Friday, February 29, 2008

A Little Spring Cleaning

Oh, yeah, I've kicked it up a notch. I changed my blog background. Not to anything fancy (like some of y'all's), but to my favorite color: green. Also, after this hot, action-packed Friday night I got a lot of laundry done AND updated my links on my sidebar. Here's the comical part. I have 49 links listed. That means, those are most of the blogs I like to drop in to every now and then. And by most I mean, that doesn't even include the 3 private blogs and the blogs I visit even though I don't really know the people. OR, or, or, how about the people I drop into visit from my links links. Oh, it's an addiction. C'mon fess up, how many do y'all have saved in your faves/links? Don't count the people you don't know in person, cuz I wanna know who is sick like me. I've figured I can get through the blogs in the amount of time it takes Tyler to watch an episode of Monsterquest. It's getting close, though, if bunch of people blog, so I may have to be dumping the non-posters if newbies are really on the ball.

Tyler's fishing again this weekend and I have decided when I go out of town it is not stressful to him for a few specific reasons. When I am gone Tyler does not do laundry, does not grocery shop, uses paper products or eats out so's not to have to do too many dishes, and has the patience and energy to take the kids places (which means a lot less house cleaning.) I, on the other hand, end up counting down the hours until there's another adult in the house.

I had Erin's three young 'uns tonight and it was actually really helpful to have some new blood to keep my kids entertained while I got some work done around the house. I made pancakes and scrambled eggs, which was the only hairy part. I don't know how "John and Kate plus 8" do the whole feeding thing. Once you get all the kids their food, all the kids their drinks, then serve up seconds, it's time to clean up . . . oh wait! It's time to eat myself. If I'm lucky. I would be skinnier with more kids to feed since there'd be no time to feed myself. Don't get me wrong, I'd be skinny AND crazy, but I couldn't be too picky, right?

Alrighty, off to bed. Thanks for the name feedback. I'm gonna give it through the weekend before I get nervous that I am being outvoted. I don't even know if I'll tell Tyler how it all worked out or not. We'll see.

What book am I?

Found this on Dylan's blog and I love it, being a book lover. Strangely, after six questions, the analysis was kinda right on. Sorta. Kinda. I think. Interestingly, I have never read this one.

You're The Poisonwood Bible!by Barbara KingsolverDeeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people, but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be Belgian.

Try it yourself at this site:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What's in a Name?

So, I know, I know I am falling behind on my 97 posts, but you never know when there's gonna be a day when something great happens and I need to post twice or something. So, we'll see how it goes for the next couple months. Yesterday I was having computer/internet connection issues. I don't know about anyone else, but I just don't want to deal with stuff like that sometimes. I think mentally it was more annoying than anything else AND on a physically busy day I just chose to ignore it. Today I did the super technical thing and unplugged and replugged everything and we're good to go. Phew. I'm such a brainiac!

So, I need some public opinion on naming baby #5. With each of our kids it was important to me to give each of our kids a name with a purpose. I think being named after my great-grandma, Sarah Jane Jones Catlin was a real honor and I liked being able to say I was named after someone. To know it was important to my dad meant something, too. So, our 1st baby girl was got the prized "Jane" and is Mackenzie Jane. With girl #2 we knew we weren't necessarily guaranteed another chance to honor our mothers, so we chose Caylee Ann (we decided on the "lee" after Doralee [Tyler's mom] and Ann after my mom [Elizabeth Ann]). Baby boy #1 was named after his dad, Brevin Tyler, and with baby #4 we decided to honor my family's name and that's how we got Brock Garrard. SOOO, what do we do with a 3rd baby boy?

Let me just say, too, this would not be difficult if we were having a baby girl. I had already decided it would be Natalie Erin after my sister, but we had to start all over when we found out it was a baby boy. Sigh. SO, Tyler thinks we should continue the BR-thing. I never wanted to have a thing. I fought against "Brock" for a day after he was born because I was really in love with the name Dallin. When our pediatrician came in to check on unnamed Barlow baby #4 we asked his opinion on Dallin vs. Brock. He said he thought Brock sounded like a transvestite stripper name whereas Brock sounded manly. Obviously, that mature arguement from a licensed medical professional won us over, and Brock became Brock. I now love his name and he totally grew into it, so I am sure no matter what we choose, the name will fit him and we'll all love it, so I am kinda stuck on the purpose of this kids' name.

Right after Tyler and I were married his grandpa Barlow died. A few months later we got a binder from Tyler's uncle with a bunch of family histories. I was reading in bed one night in Cedar City all these stories and got to one from his great grandpa. At first it was fairly standard stuff, but I found it curious that he lived in Grouse Creek, Utah. I recognized Grouse Creek as the name of the small town my grandma lived in, and thought, "Hmm, small world." The history of this man, who was born in 1877, was pretty interesting; mostly about how he was a real, horse-breaking, hard-working cowboy. A couple paragraphs later and Tyler's great grandpa's history says this, "'Quart' Catlin, a brother-in-law to Lindy Kimber, was Jesse's age and one of his many friends." I seriously sat straight up in bed. Right there in that history was MY great-grandpa's name. "Quart" Catlin was my grandma Garrard's dad, Quartus Sparks Catlin. To know that our great-grandpas were good friends in little 'ol Grouse Creek was really cool. I like to think that nearly a hundred years later Jesse and Quart were up in heaven slappin' each other on the back whilst Tyler and I were making out on the backyard trampoline.

So, one afternoon it hit me that I would really like to name this baby boy after those two men. BOTH were worth naming a kid after, but to name him Jesse Sparks Barlow would mean a lot. Not that I'm ANTI a BR- name or anything, in fact I really like the name Brady. I just can't figure out what middle name would have more purpose than Tyler's dad's middle name, Lavell. So, general blog audience, I am asking for your opinion. Do you like Jesse Sparks Barlow or Brady Lavell Barlow better?

It may help to see the little squirt who is constantly kicking me and flip flopping in my uterus. In my scanning frenzy I added these ultrasound pics to our hard drive. Since I had the placental bleed, I got three different ultrasounds. I found out insanely early, 14 weeks (in November), that this was a boy, but the Dr. was sure the ultrsound wasn't lying. We had another viewing session the beginning of January, and then another on February 21st. We won't get anymore views until he comes out the shute, so see what you can gather and let me know in a comment if you think he looks more like a Jesse, a Brady, or a molerat.

One of the first profiles with his hand up by his face. (11/07)
"Hello, my peeps. Sorry to give you a scare with the whole bleeding placenta and all, but I'm doing fine and dandy in here!" (11/07)
This is the shot that the Dr. said, "If this baby is a girl, she's gonna have a penis." Tyler was pretty thrilled and the Dr. totally stroked his ego by calling him a porn star. nice, huh. (11/07)
This is another shot of the family jewels. The Dr. printed a big one for Tyler to take to his office and be proud of. The Dr. told us to pack a jock strap to the hospital since this baby was so well-endowed. I, mother of five, did not buy into his compliments as EVERY 8" long baby baby boy looks like he has a huge unit when it's broadcast on a big flatscreen TV. Tyler ate it up! (1/08)
Here's the first 3-D picture of our little man. Not to gross you out, but the grain-i-ness is from floating bits of old blood from the placental bleed, which had still not resolved itself as of the second ultrasound. (1/08)
This is another profile shot of our guy, but he's a bit older and more mature. Can't you tell in the picture?
And the last 3-D picture. Doesn't he look all peaceful and sweet? You can't tell how those arms so sweetly curled up in front of his face like to reach out and push up against my entire inner being. During the ultrasound we could actually see him opening and closing his eyes, pretty amazing, huh?!
Anyway, so that's our guy. He'll be arriving the beginning-ish of May and we're excited to meet him. Just deciding a name would be helpful. Jesse or Brady? Whatcha think?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

To Do Tuesday

I've been working out my scanner today, baby! I scanned the last 300 photos from my mom and dad's photo albums. I was actually thinking last night, "ugh, what to do for the to do" and then Chanel posted an old picture and I thought, "Hmm, I should get those albums back to mom after 2 years or more of stashing them." So, thanks for inspiring me (again) Chanel! I think total pictures I have scanned from my childhood and of our extended family is about 400-ish. Anyhow, here's a few of my faves from today's work.

This one must have been taken one evening since the boys are all in their pjs. We were probably watching The Simpsons or something like that. This is pretty much how I remember my "little" brothers, so it's kinda trippy to have them all grown up. Plus, it was probably rare that I was home at this point. This is circa 1993. (PS. I owned that sweater for YEARS. It was one of my faves.)

How do you not love this one? There's a family shot of all of us taken before this, so I am sure this one was done in jest and mockery. I know, what? Our family mock and jest? Such a surprise.

This is a picture of my 19th birthday. I had just gone to Salt Lake with my friends, and it was the first time Tyler and I had been apart since we got together. I missed him like crazy and while I was excited about my lemon cake (my fave) I was more excited to go make out with Tyler. This night was the first time I said "I love you" to Tyler. And yes, I wore overalls when I said it.
This is (obviously) my sister and myself at my wedding. This is before she got all splotchy from crying. Notice my big football helmet hair? I HATED my hair!
This is at Erin's wedding a month later. And I love this dress. And I love Nate's famous butt cut he was sporting. Sweet, huh!
Anyhow, just a glimpse at the pics. Good productive day, but you should see my house. Holy kids run wild while I ignored them and scanned pictures.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Family Extreme Home Makeover

This weekend was a wonderful one. A leave-your-laptop-at-home because the only multi-tasking I wanted to be doing was hanging with my wonderful family. Most of you know the story (if you read my blog) about my cousin Garrett. Pretty much, if I haven't reitterated this enough before, he's a stud. A good-looking, funny, stud. This weekend a lot of our family was able to make the trip to Arizona to help Garrett's mom (my beautiful cousin Jodie) put her house together. Because life likes to throw massive curve balls at our head, Jodie was smack in the middle of a remodel of her entire home when Garrett landed on his back at the local gym in November. She'd had pocket doors installed, had new paint and floorboards installed, and ripped out pretty much everything else. We're talking down to the concrete floors. Needless to say, when your son has a massive spinal injury, picking out countertops and sink fixtures kinda goes by the wayside. UNTIL you realize your insurance has run it's course and your son and his wheelchair will be needing to come home. To a home not ADA ready. Of course, being such a wonderful family has its perks, one being good friends who were able to open their home to Jodie and Garrett until Jodie's house gets all doned-up-right-perty for the official home-c0ming. Warren and Verna live right around the corner and are so great to not only have Jodie and Garrett, but when their crazy family congregates in Mesa, they opened their doors to us all, too.

Now, we're a close family, I think. It's one of the best blessings in my life (as opposed to those bad blessings, ya know!?) But living so far removed (physically) from Jodie and Garrett has been hard and frustrating, especially since, I think, most of us want to just fix it and make it all better for the Tanners. So, after Erin's plea to Oprah left us as runner-ups, and Jodie's home-builder of a boss flaked, we all were all too happy to come to Mesa and bust a little family action in their home. We knew a weekend would be short, but with a contractor, electrition, and home inspector/builder (in addition to other trades) in our family, we knew we'd be able to do something productive, something to get Jodie and Garrett into their own home. With the help of a financial grant for supplies, we were all too eager to supply the labor, and by "we" I mean mostly our men-folk. "We" (meaning most of the women folk) were also really ready for a visit to the entire Tanner bunch since Garrett's release from the hospital meant a time for celebration and good 'ol hanging out Garrard family style.

The entire weekend was great. Granted the trip from Vegas to the Phoenix area is not so great, but I loved every minute of being there (even the skeazy hotel we stayed in had a good breakfast.) The best part for me was seeing how GREAT Garrett looked and getting hugs from him since he can now lift his arms. It was fun laughing and telling stories, catching up a bit, eating yummy treats (thanks to Erin and the Tanner's ward Relief Society), and being together. I know my girls enjoyed playing with their cousins. Here's a few pictures, and a montage of all the weekend goodies.

The moral support team! (minus Stacy and Zoee and baby Gus and Kenna's girls)

And the actual work force (minus Garrett's good friend and his dad who worked on the plumbing.)

Just a funny sign.

Morgan's plumbing shot. Not that I was juvenile to take this picture, but imagine my surprise to lift my camera to capture the action and got this back on my screen. Wowzers!

View this montage created at One True Media
Family Extreme Home Makeover

Thursday, February 21, 2008

To Do Tuesday posted on Thursday

True to form, I underestimated the length of time it took me to finish this week's project. Tuesday night, when I blogged that I would finish it that night, I didn't know A) that I would have to put Brock to bed again and again and again as he's taken to getting up a lot after lights out to tell us it's not bedtime, OR that B) it would take as long as it did for me to put the finishing touches on this project. I had originally thought I'd give this to the boys for Christmas, but when I started sketching on Christmas Eve, it was obvious that this would take a lot longer to complete than a few hours.

SOOO, what did I do? It's a car mat sketched and colored on a 5x5 piece of canvas. My brother-in-law Kevin had told Erin how much he and his brothers loved their car mat and how it was well designed with ample parking, an outer railroad, and houses for your friends, etc. I took note of those priorities and took some pictures of their mat (which is pretty grody considering the years of use) before I started drawing. I also consulted Tyler and he added that he would like a campground, water for fishing, and a golf course. I tried to think of the toy cars my kids already have and knew that we'd need a farm and airport in addition to the standard city buildings. And not to be too prideful, but how great is it that his is compact. It can be folded and stored SOO much easier than some of the other car racetracks, etc. So, without further ado, here's this week's project:

FIRST, an action shot. Not that they look overly excited, but they were. Really. They watched me a lot of the time and driving their cars on the parts I wasn't working on. Not shown in this picture is their older, Nazi-ish sister, Caylee, who loves to dictate how they should pretend and who gets what house and on and on. I swear, I don't know what to do with her sometimes. I told her she had to back off the town since she wasn't the mayor. She didn't get what I was saying and kept on playing/bossing/causing havoc.
Here's an arial view (ie, me standing on our entryway bench.)

And the from the other side of "town."

Just for your detailed viewing pleasure, there is a railroad station, an airport (with landing strip), mountin road that takes you to a campground. The lake (with boat dock) empties into a river that runs through town and backs up to "Tyler's Tee Box," the local golf course. In town we have a residential neighborhood, a fires station, a police station, courthouse/jail, a hospital, a drive-thru restaurant, a school and playground, a supermarket, a church, and a farm. I'm sure I forgot something major, but there is ample parking spots and lots of roads and driveways. I figure they'll make do with what they have. I'm tha-rilled to have this one crossed off the to-do list.

Now, some of you may not be that excited about this, but I have high hopes this will result in moments of solid brotherly playtime and a lot of creativity. I do, also, want to mention that I asked Tyler to help me color it and he refused, but he DID design the golf course. My brother David told me he'd draw some more buildings, but apparantly he's too busy for my craft projects, so he can be credited with the hospital, courthouse/jail, the airport tower, and the drive thru. Go Brlow-ville!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

To Do Tuesday #5

This is not to tease. I am in the middle of a pretty cool to-do today / tonight. I told Brevin I'd finish it before he got up in the morning, so I gotta go work. I'll post pics tomorrow. You should be excited. VERY!

Monday, February 18, 2008


(9/97 [even though this will show up before my #8 post of the carmats. Whatever, 97 posts in 97 days one way or the other, right?!]

So, I thought today would be fitting for a nice look back at our trip to Duck Creek a couple weeks ago. We've had a lot of good memories with the Batt family at their cabins in Duck Creek and the first weekend in February was not different. We left Friday afternoon, and after shopping all over Cedar, we were finally equipped with the necessary snow gear. I don't know if it's because it's a balmy 60-ish degrees today and the sun is shining or what, but looking at these photos makes me want to shiver. Saturday was sun-shiney and the kids played outside and snow-mobiled. Tyler rented a snow-mobile and even took the boys ice fishing on Saturday morning. It was just like old times in their beautifully crafted cabins (WHICH, are for sale, BTW). Mindie and Jared and Mindie's dad have built few cabins right on the edge of the National Forrest and with all the snow, it was really magical. On Sunday, though, after it had been snowing all day on top of the many feet they already had, I was nervous we wouldn't get off the mountain. Sure enough, we drove VERY slowly (it took about an hour to get to Cedar) and drove in a lots of slush and sleet and junk. Here's the pics, of our weekend, in the winter wonderland.

Stuck in meadow on the snowmobiles.

Movies on the couch.
Movies in the theater.
We watched lots of movies, at tons of food (including six things of salsa) and relaxed. The only bad thing was spilling my Coke on my laptop, but I did get my pictures organized and Stacy's scrapbook of her shower put together. I would LOVE to have a place so nice and relaxing to go to whenever we wanted, but for now I'll take any invite we can get. Thanks again, Mindie, Jared, and Jamie. It was great!

Happy President's Day

We had a semi-productive day. We pre-cleaned the house for Paula and all six of us headed out the door for breakfast bright and early on this holiday morning. Last night I created a vision and it didn't go as I had planned, so being a visionary woman, I was a little bugged by the time we walked out the door. Especially since I had wet hair. I spose I shouldn't be complaining as I was all blessed for GETTING to shower today. Wow. Anyhow. We went to Instant Replay off Warm Springs (which DOES do a lovely breakfast) and then headed over to Best Buy to finally get my laptop keyboard fixed. Sure enough Tyler purchased the if-your-wife-does-something-stupid-like-spill-Coke warrantee, but they couldn't guarantee I wouldn't lose any info. I promptly took my laptop home to back up my pictures. So, that took ten minutes out of the day and we took the kids to Exploration Park at Mountain's Edge. It was pretty busy, but we let the kids run around for an hour or so. So, you'd think at this point that the kids would be thinking, "I have the best parents ever for taking me out to eat and to the park on this beautiful President's Day!" Uh, no. Not mine. They were ripped that we made them leave, but since most of them had flip flops on, we figured another time with better shoes would work out. Whatever, sometimes I don't know why we bother.

We tried coming home while Tyler went to get the cars washed, but we ended up at my mom's for a bit. It was there that I realized my kids here my voice too much. They totally tune me out. I am white noise. I am the buzz of an electricity box or wire. I say, "Please pick up your toys" and they think, "I know there's a noise coming from somewhere, but it's not important." I think more than anything I was just out of patience. Sometimes days off don't always feel so relaxing.

Caylee did have dance tonight. I got to go and read my book for an hour of uninterrupted-ness. I left Tyler in charge of dinner and he made a yummy Italian chicken thing. After class, the ever-wonderful Miss Lori came out and sat by me to give me a report. It always make me nervous when she comes out because I never know what gems my girls have shared with her. I guess today they were talking about it being President's Day and them celebrating the President's birthdays. She asked the 5 and 6 year old girls which President's birthday we were celebrating and let the girls all answer. Lori said she was most impressed with Caylee who thought we were celebrating President Uchtdorf's (2nd counselor in the church presidency) birthday. Even more impressive than knowing his name is that she pronounced it correctly, feat that many high councilmen struggle with in the sustaining of church leadership during ward conferences.

And one last presidential note. (I already shared this on a comment on Rick's blog). Last night I went to a church choir practice and in walks this kid I've known for a while, Alan Smith. Alan is probably 6'5", pretty big guy, and he's wearing this big T-shirt with a picture of George W. Bush on it. I laughed at the audacity of not only the T-shirt in the chapel, but what it said: "George W. Bush. [A picture of Bush] Love Him or Hate Him? Either way he's killed a lot of Arabs." Nice, huh.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Running Away

Today was my first week back to church in 5 weeks. Not that I haven't been to church during the week, I've had plenty of meetings, but for the big Sacrament meeting I have been MIA. 5 and 4 weeks ago we had sick kids, 3 weeks ago was ScrapFest, 2 weeks ago the impromptu trip to Duck Creek, and last week was Wicked in CA. I knew it had been a while when people other than Tyler made comments to me this past week. On our way to church Mackenzie says, "Mom, I think this is the first time you've been in our building since we changed to our new time" [at the beginning of the year.] So, it's not that bad, I think I did go once or twice in January.

So we get there and the 70 minutes of Sacrament meeting is a little rough for me. I'm starting to get big enough in my pregnancy that breathing is hard. Just think of little feet and hands being pushed all up in your lung area. And I am really hot, not to look at, but temperature wise. I can't figure if it's from the internal space heater I'm carrying, the warmer temps outside, or all the stares at our bisbehaving kids. well, I should say bisbehaving boys.

Tyler's punishment for being naughty is to hve to do time on their bed when they get home. I don't think that's scary enough because it certainly didn't stop Brock and Brevin from duking it out a few times. Our tactics for defense in Sacrament meeting usually involve each of us at on end of our space on the pew so we can control the exitting. Today, for most of the meeting, Tyler is on one end with the girls and I have the boys. I don't know if that was further strategy on his part, payback for 5 weeks of church without me, or what, but by a half hour through Brevin and Brock had time to serve on their beds. They can't help touching either other. And heaven forbid a car or crayon get knocked on the floor because the retriever gets stepped upon by the other one. Anyway, I finally took Brock out for a talking to and when we came back I passed him off to Tyler. Before I had a chance to get resettled with Brev, Brock is back at our end. I shoot a look to Tyler like, "I'm so over this!" and told him I need help in keeping the two of them apart, so Tyler obediently moves down in between Brevin and Brock. This is great, but gives Brock total exit access. So what would he do? Yeah, that would be run up onto the stand to run amongst the choir seats with his loud heavy feet for the last five minutes of the meeting. I was so perturbed, but I knew if Tyler went for him he'd be running the opposite way. Anyway, so glad I went today. I haven't missed a beat, I guess.

After church mandatory bed-time turned into naps for all of us and what do I dream about? That would be chasing Brock through the choir chairs at church. I s'pose I was having mid-dream guilt about missing ward choir. I really did intend to go, but having to recuperate from hassling with my boys for 70 minutes took more out of me than I inteneded. Sorry Joe! Really, on so many levels.

We gotta get our house picked up and I have another choir practice tonight for The Savior of the World production in April. Woo-hoo, Leslie I know you're jealous-o about right now :) L8R

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Holy Hannah

So, today is make up day. Tyler is out of town on a campout. He fabulously took Brevin with him, so last night I took the girls and Brock over to my mom and dad's for dinner. When we got home and changed into jammies it was bedtime for Brock. So, instead of puttering around like I usually do when Tyler leaves, I went to bed at 8:48pm. I cannot even remember the last time I went to bed that early. The girls stayed up and played Polly Pockets until about 10:20 when Kenzie came to get me to tuck them in to bed. I think I thought for about 2 minutes about blogging and scriptures and weights and decided, NAAAHHHH. I went back to bed. So, Brock and I were up pretty early and I thought I'd finally post about the girls' Hannah Montana concert last month with their dad. Plus, I should post twice today, right?

So, backing this train up a bit . . . Tyler got the girls Hannah Montana tickets for Christmas. The girls were VERY excited for the weeks before and they were creating a whole vision with outfits and makeup and limos. WHAT? Well, as Caylee explained all rock stars go to the show in limos and if Tyler wanted them to dress like Hannah Montana, then surely they'd have to be transported in style. At first we dashed that illusion, but the more Tyler thought about it, the more he thought that would be fun for both the girls AND for himself. He was trying to think and remember, but he couldn't ever remember riding in a limo. So, Saturday, he took his truck to the MGM and parked it there for after the concert. Sydney had spent the night so I suggested she get a ride home from the sleepover in the limo. A couple hours before they left we dolled up the girls with a tich of make-up and their stylish outfits. So, here's the full story with pictures:

Getting ready to go:
Spying the limo. Syd was totally looking for the truck. We thought Caylee would lose it, but it was Kenzie who gushed and squealed.
The limo driver was really sweet and gave each of the girls a rose.
Here's how they left me. They were pretty stoked. The boys and I napped that afternoon; talk about a win/win.
Tyler took these photos in route:
Sparkling cider, so shee shee fru fru:

So, later that night we all met back up at Sweet Tomatoes (the girls' pick) and the girls first words were something like, "Dad got us a t-shirt and cotton candy AND drinks." They were so thrilled and that's why Tyler is the better parent for events like this. I would have been more on the this-concert-is-as-good-as-it-gets.

Good times! I am so blessed to have a good husband who is SUCH a great dad. He doesn't care that he was one of the only dads at the concert or that the screaming was out of control. He even listened to the Hannah Montana and Ally and AJ (the opening act) for a couple weeks before the concert. He recognizes that the joy he brings to his kids is worth more than the money in his bank account.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feelin' the Spirit

So, I have been working on the 97 day challenge and I've been okay with it so far. Last night I headed to bed before Tyler and then I heard him padding in to bed. I hollared out to him not to laugh at me when he came in because I was lifting weights while I was reading my scriptures. Yeah? Whatcha think of those tacos, folks? A little multi-tasking. Instead of reps I was lifting by verses and it seemed to work out. Not that my arms are skinnier, but I am making up some pages on the good 'ol BOM.

Speaking of the scriptures. I do think it's important-tay to focus on applying the scriptures to my own life. So, starting in Nephi it's all about Lehi and his family packing up and heading to the wilderness. I had to laugh to myself in the scripture that reads, "And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness." So, Tyler was in there and I read aloud to him the scripture how it would apply to us ever having to pack up and leave with our family (which I imagine would happen because of some emergency not because our life was being threatened for our beliefs), but I had to change part of it: "And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and his honkin' huge 72-hour kit garbage can, and tents, and departed into the wilderness." A few weeks ago for Family Night we talked about getting a 72 hour kit together and Tyler had this handbook that suggested a garbage can on wheels would be good to hold all the provisions (food, water, clothes, bedding, etc.) in case we had to evacuate quickly. So two weeks ago Tyler goes on Monday night to Wal-Mart with Brevin (who had to return the candy bar he stole . . . does anybody else wonder how futile "Family Night" really is if after weekly lessons on righteous living your 4 year old steals a Hershey Bar? Just curious, but I digress.) and the two of them bring home this honkin' huge garbage can. I am not kidding when I tell you that two of our kids can sleep in this thing if it's tipped on it's side. At first I was thinking, "WOW," but Tyler's rationale is that we have a lot of people we need a big can. Well, Monday night's project was to add the water to the can. Yeah, 14 gallons of water is HEAVY and I basically had to put my foot down about leaving all that water out of the can. I mean, yeah, it fits, but WHO CAN LIFT the packed garbage can into the car? I'm guessing there are pretty good odds that Tyler wouldn't be home when/if we ever had to leave quickly and I could just envision myself unpacking the whole dang can just so I can lift it in the car. Rest assured, though, Tyler did listen to me and has the water stacked to be put in the car seperately. He also made sure the big ol can will fit in the car, and it will with some shimmy technique. I can't be more sincere when I say, "Please spare us from any kind of evacuation disaster!!!" By the end of the 26 weeks (the FHE program is called 26 weeks to family preparedness) this can may be the death of me!

On a different note, sorta. I thought I should tell you how GREAT it is when Caylee gives you a shout out in her daily prayers. She has started praying for us with our "nicknames" which is really just someone/thing you really like. The first time she did it I had to have her repeat who she blessed as she rattled off, "Please bless Spiderman, Obe Kanobe, Sharpay, and Hannah Montana." She explained they were code names for the kids in the family. After my weekend away to see Wicked, loving it so much, I am now reference in Caylee's prayers as "Wicked." And Tyler became "Golf" this morning since he was headed out to play with some other guys from work. Silly girl.

A couple other things before I head to bed. Some of you have asked about my printing my blog. I know there are websites that can do that for you now (my SIL says it doesn't support Old Blogger, though), but I just did mine the old fashioned copy and paste into a Word Document. YEah, I am simple like that. I shrunk some of the pictures, but printed most of them. I saved the docs by month so the files wouldn't be too big with pics and all. They months averaged about 15-25 regular 8 1/2 x 11 pages. I just hole punched them and put them in a 3 ring binder. I guess depending on how much a person blogs would determine the size of the binder, but my 2007 pretty much fills up a 1 1/2 inch binder. It's been more of a journal than I thought.

Secondly, without publicly outing anyone, I just want to CONGRATULATE a couple of our friends who are GONNA HAVE BABIES. I am totally happy for you and your families, and I know you like to read in private and not comment too much, so I won't out you or anything, but WOO-HOO. I really hope you're feeling good. Just think, ladies, a couple more kiddos and you'll be hanging in Crazy-ville with the Barlow 7! Love to y'all!

OH, and Happy Valentine's Day Lovers!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"For the first time in my life I feel WICKED!"


I know some of you have seen "Wicked" and most who read this blog have probably already read Erin's recap of our "Totally Wicked" weekend in southern California, but I HAVE to add my two cents about how fab-u the whole experience was for me. Yes, the play was amazing . . . sooo great to finally understand the whole story and not just love the music. I've been listening to the CD for some time now, especially since almost all my other CDs were stolen last year. I enjoyed many things about the weekend, many guilty pleasures, many wicked things (if you will.) I just thought I'd list some of my wickedness from the weekend.

#1 Retail therapy. Once I knew our reservation was cancelled on Saturday night (thanks to the hospitality of Chez Montoya) I figured I could indulge in the most darling-est pair of shorts for baby #5, that weren't on the sale rack. That's right, I branched out from the Clearance rack to find these cute little plaid pair of shorts. I would show them to you, but I don't want to ruin the "AWE" factor when I get baby boy's pictures taken with his siblings. Because, HELLO, if I'm gonna indulge in cute shorts for one, then I HAVE to get coordinating outfits that are equally cute for the other kids. SO naughty. I know. Here's some pics of our haul. (Erin did really well with her bargain finds, which is why she looks so happy. . . more bang for your buck, and we all know how Erin appreciates more bang, right?) Oh, and after we hit Old Navy Outlet we went into the Gap next door. I asked the lady up front if there was a maternity section and she said, "oh, no, I'm sorry." I assured her it was okay, just askin', etc. when she asked me how far a long I was. I told her 6 months and then she said, "Is this your first?" "Nope, fifth." Okay, so the shock value is kind of hard to explain on the woman's face, but I suffice to say, she through her hands up in the air and turned around to lean against the table she was standing by. She was halfway through a "Oh My Lordie" when I said, "Yeah, just can't stop myself." I mean, what are you supposed to say when you about knock people off their feet with being a breeding beast.

#2. Once we got to downtown L.A. (6 miles from the theater) Erin and I partook in the sin of being slothful. Yeah, check us girls into a hotel and let us lounge around watching a little CNN and we were both on board. I guess we kind of underestimated Friday night traffic in L.A. because we ended up having to eat at Popeye Freakin' Chicken on Hollywood Blvd. NICE, huh?! I guess for every sin there IS a consequence. There was this couple of guys that were looking for some place to eat; Erin and I followed them down the street and past a couple of real dives to get to Popeye's. They came in, went out, went across the street, came back to Popeye's, stood around, but just couldn't bring themselves to do it. I think they committed to the Pizzeria across the street. We did enjoy some good people watching as many people were walking up and down Hollywood Blvd. BUT, having lazed around once, we didn't want to be late to the show and headed back to the Pantages Theater. Here's some pics of our culinary delights. OH, Darrington clan, Popeye's is a Pepsi-serving establishment. Hmmm. What does that tell us?

#3. Good old self-indulgement. Or, as the case may be Santa/Tyler-indulgement. Yes, totally forked over too much for the colored brochure AND a I {heart} Oz T-shirt AND two waters. I laughed and cried and tried to count how many times I got the chills, but seriously lost track. The actors were amazing and I even felt like we got a personal nod from Fiyero at the end of the show when he acknowledged his entertainment-lawyer-friend Colin that we had met before the show, who was sitting right behind us. We weren't above a little butt-kissing either with Colin in hopes we could get back stage. That didn't work out, but still the show was great. And the theater itself (with GREAT seats) was beautiful. I guess they had the Academy Awards there once and it was all gilded and perty and stuff. Anyway, the talent is unbelievable and WHAT A JOB that would be.

I said Friday night a billion times, "I am soo freakin' excited." And the fact that we got to sleep in on Saturday morning just added to the bonus-ness of the weekend. Despite the police sirens (since we were right next door to the L.A. police headquarters) we slept in uninterrupted until 9:30am. By noon we were off to The Grove for lunch and . . . whatever struck our fancy. So, #4's sin, NOT missing my kids that much. It's hard to feel bad when they have a rockin' dad who's doing fun things like picnics at the park and a soccer game, and then movie night with popcorn, etc. I loved being able to sit at the French Steakhouse for 2 hours enjoying the beautiful weather and people watching (*Note* a little more classy at The Grove than at Popeye's on Hollywood). Erin and I then went to see "Juno" since I've been really wanting to see it and I would like to see it again cuz it was FUN-NAY!

(That's the Hollywood sign from the parking garage at The Grove.)

(Moules. aka Mussels. Yum.)

#5 Cursing the traffic in California. I could not believe how long getting out of L.A. took! Erin asked, at one point, if I thought we had passed Anaheim and I all-confidently answered that surely we had by this point. Yeah, ten minutes later we saw the Disneyland exits. I got pretty frustrated many times and may have let an expletive fly here and there. We were headed to Costa Mesa to visit Moana and her baby Ocean (BYU BFF) when Erin reminded me we needed gas. We totally had driven the whole way from Vegas on one tank and through eeking traffic in LA to FINALLY notice the guage was below the "E" and who knows how long the get-gas light had been on. Yeah, I remember for sure I let a "Oh $h!*" out before praising the Lord for not letting us run out on the freeway. Anyway, after gas we got to see Moana's place (so great!) and visit for a while. She gave me some cute outfits for baby #5, but mostly it was great to see her. She always makes me laugh and maybe one day she'll really come visit me in Vegas. HINT HINT MO! Thanks to the lady's voice that works the navigtion system we were able to get to San Clemente to visit the best family ever.

So, #6, obviously is PRIDE. I can't say enough how much I love my family. Julie and Mark were so great to let us crash on their comfy couch AND keep them up until 4am-ish. Aunt Clo and Uncle Chuck drove down from Anaheim and visited with us until way late, as did Lisa from southern Encinitas. We totally ate a bag of Tootsie rolls (thought of you Jer) as an appetizer for Sonny's Pizza and I would have to add it to the must-eat-eries. Anyway, it was great to catch up and congratulate cousin Alexa on being THE best solo dancer in the regional competition. Plus, Devon from AZ is living in CA and Brandon, Anneka, and baby Cannon came over to go to dinner with us. It was just great and SANS kids makes any meal taste better. Who doesn't love not having to cut someone else's food before digging in. And the food was YUMMY AND a Pepsi establishment, too. What does that tell you?

Here's the cutest: great grandma Clo canoodling Cannon while grandma Julie holds him. Yeah, I know you can't believe that we're looking at three generations since they all look so amazingly young and beautiful? Again, can I say how great it is to be in my family???

And from dinner:

Brandon, Anneke, and Lisa

Morgan, Devon, and Chloe (yes, the cousin crush lives on with Chloe and Devon.)

My cute Aunt Clo and Uncle Chuck.

Julie and Mark. Uber cool. I've mental noted a ka-jillion parenting/attitude tips from the two of them over the years.

My sister and me. {Love ya girl!}

So, Sunday once we could drag ourselves off the couch we headed home. We ended up #7 breaking the Sabbath by meeting Daniel and David for lunch at Chilis in someplace. I don't know half the places we were most of the weekend because we just put in the address and the lady got us there. It was good to see Daniel since he's baled on us Vegas-ites for CA. In all fairness he's happy and productive and whatever, so we could enjoy hanging out and not being bitter about his move. Anyway, here's all of us nice and fed before we hit the road again.

Anyway, that's my list of 7 wickednesses. And it was totally worth it. I loved hangin with my sister. I imagine one day it won't be so easy, and I am greatful for Tyler being so willing to send me on my way. One day I'll get him to a Broadway show and away for our own wickedness, but for right now, this was just right. I highly recommend the weekend to any of you out there who made it through this blog. Til 3/97 :)