October 30, 2011

Revis Ranch

Kenneth and the 4 oldest kids (and most of the youth and leaders in our ward) went on a backpacking trip Friday night.  Revis Ranch. It is a tough hike, I think it almost 7 miles in and then they camp.  Some years there are apples (not this year, sadly).  The kids all reported on each other and they all did good and had fun. The girls are super tired still today.  While they were gone I painted my livingroom, and that is a post for another day.

 Kenneth is mighty proud of this stool that he made.  He made the seat out of canvas and he lashes some sticks together to make the tripod for it. 

October 26, 2011

A rose by any other name...

So I have really tried to like brussels sprouts. I can say with confidence "I do not like brussels sprouts!" They are icky.  I have tried them frozen, fresh, dipped in butter and covered in cheese.  Tonight I tried the Cook's Illustrated "Really Good Roasted Brussels Sprouts."  They did look better than usual, especially tossed with the extra butter and toasted walnuts and a splash of lemon juice. I am swearing off Brussels Sprouts forever.  Hazel nearly threw up trying to swallow hers.  It was worth a try. 

Liven up your lunch

We have become notorious for our "Colored Bread".  Somehow it makes holidays more festive when the bread is lively...

Here's how.  I make 1 batch of bread for each color of dough I want to use.  Add the food coloring to the water at the beginning.  It is a nightmare to try to kneed in the food coloring.  Let the dough rise and then divide it up.

Roll the dough out and stack up the colors.

 Roll the whole thing up together. Put it in a pan.

Let the dough rise.

Cook as usual.

The results can be rather dramatic. 

The sandwiches are dramatic!

October 24, 2011

ASU Band Day

Christian is down on what would be the track.  Truman is the Sousa on the far left when the show starts.

October 23, 2011

Magical Mystery Tour

Abby has become very interested in The Beatles.  I have loved them since 9th grade (when I first learned that Julian Lennon's dad was in a band.  Sad huh?)

I have been emptying the entertainment center so that repairs can be made.  The back has come off because we moved it fully loaded a couple of times.  I found all my Beatles albums that I bought on vinyl.  My children were fascinated by the plastic disks that go around and play music.  Truman informed me that vinyl is more accurate than a CD, because is is not digital.  This led to a conversation about pitch correction.  He was really bothered, we agree that it is cheating.

 I was teased when I originally bought the albums.  It was all worth it to stand around with my kids and watch them enjoy it so thoroughly.  (I did also show them how fun it is to play records back at the wrong speed. Like we did as kids.  If only I had captain and Tennille so that we could play Muskrat love really fast.  Those were good times)

Friday Night Football

Sometimes I worry about Hazel and her potential to need a therapist in the future.  Her life at 6 is so different from Christian's life at 6, even Christian's life at 11.  Her bed time is usually as early as we can get it, sometimes that means 10pm.  Poor Girl, she fell asleep like this (thanks Sam for taking the pictures for me) during the second quarter at the football game.  She slept like this for the rest of the quarter, through the halftime show, and into the third quarter.  (She stumbled along dazed until the powerade guy gave her a free sample.  She made it to the car thanks to the power boost.)

It was band appreciation night, which meant that the junior high kids learned Stars and Stripes Forever and they got to march into the stadium with the high school kids. Between 1st and 2nd quarter they played the piece together on the track.  They sounded great.  Abby took over Sydney's job of pouring water for the band when they are in the stands.  Abby was not as committed and spent most of the game goofing off with her friends.  That is what football games are about, right?

October 19, 2011

Abby Goes Public

Abby seems to have a lot of free time lately.  She has decided to start her own blog. (It is private) If you want to be invited send me an email...

October 18, 2011

Kool-aid Mom

So besides serving Kool-aid, what does the Kool-aid mom do? Just wondering..
When people call me a kool-aid mom should I be insulted or flattered?  I don't serve kool-aid...

October 15, 2011


If you pour water on Natalie's head.  She might "borrow" your tuba mouthpiece.  Don't worry, she will return it.  It might be frozen solid in a bowl of ice...

October 14, 2011

Mesquite Invitational

Christian and Truman (and the rest of the Dobson Marching Band) performed in their first competition of the season.  Here we are in the stands waiting for the show to start.  Sometimes the little kids get bored watching other bands.  This time we picked up a program and rated each performance and tried to predict who would win in our division.  Rebekah stayed with Kenneth to watch the awards ceremony and check our predictions.  I guessed them all right on.  I was telling Truman about my talent, he was offended.  "Mom, I can't believe that you thought so low of us (third place).  Where is your confidence?"

Here is the band coming on the field.  Truman is one of those Sousa players.

Christian at his Marimba while pit sets up.

Hazel after she tripped coming out of the bathroom.

October 13, 2011

We don't need to go to London. London came to us...

We spent a week puppy sitting (or laying as the photo shows).  He is distracted by children and so the Guide Dog club called to ask us if we were willing to help with a bit of "immersion therapy".  It was fun to have a puppy in the house, but nice to not have him here while we bottled pears.

October 12, 2011

The Listmaker's Daughter

I am a compulsive list maker.  It has been a particularly listy time in my life since school started.  My kids know if it doesn't get on the list it ain't gonna happen.  Sometimes when they need me to do something for them they will look at the list for the day and suggest a swap. "Mom, If I sweep the kitchen will you come proofread my paper?"  It is a pretty smart plan.  Sometimes out of boredom they will randomly do jobs so that they can cross stuff off.

Hazel has started making lists.  I think we are in trouble.  Notice that the list of jobs for wednesday involves a pinata and invitations.

October 11, 2011

500 Post = Free Giveaway

So I got myself all worked up about making sure that this 500th post was a momentous one.  I don't think I have anything that huge to share but I have decided that I will, in celebration, give away one parenting secret.  You will want to use this idea in a hurry because good ideas only work so many times and we already did it once, and we are going to do it again tomorrow.  It is possible that this idea is only good for 2 uses.


1.  Think of 1 task for each number of kids you have. Include 1 fun task and the rest can be general chores.  Number the list. (our list went like this: 1.dishes  2.practice instrument/piano 3.make a Halloween card 4.play with the dog 5.wash cupboard doors 6.bathroom 7.livingroom)

2.  Make a master list for yourself.  Post the tasks near the place where they are to be done.

3.  Choose an amount of time that you would like the tasks to be done for.  (we chose 8 minutes)

4.  Assign each kid a starting station.

5.  Set a timer and say "ready, set, go".  (Hazel is only 6, so I worked with her as many of the jobs were more difficult for her)  Everybody works at their task until the timer goes off.  Then, rotate to the next station.

I had all my work done in less than an hour!  More time to celebrate 500 posts!

P.S. tomorrow's list is: 1.fold laundry  2.play with the dog 3.bedroom 4.bookcase organizing 5.clean the van 6.sketch your jack-o-lantern plan 7.kitchen

(Update: Photos of the workers)

October 7, 2011

Weed Whacker strikes again and again and again and again and again and again

Christian dropped the weed-whacker and caught it by the trigger.  His leg got in the way.

October 6, 2011

Biker Boy

Nate has recently upgraded from Truman's really old (purchased 6 years ago) bike to Truman's recently outgrown bike (only 3 years old).  Nate is so excited to have such a cool bike.  He practiced riding it around and around the yard and then we took it for it's maiden voyage (to a swimming party at our friend's house).  The next day it had a flat tire.  He asked me to fix it, I said I would.  I kept forgetting and he started writing it on my to do list every day.  Finally he got tired of waiting and took the wheel off.  In pieces the bike moved up the list to the top and between the big boys and I he got enough help to fix the flat and put the new handgrips on.  He took it for a spin around the block.  Hazel was  supervising and came in with out him.  "Umm Mom?  Nat wants you to come get him and he says you will need paper towels."  "Is he bleeding?"  "no. His chain did something."  Truman kindly volunteered to go get him.  He was only a few houses down.  Truman explained that it is best to shift gently and smoothly so that your derailer doesn't just throw the chain off, and that it is not necessary to wipe the oil off the chain with paper towels.  I guess Nate and Hazel had reasoned that the chain came off because it was greasy.

October 5, 2011

Haunted House

It is really an early start to the holiday season in disguise.  What will they think of next? A 4th of July Gingerbread Flag?

October 4, 2011

A Brief Respit

Nate and Hazel unexpectedly took a 2 week hiatus from the incessant bickering that plagues my waking hours.  (Don't worry they again took up the cause on Sunday)  One of the activities they enjoyed together during the holiday was building towers and then photographing themselves and the structures.  Here are some of their masterpieces.

 I am interested in why the tower is built on a stool with the rubbermaid drawer upside down on it.