my fighting and crying little ones OUT of the cart. Thanks, but that doesn't really help.) We've bought our new school clothes. We've packed, unpacked, and repacked the backpacks. We've written our names on our supplies. Now it's time to sharpen the pencils.
Have you EVER seen so many pencils? Alyssa had to have 36 pencils. What on earth does one kid need 36 pencils for?
THIS is the sharpener we have. After 6 pencils, my poor arm was too cramped to do anymore. We used to have an electric pencil sharpener, but it always ate the pencils or sharpened them crooked so that the led fell out. This little sharpener came home in a kids birthday loot bag. It's my favorite one, but 40 some odd pencils is a bit much for the mini ghetto blaster.
And of course, any left over and extra supplies are quickly claimed. (Don't mind the chocolate all over her, she just ate an ice cream sandwich.)
Posted by Elena at 12:43 PM
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I love to write down the funny things my kids say and do. I kept a journal for Alyssa and Halle when they were little, but seeing as how my blog is my journal now, I try to keep record of the things they all do on here. I have to write it down as soon as it happens though or else I forget. In fact, Halle said something so adorable just last night and for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Here are a few things I've been keeping track of for the past little while.
She has been saying "You're stupid!" quite a bit lately. So we've been working with her not to say it. So then instead of saying it, she says, "You're Stoop!" Today she got mad at me and started to say that to me. I "uh-uh-uhed" her and she stopped mid-swear. So instead she said, "You're ssssstttill (and then ended with something like) my mom." Tricky little potty mouth isn't she?
She chipped her tooth last year and now every time she bumps her lip it busts open with that sharp tooth. I always say to her, "Oh Ouchie-wa-wa!" Now whenever she has any type of boo-boo she'll run to me and say, "I has a ouchie-wa-wa."
Kate was wearing her hair in a cute little bun and I asked her, "Kate are you Tinkerbell?" She said, "No, I not Tinkerbell. I Tinkerella."
I got into the truck and noticed someone had been playing in it. I asked, "Who's been playing in the truck?" The older kids all took their turn saying, "It wasn't me. I didn't do it." And then little Kate chimed, "Not I." Just like the cat, dog, and duck from the Little Red Hen.
Carter was coloring a tree with the yellow-green crayon. I asked him if he wanted to color with a darker green. Alyssa piped up and said, "Yeah, that one (meaning yellow green) is for if you break your yellow crayon or your green crayon. Then you use that one." I kind of nodded my head at her and then she admitted, "I just made that up." I thought it was a pretty creative philosophy. :)
The girls had walked over to our camp trailer stored at my folks' house to get some bug spray. They told me, "It was a disaster of crickets." I said, "Do you mean grasshoppers?" They told me that yes, grasshoppers were hopping everywhere they walked. Halle said, "Grasshoppers ha! (sarcastically) More like weed hoppers. Why are they called grasshoppers anyway? They're only in the weeds."
Carter was trying to pour water from one glass to another and of course, spilled water all over the place. I heard him mutter under his breath, "A little kid makes a big mess."
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Stevie- bbq meatloaf
Jewelle- Marci's Spicy Pasta
Lisa- Zucchini Bread
If I missed anyone else let me know and I'll link you.
One reason I do Try-It-Tuesdays is because I love getting fresh ideas and the other reason is because I want to have my own personal favorites typed up and printed in my blurb books. Today's recipe is one I definitely want written on a recipe card, stored in my computer, and printed in a book. It's a keeper for sure. I got this recipe from Jennifer P. several years ago. She has also served it to me using a pork roast and slow cooking all day. (Shredded and served as sandwiches.)
Don't be afraid of the long list of ingredients. I had everything in my kitchen except limes.
Monday, August 18, 2008
We love the Olympics at our house. We always watch them. In fact, when I was pregnant with Halle it was time for the summer Olympics. I had some strange craving disorder called pica (get it with all my pregnancies) and I wanted to lick the chalk right off those gymnasts' hands. Anyway we've been really excited for the Beijing Olympics to start because Jarom went there back in January 2007 and got lots of really cool Olympic paraphernalia for us. (Check out the Olympic sign on the hill behind Jarom in the picture below.)
Every Olympic year, I learn about a new event. Who knew there was more than gymnastics, swimming, and figure skating? (Okay, I'm not THAT dumb, but seriously, there are some strange events out there that never get televised.) This year, I learned about the "race walk".
I was laying in bed watching the live footage at midnight when I heard them announce the men's race walk. I didn't think anything about it really until I SAW the race begin. I about laughed my head off. They were speed walking. You know, like the little old ladies that practically mow you down in the mall? Speed walking is an Olympic event. Now, I'm really not making fun of them, I'm sure that they can "race walk" faster than I can run. But it seems like such a strange event for the Olympics. And watching men swing their hips and pump their arms like the ladies walking in my neighborhood came off as somewhat of a joke to me.
How about you did you know "race walking" was an Olympic event?
Posted by Elena at 9:10 AM
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Since I'm up at 4 am worrying about a leaking toilet and googling how to fix it, I decided I might as well blog. (I'm sure you'll hear more on the toilet story later! Ughhh...)
Over the 4th of July, Jarom's family got pictures taken. We also did individual family shots. Just thought I'd share a few. I know these have the copyright mark on them (they're from the proof CD), but you can still see how cute they turned out. (I was only going to put the entire family picture and my family on here, but then I decided I wanted to have a family picture of everyone on my blog and in my blurb book, so I am putting all the individual family pictures up. Think of it as being introduced to my in laws.)
The enitre family. Back row: Kevin, Becky holding Wes, Missy, Blake holding Micah, Jarom, Emily, Brandon, Ben, Kaylin holding Eli, Chris, Justin, Natalie. 2nd row: Payson, me holding Kate, Anna, Gregg, Katie holding Gabby, Amber holding Truman, Ellie. Front row: Owen, Jamis, Keagen, Carter, Sami, Alyssa, Megan, Halle, Alex holding Izzie, Annie, Ogden
Jarom's sister Katie and family.
Jarom's little family.
Jarom's brother Justin and family.
Jarom's sister Becky and family.
Jarom's sister Melissa and family.
Jarom's brother Benjamin and family.
Jarom's sister Emily and family.
Jarom's sister Natalie.
I couldn't help putting this one of Kate up too. She actually smiled for the camera!
And a shout out to Hattie Bates for doing such a great job. That's a lot of people to work with and the pictures all turned out great.
Posted by Elena at 3:51 AM
Friday, August 15, 2008
These really are great books. The first one, Twilight, is my very favorite (and on my list of most favorite books ever), but they are all worth reading. If you've ever fallen in love or had someone love you more than you could love them back then you will enjoy these books. I promise.
Okay, so here's my take on the book. Overall I liked it. It left me feeling satisfied, everything was complete, and it "finished" the Bella, Edward, Jacob saga. I didn't feel like it was overly shocking; I had the whole thing figured out as soon as Bella was eating too much. However, there were some weird things about it that I didn't like.
1. Renesmee.....ughhhh. Is that the most hideous name you've ever heard? I really hated that. It was just too cheesy.
2. Rosalie was so over protective (which was fine for me) but then after the baby came Rosalie kind of disappeared from the picture. I thought she'd want to have a bigger part with Renesmee.
3. Since when did Edward start calling Jasper "Jazz"? That REALLY bugged me. Edward doesn't strike me as the nickname type.
4. I'm not so sure I liked hearing from Jacob first person. I didn't feel like there was enough character change in the voice. (But I did like knowing his story.)
5. If the Volturi doesn't give second chances, how come they didn't kill Bella and Edward when they found out she knew about their secret? And also, don't you think Charlie knows a bit much to truly be innocent?
6. I felt like the final scene in the meadow dragged (or is it drug?) on forever. There really wasn't a lot of action going on, and I found myself skipping and skimming over sentences to get to the meat of the story.
Other than those things, I enjoyed the book. I read the entire series from start to finish and I must say, that I enjoyed reading the first 3 books better than the first time I read them. I wasn't in such a rush to find out what happened next, so I was able to really enjoy the characters and relationships. I have a definite image in my mind of what and who I think everyone is, so that when the movie comes out it won't taint my picture perfect vampire/werewolf family. :)
What did you think about it? Let's discuss...
Posted by Elena at 9:47 AM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
It seems that summer always slips by so quickly. We didn't do half the things I imagined we'd get done and up until this week, I was feeling kind of sorry for myself that the summer was already over.
I get tired of the bed time routine, wake up routine, lunch box routine, homework routine, hair fixing routine, finding the shoe (why is there always only one?) routine, load the backpack routine, etc. The routines that come with going to school. I enjoy having my babies home and hearing them play and laugh. I REALLY enjoy the older girls being able to pour a bowl of cereal for the little kids while I sleep in. So, back-to-school time is bitter sweet for me.
But like I said, this past week has made me not quite so sad. It seems like there is a natural progression to the waning summer. And by the end, my kids are like a pack of wild hyenas. They fight and bicker and cry about EVERYTHING lately. They're bored. It's time for school to start. It must be the Lord's way of helping me deal with sending them back and gearing up for "routine" time.
Here's a little taste of how our home has been running lately. Yesterday Halle walked in and said, "Uh Mom? We played with each other today. Aren't you going to give us a congratulations?" LOL!!! Yep, congratulations honey, you've (insert ALL of you) made mom WANT you to go back to school.
Am I bad mom???!! :)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Posted by Elena at 1:00 PM
Monday, August 11, 2008
Jarom & Alyssa, Payson, Emily & Halle
Amber, Natalie, and Missy getting a tan on their legs.
And then the diving board entertained all the brave ones for hours on end. I can not believe my little baby Alyssa is old enough and can swim well enough that she can go off a diving board. It about gave me a heart attack, but she did so great and I was so impressed at how well she swims. (She certainly doesn't get that from her mother.)
The Murdoch boys and Ogden are all fearless! Flipping and diving like they're regular old pros! Keagen, Ogden, Keagen, Jamis
After swimming we went back to my in law's and played several fun games. One was the flour game where the loser had to remove a dime from a pile of flour with their teeth. Of course, in true Manwaring form, it didn't stay innocent for long. Before we knew it, it was a full on flour face dunking war. Everyone was covered in flour. Such a great laugh it was! I'm sad I didn't get my camera out to get pictures of it.
Way to go Brandon and Emily for hosting such a fun reunion this year!! Brandon spent countless hours on a family video/slide show and we all enjoyed it so much! Can't wait until next year's reunion. Natalie get geared up!!!
Posted by Elena at 10:52 AM
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, August 08, 2008
Last night at about 2AM I kept hearing a "noise". It sounded like a window was open and the wind was making the blinds scrape on the windowsill. I tentatively got out of bed to go check the upstairs rooms, when Jarom heard me getting up and asked what was wrong. I told him I was hearing noises so he got up to investigate. (It didn't help that we had watched some creepy show right before going to bed.)
He took off to check downstairs and I checked the upstairs. Isn't it funny how the mind plays tricks on you when you're scared in the dark? I could swear I saw a body slumped at the end of my big long hall, but when I turned the light on it was only a computer chair. My mind was imagining everything from drug dealers and murderers to monsters. (Too many late night readings of Twilight.)
I checked the office and den and started back to check on Kate's room. As I was walking down the hall, the speakers to the kids' computer suddenly turned on, full blast, and screeched at me for about 2 seconds. I think my stomach hit the roof of my mouth and my feet didn't touch the floor until I was back in my room. I was too scared to even check on Kate on my way back. What kind of mother am I?
Next thing I know Jarom comes upstairs looking like he'd seen a ghost. He said, "I could KILL those girls!" Apparently when he went to check on them they weren't in their beds. He checked a couple of times and just as the panic was escalating to the point of him screaming for me that the girls were gone, he noticed a note taped to the wall. It read, "Follow the clues to find where we are sleeping." LOL! He found them safe and sound under the stairwell in the closet, sleeping away.
Anyway, the sounds ended up being that stupid computer trying to come out of sleep mode and the kids had left the speakers turned all the way up. But man, I don't think our hearts have pounded that hard in a while. Darn kids, they're going to be the death of us.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Okay, I've seen this memory game going around and I've even played it a few times with people. You already know that I am a self proclaimed narcissist, so I decided it was my turn to play the game. (Hopefully some of you will have memories of me.)
**As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!**
And as always, if you want to play, post this on your own blog and see what people remember about you.
THANKS for playing!
We got the chance to see our dear friends last week. They were in town for family reunions and such and also blessed their new baby daughter. Brent was Jarom's best man at our wedding. They also served their missions together. We've had many fun times with the Keele's. Thanks for inviting us Brent and Shanna. We miss you guys!
Jarom and Brent
Shanna and Ashton. Little Ashton wasn't wanting to cooperate very much, she'd had a big day and was letting us know about it. But she is still adorable whether she's crying or not.
Posted by Elena at 9:51 AM
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Today's recipe is one of my old standbys. It's quick and easy, and good old comfort food.
Tator Tot Casserole
1 lb ground beef browned (I season with salt & pepper, minced onion, and grill seasoning.)
2 cans cream of chicken soup or 1 can cream of chicken and 1 can cream of mushroom (pretty much just whatever is in your cupboard)
1 can green beans drained
1 package brown gravy mix
1 bag frozen tator tots
1 - 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Brown the hamburger. In a casserole dish pour the green beans in bottom, spread hamburger on top, pour one can of cream soup over, sprinkle gravy mix over soup, add layer of tator tots, pour second can of soup over tator tots, top the whole thing off with shredded cheese. Cover and bake at 375 degrees until hot and bubbly about 30-40 minutes.
****If you have a tried and true recipe you'd be willing to share, leave a comment here with the recipe title and post the recipe on your blog so we can all check it out. Thanks for playing; the more the merrier! ****
Sunday, August 03, 2008
We had a great time camping this weekend. (Note to self and future campers. The campground in Camp Cumorah in Bone, ID is not meant for trailers. Jarom and his dad had a bugger of a time parking our's.)
Here's little Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. I wish you could see their little bare feet and rolled up pants. It was so cute!
Jarom's gallant finish in the relay race, with Little G trailing behind. Our team took 3rd place. (Okay, there were only 3 teams competing but who's counting.)
Carter had a riot playing with his 2nd cousins, or 1st cousin once removed, or whatever Jaden and Jackson are to him.
We didn't bring our water clothes, and let me tell you how TEMPTING this muddy water was for the kiddos. (Mom said "No way; stay out!" ) But they still had fun by.....
.... catching teeny tiny frogs. I can't think of many things more fun than catching frogs when you are a kid. This kept our kids entertained for hours.
All that running and playing leaves a guy exhausted. (Check out the dirt caked on Carter. I think there's a little boy under there somewhere.)
Ben made us some delicious dutch oven pizza for dinner.
The weather was perfect, the company fun, and memories were made.
And the whole thing ended with a big wad of gum in the hair.
Posted by Elena at 11:52 PM