Saturday, February 28, 2009


I was invited to two chocolate parties last week. I narrowly avoided going to one, then I got sucked into the second. I love chocolate..perhaps a little too much. As much as I love chocolate, I dislike "home parties". Occasionally there is a glut on the market and one can get invited to a Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, etc. all at once. That's a lot of invites to go through. Do you see my dilemma? Do you go to support your "friends" or turn them down because you don't need the products?

Anyhow, back to the chocolate. Apparently Dove chocolate has a specialty line that they are now selling. I almost bought a tempering machine because the price was going up $100 the next day. I have never melted chocolate in my life...why did I suddenly need a tempering machine?!

To give the saleslady credit, she wasn't a hard sell and the chocolate was pretty good.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Laugh 'til It Hurts

Last night I went out with a group of women to dinner at Applebee's. Not my favorite restaurant, but for the sake of a "Girl's Night Out" I was willing to sacrifice culinary excellence. Michael knew I desperately needed to get out and got home from work in plenty of time.

There were seven women that showed up. I know most of them, but it's not like we hang out and chit chat when we normally see each other. We ended up sitting in the restaurant for 3+ hours. We didn't close the place, there was one other table that was still there when we left. At one point my cheeks started hurting because we were laughing so much. That's a good kind of problem to have.

I used to have a set night each month that I would go and scrapbook at a friend's house. I haven't found that group here, but it might motivate me to start one up. Babysteps.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I love shoes. I've been far too practical and haven't bought myself shoes in quite a while. Instead I've succumbed to the call of the shoes by buying shoes for Emma and Lily. I suspect that I may be passing on this love for shoes, is that so wrong?
Emma tends to love her shoes to death. She will wear the "Sunday" shoes to play outside and tragically the shoes are no longer fit to be worn on Sundays. These are her new fancy shoes, she calls them her high heels. Any guesses on how long they will remain shiny?
I suspect that Lily just needs one good pair of shoes and she could live in them. I have bought her several pairs of shoes since Summer, but she hasn't worn them(unless I force her to wear boots in the snow). Once I get them out of the store, they suddenly become the wrong size and hurt her feet. She has been wearing her pink Crocs EVERYWHERE. I draw the line at her wearing them in the snow, and since there hasn't been much snow I've been letting her wear them.
(This was in Central Park last Summer)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coolness factor

During our dinner conversation, my coolness factor went way up.

Jack and Emma had a singing concert this evening, luckily at the same place and same time. They were bouncing off the walls as soon as we got home from school from the excitement of having an evening activity. Emma ran in the house and found her "fancy" dress for the concert. I did have to remind them that they had several hours before we had to leave, we even had to eat dinner.

As we sit down for dinner, Jack asks me if I was ever in a band. As soon as I said yes, Jack asks; "What did you play and what was the name of your band?" Yup, I just hit "cool" with the kids.

Jack has been playing Rock Band with his friends and I can see in his mind that I must have been in a band like that. I thought that I was going to disappoint when I told him that I played the trumpet and that I was in the school band. Nope, just young enough to be impressed that his Mom played in several bands.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Neighborhood Entertainment

I'm sure you've seen the video of the PVC Rocket launcher. Well, we took out it out again and had a slightly larger crowd. We decided for safety's sake we would designate a runner for the rocket instead of having all the kids dog pile on it.
Conner and Lily waiting for the first launch.
Proof that I launched a bottle.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Keepin' up With The Wests

Michael asked if I wanted to help him clean out the garage this weekend. He asked very nicely. I turned him down. I just wasn't feeling up to moving stuff around. He, on the other hand, was motivated enough to hang up our bikes. That's two less things on the floor, I guess I can motivate myself to do something out in the garage this week.

Does it count if I sweep off the steps?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rocket Launch Mark II

Dinner for 9

In an effort to build up the babysitting hours that I will owe in March, we had four extra kids last night. They brought over their own Wii remotes which entertained nearly everyone for a long time. It was a little loud, but a small price to pay for a relatively pain-free evening. I think my kids get so excited when people come over that they are the ones that end up bouncing off the walls.

For dinner I made homemade macaroni and cheese, only because I knew I didn't have enough boxes to make enough for all the kids. I knew that the kids had been well threaten before they came over, they ate nearly everything on the plate. I can only hope that my kids are as polite when they are at their friends houses.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tears for Fears

My least favorite part of school is homework. There have been a few too many tears this week during homework time. I realize it is a necessary evil, but it is tortuous at our house. I would like to turn a corner and not have it be such a tear fest. With each successive grade, the load is expanded. So far I feel like I've been able to handle the "Jack" amount of homework. Emma has had it fairly easy until after Christmas this year, then she started the Spelling homework. I'm not sure you've heard me whining about spelling before.....oi, Spelling!

I decided to try a different tactic today. Jack was dropped at a friend's house for 1 hour. That's an awkward amount of time, too short to really get anything done before you get to turn around and pick up again. I went to the library with the girls instead of going back home. Emma sat at the table and busted out her homework with little to no complaining. Awesome. When she got done, we were able to check out books and then head home.

I'm thinking that I need to add a "Library Homework Day" during the week. With homework races against the clock, I shouldn't have anymore problems, right?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Genealogy Anyone?

We went to a Scout dinner Tuesday night. That's a whole 'nother story. Anywho, Michael was trying to convince a friend to go to Salt Lake City to do some genealogy. His wife asked why I didn't go. Excellent question. We weren't fishing for babysitting, but she offered to watch the kids. Who turns down free babysitting for a weekend? (Oh, I know it's not free, I'll be babysitting her kids as fair turnabout)

Well, with her offer to watch the kids and a strong desire to get the heck out of dodge, I am now going to Salt Lake. I guess if I really tried, I could get some genealogy done, but I'd be just as happy reading a good book.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Art Lovers

Last week, Emma and Jack brought home Art projects. I'll let you guess who did which picture.

I'm pretty impressed with both pictures and have one up on my wall right now. Jack wants to hang his picture up in his room, but I need to get a frame for his.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bottle Rocket

Michael was watching another marathon of This Old House and got sucked into another project. I was a little skeptical, but wanted to see the end result. He built a bottle rocket out of PVC, a 2 liter bottle, and a bike pump.

The results were "AWESOME"! It was pretty cold outside so we couldn't stay out for too long. Michael already has plans to improve his next model. This is going to be a great summer activity when it stays light much later and it won't matter what temperature the water is.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Today is the actual Valentine's and we invited friends over for cards and pizza. We're "re"learning how to play Hearts. I haven't played Hearts in a while, but it should be a fun night.

The good thing about having people over is how clean my house gets. Admittedly my house has been sub par and I needed a kick in the pants to really clean it. I also needed to get moving on the painting as well. I already had the tape up, I just needed to get the paint on the wall. I figured with eight kids under 10 the chances of the tape being left alone were slim to none. I really hate taping at this point and the thought of having to re-tape...I wasn't going to let that happen.

I started painting last night and actually ran out of paint. I started out with a five gallon container (after Thanksgiving) and have continued painting since. I still have white walls, but I'm getting closer to having the bulk of the house painted.

So the Hearts Card Tournament went well. With 8 kids, the house got a bit loud but we didn't care. We were pretty impressed with how well the night went with as little parent supervision. The toys were strewn from end to end upstairs, which says that the kids were entertained. It only took 45 minutes to clean up and since I was supervising, I was able to go through the toys and reorganize.

Pizza, cards, and a clean house?! That was a great Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

How did Valentine's Day fall on Friday the 13th?! It's a little funny that it happened this way this year.

The kids are "just" a little excited for all the festivities at school. Jack had a lot of help putting together little treat bags for his class. Emma was very independent and just needed paper, tape, and pixie stix to make her Valentine's. They were not her best effort, but she had to make 25 cards and about halfway through she decided to make the process a lot more streamlined. I should have taken a picture, but I get a little irritated that she wasn't making them all the same. I had to take a huge step back and let her do her own thing.

Because I am the Room Mom for Jack's class, I went to school in the afternoon to help set up for his party. The kids passed out their Valentine's and watched Alice in Wonderland. Not the Disney version. Lily got to watch the movie with Jack's class, she loved being able to sit with Jack and eat all the candy the other kids were giving her.

After school, I had a huge headache. I think that I was on a contact sugar high for the rest of the day just inhaling all the sugar in the air.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cookies for Many

I volunteered to make cookies for Emma's class. While I was at it, I figured that I might as well go ahead and make cookies for Jack's class. That totals 52 cookies. A few more just in case of breakage. Luckily, I don't have to ice any of them, honestly that's where the real work lies.

To make that many cookies I needed to double the cookie dough and set aside several hours just for cooking time. I was able to get the timing down and have a pan ready to go in the oven as soon as one came out, so I was done with the cooking in about two hours. I am so done looking at cookies.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Carpooling for Chess Club

Jack joined the chess club a few weeks ago. This prompted a neighbor and I to start carpooling to school. I feel like I got the better end of the deal, I just have to drop kids off in the morning, she delivers them home in the afternoon.

I feel like the kids are in a bare minimum of after school activities, but I occasionally want to shake my head when I realize how much time is spent in the car driving places some days. And I feel like I get off pretty easy compared to others. How do these "soccer moms" do it?!

So, thanks to chess I am now saving the environment by carpooling. Who knew that chess would save the world?!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This Old House

Michael had a This Old House marathon Sunday afternoon. The girls were watching right along with him. It's amazing some of the things that you can learn on that show.

Well, one of the segments was on how to fix a leaky toilet. Very useful. I think it was the part where the lid was taken off that was the most interesting part for Emma. Suddenly Emma HAS to go to the bathroom. I hear Michael say; "Emma, DO NOT FIX the toilet!"

I'm in the laundry room and I hear all this taking place, knowing full well what Emma is going to do next. Emma closes the bathroom door and I hear the click clink of the toilet lid being moved.

How can a child "forget" instructions as soon as they walk thru a door?!

This is the same child that wanted to play outside with the strict instructions that she stay in our yard. She planned ahead and brought out drawing that she decided to go door to door and try and sell. She managed to make $.25 before she got busted for leaving out yard.

This will make an interesting biography someday.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Looking Ahead

I did it. I signed Lily up for pre-school in the Fall. I'm feeling pretty good that it's not last minute, but there were only two spaces available after Lily got in the class. Now I just have to survive from now until September. And by survive, I have to answer the question; "Am I going to school today?", from now until September.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I remembered last night that Jack didn't have any clean pants for school today. Yes, I already had him wear a pair two days this week. I rationalized that I wake up early enough to throw a load in and get it done before school.

Well, it was early, 6:15, when I stumbled out of bed and grabbed some clothes from my closet to throw in the wash. I already had clothes in my arm when I went to Jack's room to pull a pair of pants out of Jack's closet. Went downstairs, threw the clothes in the washer, and walked away. Set it and forget it, right?

Fast forward 35 minutes later. The washer is done and I'm pulling clothes out to transfer to the dryer. I keep pulling out clothes that aren't Jack's pants. Where did Jack's pants go?! I went back upstairs to check and there are the pants lying on the floor. Oh carp.

This is the downside to wearing uniforms. I generally like that the kids wear uniforms, but when I don't plan ahead...well, this morning happens.

**Update** I pulled the clothes out of the dryer after I dropped the kids off at school and what do I see?! Jack's pants hiding amongst the other khaki pants. Doh.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Beetle Juice

When I took Emma in to the Doctor's on Monday, I scheduled an appointment for Lily with the dermatologist. She's had a few bumps that almost look like skin tags for a couple months that probably needed a look see.

As soon as the doctor walked in in the room and looked at the bumps, she rattled of a very long medical name and said, "Yup, we'll take care of that with beetle juice." Luckily I've had experience with this before. Jack and Emma had a couple warts that needed to be taken care of and this was the same treatment. I'm beginning to think that if you have ANY skin disorder, the treatment is beetle juice.

Thankfully the beetle juice doesn't hurt when it's applied to the skin (it might the next day), so Lily was not as freaked out by the end of the appointment as she was at the beginning.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sleepless in Longmont

Emma and Lily decided to tag team us last night. Lily went to bed with a fever. I was very proactive and gave her Tylenol before she feel asleep. She woke us up a couple times due to blanket and water issues. Emma came in and said her ear hurt. That's never a good thing to hear at 3 AM. Luckily I knew exactly where the Tylenol was and had her back in bed in under a minute.

I need to call the doctor right at 8 am so that I can hopefully get in before the late late appointments. I might have to restock my Tylenol supply before the days end. Oh yeah, and I need to get Jack ready for school.

Blarg! I hate Mondays.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

First Lost Tooth

As we started to get ready for church, Emma shows me her loose tooth. I appropriately admire it, as she wonders what will happen if she loses it at church. Really loses it, as in, can't find it. I tell her not to worry about it, she probably won't lose it at church.

Fast forward two hours. I'm sitting in the back of Primary and I see Emma turn around with a round eyed toothless gaping mouth. She looks thrilled to have lost her tooth, but she lost her tooth. As in, can't find the missing tooth. How did that happen? It just came out!

The floor in Primary is littered with tiny pieces of chalk which are mistaken for the lost tooth. At one point I think I find the tooth, alas, it turned out to be a popcorn kernel. Emma's getting more and more distraught, so I decided to go to the bathroom and wash her hands, calm her down, and refocus the search efforts.

As soon as we returned to Primary, her teacher looks at Emma's sweater and see the errant tooth hanging by a thread. Baby teeth are much smaller when they fall out of the mouth. I quickly found an empty snack bag in my purse and have Emma secure her treasure before it gets lost again.

Later in the day Emma asked if we could drive to Denver to get a tooth pillow that she wanted to get. No, I didn't drive to Denver to get the tooth pillow. I caved and used my very meager sewing skills to fashion something that resembled a pillow that a tooth might like to sit in.