July 31, 2008

Summer Traditions

I hadn't realized that they were traditions, but as the first day of school draws nigh these 3 things are what makes our summer complete:

1. Pirate week This entails going to the library and checking out nearly the entire section of pirate books (call numbers 910.45 in case you are like me and hadn't realized that pirates are nonfiction), making pirate hats out of newspaper, having a pirate dinner (more on this later), a treasure hunt, and walking the plank at the pool. Ok... so dinner is the best part in my opinion. Pirates have no manners so no one has to ask to have food passed, you can just reach over the person next to you or stand up and lean across the table. There are no vegies to eat, everything has to be something that pirates could have eaten. We always have chicken drumsticks, they seem very pirate-ish. We had lemon drops to prevent scurvy, baked beans, sourdough biscuts, and the all important IBC root beer cuz it's in the bottles. And Nate's favorite part... I didn't make anyone brush their teeth.

Pirate hats and flags (taped to the door behind them)

Digging in to the pirate booty after the treasure hunt.

2. Making Cookies in a Homemade Solar Oven. I'm not sure this would work in Olympia but it does pretty good here. Last year we made chocolate drop cookies in our solar oven and Truman was really disappointed with the results, because the recipe had a lot of grease in it and the cookies melted into puddles before they cooked. So this year he built two ovens and is using a gingersnap recipe. He made one batch this afternoon and they are pretty good.

3. Underwater Pictures. We have had the Walgreens disposable underwater camera for a couple of weeks, but the pool water hasn't been very clear lately. Monsoon season always does something to the pool that makes it cloudy. We did take pictures finally today. Will have to post the pictures when I get then developed.

This is why I get up in the morning

The happy smile, shining eyes and little arms around my neck. There is nothing better! (except maybe spontaneous hugs from teenage sons)

July 30, 2008

June.... I mean ... July is Bust'n out all over

I am always amazed that anything grows here. The green beans and cucumbers are up. Maybe they'll be ready by Thanksgiving.

The worst is over. Maybe

Last weekend marked the peak of average temperatures for Mesa. I am feeling cooler already. The average high temperature dropped from 108 to 107. O.K. seriously last night the weather was a bit cooler than it has been so this morning it was only 85 degrees and the boys have been out mowing the neighbor's lawn and the little kids were outside playing this morning. (BTW Truman took these fun photos)

Saxamaphone Syd

Sydney Elaine
July 16th

Things I am looking forward to at school this year:

Band (the Saxophone)
Seeing my friends (Rose, Monica, Kara, Samantha, Hailey, and Jessie)
Learning 5th grade stuff
ELP (Extended Learning Program)


Color: pink
TV show: Super Why
Book series: Nancy Drew
Candy Bar: Butterfinger
Thing that happened this summer: getting my saxophone
Place we visited: San Francisco

Things I am good at:

Playing the Sax
Walking on Stilts
Doing hair
Monkey bars
Making Friends

It is just the letter J

Truman J
Born: Valentine's Day

He can be very random

Favorite things:
Grilled Salmon with couscous
They Might Be Giants
Inventing "junk"

Not so favorite:
Lobster print underwear
Cleaning and Vacuuming the living room

Alter Ego: "The Recycler"

Special Skill: Falling down dramatically (think Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin)

July 29, 2008

Measuring from the bottom to the top

It all started with the babyseat that I got for Mother's day for my bike. This is the first time that our whole family could ride bikes together.

Nate is going to start all-day Kindergarten in 2 weeks. Hazel and I will be alone all day. I realized that all those fun programs for people with one child suddenly apply to me again. Kenneth hopes I don't enroll in them all and spend all the money.

I am one of the old-timers in our ward, not one of the "cute young couples". I have gray hairs and very shortly will have a teenager.

Christian is not a boy anymore. He is a young man. This week he is officially taller than his mother. And he has started wearing contacts instead of glasses.

All of my kids have goals and aspirations and I am so proud of them. I find each of them to be very enjoyable and I use that as a measure for how good I am doing as a parent. I hope that our good fortune holds.

July 27, 2008

The Fruit of our Labors

We (this is not the royal we either, every one of us, even Hazel) worked yesterday from 8:30ish to 3:30ish bottling all the peaches. Truman and Rebekah worked the longest shifts. Nate and Hazel did nap which was lifesaving. Christian sacrificed and played play dough with Hazel for a bit. We bottled 60 quarts of peaches and made 12 pints of peach preserves. We still had enough peaches left over to make a beautiful pie and everyone had all the peaches they cared to eat for breakfast. There is a great sense of accomplishment and pride in our family today.

Just Peachy

Friday morning we got up at 5 AM and drove to date creek ranch 1.5 hours NW of here. We picked 150lbs of peaches and then we did some school shopping at a mall of outlet stores and got home about 5 PM. We called in Nana and Papa day in memory of my Grandma and Grandpa Cornwall. We even listened to some of the tapes they made for my kids birthdays. We had a really great day.

Pioneer Children part 2

The girls finished making their dresses just in time for last night's pioneer party at church. I think they did a really great job. I was pretty sure Bekah couldn't really make a dress but she did it. (she probably did 90 percent of the work).

July 25, 2008

24th of July

In celebration of our pioneer heritage we made butter(delicious), homemade wholewheat bread (also delicious) and home made mozzarella cheese (not so tasty, we will need more practice and a different recipe.)

July 21, 2008

Monkeying Around

Today is Monkey Day! Monkey masks, and jumping on the bed, banana splits, and for dinner the Jungle fruit platter (for silverware: monkeys have opposable thumbs). We even put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up! (don't ask me what that has to do with monkeys)

C is not for Cookie

Christian Thomas
September 10th

computer games (lego Star Wars 2, Supercow, Professor Fizzwizzle, all Need for Speed games)

arch-enemy hoty dog man
kissing shows
sponge bob

my alter-ego "Super Hoboe" was real
Sponge bob and barbies didn't exist

my make shift drum set

I'm an ape
Super "Hoboe" my alternate ego notice the signature cape ( an extra shirt)

Super "Hoboe" in flight!

July 20, 2008

He loves Me!

A picture is worth a thousand words and this one moves me to tears.


Last week, I bought myself a rototiller. I found a mantis tiller for sale on Craig's list and Kenneth went with me to look at it. It is well used but came with a lot of attachments to do cool things like aerate your lawn and cut a nice edge along the border. It was hard to start. The guy selling it had advertised that it was hard to start but that with a little tuning up it would be great. I got it home and tried to start it but all I got was a little chug and a nice blood blister. So I ordered a tune up kit from the Mantis web site. The tune up kit came on Thursday so that night, Kenneth worked on bikes while I worked on the tiller. I was really pleased when it started up strong, then it was time for bed. Friday I got up and tilled the garden and got ready to plant. I really love fresh tilled soil and all the potential it holds! I am sure that it will be a great garden because the dirt is great this year and Nate often fasts on fast Sundays for things growing in my yard.

July 19, 2008

Pioneer Children

Our ward is having a pioneer party and they have invited everyone to come in pioneer clothes.

The girls wanted to learn more sewing skills.

These two events led to a whole day of sewing( I think it was Tuesday). It was really fun. I cut ($1/yard Walmart gingham) out, the night before and we set up 3 sewing machines on the kitchen table. The girls did a really great job sewing. I let them do all the work they wanted. It was Rebekah's first time using a sewing machine and she is mighty proud of her little pioneer dress, she did it all except the buttons, sewing on the collar and attaching the gathered skirt to the yolk. Syd and Abby still have more to do because they left for the afternoon to play with friends. Truman feeling left out, sewed Hazel a new "jingle skirt".

Nate and Hazel did a good job playing together, they played play-dough and took photos of eachother doing silly things, and they ate a lot of Popsicles.

July 16, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today was Sydney's birthday. She got lots of good loot, it is one of the benefits of having a lot of siblings. It is hard to grow up because you still want to want toys but there aren't very many toys that you really will play with. We were having a hard time coming up with ideas for what to get her, so I asked her what she wanted and she said "Oh, anything, only not all books like last year." We did finally think of some good ideas. She was an especially good sister to Nate. In his 5 year old excitement he told her what he got for her, a bike lock. She how excited she is. I was really proud of how well she handled it.

Our kids get to choose what to have for dinner on their birthday. Sydney chose fondue. We had cheese fondue for dinner with bread, some ham and chicken rolls that Rebekah made, and broccoli/cauliflower for dipping. For dessert we had chocolate fondue and to dip : marshmallows, angel food cake, strawberries and bananas. It was really fun. Hazel really enjoyed the chocolate.

July 13, 2008

I'm just a little black rain cloud

Today we attended the Baby blessing of Tegan Hill Cornwall, who is my cousin's new baby. After church we let them have a party here so all the blessing attendees could visit and eat. I'm telling ya, having a party where you only have to provide the house and everybody else brings the food is the way to go. So we are having this great party and the rain started. Beautiful, cool, torrents of monsoon rain. 1.26 inches to be exact and more predicted tonight!!!

July 9, 2008


Hazel finally figured out how to swim last week, meaning that she can actually propel herself through the water instead of bobbing. (still working on using the arms with the legs) Now she is truly dangerous in the pool because she thinks she can swim really well (probably because we all tell her so) and that leads to her running around to the other side of the pool and cannon balling in. Most of the time she makes it back to the side on her own. I think that panic/sprint swimming should be an Olympic event.

The kids and I decided that it is too hot to go running even at 5:45am (temperatures of 90+). So we had this great idea to swim laps. But since we weren't feeling very confident in out lap swimming fitness we started with 6 half-laps. We measure in half laps for 2 reasons; 1. the length of the pool is only half a lap and 2. It makes us feel more successful. So everyday we add half a lap to the regimen. Today we swam 15 half laps!

July 8, 2008

Cleaning out my Desk

On Saturday night I bought a set of cubbie hole style shelve thingies for organizing my fabric collection in the sewing room closet. The kids were doing a good job all morning of playing nicely and practicing. Then during Hazel's nap boredom set in. So the girls started digging through my desk. First they painted and used glitter, they found some fabric markers to make sock puppets, and then they used some fimo clay. There were also some wooden wind chimes that they want to paint but the puppetshow was so much fun that they ran out of time. Using up the stuff in the drawers is my favorite cleaning method.

July 7, 2008

My Brown Eyed Girl

Rebekah LaRue
Born November 16th

Color: Brown
Food: Coffee cake
Kirsten (My American Girl Doll)

Book: American Girl Books
Song: I Am Like a Star Shining Brightly
about school: reading
Place to visit: San Francisco (riding the ferry)
Thing to do: Play with my doll Kirsten

I am really good at: drawing, reading, soccer, swimming,
taking care of Nate and Hazel, planning games.

When I grow up I want to be a mom!

Next year in school I will be in
Mrs. Rathkey's 1st grade class. I am excited to learn more math.

July 6, 2008

Banana split is a kind of bad sunday.

I don't like banana splits or bad sundays.

I had to teach Relief Society today, I don't mind teaching so much as I have a difficult time trying to choose a topic. I chose to teach it about being content, I think it went well.

I stayed up too late preparing for the lesson and then I slept in long enough that I was awakened by Nate screaming to no one but me, in the living room about the general unfairness of his five year old problems. I got the little kids a bowl of rice krispies and went back upstairs to work on my lesson.

I have been feeling short tempered all day and I think my kids are (were. we put them to bed.) feeding off my impatience and they have spent the day picking at each other. Dinner was late getting on the table and to distract the girls until it was ready I sent them to take pictures of each other. I think this picture summarizes our not-so-perfect Sunday.

We have a book called "Lily's purple plastic purse" She has a bad day at school and finds a note in her bookbag that says "today was a difficult day, tomorrow will be a better one." I hope that I find that on a note pinned to my PJs when I go upstairs.

Call Me Tiger

Abigail Cleone
Born December 21st

sport: Soccer
color: cerulean
food: chicken cor'don Bleu
school subject: math
dessert: apple pie with ice cream
summer activities: swimming, making sno-cones
best friend: Cailee Benford
talents: drawing, imaginary friends, talking on the phone to Cailee, playing the piano

toys: My Little Pony (collecting and playing with)

When I grow up I want to do trick pony riding in the circus.

I do not like to sit in the sun
I will be in Miss Vickers 3rd grade class in August