Monday, September 30, 2013

My Children Really Do Brush Their Hair on Sunday Mornings

IMG_6926 Sunday photo web

At least, I tell them to.  And sometimes I even see them do it.

Their teeth are an entirely different issue.

What can I say?  Sunday mornings are just a little rushed.

I'm looking forward to General Conference next in our pajamas.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Two for One

Contrary to popular belief (because, you know, soooooo many people were waiting on pins and needles last Sunday), I did not forget last week's Sunday photo.  It's just that we were at Stake Conference four hours away in Green Bay and by the time we got home I was too tired to post it.  And then the week took off and there was no time to even think about it.  And then we were at another Sunday--another Sunday on which I remembered to take a photo--and I still didn't post.  Because I am sick with laryngitis, and as soon as I took the photo I went to bed and pretty much stayed there the rest of the day.

If I could only figure out how to blog from my phone.

But here I am on Monday morning ready to post.  Except it's actually already Monday afternoon and I only just got out of bed.  Don't judge.  I'm sick with my annual Three Weeks Into the School Year and My Body Just Can't Take It Anymore Sickness.

Also, if I make absolutely no sense?  I'm sick.

Sunday, September 15
Road Trip

I really did plan on taking a photo of them outside the Stake Center, still in their Sunday best.  But there were too many people to talk to and before I knew it, they had all changed into their traveling clothes and we were arguing about where to eat for lunch.  Which was Qdoba, by the way, and I think it was a pretty crappy experience.  At least for the gluten free peeps.  The manager tried to fix it by giving us some gigantic glutinous cookies, which I had to turn down, much to the chagrin of those who can eat gluten.

I digress.

By the time I took the photo, we were well into our four hour drive home, and the girls were zonked.

Sunday, September 22

I, feeling like crap by the time we got home, took the easy way out and used my phone.  I love my phone.  But, since the point of these posts is to get good photos with the good camera, I will do better next week.

You might notice that Sophia isn't the only person in the photo with a cast this week.  And that's because Chloe went and broke her thumb.

On Wednesday afternoon, I rolled into the school parking lot to pick up my two elementary girls, and Chloe hopped into the car and said matter-of-factly,

"Mom, I can't even move my thumb and it's way bigger than the other one and it hurts really bad!"

I took one look at it and knew something was totally wrong because her thumb was a) hugely swollen, and b) bent in ways thumbs shouldn't be bent.

Off to the doctor's office we went.  Lo and behold:  She broke it.

That's two children with broken bones in a month's time.  What have I done to deserve this?

Sigh.  At least we've met our deductible.  Time to go be seen for every possible ache and pain before it resets in January!

In other news:  I channeled my inner Audrey Hepburn to sing at a fundraising gala.

I saw a beautiful sunset.  The camera can never quite capture it, but it was truly breathtaking.
We watched the BYU vs. Utah game.  The girls were sad that they had to go to bed at halftime (Hello?  The game started at 10:21 Eastern--that's a tad late for us!), and we were all sad about the outcome.  Boo.


Here's to a better week all around:  Health, Happiness, and a BYU win.

Go team!

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Rise and Shout!

  • Sophia traded in her air cast for a real hot pink one (just in time for school to start).
  • Everyone started school but me--but I have to start teaching on Tuesday (whether or not I'm actually ready is debatable).
  • I may or may not have had a couple lazy mornings reading in bed with Puccini while the girls were at school (but I still accomplished way more than I would have if the children were home).
  • Chloe stepped into a yellow jacket swarm and was stung several times and screamed pretty darn loud (she's fine).
  • The City Construction Project on our street has rendered us unable to park in our own driveway (reminder:  I live on a hill and have a child on crutches).
  • Joel was called a "weird-looking Afro guy" from the pulpit at church (this is not entirely untrue, and was perhaps meant as a compliment)(besides, don't all orchestra conductors have Afros?).
  • The first week of school has resulted in more than a few tantrums thrown by very tired children (next week will be better).
  • I actually cooked most of the meals this week (and they were big hits with The Maestro and the girls).
  • I still had a number of cooking mishaps, though (cauliflower soup all over the kitchen walls, floors, cupboards, and salad, anyone?).
  • For date night, Joel and I enjoyed watching The Cougars trounce Texas in pretty much the best BYU Football game ever (school records were broken).
  • Puccini did not get a haircut (and probably won't for another couple weeks...sigh).
IMG_6917 Pucci web

Here's to another exciting week!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

A Bunch of Pictures of the First Day of School

Today was the first day of school.  Finally!  I feel like I've been watching other people have their first day of school for about a month now.  Oh wait, I HAVE been watching other people have their first day of school for about a month now, and it's finally our turn.

The first day of school meant staying up super late to pack awesome first day lunches that are also healthy and then getting up at the crack of dawn to get Bria up and practicing, and start making a bunch of cute little girls even cuter.

And then I worked hard all day getting stuff done and didn't even get to read like I'd hoped.  I'm so tired, and I still have to go in the kitchen and cook up some meatballs and caprese skewers for lunches tomorrow.

But here are our First Day of School pictures for 2013-2014.  I think I need a new camera.  That, or I just need to start caring more about photography again, because these photos could be so much better!  (And then I start picking apart my house as I look at them...we didn't get around to repainting the porch steps this summer, the door needs painting, my plants are dead...Le Sigh.)

First we have Sophia the Second Grader and her Amazing Pink Cast:

IMG_6847First Day 2013 webIMG_6848First Day 2013 web

How much cheetah print can you spot?  I spy a backpack, a lunchbox, a skirt, a dog scarf, the buttons on her sweater, and a headband.  I told you she was cheetah obsessed.

We now present Chloe the Fifth Grader and all five members of One Direction:
IMG_6852First Day 2013 webIMG_6857First Day 2013 webIMG_6858First Day 2013 web

This is Chloe's last year in Elementary School.  What is happening to my life?  And do you not love her polka dots?

Finally, we have Bria the Eighth Grader Who Absolutely Did Not Want Her Picture Taken:
IMG_6862First Day 2013 webIMG_6864First Day 2013 web

And next year she'll be in high school.  Which means I'll have three kids at three schools.  Which means I better just get through this year before I start freaking out about that.  Isn't Bria cute?  Even though she didn't want her photo taken?  Last night she and her friends were texting each other their ideas for first day outfits.  Oh to be an 8th grader again (well, except when I was in 8th grade I had to call my friends on the phone to discuss our outfits--the kind with an actual cord).

And since I only got two good pictures out of her, here's another one of Sophia, demonstrating how to get down the steps while on crutches.

IMG_6861First Day 2013 web

Sophia and Chloe were horrified that I didn't bring my camera or even my phone to take a photo in front of the school like we always do.  I think I was too concerned about getting around all the major construction that is right in front of my house, beating the crazy first day of school traffic, and helping Sophia figure out the elevator and everything.

But I at least brought my phone when I picked them up and we managed a couple pictures in front of the school.
First Day of School

Their first day was AWESOME.  And so was Bria's.

Here's to a second day that is just as amazing.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A Healthy Feast and Family Theme for 2013-14

A back-to-school feast in which we introduce the family theme of "My Body is a Temple"

Yesterday was Labor Day, which for us means that school starts tomorrow!  Which also means it's time to have our annual Back-to-School Feast and introduce the new family theme.

This has definitely become one of our favorite family traditions.  The girls really look forward to it and willingly stay upstairs for a few hours while Joel and I get everything ready.

2013-2013 family theme
To download click on image and download from Flickr. Instructions for downloading from Flickr are HERE.

This past year or so has brought to light several health issues in our little family.  I really should dedicate an entire post to our little journey back to health (which is only really just getting started), but let's just say that I have done a lot of research on the foods we are eating and how they affect us and the specific issues Sophia (Celiac), Chloe (vitiligo), and I are dealing with.  I have slowly been cutting out processed food and adding in way more fruits and vegetables than just the token bit that we used to eat at dinner.  We still have a long way to go.

Our theme this year is "My Body is a Temple: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Spirit."  I am looking forward to learning how to be more healthy as an entire family.

In light of our new, healthier, lifestyle we ate foods that are a little healthier than the norm.
IMG_6833 BTS Feast 2013 web

Joel made this Rosemary Lemon Chicken.  It was a big hit with everyone.

We also had a Lemon, Quinoa, Spinach, & Chickpea salad which some people liked and others were a little meh about.  Mostly it was the dressing.  Next time I make it, I won't use cumin in the dressing and we'll see what they think.

IMG_6837 BTS Feast 2013 web

There was gluten-free banana bread and for dessert we had some Paleo Chocolate Pudding.  Again, mixed reviews on this recipe, though it was mostly because it was too dark for their taste.  Less cocoa next time!
IMG_6844 BTS Feast 2013 web

IMG_6836 BTS Feast 2013 web

Their "crowns" were pretty simple this year since I totally left everything to the literal last minute.  I made them about ten minutes before we called them down for dinner.  But I had to make them SOMETHING because they are so into the tradition that everything would have been ruined without a headdress of some sort!

IMG_6831 BTS Feast 2013 web

And now for some less-than-stellar photos of the school girls.  It's always too dark by the time we eat to get super great photos, but c'est la vie.

IMG_6838 Bria BTS Feast 2013 web

Can you believe this child is going into the freaking EIGHTH grade?  'Cause I sure can't!

IMG_6843 Chloe BTS Feast 2013 web

Fifth grade for Chloe!  Her very last year of elementary school.

IMG_6841 2013 web

And this little cutie is going to be a big second grader.  She is so excited for school to start tomorrow!

After dinner and a nice discussion on taking care of our bodies, minds, and spirits, we broke to the Living Room where Joel gave the girls their Father's Blessings.  This is something we do every year to start school off on the right foot--with a lot of great advice, love, and peace from above.

And now for school to actually start!  I do think, despite all my protestations against the arrival of fall, I'm ready.

Bring it on.

More Back-to-school Feasting:
Feasting Like it's 1862
A Romanian Feast

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Lightning Bolts and Power Outages

This weekend, Joel and Bria went down to Chicago for the youth temple trip.  Joel is the Young Men's President in our branch, and Bria went for her very first experience doing baptisms in the temple.
Um...The Maestro needs to work on his temple attire, methinks.  (Don't worry, all of the Young Men couldn't change out of their church clothes fast enough--including their fearless leader!)

The other two girls and I stayed home and also hosted two of the Young Women's President's children since her husband was out of town.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted.

I spent the weekend cooking, cleaning, chasing children, getting ready for our Back-to-School feast, and pinning stuff on Pinterest.

I pinned A LOT of stuff on Pinterest.  I have taken a huge break from that website because it can be such a time sucker, but I thought I'd go see if I could find any ideas for our Back-to-School feast, and BAM!  Sucked right in.  My Pumpkin is My Favorite Food board now has 213 recipes pinned to it.  Most of which I will never bother trying to make because 3/5 of our household is now gluten-free.   But that's okay, because my Gluten-free board has 43 pins and my What's for Dinner pins number 219.   Basically I pinned over 300 things this weekend.  I more than made up for my year-long hiatus, I'd say.  Time for another one!

This morning I woke up around 6:30 to a big old thunderstorm and sat in bed answering emails and reading before I got the kids up.  Right before 8:30 a lightning bolt struck right outside our house, and I thought we were going to die.  Puccini, who was asleep on the bed next to me, hit the ceiling.  I went upstairs to check on the kids, and they were pretty freaked out, too.

That was the big excitement of the day, until we got to church and had to have Sacrament Meeting in the dark because that lightning bolt had taken out half the city's power (interestingly, not mine--despite the fact that it hit right next door).

The best part was that the power came on right as a sister was bearing her testimony and saying the words "where there was darkness is now light."  That was good for a laugh!

Joel and Bria came back this afternoon.  I sure missed them.  I need those two in my life.

Happy what's left of Sunday to you all...I'm off to reacquaint myself with my pillow.  Good night!