Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Surprise Speaker at tonight's RNC is...

Harley Belle!! If you need a translation she says, "Shame on you Barack Obama. I'm Mitt Romney."  She later says, "I approved this message."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Harvest

Our church congregation also known as our LDS Ward works closely with a charity called Food for Others.  Today we went to the USDA farm in Beltsville, Maryland to harvest corn for donation to the charity.  After what began with some groans and complaints, the kids managed to harvest lots of corn and I think they were pretty proud of themselves for all their hard work.

For the Boys

There is something about flying and space that excites every little boy, occasionally it excites little girls too.  The Smithsonian has two Air & Space Museums in the Washington D.C. area.  One is on the National Mall, the other is in Dulles Virginia. It is referred to as Hazy.  Scott has been working at Hazy for the past few weeks, so we paid him a visit today.  We have been there at least a dozen times but the boys never get tired of it.  They kept asking me to take a picture of this plane and that plane. So, most of this post is full of pictures for them.  I love to see how excited this museum makes them each time we visit and fortunately for me, there were some new things too.
For example the Space Shuttle Discovery arrived last Spring, replacing the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Unlike Endeavor, Discovery actually spent a lot of time in space and you can see the wear and tear.

The boys had a 30 minute-one-on-one demonstration on how the space shuttle takes-off, lands, and orbits the earth by one of the docents.
There is a new restoration wing at the museum, where you can watch the restoration of old planes take place. Honestly, it is a little like watching paint dry but what do I know.

Another highlight is the observation deck that overlooks Dulles International Airport. Not only can you see planes take off and land but you can even play air traffic controller.

 A fan favorite is the SR-71 Blackbird, made even more famous by the Transformers movie.

But mostly they just love seeing plane, after plane, after plane and distracting daddy while he tries to work.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012


hardly an exciting blog post but beds are near and dear to my heart. Perhaps because I do not spend nearly enough time in them but most likely because I am a little OCD when it comes to beds especially unmade beds and pillow perfection. Regardless of what else I might be able to accomplish in a day if the beds do not get made I feel like a total failure. And yes, I am one of those people who goes over the top with pillows. There are 12 on my bed alone and if they are not perfectly aligned it drives me KooKoo!! Anyway, we got a new bed this weekend and moved our bed to Harley's room. That's right, no more crib. It was a little sad but mostly exciting. She is doing great in her "big puppy bed" as she calls it. Here is her new bed and the felt-flowered head board I made her.

And just for fun here are the other beds in our household.
The boy's bed.
Master Bedroom
The Guest Room.  Don't you want to come visit?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Port Discovery

Today I found $8 in a pair of pants. It was the most exciting thing that has happened to me in ages.  Here we come dollar menu at McDonald's.  That is actually not what I am blogging about today, even though I really am excited. 

With only 2 weeks until school starts again and my baby boy Nash heads off to Kindergarten-Sniff, Sniff, we are trying to do something fun everyday. Yesterday we went to Port Discovery, the children's museum in Baltimore.

In the center is a huge climbing structure that the boys could have spent all day playing on but Harley was a little too small and spent the entire time crying because I wouldn't let her go inside.
She did climb in once to rescue Atley who was 3 stories high and afraid to cross the net bridge to get out.

The museum is full of little gas stations, fruit stands, grocery stores, diners, art studios, space ships, submarines, trains and more. 



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pictures I Don't Take

When my cousin Tia died my family was sharing stories about her and I couldn't think of a single grand tale to tell, which is so unlike me.  My most vivid memories of her weren't really stories but little moments of her life. They were seemingly insignificant things that could not be retold but memories that have stayed captive in my mind like a picture I never took but wished I had, like what she was wearing one morning when we walked to the creek by my grandparent's cabin when we were kids. I could remember us sitting on a bed in a hotel room in Colorado Springs trying to make the phone work and a snowball fight outside of my school when I was a Sophomore. I can remember her walking into our apartment in Provo with an armful of groceries and dropping her keys on the floor. I was just sitting on the couch watching MTV.  I didn't realize that these little moments would become something important and even valuable to me.
We went to the beach this weekend.  I only took a couple of photos, which is so unlike me.  At one point I looked up and saw Scott and Harley sitting on the sand. The surf just touching their toes before it receded back into the Atlantic. He had his arm around her and she was snuggled against him.  They were talking. I thought about grabbing my camera but I was afraid I might miss something if I took my eyes away.  I fell in love with both of them all over again in that moment and I knew it was one of those seemingly insignificant pictures that I didn't take but that I would remember always.
Last night we built a fire in our iron fire pit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.  Nash burned his foot on a metal hot dog roaster and so he was sitting with his foot in a bucket of water. Harley was in her Dora the Explorer lawn chair with chocolate and marshmallow smeared all over her face, hands and pink pajamas.  Atley watched the fire with a nervous interest that would prove beneficial when the rusted bottom of our pit fell out and caught the lawn on fire.  He frantically threw all the liquid he could reach on the fire, including ketchup. With the exception of Atley, the evening was quiet and cool.  I just sat there under the trees breathing it all in and hoping it would be one of those glimpses of life that I could always remember, like walking to the creek, dropping keys or sitting by the ocean.  These little things, these pictures I don't take,  matter the most to me.  They are mundane but they are beautiful, simple and joyful.  I have tried my best to file them away in my mind.
On the way home from the beach we filled out a Mad Lib book in the car. The boys were laughing so hard. I wanted to keep that sound with me always so that I could hear it and see it when I was sad or lonely or scared, but that's a picture I didn't and couldn't take. I suppose that is why Heavenly Father gave us memories and even allows us to keep those that don't seem significant.   He knows, what I am learning, they are something important and they will even be valuable to me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Whatcha' Doing?

It's been a long time since I have had time to do anything crafty, but today I busted out the hot glue gun and made this seashell wreath.  These shells are just a few of the at least 20 pounds we hauled back from Panama. 

It is also canning season at our house.  Scott hates this time of year. He has convinced himself that it always ends in some sort of a disaster, just because of one little incident involving exploding glass, a melted kitchen rug, a few minor burns, and some glass shards embedded in a foot.  He is so dramatic.  Anyway,  I canned seven quarts of peaches and 18 pints of jam.  My grandma's raspberry peach recipe can be found HERE on my blog.
This year I also tried a strawberry/peach freezer jam that we absolutely love.  We have eaten 3 pints in 4 days.

Peach & Strawberry Freezer Jam

3 Cups Peaches
2 Cups Strawberries
1/4 Cup of Lemon Juice
1 Box of Sure Jell Fruit Pectin
4 1/2 Cups of Sugar
1 Cup of Light Corn Syrup

After peeling and removing the pits from the peaches and the stems from the strawberries chop in a food processor. Do not over chop. You want a few chunks.  Add the lemon juice and the pectin.  Allow the pectin to dissolve for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the corn syrup and then the sugar.  Pour into PREPARED freezable glass jars.  Do not overfill because the jam will expand when it freezes. It should last about a year in the freezer and up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

Adapted from Chief-In-Training

In other news, I went to Target today and Atley had me paged. He told the security guard he was lost, which was odd considering he was right next me only 2 minutes earlier.  Nash was so excited when my name was blared over the loud speaker in the store. I think there was a bit of a conspiracy between the brothers.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tuesday I ate a pooped covered peanut...

and that was the best part of my day. 
Sometimes I serve as the garbage disposal for my kids leftover/spilled food. They don't finish their dinner, I pick at it as I carry the dishes to the sink.  They spill gold fish on the floor I help them pick up by popping a few in my mouth as we work.  I can say with surety that I am now cured of this disgusting habit.  Harley had been eating trail mix all morning. Trail mix is her food of the month. She was carrying around her little bowl while peanuts, M&M's and raisins were falling out here and there.  Then she pooped and I took her upstairs to change her diaper.  In her diaper was several poop covered peanuts.  I am sorry if you are disgusted, but it gets worse.  Apparently, one rolled out of her diaper and onto the floor amidst other pieces of trail mix during the changing process. Being the garbage disposal I am, I bent down to pick up the pieces of mix from my floor and I shoved a raisiny-looking peanut into my mouth only to realize it was not a raisiny peanut, but a pooped covered peanut.  I ran to the bathroom spit, gagged, brushed my teeth twice and then rinsed with Phineas and Ferb mouthwash 14 times. 
On this very day I was commissioned to make dinner for Scott's boss who was coming over that evening.  I was a little stressed trying to make everything perfect.  About 30 minutes before the boss's arrival Harley had a break down that required constant holding. I banished the boys to the basement and they were only there for a few minutes when I heard a crash followed by screaming.  It was Atley, which immediately sent panic through my entire body.  Atley's pain tolerance is out of this world so when he cries, it is serious.  I put Harley down who began bawling all over again and rushed down the stairs. I found Harley's rocking horse looking like this:

and my 8 year old writhing in pain on the floor telling me that his back was broken. Well, it wasn't broken but he was bruised up pretty bad and there was a little blood. Why was he riding the horse? I may never know.

Okay, 10 minutes until dinner and I still needed to make a salad and load the dishwasher, all while holding my 2 year old and applying ice to the back of my oldest.  It was at this moment that Nash decided to pull a genuinely bone head move. 
"Mom, I have a LEGO stuck up my nose!" 
Ah, and there was Scott and his boss-EARLY!
 The LEGO would have to wait.  We survived dinner with only a few embarrassing moments-like Atley saying:
"My mom told us that if we didn't behave you were going to fire my dad and we were going to be homeless. Don't you think that's a little harsh."
Dinner was over, the boss was gone.
Now we had to deal with the LEGO.  We tried to reach it with a flashlight and tweezers, I gave him a sinus rinse, we even plugged the opposite nostril and blew into his mouth as hard as we could.  Well, with only one option left, I was with Nash in the emergency room, preparing myself for a $3000 hospital bill over a LEGO up the nose.

The doctor's couldn't reach it either and I was certain we were facing surgery to remove it from his sinuses, when Nash said, "I think it just went down my throat and into my stomach." My thought, "Whatever! You are just being a chicken!"  But, X-Ray's proved him right, he sucked it down his throat and into his belly. By the way, just in case you are wondering,  I can guarantee I won't mistakenly put a poop covered LEGO in my mouth.