Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here We Come A Caroling!



For family home evening on Monday night we got all bundled up in our winter clothes, put Emmy holding Lilly in a sled and walked through our neighborhood and sang Christmas Carols to some of our neighbors. Despite how cold it was, we all stayed pretty warm and afterwards we went to some friends' house to have hot cocoa. While we were there the kids got to act out the Nativity. Emmy played an angel and Carter was a wiseman/shepard. We all had a good time and then the rest of this week happened.
So far Ashton, Lilly, Jaron and Emmy have been sick with a variety of things from high fevers with headache (Emmy), to a sore throat (Jaron), to high fevers with vomiting (Lilly and Ashton). Carter and I are the only holdouts up till now, but that could easily change before tommorow. Anyway, we are all going to bed early tonight (at about 7). Hopefully we can all get healthy again before family arrives for Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One more video. . .

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Warning: This one really skips around!

We've had a busy week and I have been taking lots of pictures and videos to document it, so here it goes.

Ashton and Carter had to go into the dentist to get some dental work done. Ashton, of course, was not planning on cooperating, so the dentist gave me a prescription that I would give to him at the dentist office just before his treatment that would put him into a light sleep and help him relax and not fight. In the morning I told him not to eat or drink anything and when he asked why Jaron explained him to that he had to go to the dentist and that they were going to put him to sleep so he wouldn't see anything, but that he couldn't eat before he went to sleep. Ashton quickly replied, "I don't want them to put me to sleep! I know how to go to sleep by myself! See!" and he proceeded to "sleep" while he stood there, complete with snoring. When we got to the dentist, I gave him his medicine and he spit it all out. Needless to say he ended up getting a shot instead, and he wished very much that he would have just swallowed the yucky medicine.

I babysat for my friend this week and our children made up a crazy little dance, so I put the video of it at the end of this blog. We also made some Christmas cookies tonight. I had to get the kids out of my hair, so I made a double batch of dough and gave each of them a small ball to roll out and cut. Then they decorated their own cookies. I still haven't made the rest of the dough, I will probably do that when I don't have quite so much "help".

We got a ton of snow today. It started at about 4 o'clock in the morning, just as I was beginning to deliver my paper route. It really dumped in a short amount of time and my route has a ton of hills in it, some of which took me several tries to make it up. I picked up Carter half-way through so he could help me get papers from the back of the car so I wouldn't waste so much time getting in and out. He was a great helper and he is always fun to have along. I didn't get done until 9 so I was late for church and I was supposed to give the opening prayer in sacrament. Luckily Jaron wasn't working this morning, so he took the other kids and said the prayer for me.

Lilly discovered how to go down the steps tonight, so I also put a video of that on. I would like to say more and take more time to elaborate on the hilarious things that Ashton did this week, but I always find that when I sit down to blog about it, I just want to get it done quickly so I can get on to other stuff I have to do.



















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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Barbie Nativity. . . by Emmy


Emmy wanted to decorate her room for Christmas and she chose to make a Barbie Nativity scene. It was pretty cute.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Piles of Leaves!



So I finally got around to raking up all of the leaves in the backyard today. (I know, it's December and I am just raking the leaves. . .) When I was a kid and I was forced to do yard work, I remember fantasizing that the only reason my parents ever had children was so that they wouldn't have to do any work around the house, they pretty much just wanted free labor. I am finally realizing just how off the mark I really was with that idea. I made my kids come out and help me today, and by the look and sound of things out there you would think that I had specifically designed a torture session for them. I included all of the very worst things imaginable to my children like boredom, manual labor, crisp (not cold!) weather, (they would have complained if it was hot too, cleaning (putting all the backyard toys up for the winter), getting dirty. . . (heaven forbid you ever have to touch a wet, dirty leaf that has been on the ground! -- this would have been good if it had involved playing)and the worst of all is that I didn't let them take any breaks at all!!! (you actually have to start working in the first place so that you CAN take a break!)

At any rate, 4 hours, 3 tantrums, 2 garbage cans full and 1 grounding later. . . we are done with the backyard. I did have to ground Emmy from the computer to put a stop to her whining, but I also allowed the kids to jump in a pile of leaves for a little while and I got some fun pictures of them. ENJOY!

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Update. . .

My blog is in desperate need of an update, so here it is. . .
This is the only picture I have of Carter's Birthday, so here he is blowing out his candles when turning the big 6!




This is Ashton when we were packing for what was supposed to be a week long trip where I went to Boise to visit one of my friends who just had her first baby. I ended up having a horrible cold, then Lilly got an ear infection, Carter got pink-eye, then Ashton got an ear infection and Emmy got a sore throat. It was probably a really good decision NOT to go to Boise. We did go to Pocatello for a few days, so here are some pictures of that.

Lilly got really tired waiting for me to finish packing, and when Emmy sat down in the chair with her it didn't take long before she was sound asleep =0)

We had great time. Ashton spent the night at "Grandmas Raes" while Emmy, Lilly, Carter and I stayed at Angie's house. I didn't want to end up in the E.R. and all it takes is one night sleeping in the same house with a dog and Carter's asthma kicks into high gear. I got to visit with Wendi for about an hour Sunday morning before she had to leave to head back to Boise (she was in town for Thanksgiving). I was hoping I would be able to hook up with the other Poky gals, but ended up going home early because everyone was sick (sorry for sharing the joy Grandma Rae).

The kids had a great time playing with Logan and Alyssa, they haven't seen them for awhile and they feel like family to us, so it is always good to see them. Carter told me on the way to their house that "Friends live close and cousins live really far away!" I told him, in his case, that was true. He has one cousin living in Pocatello and the rest are in Northern Idaho and Florida! Emmy told me that lots of her friends at school live really close to their cousins and get to play with them all the time, and she wished we lived closer to Ally. All I could tell her is that you never know, we aren't through moving yet, and maybe we will end up closer to her cousins (probably not, but it never hurts to give them hope =0) She did get excited when I told her that we may try to stay close to Grandma and Grandpa Hamblin when they come home from their mission. She is already making plans to ride her bike to their house and help Grandma make squash pie. I think she thinks that all Grandma lives for is to make squash pies for her!

Anyway, on Monday night Carter finally got to spend some solo time with Gramma Kristi and Grandpa Brent. He had been looking forward to staying there by himself for a few days, but I was to the point where I just wanted to go home. He was really upset, but I bribed the kids to come home early by telling them we would decorate for Christmas if we went home that night. (They were going to go home regardless, but at least this way they did it willingly =0) Carter got to play the fishy game on gramma's computer, and he played a few games of pool with Grandpa Brent. He LOVES playing pool with grandpa. We also got to see Katie and Clinton and Corgin, and man is that kid a mover! He was walking all over the place and he is just adorable. Katie and Clinton's new house is beautiful and I have to admit that I am slightly jealous. I would love to settle down into a new home and know that I was going to live there for more than one year at a time.

On Monday while we were in Pocatello, I took Emmy to my old store, Angie and Marin are still running it, to buy a baptism dress. Angie and Alyssa came along and Emmy and Alyssa must have tried on every single dress in that store together. They had a blast and each of them finally picked out a baptism dress. I know it's a few months away, but our trips to Pocatello are so few and far between, I wanted to make sure that we could pick one up while we were there. The dress is beautiful, but it hangs clear down to the floor (which is why Emmy LOVES it!- - she likes her dresses to go clear to the floor for some reason)

We are gearing up for Christmas. We have our tree up and a few presents under it already that the kids are giving to each other. Surprisingly Lilly hasn't even come close to bothering the tree or the presents. I wonder how long that will last?

On a more somber note, while I was at my mom's house my Uncle Larry called and informed us that one of my cousin-in-laws committed suicide. He was one of the few cousins that I actually knew. He was an ob-gyn in Las Vegas and has a beautiful family. We got to spend some time with them this spring when Casey got married. He was such an incredible guy, so friendly and family oriented. This was a complete shock and for the last several nights I have been having some really strange dreams regarding suicide. I have never had anyone I knew commit suicide and it really makes you think. Why? I know that is the question everyone would like answered, but it seems to have so many facets to it. It makes me a little nervous with my husband. He is doing really well on his medication right now, but I have seen him hit some really low times, and the worry that his medication may quit working or something might go wrong just became a lot more real. I don't know what I would do without him.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Slacker Mom

Sunday was Carter's 6th birthday! Happy Birthday Carter, even if I am a slacker mom and I didn't blog about it then. . . even worse I don't have any pictures to post from it. We took him and the other kids to Chuck E. Cheese's on Friday and his Grandma Kristi and Grandpa Brent came down to celebrate with us. Sunday we made him a cake and let him blow out the candles. He tells me he loves being 6.

Yesterday we had our Thanksgiving dinner. We had to have it early since Jaron works on Thursday. We had our friends Nicole and Kurt and their kids come over to share the dinner with us and then we played Settlers of Catan while the kids ran around the house. It was by far the most simple Thanksgiving dinner we have ever had, but it was fun and amazingly we didn't use every dish in our kitchen!

I saw the Twilight movie with Jaron and his mom last Friday and Jaron and I both liked it. I don't know if seeing the movie without reading the books first would have sold me on the Twilight series, but I did enjoy the movie after reading the books.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is Funny!

This is a funny spoof on the twin-tween-obsessions of Twilight and High School Musical.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv4SCfEuYqg

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lilly trying to walk. . .

I haven't blogged for awhile and I haven't posted on Lilly for even longer. Here are a few pictures of her. In the first ones she was so tried that she would crawl a few feet, then lay down, then crawl a little more etc. The video is her trying to walk, she has managed to take about 5 steps to make it to the couch. Emmy and Carter are so excited for her to really start walking.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Random thoughts about racoon survival


It seems that modern day racoons are facing a conundrum when it comes to survival. These nocturnal bandits are known for eating our garbage and making lovely messes everywhere they go (they remind me of my kids). I am thinking that if our diets are causing coronary problems and heart disease in us, it must be affecting these creatures in the same way. Has anyone ever run blood tests and checked their blood pressure to see just how unhealthy they are because of their newly (as in the last hundred years or so) acquired diet?


It is not actually the diet that really concerns me, it is the obesity problem. I know, I know, racoons are SUPPOSED to get all fat and stuff to make it through the winter, but I have noticed on my paper route that the really fat ones waddle across the road at a much slower pace than their thinner counterparts. The ratio of fat dead racoons on the road vs. the skinny ones is skewed heavily toward the fat ones (and yes, I am taking into account bloating). It is ironic that the ones that manage to eat more garbage than the others would typically survive longer, but in our urbanized environment, they are dying earlier deaths and therefore maybe not passing on the superior genetic material that results in fat, happy racoons.


No, I don't have an answer to this problem for racoons, except to maybe use sidewalks and crosswalks vs. playing chicken with cars that are out at 3 in the morning delivering newspapers. Lucky for all the racoons that I have met, I have quick reflexes and manage to avoid sending them to an early grave. For all those to have been so unfortunate as to have lost the chicken war with the cars they were playing with, a moment of silence please.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Christmas Tag

If I could have a wish for Christmas that was priceless, what would it be?

Our whole family would have all of our dental work done, and I would have a maid and someone to do the laundry! Oh, and to wake up and miraculously have lost 60 lbs. would be nice too =0)

What would I ask Santa for if money were no object?

A brand new, paid for house!

What are 5 things I would like for Christmas?

1. A karoke machine
2. shelfreliance canned goods storage found here http://www.shelfreliance.com/shop/listing/50
3. new jeans (I am down to one pair that is way too big)
4. a nice relaxing massage
5. new music for my computer or my ipod shuffle thingy

GrocerySmarts!!!


I have made a new discovery that I am so excited about! With the economy going the way it is and having to tighten our belts a little I have become more aware of ways to save money that I would never have considered before. Coupon-ing is my new thing and I LOVE IT! I started out by trying to cut out coupons and use them the way I thought people did, but I quickly discovered that I was wasting my time trying to figure out which products I wanted, cutting the coupons, holding up the line at the store and then really not saving any money. In short I HATED it and decided it was not worth my time and effort just to save 30 cents on a product.


A few days after giving up the coupon thing I was at the newspaper depot folding my papers when the ladies were around me started talking about a website they used that helped them save a ton of money on groceries. I told them I hated coupons and they assured me that this was so easy that even I would like it. They gave me the website address and the passport code to get in. http://www.grocerysmarts.com/ passport# g84cht . My friend Sara also told me that they give free classes to learn how to do it. When she started telling me that she was saving about 80% on her grocery bill I got interested. I looked at the website and didn't really get what I was looking at so then asked Sara about the class and she told me she would have one at her house so I could come learn. THANK YOU SARA!!!


I was blown away by the class! I was taught the easiest way to use coupons in conjunction with the free website and I am so excited by the results that I just had to share. Unfortunately grocerysmarts is only in Utah and Las Vegas for the time being, but they are planning on expanding in the future. At any rate, this method allows me to not only buy name brand food at a fraction of the cost, but for the first time in my adult life I am building a food storage! This is absolutely thrilling to me! I have never managed to build a food storage because of the cost, sometimes we barely had enough money to eat as it was. The way this works, it will take me about 3 to 4 months to build a comprehensive base for my food storage that has everything we need in it, (this is because all the items in a grocery store go on sale in a 3 to 4 month cycle and you only buy things on sale and with a coupon) and then it will just grow from there. OK, so enough story, I want to share the results of my last shopping trip!


This is what is in the picture above:

29 Cans of Progresso Soup
12 boxes of Hamburger Helper
7 boxes of cereal (the good kind my kids love)
7 cans of Betty Crocker frosting
5 boxes of cake
4 boxes of brownies
4 large cans of Carnation evaporated milk
3 boxes of Progresso chicken broth
2 boxes of Culinary Circle entertainment crackers (vegetable)
2 bottles of All Small & Mighty detergent (32 loads per bottle)
2 Digiorno Stuffed crust pizzas

Grand Total before coupons: $276.40
What I actually PAID: $48.88
TOTAL SAVINGS: $227.52

AMAZING!! And this is all stuff I actually use! This was actually my third shopping trip using grocerysmarts so I had Emmy run downstairs to the pantry to count up some of the things we are starting to build in our storage. So far we have over 20 boxes of cereal, over 30 jars of baby food, 10 liters of pop, tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes galore, over 30 cans of vegetables, several bags of frozen vegetables and frozen skillet meals, a growing supply of flour and sugar, and all of this for less than $150.00 total. My food storage was completely non-existent just 2 weeks ago. Also, it takes all of 2 minutes to file my coupons and about 20 minutes to get ready for a shopping trip, including cutting the coupons.

WOOHOO!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Emmy's Sewing Skills . . .

Emmy is really enjoying her sewing machine, she loves to make outfits for herself and her friends. Yesterday I was taking my Sunday nap and she came in to tell me that her bobbin was jammed and she needed help. I told her she had to wait for me to get up and low and behold I wake up and she had fixed the bobbin on her own and had finished sewing herself a nurses outfit to play in. Unfortunately she hasn't learned to sew sleeves or anything but a tube skirt yet, so her nurses costume is a little cliche, if you know what I mean =0)


Ashton just had to jump in the picture. . . he is being "Super Ashton".

Halloween Party 2008

So this years Halloween Party was a little different. We couldn't have it at our house because the basement is a disaster due to a little flooding problem. Nicole and Kurt Williams, our awesome friends from the ward were kind enough to let us have the party at their house. I think everyone had a good time, and as with all big events that take planning and effort, it was fun, but I'm glad it's done! This blog is basically going to be tons of pictures from the party of all of our friends that came. We played lots of games and had pinatas for the kids. Kurt did an awesome magic show earning himself a place in all of our future Halloween parties ;0) Enjoy!
mummy wrap game

Cookie decorating

Eating!


Sarah Palin and John McCain (Nicole and Kurt)



The Williams Family (thanks for sharing your home!)


The Miller Family

The Simonson Family


The Rasmussen Family


The Johnson Family


The Colin Wright Family


The Vowels Family


The Mad Scientist


Randi Wright and Sarah Palin =0)


Susan Vowles as Cruella DeVille





























Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Souper Supper

Our ward had a "Souper Supper" tonight. It was really fun. I swear more women in the R.S. know Lilly than me! So many women came up and loved on her since they see her smiling at them every Sunday at church. The bishopric did a hilarious sketch that was a bishopric meeting set 20 years in the future. At one point they were going over the sacrament meeting agenda and said that for sacrament that day they were having the Hamblins talk before they left on their 14th mission to Baghdad, Iraq. It got very loud laughter and applause. I thought Grandma and Grandpa would like to hear that.

Stuff

Jaron and I received new callings in the ward as the ward photographers. This will help us get to know the people in the ward better. Our first assignment is to update the "Bishop's Board"-where the bishop has a picture of each child and which class they are in. This Sunday I took 75 pictures of the primary kids and I still have 3 more classes to go. Next up we are going to make a picture directory.

Lilly and Daddy lounging around. . .

Lilly had her first "hair-do" today, she got her hair in a ponytail, so here it is.


And THIS is a zuchini for all those doubting grandmas out there =0)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Miscellaneous

I wish I were better about blogging more often, but I have to admit the paper route wipes me out pretty good. I used to blog after I got the kids to bed, but now I go to bed as soon as they do. Anyway, the last couple of days were fun. Jaron met one of the co-owners of Cafe Rio at work and he gave Jaron two "Gold Cards". They entitiled us each to one free meal and drink, so we took the kids out, got them a burrito to share and some desserts and the whole family ate for $11! I love cheap stuff!

Then we took the kids to Lagoon to see Frightmares. There was a little Spook-a-Boo alley for the kids to go through and get candy. It was really mild, not scary at all and they loved it. Jaron and I got a babysitter and went back later on our own. We went through one of the haunted houses which ended up being really lame. The fun part was the hypnotist show. Jaron was one of the chosen volunteers and he was pretty funny, he was told he was Barney and he sang the "I Love You" song and went through the audience hugging people. CREEPY! LOL Anyway, I remembered more of the show than he did, so I probably had more fun than him.

Here is a picture of the kids at Lagoon and then one of Ashton with a giant cucumber.

Monday, October 13, 2008

sNoW DaYS!





So we got some really heavy wet snow over the weekend and the kids made their first solo snowman ever! They were pretty darned excited about it! I also have a couple of videos of the kids playing around in the evening.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Barbie needed a haircut. . .

Every time Emmy sits down to practice piano Carter is close by watching intently, and then asking her to teach him something, so this morning I decided to start him with some basic stuff using Emmy's old books. He took to it like a fish takes to water. He is amazing me with how quickly he can learn things, and he REMEMBERS EVERYTHING I teach him! He wanted to learn how to play guitar like Emmy is, but when Jaron tried to show him a chord, we saw that his hands were still too small to even get around the neck of the guitar. I guess he will just have to wait till he grows a little bit.


I spent a good part of the day while Carter was in school trying to figure out the best courses for me to take at the U and how I can finish up in the most timely manner. Blarghhh. Frustrating to say the least.

Tonight I trimmed Emmy's bangs up for her and when I finished she asked, "Mama, can I please cut a Barbie's hair? I promise I won't make a mess! (She always does anyway) And I will clean up everything! (She always doesn't)". My first instinct was to say "no", but then I remembered how badly I had always wanted to cut a Barbies hair, but never did. So I thought, what the heck, at least she asked permission! So I told her to find one of her yucky, old Barbies and then to make sure her brothers didn't see her doing it. You would think I had just handed her a million dollars! She was so excited and she actually DID clean up her mess. Anyway, here is a picture of the newly styled Barbie. Oh, and for those of you who know me and my hair-cutting skills, don't worry. . . Emmy's bangs turned out just fine (but I did wait until AFTER school pictures just in case I totally screwed them up =0)
Emmy decided this was definitely an improvement!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Garbage is so fun!

Lilly is turning into quite the handful. We have a garbage can next to our computer desk in the living room and now everytime we put her down in there, she heads straight for it. I usually stop her before it gets too bad, but last night we were distracted by daddy and Emmy playing music together and Lilly got some good scrounging time in. I had to take her picture, and when she saw the camera she waved at it.


She also has developed a strange new ritual when eating. She twists her body in her seat so that she is almost sitting backward in her chair and then between bites she sucks on the back of her seat. She usually does it between every bite, but once I pulled the camera out she was a little distracted, but you can still get the general idea.

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