Friday, August 29, 2014

Flashback to adorableness

Today I spent the day with my good friend Annette.
We have been friends since way back when I lived in Pennsylvania.
So she knew my kids when they were young.
And she was around when Carter was born.

As we were talking today, she reminded me of the cutest story about Carter.

He must have been 3 or 4 at the time.

In church at that age, they teach very simple lessons.  Such as:
"Heavenly Father loves me"
"I am thankful for animals"
"I am thankful for my hands"

During the "thankful for my hands" lesson
the teacher asked the kids to tell some things they could do with their hands.
I'm sure there were various answers but one child said "move things".
"That's right", said the teacher.  "If we didn't have our hands we couldn't move things."

Carter piped up and said,"I could."

When the teacher asked him about it he said

"I would just use The Force"


That's what happens when you are the youngest of 4 learn a lot of important things at a young age!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Schools starts...and other news

Well, school started.
Carter is in 11th grade at a new school in a new state.

I forgot to take a picture before his first day so I made him take one right after school.
I got this one picture and then my phone died.
He doesn't want to try again.
Besides, it's like day 5 now.

We got some patio furniture
so we can eat outside.
We have a nice covered patio and the evening weather has been gorgeous.
No mosquitoes.
Lots of flies.

And the whole table and chairs are...
Because my house just doesn't have enough beige!
But it was a great that comforts me.

I spent an entire day cooking, canning, chopping, and freezing
the produce from Frank's garden.
It was a lot of work and I felt like my return was not very great.
I made soup which took a long time.
Then canned it.
Shredded zucchini.
Made zucchini bread and muffins
made dinner!
Too much kitchen work for me.

I love the way clouds come rolling over the mountains here.
So pretty.

Isabelle no longer thinks Kaylee is a cute addition to the family
(if she ever did think that)
She's jealous.
She gets a little rough with Kaylee...smacking her legs and feet as she sits in the carseat for example.
Crying and throwing fits when mom shows Kaylee attention.
It's kind of sad and kind of funny.

See her here pretending to be interested in the baby?
Her next move will be something mean.
You can see it in her face...

Monday, August 25, 2014

The way to a grandchild's heart...

Is apparently through her stomach.

We have learned that if we want Isabelle to come to us
then the best way is to have something yummy to eat.

Grandpa shared his zucchini muffin with her

And she sat on his lap happily for quite some time.
Not something she would do if we were just sitting on the couch talking.

 We have to be careful not to overfeed her.

Because she will just keep eating and then she goes home and gets sick.
She's kind of like a goldfish.

Crazy Hail Storm

The weather here in Utah has been amazing since we arrived.
I have only been here a few weeks and already my family is sick of me saying 
(sometimes multiple times in one trip outside)
or something along those lines.

It's been cooler than usual most days.
That's what the locals keep telling us.
We've have a number of thunder storms (I have always liked thunderstorms)
Even on hot days, the mornings and evenings are so nice.

Well, last night we had a first.

The first thing we noticed was that our back sliding door was covered in hundreds of flying bugs.
Mostly little ones.
This has never happened to us before so it was weird.
We mistakenly opened the door for a second and they just swarmed inside.
It was gross.
But we realized shortly that they were just trying to get under cover.

Suddenly there was all this loud noise.
We thought it was a sudden rain storm but it was way too loud.
So we went out the front door
(we learned our lesson about opening the back door)
and saw hail!

It was surprisingly big.
The trees were being ripped to shreds
and I doubt my brand new basil plant fared very well
(haven't checked on it yet)

Carter ventured out for a few seconds but the ice was painful so he didn't last long.

This morning we got up to find lots of shredded leaves scattered about
and quite a few that were blown inside the house as we were storm watching.

I'm still dealing with the little bugs that got inside.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

When I grow up...

You know how, when you're a kid, and something bugs you about your parents or the way the house is run,
you think to yourself
(or say out loud)
When I grow up I'm never going to do that!
I'll always do such and such...

Here are a few of the things I do
or don't do
simply because it bugged me as a kid:


At any time in my house you will find a plethora of ziploc bags in different sizes.
At least gallon and sandwich size!
I keep backups in the storage area so that I never ever ever run out.

When I was a kid we often took lunch to school
and our sandwiches were put into those fold over sandwich bags.
I always hated those things!
How can they possibly keep my sandwich fresh with that lame fold over thing?
(don't tell me...I don't really care)
I used to ask why we never got ziploc baggies
(like the cool kids)
I don't remember a specific response but I'm sure it was along the lines of
they are expensive
these work just fine
I swore that when I was a grownup I would have ziploc baggies!

And, as an adult, I have followed through.
Big Time.


Check it out, empty hangers just waiting for laundry.

Hangers were such a problem in my house growing up.
I still can't figure out exactly why except that we had lots of people in our family
so we had lots of things to put on hangers.
But, man, they were hard to come by!
If I was putting away my clothes and needed to hang something
I would go to my parents closet and search through all of my mom's clothes
looking for a rare empty hanger.
I would take all the empty ones I could find
which still usually wasn't enough for whatever I was hanging.
I don't know what my mom did when she needed to hang something up...

In my house, we have plenty of hangers and always will.
If I feel like I'm having to search for a hanger
I go buy some.
Now I don't know if hangers were as easy to come by back in the 70's and 80's...
now they are everywhere and super cheap.
So it doesn't make sense to not have enough.

Wrinkled Shirts

I don't recall specifically that this was a big problem in my house growing up
but then, we did a lot more ironing then than I do now.
and I was a kid
and what kid cares if he/she is wrinkled?

But somewhere along the way
when my kids were really little
I decided that I hated wrinkled t-shirts and pants that came out of the dresser.
Even if you fold nicely and don't overstuff the drawers
(my kids DO overstuff and DON'T fold nicely)
the clothes look shabby out of the drawers.

So I started hanging everything!
Not underwear, socks, shorts or pajamas.
But everything else in my house goes on a hanger.

Everything looks so much nicer that way.

Once my kids got older and started doing their own laundry
we were back to looking shabby.
Clothes get put in big piles on the floor or bed
rather than folded or hung
(unless I get cranky, which I sometimes do)
I have a kid or two who really doesn't seem to see wrinkles
or doesn't care that he looks like he slept in his clothes.

It's very hard on me.

They were probably thinking 
"when I grow up I'm not going to hang everything up! That's so dumb."

Linen Closet Obsession

I think I've written about this one before.

But in my house growing up, the linen closet was always a total disaster.
When you opened it, you were risking an avalanche of sheets, towels, wash cloths, and blankets falling all over.
Nothing had its own shelf.
We just folded the towels and shoved them into an open(ish) spot.
Gosh, so hard to fold.
I know! Lets just kind of roll them up and shove them into the closet.
My mom worked full time and counted on us kids to fold the laundry a lot of the time.
So the linen closet was just not a priority.
I can understand it.
But it drove me completely nuts.
I tried to organize it a time or two but it never lasted.

Ever since I moved into my own place, I have had a seriously organized linen closet.
Sheets sorted by size and stacked together.
Towels folded just so and stacked together.
Everything has its place.

My new house in Utah doesn't have a linen closet.
Each bathroom has a nice big closet though
so I have to make do.
Carter's bathroom has his towels, sheets, washcloths.
Our bathroom has our towels, sheets, washcloths.
And the guest room closet has the sheets for that room plus the extra blankets.

It's a little more of a hassle when putting stuff away
but it's neat and tidy
and it's working for me so far.


We had a big family and limited resources
so anytime we had some kind of delicious treat around
we had to make it last and stretch it out the best we could.
Everyone understood this.
You always had a half of a popsicle, never the whole thing.
I always wished I could hold onto the two sticks at once and eat the whole thing myself!

It wasn't really a big deal
I can't say it bugged me greatly
 but I do remember thinking that when I grow up
I will never say "no" if my kid wants a popsicle.
I mean, how bad can they be?
It's frozen juice basically.
It's like having a drink, not eating a treat!
and sometimes
not every time
I would let them have the whole thing.

So, in the summertime once I had kids
I bought popsicles on a regular basis
and if my kid asked for a popsicle
I said "sure!"
I often broke them in half, just like my mom.
But occasionally, that lucky kid would get the whole darn thing.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stuff in my head at midnight

We got Carter all registered for school.
Here in Utah, our taxes are lower than they were in Massachusetts
but, holy moly (moley?) they have a lot of school fees!
Carter's fees were $232!
What did that pay for?
book rental
library fee (what?)

no locker
no yearbook
no parking pass
no activities

those will come later I assume, when Carter
1-gets his license
2-realizes he needs a locker
3-makes friends and wants to do something other than watch youtube (please!)

He was pretty annoyed that not only does he have to take English, Math, and PE but he has to pay to do it! haha

I have made zero headway on the removal of the wallpaper since I last mentioned it.
I am at a loss.
I have called and emailed a variety of drywall people
and have gotten no responses.
I told Frank I would can some tomatoes from his garden while he was out of town on a business trip
and he said he'd rather I worked on the dining room.
Too bad for him.
I'm canning tomatoes.
Denial is my way of dealing with the dining room project for now.

I know what you are thinking.
Frank is so lucky to have me.

Guess what?
Isabelle is starting to like me!
She smiles when she sees me.
She gets excited to go upstairs to our house.
She puts her arms out so I can pick her up.
She holds my hand and we walk around the backyard.

Kaylee is still stingy with the smiles and giggles
but I can get one now and then.

I'm still nervous to actually babysit.
Two kids under 2.

I realized today that I am kind of prickly.
I'm having trouble acting warm/fuzzy/happy/nice towards the people here.
I'm annoyed.
My kid isn't happy so I'm not happy.
Their accent bugs me.
They are all so dang friendly...seriously I can't take it.

I know none of my reasons for being prickly make a lot of sense.
But it's the truth.
I'm working on it, ok?

I am lucky that I already have some built in friends here.
It's making the move a bit easier 
(but it's still hard, don't get  me wrong)
I've seen my old buddy Annette from PA two times!
I'm going to lunch with my internet friend, Jacey, tomorrow.
I had my family here for a BBQ.
My parents have dropped by a number of times.
Amber, the babies and my son are right downstairs...which has been awesome!
I have a few other friends who are patiently waiting for me to be less crazy so we can get together.
It feels good to know I'm not all alone out here.

I joined a gym
Now I'm really at home since I have a place I pay money to every month so that I can never go but feel guilty about it.
I did tack up their class schedule on my cork board.
So that's progress.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baby Blessing!

I'm way behind on blogging
because I have so much to do
and I'm doing so much darn thinking 
(aka worrying)
that I'm having trouble accomplishing anything.

But I am forcing myself to sit down with the computer and tell you about the baby blessing!

On Sunday, August 10,
Kaylee Elizabeth Hill
was blessed.
(It's similar to a christening for those who don't know much about my religion)
“Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name” (D&C 20:70).

She wore the same dress that Isabelle wore.
It was made by Great Grandma Janice using the fabric from my wedding dress.

Her Dad blessed her and it was very touching and sweet.
Great Grandpa Davidson, Grandpa Frank Hill, Great Grandpa from Amber's side (sorry I don't know his last name!), Uncles and Uncles-to-be were all part of the circle as well.

Afterwards, we went back to our place for a family barbecue.

It was our first family "party" since we moved here
and we were a little disorganized
but it was still fun!

We learned a few things:
We need some outdoor furniture
We need some folding chairs
Utah has WAY more flies than Massachusetts
(but less mosquitoes...)
Flies are less attracted to flypaper than to us and our food
If we barbecue under the covered porch, the house will fill with smoke and we will set off all of the smoke alarms in the house.
Not all of the smoke alarms have a silence feature.

No pictures were taken until after most of my side of the family had left.
That's just one example of my disorganization.

There was lots of food
and it is my absolute favorite thing to see my boys hanging out and chatting together.
They really seem to enjoy each others' company.

We were missing Austin!
I hope he can come for a visit sometime soon!

Kaylee, in true Kaylee fashion, slept through most of the party.
But once she woke up, she put up with our picture taking, clothes changing and carrying her around
without much of a fuss.
What a good kid!

We have since purchased 3 fly swatters.
and we are still trying to kill all of the flies that got in during the party!