This year we were so grateful that the Mohlers, my parents, the Cupits, the Batts, the Childs, and our brothers, David and Brandon were able to join us. Tyler brined a 25lb. turkey for 36 hours before roasting it and then cooked two other breasts on his rotisserie outside. Erin brought the yummiest mashed potatoes and rolls. My mom brought our family's traditional jello salads. Even better, though, Mom made the gravy. What's Thanksgiving without gravy? I know, right?! My dearest friend, Barb, brought all sorts of goodies with 3 delish pies and an appetizer dip that was pretty much cleaned out. Terry totally showed up with her stuffin' (and Matt, her other stuffin'.) I wish I would have gotten a picture of all the food, but there was tons and I feasted on leftovers all weekend. Thanks again everyone.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
So, yeah, I haven't been posting too much lately. I've been trying to be productive during my day and sitting down to blog at the computer usually ends up with me wasting a lot of time perusing facebook, my email, and other people's blogs. Sooo, instead I've been prepping for today and trying to maintain my house for the after-thanksgiving-events. What might those be, you ask? We have a wonderful tradition in my family that right after Thanksgiving dinner is finished, Tyler packs up the kids and takes them camping until Saturday. It started several years ago when I announced I'd be doing most of our holiday shopping on Friday and Saturday. He deduced it would be worthy of a campout if he was going to be stuck at home watching the kids anyway, and OH THE BEAUTY of that plan. BECAUSE that leaves me with about 36 hours of time in my own house to get stuff done. Now, I know many of you are not Black Friday shoppers, but I kinda enjoy it. I love the rush of blowing a crap-load of money all in one day (as opposed to my normal nickel-and-dime approach.) There's other things, too, that I love that USED to be marked by Black Friday, like the beginning of the Christmas season, but APPARENTLY, someone forgot to tell every stinkin' retailer about that unwritten rule because THEY all kicked it off the day after Halloween this year. And that bugs me. I kinda feel like Thanksgiving is that unwanted stepchild who gets in the way of the fancier, glittzier sibling of Christmas. But you know what? I think Thanksgiving has feelings and we should not ignore it. Don't clearance all the "fall" stuff November 1st! Don't start decking your halls and finishing your Christmas shopping (those people kinda stress me out . . . ERIN!) I'm just sayin'. I have held fast to my anti-Christmas-until-Thanksgiving-is-over philosophy (well, mostly. I'll admit I do listen to 106.5 in the car every now and then to see if I can catch a good Christmas tune since they're already playing it 24hours a day.) So, mostly my big plans for the weekend are to decorate and to shop. And to wrap. And to make my Christmas cards. (Which, btw, I totally appreciate all the opinions in the card picture vote. Tyler and I are now, still, happily married.) All of a sudden 36 hours isn't feeling long enough.
And in other random news:
**My Thanksgiving list has faltered. I have such good intentions, then I beat myself up over failing at my blog goals, then I decide that's one thing I have to let go, but then I find myself making lists of things I'm grateful for . . . so I can blog them. It's kinda a disease.
**I had an altercation with another mom at preschool yesterday. Long story short, I parked where I wasn't supposed to under pressure from my 5 year old to get closer to the door because of the rain. My big, 'ol car with it's loud 'ol engine scared this little sister of another preschooler when she walked out the door, so her mom totally wigged out on me. AFTER I said I was sorry. She totally was yelling at me like I was her kid or something and THAT irritated me, so I finally just hollered, "CALM DOWN!" After preschool, I sought her out and apologized for freaking her out that morning and instead of just graciously accepting my 2nd apology for the incident, she continued to tell me what I had done wrong. I was kinda proud of myself for not being snarky (which was my first idea) or defensive (which was my second reaction). It did make me wonder why she would be freaking out, though. Did she really think I intended to hit another kid? Because I'm pretty sure me dropping of my two preschoolers would indicate I have small kids too, whom I also love. I think she must have forgotten that when she accused me of being reckless and careless and "that just brought out that side of [her]" that yells at another mom. Please. Spare your energy, you unhappy woman who needs to shave your mustache. And have a happy freakin' Thanksgiving weekend!
**My kids are doing really well. LOL. I can say that since they're all sweetly sleeping. Caylee and Mackenzie brought home straight-A report cards and I love that. Neither of them are loving math, so I was really proud of them for eeking out A's in the number department as well. I'm getting used to the boys, which probably sounds funny, but it's been an adjustment to have the girls gone at school all day and just have my little guys to tend to. I find my days are all about getting rid of their energy so I don't want to hog-tie them by the end of the afternoon. Brevin and Brock are loving preschool and the daycare at the gym. I've noticed lately that Brevin has been more of a homebody, but I think it's because he wants to watch Cartoon Network, which he now knows how to turn the channel to all by himself. (See the milestones we're reaching at the Barlow house?!) The problem (er, I mean bonus) of having a surprise 5th baby is that now I have 2 mamma's boys. Brock, for 2 1/2 years, was our baby and my little man. Now that Briggs is here, he, too, is my biggest fan, so while Brevin sneaks off to watch TV, I'm usually trying to convince Brock to self-entertain while I tend to Briggs.
**And, oh, that Briggs. He is sooo sweet. My dear friend, Angela, posted some REALLY cute pictures of Briggs at 6 months, HERE! Go look real quick because he's pretty yummy. At his 6 month check he was 19 lbs. and carting him around is catching up with me, but I love me a big boy baby. All smushy and squishy. He likes to sit and play with his toys and/or anything he can grab. And yes, he has the quickest hands in the west. The other night he yanked Tyler's dinner bowl right off the table and into Tyler's lap. I keep thinking he'll figure out he can crawl, but I'm not overly encouraging it because then we'll have to have a lego-moratorium for a bit and that will prove to be catastrophic for the older kids. He's FINALLY eating baby food, but still being a stinker about taking a bottle. When I try he just looks at me with a, "Are you kidding me lady?" look and the formula dribbles out of his mouth. Does anyone have any tips on how to wean from the breast to the bottle? Cuz I am ready to be done. He's already nursed longer than Caylee, Brev and Brock and considering the pace we keep, it'd be nice if others in the family could help provide his liquid nourishment. Not to mention he's become quite aware of his surroundings and when he gets a hankering to check out which kid is making noises whilest he's eating, Briggs just yanks my nipple with him while he turns around. Ouch, right! And yes, TMI!
Brevin's soccer season ended. I can't remember if I mentioned that or not, but it did. YAY. Thanks to Coach Webb! He put in tons of time that beyond his already full schedule and I really appreciate his kind, loving nature. Brevin had a great time.
**I was gonna do a blog about the family history family home evening we did the other night. It was fun and I think it'll be something we do monthly so the kids can learn more about their heritage. (Good idea Mom!)
**And finally, on this Thanksgiving morn, I want to let my family know how grateful I am for all of them. We met on Sunday with Tyler's family and today most everyone will come to our house from my side. Of course, I've missed/will miss spending time with Grandpa Bruce and Nate's family and Elder Mike, but I love them all the same. Here's Dodie with all her grandkids (mine are the cute ones and the big onry one in front . . .j/k Mindie, Amy, and Lex!)
I'm incredible blessed by my Heavenly Father to have a wonderful family and great friends. I'm so thankful for each of them and the light they bring into my life. Words can never express the gratitude I have, specifically, for my husband and my kids. They make me better than I could ever be by myself. I've been so blessed to have family who are my bestest friends.
I'm eternally grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the gospel my Heavenly Father has allowed me to have in my life. I'm thankful for the stories of testimony I have read and heard that strengthen my own. And I'm grateful for a sure knowledge that transcends just faith that I am a daughter of God; that He loves me; that I can return to live in His presence again; and that I will have my family with me forever.
I'm grateful, this year, for Tyler's job in these financial stressful times; a church calling which adds water to my well; our home and the nice things in it that convenience my life; girls nights out; date nights (especially with good friends); a baby that was not planned, but evidence that God does know what we need in our lives to make us happier and better; and for good books.
***BONUS FEATURE*** Just as I was getting ready to post this, my dad called and told me to go outside with my camera to face the western sky. And this is the gem I found.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I told you, Daniel, I had some treasures that I unburied in my garage! Daniel and I coached a soccer team of little 'uns circa 1989. I can't remember any of the kids' names, but I do remember being at the games every Saturday morning. I was probably more concerned with the cute referrees than I was winning our games. Truth be told, a couple of years later when I tried out for soccer my freshman year in High School, having never actually played soccer before, it was probably me explaining to the HS coaches that I had "coached" a young team and had an understanding of the game that got me onto the team. (I have to believe I squeaked by that initial tryout.) Anyway. Good times. And see, I made it through the post without mentioning your super-sweet transition glasses. Love ya!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This morning I was up early, to prepare a lesson, and I remembered to turn on “Music and the Spoken Word” on KBYU. I don’t know what it is about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday mornings, but I was lovin’ it! And as a bonus, there was this whole patriotic theme going on to celebrate Veteran’s Day. In the dialogue part of the show, the narrator explained how Veteran’s Day came to be and when President Eisenhower declared the November 11th to be the assigned day. I didn't realize it started in 1954. Anyhow, Eisenhower spoke of our heritage of freedom, the enduring peace we have enjoyed because of our veterans, and how our soldiers are brave, selfless, and honorable. I was really struck by how grateful I am for those who have served in our military (or who are currently doing so.) One of the last songs the choir sang was a number called, “Distant Land” by John Rutter and accompanying the music was a picture montage of servicemen and women doing what they do. I found so many of the pictures touching, starting with a picture of 2 women standing side-by-side, one holding a baby, both looking out at a big military ship. To see the hard-working, tough-looking soldiers extending their hands to a child, with their gun slung over their shoulder was particularly touching. And I loved the still photos of a soldier praying or looking out at a foreign sunset. Anyway, I was so enthralled by that whole thing I had to DVR it so I could re-watch it again and again. So, today, I am grateful for those who have served our country.
P.S. My friend, Dylan had this AMAZING video on his blog. Since I can't figure how to just have the video embedded, here's the link: SUPER COOL VIDEO or (if that doesn't work) just click on Dylan's name and watch it on his blog. Super cool.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I'm grateful for sweet, dignified concession speeches. I'm grateful to be touched by the inspiring words of a new president. I'm grateful my girls have had opinions about the presidency race . . . and even grateful that they aren't the same opinions as each other's or (in Kenzie's case, at least) as mine. I'm grateful for late night chat-sessions with Daniel and Erin to discuss all things hardly even political. And I'm grateful that even though I will be dead tired for being up 'til 1:30am tonight, that tomorrow will be one heck of a day in our world!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Caylee wanted to be a witch, but a cool witch. Not a scary witch.
And Kenzie opted for a devil. Her favorite part was the peep-toe sparkle shoes which she is already wanting to wear to church now that Halloween has passed. Wonderful.
Here's Brock and Brevin in their Spiderman and Clone Trooper costumes before their preschool party.
Here's all of them together before my sister's trunk-r-treat on Wednesday. Our ward does theirs on the night of Halloween and I think that's LAME. There, I said it. I hate that we miss it, but since we have our own family tradition, we miss it every year. Thanks, Erin, for the invite. And hats off to the Stonegate ward and Desert Bloom branch for their great party!
Thursday the girls had their school parties and a costume parade. My girls go to "sister schools" which means they share the same parking lot, but one school has K-2 (Wiener . . . yes, Wiener.) and the other one has 3-5 (Hill.) Usually they're pretty good about not scheduling things at the exact same time so parents can support both kids, but not this time. Soo, I missed Kenzie's fashion, er, I mean costume show, but here's cute Caylee:
Friday being Nevada Day AND Halloween was especially great cuz the kids were out of school and Tyler was off work. Tyler spent the day cooking chili and I cleaned the house to get ready for our annual chili cook-off. This year we had 4 entries and all the flavor-layering Tyler did must have worked because he won the title by a slim margin. We enjoyed having the Webb family, the Cox family, the J. Barlow family, the Laytons, the Mohler group, the Christiansen clan, Grandma Dodie, Kyla, (Kenzie's friend from school), and the N. Garrard family over for a good dinner, some donut-on-a-string eating, and then to hit the neighborhood for some candy-collecting. I think everyone had a good time; I sure loved having everyone over for the night :) PS, I especially enjoyed the white Christmas lights Mackenzie and I hung. It kinda got me looking forward to the holiday decorating.
*Notice above- the super-crafty-cute chocolate covered spiders my brother-in-law made.
And finally, here's a group of all the kids, well, minus Gus who was still changing into his penguin suit: