Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas, year end progress.

Good intentions only get you so far, but my ultimate goal is to have the newsletter and Christmas cards mailed out before Valentine's Day!  My mom reminds me of the year they were Valentine's letters often.  We laugh every time.  But, still I say better late then never.  Just because I can not keep track of what day in no way translates to me not caring about family and friends.  I simply can't keep up with time.

So, although I have had the letters printed for weeks now (on festive green paper with a hand drawn tree in the bottom corner) and I have bought a gaggle of festive stamps (from Costco) and I rushed and stressed over getting a nice picture of the kids to include in the cards,  they are still sitting here waiting for me to put them in the envelopes and mail them out.

I was contemplating how we get onto a person's Christmas card list.  There is one person who faithfully sends us a card every year, more faithfully than any other it seems.  Every time we open it, my husband and I look at each other and ask if the other remembers who it is.  Neither one of us can.  It's been several years now.  I wonder if I should tell them we are mistakenly on their list, or start sending them a card and pretend we are the best long lost friends ever.  We think it might be someone "famous" according to the pictures they send.

Anyway, here is a copy of our newsletter for 2011.  Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!  Happy New year!  (and Happy Valentine's)

Taggart Times Christmas Newsletter 2011

I don’t know how long it has been since we have written a newsletter, but regardless or how many years it has been, we are only going to cover this year.  This year, like every other year, has been busy for us, as I am sure it has been for all of you!  At last we have time to ponder what has happened and look forward to the next year. 

The four have started kindergarten this year.  Lily has been reluctant to learn her letters and is being “watched” for a learning disability.  We wonder if she simply lacks motivation.  She loves to color, paint, and color. Did I mention that Lily likes to color?  If she could do nothing else all day she would be the happiest kid in the world.  She also reports chasing boys at recess is a favorite pastime. Like her brothers, Lily also enjoys helping Mom in the kitchen and any other way she can.

Brenden has a great sense of humor, but needs to practice when to use it and when not to.  He has had a challenging beginning to school learning to wait his turn and not speak out.  Oh, he also had a tough time remembering that the teacher is the teacher, not him.  “But they were doing it wrong!” was his response.  I did not know that kindergarteners who don’t follow the rules could loose their recess privileges. Hmm.   The computer class teacher (not affiliated with the kindergarten) was very upset when I asked her if she had problem with Brenden.  She clearly does not have any problems.  I believe her words were, “The sun rises and sets with that boy!”   He is learning quickly but also forgets or has a better idea just as fast.

Marek is very self motivated and top of his class.  While I have to pester Lily and Brenden to show me their work and hound them endlessly, Marek is the opposite.  He will pester me, “I have to get my homework done!”  I will say, “Don’t you want to eat lunch?”  Usually the answer is, “No.  I need to get this done first.”  Marek is just as enthusiastic about getting his chores done.

Evan is less vocal but just as motivated, unless there is anything else going on.  Whenever he is reminded he works hard and well.  He is also at or near the top of his class.  He shares a class with Lily while Brenden and Marek have a different teacher.
Evan is still a charmer and loves to meet knew people.  He especially loves to read to anyone who will listen to him.

In January, Dallas turned 8 and was baptized the first week of February.  He always encourages us to choose the right and do our best.  He is a fabulous journal keeper. Dallas is in third grade this year and is doing very well, as usual.   We seem to have uncovered some of his problem with itching and rashes.  We think that to some degree it’s related to stress.  Since Lydia has completed her schooling his skin has improved drastically.  We are also using homemade soaps and lotions and rinsing all the laundry in vinegar. Gluten free foods have also helped some.

Some of Stephen’s favorite things this year are joining Webelos in scouting and making new friends at school.  His teacher was transferred after school began, causing more anxiety than we needed.  Since then we have been working on making friends and getting back to other basic social skills.  We take it one day at a time, but honestly, he is so well behaved it is easy to overlook him.  Especially since he enjoys being alone.  We are all making progress.

Some other exciting things from this year were visits from family members and Steve’s being able to go to Florida to visit family. We camped in Moab and went caving in Nevada.  In February, we had a fundraiser for Lydia’s brother Bryce, who has advanced stage four colon cancer.  We were ecstatic to have over $14,000 raised at the event to help with their expenses!

June and July were stressful as Lydia crammed for the last deadlines and earned her bachelor’s degree from BYU.  (General Ed with and emphasis in family life and a minor in Psychology)  She finished just in time for kindergarten to begin.  The few weeks in August were filled with swimming lessons (for everyone) and violin lessons (for Stephen and Dallas)

Since then, people often ask, “What’s Lydia going to do now that the kids are in school and she has her degree?”  Well, if there were ever a day when homework, lunch money, or sick children were not needing her attention we would let you know.  She spends time volunteering at the school weekly and driving around crazy the rest of the time.

Steve has a new calling at church, Cubmaster.  That is helpful since both Stephen and Dallas are in the program, and soon the rest will be too.  Steve still has time with the older boys as the ward’s Eagle Scout Specialist.  Work has brought him changes and although he has had many responsibilities added without a pay raise or title change, he is happy contributing in a vital way at Varian.

Steve has enjoyed going to the Grand Canyon again this year.  It’s fast becoming his favorite place to visit. 

Some less than exciting events of the year were saying goodbye to both Grandpa Bell and Grandpa Paulsen (both were Lydia’s grandparents)  We fell blessed to have known them for so long in this life and were reminded what really matters is our relationships with family and friends.  We hope this finds you well.  You are in our prayers, always.

Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!

With Love, The Taggart Family

Friday, December 16, 2011

A completed gift!

I have officially completed  a handmade Christmas gift this year!  Well, close enough to count I think.  It will definitely be finished by time the party begins tomorrow night.  Here is a picture of me wearing it.  The apron also has the green spotted fabric for the ties that matches the pocket.  There are two buttons and two button holes for adjusting the size.  I am very pleased with the results.  I think that if I like it as well as I do my sister in law should love it too.  She has gorgeous red hair that would look great with these colors.  She is taller than me and I think it will look better on her.  This picture just reminds me how much more exercise I need.  

Here is the one I made for her daughter.  She is a cute naturally curly blond. She's about the same size as my kids so I know it will fit her, but all my models went to bed before the pictures were able to be taken. 

And now that I have successfully completed two gifts AND posted pictures to the blog, I am going to bed!  Have a great weekend! Only 9 days left till Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Faithful, Fit and Fabulous book review

I wanted to share my experiences reading this book: 

Faithful, Fit, & Fabulous Get Back to Basics and Transform Your Life in Just 8 Weeks by Connie E. Sokol

As one of my personal obsessions, I was excited to be offered a book to review regarding setting goals and being organized. (Of course it’s one of my favorite hobby topics, having six children born within four years)

Right away I knew I would love this book.  It is easy to relate to and filled with bits of humor while being completely scripture based.  There are references to conference talks and other church approved materials like lesson manuals as the basis of her research.
The layout of the book is simple and easy to navigate.  The author suggests that you read through chapter one and two then you can mix up the other chapters according to your desired focus such as fit and fabulous, joy in womanhood, or get organized. 

Chapter one is very inspirational, guiding and reminding about topics of the Spirit. The author warns or the two week bomb that usually accompanies all good intentions, saying just plow through and be as consistent as possible.  I did have a two week bomb, just as she warned.

During the second week I got stuck in chapter 2 when she suggests that you begin with the end in mind and write your “life paragraph” consulting with the Lord regarding your talents and purpose in life.  This was major stumbling block for me, trying to receive personal revelation regarding what my purpose in life is. 

I went to my husband and said, “I think I’m supposed to…”  He just looked at me for a moment.  In that moment I thought he was going to tell me I was crazy for thinking such a thing.  When he finally spoke he was thinking I was crazy, but for different reasons.  He said, “Haven’t we talked about this before?  I thought that was a well established fact already!”

I have since been reminded that there are two ways to receive revelation, as a light turning on or as a sunrise.  When we receive as the sunrises it is barely noticeable until the daylight is upon us.  I obviously had the sunrise experience.

After speaking with my husband I finally went back to the book and did as Connie Sokol suggested; set a timer and just write then set the timer again and just get it done.  It’s meant to evolve as you grow and change.  I wish I had taken her advice sooner. In later chapters the topic of talents is addressed further.  Don’t get stuck in chapter 2 with the two week bomb!

Everything you need to succeed is included except the action on the reader’s part.  There are examples of life paragraphs and other goals that would have been fine for copying if your sunrise was not noticeable.  The author's website is also a great resource for ideas.  http://8basics.com/

I highly recommend reading this book.  I thought of giving my copy as a gift, but I will have to purchase another copy and keep this one.  Here is a link if you are interested.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Countdown

 Here we are getting nearer to the Christmas holiday every second.  The tree is finally up and "decorated" by the children. We finally have an idea of treats to make for the neighbors and friends.  And our shopping list is near what might be called complete.  I posted earlier about my art supply dilemma.   Let me expand on this exciting gift giving

The one item I thought for sure to keep for Dallas was his hot wheels track. He has “hot wheels track” written on notes hanging around the house and several letters to Santa that I mysteriously loose.  It’s listed on his white board with a star next to it  **Wanted most**.    For sure this would be a great item to purchase for his present.  Until he complains that his sister has told him that she is getting him a hot wheels track.   She never keeps a secret.    Well, I guess I could return that and exchange it for something more exciting.

I know he will appreciate the Nerf guns!  I have been hearing about the need for a Nerf gun for months it seems.  I have two of them with refill bullets that have suction cups to stick on the walls, windows, and fireplace.  Well, that was a great idea until we went to the party at my husband’s work place.  They always have “Santa” there.  He gives out one gift to each child.  We now have five… Nerf guns.  At least now we also know the suction cup bullets also stick to the ceiling.  The refill bullets will still be nice.

Sigh.  I can return those too, or better yet, I can give them to my husband.  They had so much fun this weekend shooting at each other!  It was difficult for Brenden to pull his trigger or load it or something so Daddy just had to help.  I can’t count how many times I heard “These are the best Christmas presents ever!”

I knew they would like them.  So, what did they ask Santa for?  I leaned as close as I could with my pencil secretly perched on my notebook so I would get the one thing they really wanted.  The kids smiled for the camera and started to wave goodbye.  I heard nothing!  I missed it! 

“Wait!  Did you forget to tell Santa something?  Did you say everything you wanted to when you were with Santa?”

“Oh, yeah!  Thanks you!”

That’s right.  All I heard was thank you.  “Is that all?”  No.  Brenden had to be sure Santa knew he was allergic to cats.   No gift requests made.  On the way home Dallas was telling me why Santa gave him a Nerf gun instead of the Hot Wheels track he really wanted.  Of course, Lily was giving it to him already.

Back to the drawing board.  They already have everything they want except for art supplies which I foolishly returned thinking they didn’t want them.  I have extras of what they already got or are getting.  I guess I will just plan on going back to get what I returned.  I think I will drive across town so they don’t recognize me.  At least the kids are happy with what they have.

In other news, I began making a gift yesterday; a homemade gift for a family member.  Maybe it will be completed in time to actually be given this year.  Stephen saw it and asked, “Are you making those to sell them?”  Not the plan but perhaps a possibility.  Enter the neighbor girl, “Oooo!  Who are those for?  Will you make me one too?  How much are they?”  I will have a picture posted for that on Friday. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What is crazy?

I took the four with me grocery shopping yesterday while the older two were at school. Will I ever learn? That is an exhausting experience to say the least. We only had five things on our list fruits, veggies, eggs, yogurt, and medicine (for me, bronchitis. The doctor told me to rest. Ha, ha!)

When we were at the pharmacy the woman on the other side of the counter said, “I still don’t know how you do it. I would go crazy! My one kid drives me crazy.” I smiled and bid farewell as usual, but I started thinking.

What makes a person crazy? Isn’t being crazy defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results? Well, here I was in the store with the kids again expecting them to behave and not ask for much just like I have so many other times. Nearly every episode ends with my vow to never take them to the store with me again.

Yet, I continue to repeat it even though I don’t have to. I could go shopping while they are at school. I would rather read or do laundry else while they are gone and deal with the chaos of trying to shop with the kids. That is crazy! Why does everyone say, “I would go crazy”? Don’t I look like I am crazy? There is certainly more than once that I have felt crazy!

I take them with me in hopes they will learn how to plan for a meal, save money for what is on the list, put things on a list for future purchases, and keep a budget. (Don’t worry about them learning how to do laundry. There is never a shortage of laundry!)

Yesterday, Marek asked for Chinese food. Letting them be involved in our routine of life brings new and unexpected experiences. I wouldn’t expect my kids to eat Chinese, but since he asked for it we got it. The kids all helped make dinner and then they actually ate most of it!

We had a great evening! Homework was done before Daddy got home from work, dinner was finished right on time, and three of the kids had haircuts while watching a movie after dinner. Everyone was bathed and ready for bed almost on time. Then we tried to agree on what type of cookies to make for Christmas. Needless to say, we did NOT end up going to bed on time, but everyone was happy.

At the store earlier the pharmacist was trying to figure out which of the kids are identical. (none are) I had them stand close together and smile for her. They are so adorable! They melt my heart. They were actually sitting in the waiting chairs being good! Maybe I’m not so crazy. After all, the results do seem to be changing.

I have heard more than once, accompanied by a sigh and look of pity, “better you than me.” I say, “That’s right!” I am so glad to have all my little miracles. They really do make life more exciting.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Artful Regrets

My husband and I took our children to the Festival of Trees. This has been a great experience for us for the last several years as we have donated a tree every year since my father in law passed away, with one exception. (the quadruplet year) We enjoy our effort to remember his generosity and help the hospital in their efforts to raise money for those who are not able to afford their hospital bills, and so forth. Our kids have been dragged along each year to take a picture and end up in the boutique or kid area to spend a dollar or two of their own.

This year our finances are a little leaner and my patience was a little thinner. We did not attempt the kid area; we skimmed through the trees, skipped the gingerbread houses and hurried over to the boutique. Of course, we saw the quilts on our way. Since I have all the time in the world now (ha ha.) I told the kids that, although we did not have $500 to buy a quilt and most of them were sold already anyway, we could take a picture and I would try to make one for them later (meaning perhaps by the time they were getting married).

After what seemed like ages of arguing, pushing, and whining about being to tired, hungry, and poor, we ended up in the boutique. When trying to agree on one blanket we could buy and SHARE a little one ended up on the floor crying.

I was done. I picked him up and headed for the door. My brood came screaming and crying behind me. “I want to buy something! I thought you said we could get a blanket! Waaa!”

I wondered why I cared if we learned about loving others and being generous at all. Outside we began to unravel. I asked, “What was it about the blanket that was so wonderful? Are you cold at night? Is it because we want to give money to the hospital? Are they just so soft and comfy and beautiful that we really want one?”

Of course the answer was they are just so beautiful and soft. I reminded them I said I would try to make one for them.

“But what if the store doesn’t have the right fabric? *sob*”

So, off we go to the fabric store to feel different types of fabrics and tell me, not what they want but rather what feeling they like the best. (I know, I am asking for trouble here. Taking all six kids out again? Crazy!) No one chose silky. Denim was not their favorites either, but Stephen, the one who was making the biggest fuss over it, said he couldn’t decide and I could just surprise him.

Well, making a quilt would take a functioning sewing machine and probably one that was not borrowed for months on end. We walked past the display of machines just to price them out and wow! They were right across the aisle from the art section! I could hardly pull the kids away from it.

It was a solid 15 minutes of: “Wow! Look at this!”

“I could use this!”

“Hey, did you guys see this!?”

“Whoa! Check this out!”

When we finally left every one of the kids were dancing their way out the door singing, “This is going to be the best Christmas ever!”

Still grumpy from the festival I said, “Why? Because you went to a store?”

“No, because we are going to ask for art and learning time supplies for Christmas!”

I moaned and called my mother. “Mom, have you bought presents for the kids yet? They really want art supplies.”

After a short pause she said, “You mean like the ones you just returned yesterday?”

We both broke out in laughter when I said, “YES!”

Who would have thought that they would prefer paint and paper over an X-Box game?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Revenge of the Turkey!

Here we are, recovering from the busiest weeks of the year. Happy Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and almost Merry Christmas! Our last week was especially busy this year because not only did we have a turkey to eat, but also had a funeral to attend, and some vomit to clean up, times six. Boy am I ever glad we got those flu shots! What has been for us a day or two (each) is reportedly a week or more for others.

I remember when the kids all got sick at the same time years ago. None of them were old enough to get to a toilet or big enough to carry a “barf bucket” around with them so we covered the floor with layers and layers of towels and blankets. Rather than trying to keep the house (which was actually a rented basement while we were doing the addition) we just rolled up the top layer and set it aside until the washer was available again. Ahhh, sweet memories… I wish it were that easy now.

This version of stomach flu apparently has very little warning. (one in the truck while driving, another in the hallway at school, and two in bed!) I wish we were able to just roll back the top layer from the truck. I thought I cleaned it, but I don’t think you can ever really get the vehicle clean enough after such an episode, down the seatbelt cracks and so forth. There was so much Fabreeze in there that I thought I would be nauseous from the yummy cleaning up scent.

The next morning I cheerfully take my well children out to drive to school and nearly get knocked over by the wave of sick odor as I open the door and it hits me.

“Mommy, I thought you said you cleaned it up?” said one while holding his nose.

“Yeah, me too.” I reply while gagging.

“When are you going to clean up the truck?”

I suppose I should check on U-tube. There seems to be a cure for just about everything there. Meanwhile, I am very happy to welcome in the wind storm tonight so we can have some fresh air!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flu shots and other renewed commitments

There’s nothing like a commitment to do something on time to prove to yourself just how much time passes while nothing gets accomplished. Here I sit with my forever long to do list wondering where to begin, and the next book I have agreed to review arrives in the mail. It is a get things done inspirational book. Very timely. It arrived moments after my kids were working on their journals, which means I was working pretty hard. Filled with guilt for not regularly keeping a journal of my own, scraping my brain for a memory of the week, and then being inspired to better myself… yeah. I decided it was time for blogging.

My kindergarteners have been given the assignment to keep a “journal”. Each week they are to draw a picture of something that has happened that week and write a simple sentence about it. Lily just wants to draw pictures of monsters dancing with purple and pink hats while Brenden would rather not do anything at all. It baffles me to see the variety of children born in the same house, same rules, same everything. Needless to say, Marek is my “good” student and is always the first to finish his work. He usually reminds, no, make that he begs me to do his homework. I had to try to help them decide what to draw.

I could not get further in my memory than Saturday. First thing in the morning we went for our flu shots. That was hilarious! The kids got mad at me for laughing, but how could I not? Stephen wanted to be first so he would get it over with and not need to be nervous anymore. After mentioning how that was a great idea, they all began fighting over who got to be first. Then when the shots were ready we had to force them into the room.

In the end, Stephen needed both Daddy and Mommy to hold him down for the nurse to get his arm. (That’s a job that must be fun. I hope all the parents are as fun as we were and allowed her to laugh with them at their kids too.) As soon as she stuck his arm Stephen stopped fighting, near tears. He smiled almost began laughing with us. It was not as bad as the other kids apparently made him think it was. They all fought except for Evan who simply whined, but they were all small enough for me to hold down while Steve just blocked the door so no one could escape.

In search of the perfect Christmas gift for our cousins, the door buster deal was already sold out. It was on sale as a super deal at Toys r Us for one day only. The first store didn’t have it, but they took the time to locate it at another. They put it on hold for us. By the time we found and bought the super gift, it was lunch time. (Yes, it took hours! Imagine taking six children to a toy store and looking for Christmas gifts! Hey, I know some people who are already finished with their shopping!)

The rumble in our tummies and the fact that it was payday and we had promised the kids a prize for getting their shots took us to Wendy’s. Little did I know it would be snowing when we agreed to ice cream. Wendy’s just happened to be across the street from a great park. After lunch we went to play in the snow. After about an hour there we took our freezing troops home to dry off and ventured out for scones. (Note to self, take gloves next time.)

The kids had earned a free scone at Winder Dairy for doing well on their homework. Poor Brenden thought that he would be able to milk a cow but it was just a country store. No cows around for miles and miles. Other than Brenden’s disappointment it was great, but I couldn’t figure out why we were so grumpy. Hello! They had flu shots that morning. Duh. (Note to self, flu shots make for a great stay at home and watch movies day.)

Sunday meant singing in the choir. The choir is practicing for December. Steve and I both enjoy singing and the kids now enjoy taking themselves home without us. They are so excited to be big enough to go home alone for the half hour. Our neighbors follow them and make sure they get there safe, and I don’t worry much because our back yard bumps up against the church’s yard. It’s not far at all.

Steve also talked me into singing in the women’s choir for stake conference. I am glad he did. It is so different from the ward choir. Wow. It is going to be great. The real reason I sing in the choirs is because I feel the spirit so much when I sing. I don’t as much when I simply listen to the music. To really feel the spirit, it needs to be sung. Christmas just is not Christmas without singing in the choir.

Enter Monday, wonderful Monday with all the expected Monday grief. Five hours of homework for the kids and by the end of the night I was sick with more than the usual Monday-itis. It seems like everyone is getting sick all the sudden around here. Dallas said his substitute went home sick and they had a sub for the sub. There was no homework done by that boy last night! This morning, the kindergarten teacher was missing, and our exercise buddies are ill. That’s just the start of it. The problem is we have spent lots of time with all the sick people. Hopefully we got the flu shots just in time.

Today I will be staying away from as many healthy people as possible and drinking lots of tea. Stay well, have a glass full kind of week, and try to remember something from this week. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Key of Kilenya by Andrea Pearson

I know what to do with my time now that the kids are in school. I just finished reading this book! It’s actually the second book I have finished, by personal choice, since the kids began school. (I will post a review for the other one a different day)

The Key of Kilenya by Andrea Pearson is a good read and I would recommend it for anyone who likes a clean magical adventure.

This creative story takes the reader on an adventure when two wolves chase Jacob away from his home. While attempting his escape through the forest, he discovers he has actually left planet earth. The creatures, many similar to humans, as well as the humans on the other planet need Jacob to rescue a stolen key from the evil Lorkon.

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

“When two vicious wolves chase fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark down a path from our world into another, his life is forever changed. He has no idea they have been sent by the Lorkon—evil, immortal beings who are jealous of powers he doesn’t know he possesses—powers they desire to control.

The inhabitants of the new world desperately need Jacob's help in recovering a magical key that was stolen by the Lorkon and is somehow linked to him. If he helps them, his life will be at risk. But if he chooses not to help them, both our world and theirs will be in danger. The Lorkon will stop at nothing to unleash the power of the key—and Jacob's special abilities.”

It took a few chapters of me to get used to the writing style. Honestly, I had a difficult time with the journal entries that began each chapter. I felt like I was reading two different stories at the same time, which made it a challenge for me to connect with the characters at first.

One story emerged about half way through when Jacob is given the journal to help him on his quest. The imagination involved and the level of brain power I used to try to figure things out while reading (like how did the humans get on more than one planet?) made it worth the effort.

Andrea Pearson skillfully blends her own ideas with images of Harry Potter and Peter Pan to create a unique new world where even the vegetation and landscape are exciting. And I really enjoyed the ending. I say this because I often will enjoy reading a book but hate the ending. The author’s writing improved as the book moved along.

I expect the next book in the series to be easier for me to get into as many of the characters and plot have been laid out and explained so clearly in this first book. I look forward to reading the next book.

If you would like to purchase the book you can click this link:


(I was invited to offer my opinion on this book and received a free copy in exchange for my posting. No money was involved and my opinion is my own.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Knowing when to quit; An adventure in discipline.

Disciplining details get fuzzy after a long lecture. Sometimes you just need to know when to quit. We usually end the “discussion” by asking the child who made the bad choice if there is there anything he or she wants want to say. That way it can be called a “discussion”.

This particular time, Evan was having a difficult time admitting that he had done anything wrong. His teacher gave him a “red ticket” meaning he was in trouble. He was not listening to the teacher and chasing the other kids around the classroom during show and tell. This happened at the end of the day, so she didn’t have time to address the problem completely.

Evan handed me his red ticket with tears in his eyes. The other kids wanted to show me their work for the day. I planned to talk with Evan about it more, but life happened and I didn’t address it completely either.

The next day the mother of the other child involved asked me if Evan got a red ticket, like her son. Then she asked, “Do you know what it was about?”

“No. Just they were running around chasing.” I said.

She informed me that, “It was a booger.” We laughed in secret. Oh, to be in kindergarten and be chased by a booger!

Knowing that Evan has a booger picking problem, I could envision him chasing the other kids easily.

Later that night my husband and I ran through the typical lecture, reminding him of the importance of honesty and the consequences for lying. At the conclusion of the interrogation we asked, “Is there anything you want to say?”

He responded with a miserable, “Yeah.” His lower lip hanging down far enough it could almost touch his knees.

I thought, okay, here comes the confession. We got through to him and now we can make it all better. Perhaps he would say sorry along with the confession.

He didn’t say anything for a while so I asked, “What is it?” I was ready to get out my parenting badge and put a fresh coat of polish on it.

The same miserable voice said, “Goodnight.” Then he kissed both me and his father on the cheek and slunk his way down to go to bed.

I was glad he left quickly so he couldn’t see me laughing. I guess my parenting badge will sit in the closet a while longer.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to School, Back to Life

You’d think that with all my children in school for at least part of the day I would be able to resurrect my blog a little easier.

The quads are in kindergarten in the mornings now. I chose morning thinking that I would be a morning person, get them all moving and out the door so I had the rest of the day while they were gone. I had so many things dreamed up for the glorious three hours each morning. I have finished my schooling and can now call myself BYU alumni. Hooray! That’s one thing I won’t be doing during the time kids are at school.

When my kids are in school I will clean the house. You will never find laundry sitting around waiting to be folded or put away. Certainly there will not be any piles of it blocking the walkway to any room or hallway! I will always have clean dishes and a hot home made meal on the table for dinner every day. I will get to grocery shop alone price check and use coupons! I will even have plenty of time to read the labels and avoid the unwanted additives.

That can’t take that long, maybe a week. I do have three hours every day after all, well only two on Fridays. What will I do with the rest of the year? I will paint the house, reorganize and get everything that is not wanted out to DI or good will. I will have the closets usable, even the floors will be used for the organizing of shoes. Bottling the food and harvesting the garden.

I will read books, write, and create all sorts of amazing things! Look forward to a homemade something or other for Christmas. They are coming! I’ve got time for sewing, quilting, painting, nailing, hot gluing, and inventing. In my spare time, I will have to take on a few charities to avoid boredom.

Oh, perhaps it is time I let my body recover from having all those kids. Months of bed rest and birthing quadruplets has done a number on me. Not to forget the countless hours of doing homework to get the degree. I now have plenty of time for ME! Exercise and meal planning her I come! No, wait. A nap! I might take a nap. There’s so much to do I can’t decide. I better make a plan first.

So here I am two weeks into the kindergarten thing. I thought I would work in the walking and exercising while getting the kids to school. It’s not that far to walk. That happened once. Only one time. Instead we are running late looking for homework that has mysteriously disappeared. Why do they send so much stuff home with kindergarteners? What can I do to convince them that I will look at all of their things if they would just wait their turn? Will they ever learn that if you take it out, it has to go back? Maybe if we can find a pathway through the laundry we will find the missing homework. I decided that it didn’t really matter. How much trouble can a kindergartner get into for losing their homework?

We have been driving everyday. I tell them, “Hurry get in the line the classes are going in to the school now!” Then I look at Lily. “Lily, where are your shoes?”

“I don’t know. I can’t find them.”

“You can’t go to school without shoes on.”


I guess I should have been looking for shoes instead of homework. We have a sharp learning curve here. The next day when I was waking them up for school they said, “We did that yesterday.” And another said, “Again?”

Needless to say, you can not find the floor in our house yet. This is the only thing I have written since my papers for school were turned in. We have not been on time. We have not been walking. We have not been eating homemade delicious and nutritious meals every day. (But dry cereal counts right?) The house is not painted. And none of the Christmas gifts have been completed yet. I didn’t even take a nap yet!

What do I have to show for it? I have been exercising, other than the crisis run for the door to get to school. Friendships have been reconnected. Two blankets have been crocheted around the edges (that charity bit I told you about) A great book is halfway read. Along with the lost shoes, I have lost two pounds and what little of my mind was left.

I am so excited to get on a routine someday in the future. I am much wiser now knowing that three hours is still only three hours, even with no kids around.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Silent auction/fundraiser

In regards to my brother's cancer (which is now stage 4) and the fundraiser we are holding in his honor we are opening the silent auction for anyone who wants to participate.

Please email or let us know in some other private manner (this is a silent auction) if you would like to make a bid. The bidding will end at the dinner (mentioned in the previous posting) on February 5 at 7:30PM with winners announced by 8:00 PM.

When bidding on an auction item please refer to it by listed name (A, B, 16, etc.)

A) Cater your event for up to 100 people with the best Dutch oven style dinner (or breakfast) this side the Mississippi! Options include BBQ chicken with potatoes and cobbler, BBQ ribs with potatoes and cobbler, Lasagna and vegetables with cobbler, or Mountain Man breakfast. Valued at over $1000. Starting bid: $500.00

B) Experience the adventure of a lifetime on a trek in the beautiful Grand Canyon, The Tetons, San Juan Mountains, The Lower Paria Canyon, High Uintahs Wilderness, or top Mt. Whitney! Have somewhere else on your bucket list? Your guides will take you and up to four of your friends there during the 2012 season, after the coaching, training, guidance, and support needed to be prepared for such a backpacking trip. Make sure you take a camera! Valued up to $2,000. Starting bid: $300.00

C) Fly over the city in a helicopter with your sweetie, or if you’d rather a buddy. The winner of this auction will enjoy an hour of riding in a helicopter with up to three adults or two adults and 2 children. (Based upon weather conditions and availability. Good through May 31, 2011) Valued at up to $700.00 starting bid $200

D) Wrap yourself or a loved one in a fabulous hand stitched heirloom quilt. Valued up to $500.00 starting bid $50.00

E) These tickets will take you and someone special to the Sarah McLaughlin concert February 14, 2011. $25 towards dinner at Braza and a week of tanning are also included. Valued at $300. Starting bid: $150

F) Take a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! Beaches, shopping, history, restaurants! This bid will get you 7 nights and 8 days for up to 4 people in a one bedroom unit at Raintree’s Club Regina! Valued at $2079. Does NOT INCLUDE AIRFARE. Starting bid: $300.00

G) Three days of that new car smell will be yours with this rental certificate from Budget Rental Car. (Must be over age 21. Some restrictions apply.) Valued at Starting bid: $50

H) Take a three day weekend with shiny new wheels! (You have to give it back after the weekend. Some restrictions apply.) from Budget Car and Truck Rental of Utah Valued at Starting bid: $50

16) 2 tickets to the Hale Center Theater “A Tale of Two Cities” 3/15/11 at 7:30 and $25 to Salt City Burger starting bid $25

17) Repertory Dance Theater tickets to Dancing the Green Map 3/31/11 at 7:30PM, $40 towards a dinner at Madeline’s Steakhouse, and 2 Log Haven Signature Desserts Value: $100+ Starting bid: $25.00

18) Two tickets to the Utah Symphony, $50 Tiberon Fine Dining, and 2 Log Haven Signature Desserts Valued over $100. Starting bid: $50.00

19) 2 tickets to the Hale Center Theater “A Tale of Two Cities” 3/15/11 at 7:30 and $30 to Asian Star Starting bid $30

20) 2 tickets to the Hale Center Theater “A Tale of Two Cities” 3/15/11 at 7:30 and $50 to Temple Square Hospitality (The Roof, etc.) starting bid: $30

21) 2 tickets to the Hale Center Theater “A Tale of Two Cities” 3/15/11 at 7:30 and 2 free dinners at Rodizio Grill Starting bid: $30

22) 2 tickets to Ballet West Bolero with Chaconne and Sinfonietta April 8th and 9th and April 13th-16th, $25 to Ruths Chris Steakhouse and a pound of Sees Chocolate. Valued at $95.00 Starting bid: $60

J) Want to explore this beautiful state but don’t want to get lost taking a hike in the Wasatch? The winner of this auction will have two guides to help them (the 2011 season between May and September) along with up to 7 friends, and one 3L hydration pack made by Platypus. Valued at over $100. Starting bid: $25.00

K) Want to explore this beautiful state but don’t want to get lost taking a hike in the Wasatch? The winner of this auction will have two guides to help them (the 2011 season between May and September) along with up to 7 friends, and one 3L hydration pack made by WFS Element Gear. Valued at over $100. Starting bid: $25.00

L) $1000 worth of orthodontic work! WOW! Starting bid: $200

M) Need some entertainment at your next kid party? How about an hour of face painting? Valued at $65.00 starting bid: $25

N) A day of pampering awaits you! Eyelash extensions, a color weave and cut, and gel toes valued at over $150. Starting bid: $50.00

O) Feel like a new do? Here’s a hair cut and gel toes for you. Valued at $40 starting
bid: $15.00

BIG raffle prizes ($5):

Romance basket includes: a night at the Holiday Inn Presidential Suite, Dinner for 2, Breakfast for 2, a photo session (unrelated to Holiday Inn) 2 Signature Desserts at the Log Haven, a pound of Sees Chocolates, Sparkling cider and glasses.

The family basket includes: 4 tickets to Bees games during May and June this year, Scales and Tails (Bringing the zoo to you, reptile class with petting worth $150) $25 to Smashburger, $25 to Boondocks, $10 to Leatherby’s, $25 to Fazoli’s, 2 free appetizers and 2 free desserts at Wingers, and a family photo session!

Jazz Basket includes: 2 tickets to a Jazz game, blanket, umbrella, autographed memorabilia, collector Jazz coke bottles, and a family photo session with your family, not with the Jazz. (Sorry.)

$2 raffle tickets can win tickets to just about everywhere such as Log Haven, Hale Center Theater, Utah Symphony, Bees Baseball games, Heirloom Restaurant, CafĂ© Rio, Rumbi Island Grill, Miller Motorcross, Beans and Brews, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Ballet West, Tiburon Fine Dining, Brighton ski passes, Texas Roadhouse, The Nail Room, Landis Salon, Iggy’s, Homemade sock monkeys, watches, hats, scarves, and more than we can list!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Everyone's Invited!

To raise funds for the my brother's fight with cancer we are having a dinner ($10 each) of dutch oven lasagna, veggie, salad and garlic bread with cookies for dessert.

A silent auction including but not limited to:
A one hour helicopter ride for 4 people (2 adults and 2 children, or 3 adults)
two guided hikes in the Wasatch,
one guided back country trek for up to 5 people,
a catered dutch oven dinner for up to 100 people,
quilts, handmade watches, and more.

We will also have a raffle for great prizes donated from Subway and others. Raffle tickets $2.00 with bonus large item raffle ticket after 20 purchased tickets.

Feel free to invite your friends! We really appreciate any help or donations!!! Thank you!

Saturday, February 5 • 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: West Valley Fitness Center Upstairs rooms
5415 West 3100 South
Date: February 5, 2011
5:00 – 8:00 PM

Curtis Bryce Howard Cancer Benefit Dinner

Since you were able to make it through that business, I will give you the funny for the week.

"I wish I had a time machine to go back in time before you gave my pizza away!" Stephen said through his sobs.

"But Stephen, you said you didn't want to eat it. You told me I could give it away." I said to him after about 35 minutes of trying to get him to eat. I took the remnants back from Evan and Marek, they were sharing. Sheesh! You'd think I had teenager boys eating me out of house and home already!

"Here you go Stephen."

"But there's no pepperoni on it! I will not move until you put the pepperoni back on my pizza so I can eat it! I asked for pepperoni pizza!" Followed by loud sobs and tears. There's the kicker. He asked for it but wouldn't eat it.

"They ate them though. I can't get them back. You can eat this or not eat it. Don't cry anymore though okay."

"I won't stop crying until I get my pepperoni back! I won't eat this! I don't want it!"

"If you don't want it, give it back to the other boys to eat."

"NO! I'm hungry! But I don't want to eat THIS!"

He ended up eating it without the regurgitated pepperoni and the other kids just sat quietly listening, hoping they might get the pizza but not complaining when they didn't. For heaven's sake, don't ask for something change your mind and not want it anymore then get mad when you don't have it. It makes it too hard for the mom not to laugh when you're crying.