Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Themes

Have you thought about your new-year's resolutions yet?
I have seen a whole lot of people wanting to get fit- but that's pretty standard.
I have seen a whole lot of people wanting to do better things with their money.
I have seen even more people who seem to have no idea what to do with their lives.

Every new year I ask myself a few questions:
What did I do really awesome last year? And do I want to continue to do that?
What did I say I would do but then forgot about?
What is a new thing I can work on?

My dear friend chooses a theme for her family each year. She has her new theme up and going already.
And that inspires me to share with you my family's "theme" for this year.

Last year, I used the quote: "Fix it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without". That worked very well for us. I learned to use what I had and re-purpose a lot of old things into new things. That will be my "keeper" quality from last year.
I said I would make it to the temple EVERY MONTH, but then things were not as awesome in the summer, and truth be told, I think I made it 50% of the time.
That's clearly not good enough.
So, I am re-committing to making temple attendance a priority.

My new thing to work on is:
FOOD.

Here's the skinny. My kids won't eat.
Well, they won't eat anything that is remotely good for you. I may have mentioned how difficult it is getting them to eat anything.
So, that's my project this year.
I WILL GET MY CHILDREN TO EAT VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND GOOD GRAINS!
I realize this will take planning and probably a lot of food prep.
But I think I can do it.

Step 1:
We have a fresh veggie tray out on the dinner table everyday before dinner right around 5pm when they get all hungry. That way, we can get more veggie in them, they can be raw and hopefully that will help them be a little more adventurous.

Disclaimer: I was a picky eater when I was a child, but I don't think I was ANYWHERE NEAR the level my own kids have achieved.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Christmas Letter


The Daily Christmas Letter- 2011

This year has been a wonderful blessing! We have done some neat things and have a few highlights from our year to share with you.
Drue: In February, Drue traveled to Kearney, NE to present his work Brass Quintet at the New Music Festival X. His music was well-reviewed and he landed a gig in San Francisco in July, where another group performed 5 short movements from his Trio. Scholastically, this year has been very difficult and we are pleased to share with you that he is officially ABD (all but dissertation). This means he can apply for jobs- and that makes me very happy.
Ashley: In April, I ran a Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) in Olathe, Kansas. It was a great experience and I’m beginning to train for it again this winter! In addition to running, I teach gymnastics at the local YMCA, teach Yoga, teach piano and conduct the Primary music. I also went to Girl’s Camp this last summer and it was fantastic!! I’m really looking forward to going back! We moved houses and while that was difficult, it was worth it.
James: This big boy is now in kindergarten! It’s hard to believe but it’s true. He is doing very well. This year, James learned to read (and he’s great!), learned to ride a bike without training wheels (on the first try too!), learned how to swim underwater and hold his breath, and is growing like a weed! He had a great time with BOTH sets of grandparents this year, and went to the beach for the first time ever.
Oliver: Continuing the year of learning, Oliver learned how to talk- and he’s very good at it. He also grew up enough to start riding a bike which he loves. He’s still not a fan of swimming- in fact, he get’s really mad when he’s forced to just try it, but he loves being around his big brother and wrestling. Oliver started a little pre-pre-school this fall and he LOVES ‘going to school’.

We had a blessed 2011 and wish you all a safe, happy and abundant new year- 2012!

Merry Christmas,
Drue, Ashley, James and Oliver Daily

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In which we learn that I am a genius.

No, seriously.

Problem: Your 5-year-old has been trying to eat ALL the gingerbread house by himself. He keeps breaking off pieces of frosting and saying, "Look! This piece of frosting broke off all by itself!" To which I reply, "Well, I guess you had better eat it." This happens many many times.

James was looking forward to making the gingerbread house all year. Whenever I mentioned christmas, he would always ask if we were going to make a gingerbread house this year. I always answered affirmatively. So, when it was time to build the gingerbread house, he was well prepared and excited to help this year. "Help"being the usable term for "eat all the candy before it gets put on the house". It was funny and so I let him eat a bit.
This may have been a mistake.

So, I came up with the most brilliant way of getting rid of the gingerbread house without permanently scarring my kindergartener by throwing it out right in front of his face.

I made up a story.
It goes like this:
On the night before Christmas Eve, Santa Claus travels around the whole world with his reindeer going from house to house to get food. The only food reindeer can eat the day before christmas is gingerbread houses. It's the only food that gives them enough sugar-power to get them around the world, delivering Santa and his sleigh for one whole night. So, on the night before Christmas Eve, we leave out gingerbread houses with a note for Santa to give the sweets to Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer, and maybe he'll leave a note for you!

With a little help from me, James wrote a note to Santa explaining that our gingerbread house was for Rudolph. We left it on the table and J went to bed.

Imagine his surprise this morning when his gingerbread house was gone and there was a NOTE FROM SANTA saying thank you for the gingerbread, Rudolph really liked it, and to be a good boy.
I've never seen a child so excited. His face went from confusion to "OH!!!!!!!"in under 5 seconds. Then he ran to me and was jumping up and down, giving hugs and kisses and was wriggling with excitement- like a puppy would. It made his morning. It made mine too:)

He wrote another note to Santa:
Mery cherismas Santa chllohs. I (heart) you.

Definitely a happy morning for sure! I can't wait to see his reaction to the presents Santa brings him tomorrow.
Major plus: I don't have to sorry about that silly gingerbread house anymore! Hooray!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

When life gives you lemons

go shopping ASAP. Retail therapy almost always works wonders.
So, I did.

Here's what I bought:


It's my big christmas gift this year from my wonderful Aunt.
It was a MAJOR STEAL OF A DEAL.
It helped me feel not quite so sad.
A bit.

Here's what I love about it:
Solid Oak. Can you say "sand and paint" or "sand and stain"?! Or maybe just keep it that warm honey color. It kind of matches my project armoire.
The chairs are solid too.
Turned legs.
HIDDEN LEAF. Not a take-out-and-store leaf, my leaf is hiding under the table top!!! Sneaky sneaky, table.
Bigger. A lot bigger. So, I'm not bumping elbows with kids/guests.
When the leaf is in, two people fit on each long side! So, if more kids are born, we'll have room for them.
Round corners and beveled edges. Child-safe.
And did I mention it was a KILLER DEAL??! 

So now, we have a beautiful table on which to serve you all a delicious dinner.
Chicken Tikka Masala, anyone?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

THE WORST DAY EVER

Or,
Why I'm Not In Canada Right Now.

I had the most horrific experience today. As a matter of fact, I'm still sobbing my head off about it.

A word to the wise: do NOT try to "save money" by getting the passport card.
It will NOT get you in an airplane to go see your family for christmas in Calgary.
It will NOT even get you through the gate in Omaha.
It will NOT listen to your pleas to the ladies behind the counter, to the person on the customer service phone, to the congressman of your district to see if he can do anything for you, and it will NOT comfort you as you shed tear after tear because after all you have done- it's still not enough.

So, do me a favor.
Don't ask me how Canada was. I will not have an answer except for bursting in to tears- and that will be awkward for both of us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Off to Canadia

Dear two people who read my blog,
I am going to Canada tomorrow morning.
I will return.
With pictures.
And stories.
But mostly with priceless memories.

love
Ashley

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day #33-#37: Before and After

Moving is the worst. Why don't I EVER seem to remember that?!
I always get excited about moving.
A time to cull through the accumulated crap of a few years spent in one place.
A time to go piece by piece and evaluate the worth of every pen and pin.
Did it serve it's purpose this year? Did I use it even once?
Did I even know I had one of those?
If the answer is ever 'no', then out it goes!
But when the answer is 'yes'.... well, things get cramped quick.

 Lovely, isn't it? 
I honestly thought I was going to LOOSE my MIND.
The boys thought it was hysterical to remove all the things I had carefully packed and use them as weapons/bouncy things/missiles.
Boys.

Then, we moved all the stuff from one tiny place to a MUCH bigger place.
I feel like a grown-up.
I have a Master Suite with a bathroom AND walk-in closet that connect only to MY bedroom and not to any adjacent hallway.
I have another whole bathroom for the convenience of everyone else.
I have an extra 2 feet of head room- because I now have 12-foot ceilings.
You want to come stay with us because you happen to be passing through Nebraska?
Fine! I have an extra 400 square feet to oblige you.
And a very comfy sleeping bag.

The Living Room from the boy's hall, in front of the laundry room. Notice my stockings hung on the wall? Yeah, we don't have a fire-place.

The Living Room from the front door. Do you see my crown moulding? Looking at the laundry room doors, to the left is the boys room, to the right is the boy's/visiting bathroom. It's huge. Like, waste-of-space huge. I love it. But the toilets are low-flow and the pressurized water flush has a very loud "WHOOSH!!" sound that scared the pant off of James the first time he used it.
It was both sad for him and very very funny for us.

The Dining Room off to the immediate left of the Living Room. I've got a project going on that Armoire with the Nutcrackers on it. It might be done in 10 years. We'll see.

The Kitchen to the right of the Dining Room. I LOVE THIS KITCHEN FOR THE COUNTER SPACE. You can't see it in the photo, so come over already and I'll make something delicious for you.

My bedroom looks EXACTLY like I remember my parent's room looking for my ENTIRE LIFE. Clean laundry on the bed, separated in to piles that will eventually be moved not to their destination, but to the floor of the room so the inhabitants can slumber. Did you notice the sleeping bag?
James is back to sleeping in my room.
It's been tough on that poor guy.
But last night he slept in his own room until 6am this morning when he came booking it into mine. And just because I told you that, he'll be in my room tonight at midnight. Awesome.

The view of 'The Office'. I wish I had a cool theme song to play here. But no.
Big picture will be hanging here soon. But I need to hit up Home Depot for a wall-anchor.

I'm not sure if you noticed this amazing piece of home decor in the earlier picture of the living room, but I just HAD to show it off!
My dear friend made this for me for my birthday. Isn't it beautiful?! It's made of old sheet music!!!! So, you know, it's PERFECT for the music nerd family. And truly prodigious in dimension! It's almost 3 feet in diameter. Yeah, my dear friend loves me that much.

And here's the nook. When the christmas season is over, a bookshelf will occupy that place on the wall and I will have what I've always wanted: a library. Or at least a place to sit and read. Wing-back chairs are my new obsession.

I would have taken you through my closets and bathrooms, but some things need to remain a mystery. Amen and amen.

ps. Do you love my tiny tree? Big ones are expensive and I'm poor cheap frugal. So take that, consumerism!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day #32: The Shopping List

Here is James' shopping list:
popcoarn
pizza
candy
poatato
pear
turkey
meat
chiken
duck
caret

I'm not really sure why there seems to be so much meat on that list- even including the word 'meat'!- because we don't eat much of it, and James won't touch it with a yard-stick, but there you go. A full 60% of what's on this list is stuff he refuses to eat.  Maybe you can get him to eat. I sure as heck can't.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

for your musical entertainment.

You need to see this.
Carl Orff is rolling in his grave with laughter.
I am still chuckling.

The first is for my fam-damily in Canadia.
The second, because it's funny.

And I love funny.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day #31: James spells

This is too funny not to share.
J is in Kindergarten and he loves it. He's a pretty advanced reader- for a 5 year old- and is also pretty good at spelling.
Here are some 'c' words in the original spelling:
cat
corn
cherismas
chokleit

Day #27-30: continuing

We moved!
I'm sending out our new address today so you all can update your christmas card mailing list. I think this year we are going paperless. Unless I hear a public outcry in the comment section. Then I might think about sending REAL cards.

We moved and we have almost doubled the amount of living space we had in our old place.

We moved and I have NO idea where some important things are.

We moved and I feel like a grown-up: I have a master suite. Bedroom, bathroom and huge walk-in closet all connected together. I. have. arrived.

We moved and I haven't had my bed to myself since. The boys are not acclimatized to their new surroundings. Especially James. He's having a very difficult time with this. We are actually back to using a sleeping bag on the floor next to my bed. BUT. I am getting sleep. Now if only Oliver would stay in his bed...
Guess I know what I'm asking Santa to bring me for Christmas.

We moved and I decided that baby gear is not something you want to drag from house to house with you. Ergo, I'm selling my double stroller, jumparoo, swing, exer-saucer, bouncy chair, and a few other things on craigslist. I hope someone wants them because I surely do not.

As SOON as I have everything in it's right place (double bonus points if you can name the band with a song of that title), I'll post pictures.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day #25-26: The Move

We are moving. Not too far away but far enough that we needed two days to do this thing. Thank heavens for good friends who help us out- if it were just D and I, it might never get done:)
I promise to post pictures of our new palace.
As soon as I get my mind put back together.

Enjoy the days off!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day #24: Spiderman





This had been a whole year of Spiderman.
A YEAR. James has been referring to himself as 'Spiderman' for a whole year now.
oy.

Day #23: Awkward

You're all familiar with the website that specialized in awkward family pictures, right?
I love seeing those.
It makes me feel infinitely better about my family photos.

But I think this one could be labeled an awkward family photo.
I look manic. Oliver is CLEARLY not happy to be on my lap, Drue looks like he's nauseated. Or in pain. and James has that serial killer look.

'We are a ha-ppy fa-mi-ly'.

Day #22: Thankful turkey

Family Home Evening.
Or, as we lovingly referred to it when I was growing up, Family Fight Night.
I've heard of people who had wonderful FHE experiences, full of loving and insightful words of wisdom from the scriptures and parents, fun things to do that have been planned all week, a delicious treat baked with care by Mom that day, with nary a snarky word nor hurt feeling.

But then, how much fun would that be if that was the ONLY kind of FHE?!
Ours was a full-on brawl that opened and ended with prayer.
I jest.
Maybe.

Drue and I have been trying to get FHE to be interesting for our EXTREMELY demanding audience and difficult demographic: namely, male children aged 2.5 to 5.

But we have found something that really seems to work!
ART LESSONS!!!

That's right. Every monday night, we have a small lesson that focuses around drawing.
Monday's lesson was about gratitude (what else?!).
See how thankful we are:
Just in case you can't read our thankful-feathers, here's what we came up with:
Parks and Recreation (the activity and the show. I heart Ron Swanson)
Warm water
Good friends
Family
Fresh bread
Train tracks
Volcano
Sewing machine
House
Yoga
Spider (I'll let you know that I am NOT thankful for spider. James is)

Happy thanksgiving and may your FHE's always be merry and bright.

Day #21:Underwear

There comes a point in every boy's life when you just get to sit around in your underwear and watch a movie.
Today was that day.
you're welcome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day #20: Hide and Seek

We have been playing a LOT of hide and seek.

This is how we play.
James counts to ten: onnnne, twoooo, threeeee, fourfivesixseveneightnine, TEN!!! I have found his counting pace to speed up in a direct correlation to how fast the hider is removing from his sight.
He also counts with his eyes open. But we're working on that.

Once he has counted- quickly- he goes on a tip-toe tour of the house.

If you are not found just around the corner, he starts calling your name with increasing panic.
"mom? Mom? Mommm? MOM?! MOM!! MOMMMMMMYYYY!!!" It might be pathetic if it weren't so funny.
I know, I know- he's going to be in therapy because of me.

Here's how Oliver plays:
He starts counting and then HE goes and hides. When he gets done counting, and you're standing there looking confused, he POPS out of his hiding place with a big "Ifoundyou!!!" said with a binky clenched between teeth.

The proof is in the pudding.
I guess if I were as small as he is, I would totally claim a vacant bookshelf as a hiding place. He just looks so cozy!

Here's a video of this whole thing with me counting, James hiding (and I really didn't tell him where to hide- he figured that one out on his own), and Oliver giving him away.

video

Monday, November 21, 2011

All But Dissertation

All But Dissertation is the step before graduating with a phD or DMA.
It's affectionately known as ABD.

And I can now announce that Mr. Nels Drue Daily is officially ABD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

It's like being a dr. without the dr. part attached to your name.

I am so proud. We have been 'students' for 6.5 years. 6.5 years without a steady income. 6.5 years of stretching our budget as tight as possible. 6.5 years of hard work, multiple jobs split between the two of us, late nights and early mornings. 6.5 years of riding the bus to school and work- Drue really has done this. We do not have a second car so he has been riding his bike, walking, and riding the bus to school AND work for 6.5 years.

He has worked so hard. I do not say this glibly. Hard hard HARD.

And when he graduates in May, he will be the only person in his family with ALL 3 DEGREES, and be the only one with all 3 degrees from different universities, and and the only one without a single degree from BYU. (I'm referencing the one in Provo)
He'll also be the only one with a degree in something other than the hard sciences:)
I guess that makes us, like SUPER black sheep.


I'm not prone to boasting:). But this accomplishment I feel calls for a special blog post.

Congratulations hon!!! The light at the end of the tunnel is ALMOST HERE!

Feel free to add your congratulations in the comments:) I know he'd like to see them.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day #19: Family pictures redux

My friend took family pictures for us this year. She was great- we were in and out of pictures in less than an hour! That's my kind of photo session!

James- 5 years old

                                                                  Oliver- 2.5 years old

                                                           Two boys: 37 years, cumulative

                                               The family: 67.5 years old, cumulative.
                                                           Almost 7 years old as a unit.

And I will expect a 'happy anniversary' from each and every one of you...... come April 29th.

Day #18: The difference apparent

This video clearly shows the difference in personality between my two boys.
Just seconds before I took this, both boys were laughing, jumping and being all-around cute.
Then I tried getting video.

Note to self: just sneak up on them doing funny things. NEVER let them know you're getting the camera.
If you surprise them, they will continue to be adorable.
If you clue them into your intentions, they will either freeze in the spotlight or go wild with performance.

video

But I got a couple cute stills of them.

Day #17: What I made

What do you get when you take one sleeping owl...

                                                     And one awake owl......

                                                      And put them together?...............
                         Well first, you get an accurate picture of what my bedroom looks like at 6:00 this morning. I am the awake owl. That would be because my devil charming children woke up WAAAAY too early this morning.
       You also get a preview for a friend's birthday present. I made these all by myself. Hand stitched, stuffed and loved. I think they are darling.
        What's that? You want one or two? Sure. They are a million dollars a piece. Just kidding. Only $200. Maybe that's a bit over-priced. But my sanity is worth at least that much.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day #16: a little bit of trivia

When you see a cloud trail in the sky and you think it might be from an airplane or a rocket, you are automatically incorrect. James says it's from a shark- a cloud shark.
And he cannot ever be wrong.
Ever.

Cloud shark.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day #15: The whole fam-damily

This summer we took a surprise trip to California. Like, a VERY surprise trip. We got the call on Sunday morning and left on Wednesday at 6am. It was a wonderful trip. We did some fantastic things with the whole family- Drue's whole family. One of the things we did was to have family pictures taken with the ENTIRE Daily family- all the cousins, families, children, grandkids. Organizationally, a nightmare- but the results were worth it.
Here's our family picture from the summertime
And the boys:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day #14: Crazy Day

James had drug-free week at school last week. We had major drama about this, but I was able to catch him all dressed up for silly/clash clothes day.

He picked out everything. Even his hair do.
 But, after about 3 minutes of being dressed like this, he just couldn't take it anymore. He was NOT smiling about his hair. Note for future reference: Infusium B-23 negates super-hold hairspray.
We tried! I can see this half-smile being the bane of family pictures for years to come...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day #13: oh boy.

This morning hit me right between the eyeballs.
And it also hit Drue, in the left eyeball.
To be a bit more specific, pink eye hit Drue in the left eyeball.

No pics. He looks like a zombie. That that's the nice way of putting it.

My day started at about 12:30am. That's when D woke up totally confused and VERY concerned about his eye. It's all goopy, it throbs, I can't find anything wrong in it, he says. I go back to sleep. I know, I'm a really concerned wife at 12:30am. Not.
I was awakened again at 2:00am- this time, it's James who has decided to be afraid of monsters and is once again sleeping on my bedroom floor. Okay, I think. At least Oliver isn't up too.
I thought so. I was wrong.
Ollie gets up because he can't find his binky. I throw myself out of bed to deal with this at 2:45am.
Back in bed. Try try try to get to sleep. Can't. You know what I'm talking about here- I've had to think for more than 2 minutes in the middle of a REM cycle, so now I'm up a creek without a paddle. Metaphorically speaking.

James is up at 4:30-he's had a bad dream on my bedroom floor. Oliver is talking in his sleep- I can't help but listen in. He's calling my name in his sleep. It's DARLING.
James is up at 6:15- he's cold and wants in the warm bed.
I'm finally wrenched out of bed at 6:45am (my normal wake-up call) by both boys.

Oy vey.

The morning is great, I'm trying to get ready to leave for the Y to teach my gymnastics classes, I wake up D and his eye is swollen, glued shut and he almost vomits. Yay for the morning! no y for me.
Spend the morning at the Dr.'s office where I talk the boys into playing hide-and-seek for 45 minutes.
It's been basically me and the boys ALL day. I usually get a break on saturdays. Not this one.

But the talk-about story tonight was sweet.
James told me a story about a Skeleton on October 31, 2-3000-and-11, that looks up and sees a planet with rings, and the sun and he wakes up and the end.

Oh, and it's daylight savings time tomorrow. Don't forget to set your clocks! I did mine at 8pm tonight:)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day #12: Move it.

My boys think King Julius of Madagascar fame is The. Best. Character. Ever.
King of all movies.
Best.
Super-Julius.
Coolest Marsupial.
Above all others.
I apologize for the superfluous hyperbole, but they just love him.
They have learned how to "move it". You know what I'm talking about.

James is particularly good at this.
behold:
video

Day #11: Put me in the zoo

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there was a mommy who could read very fast. Her little boys loved to hear her read whole books in one breath and they would dance and run until, when she was finished, they would collapse into fits of giggles and laughter.

And now, the story comes to life:
video

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day #10: when your car gets sick

One day, while minding my own business, and parked very nicely at a stop light, I got rear-ended.
It thoroughly smashed in my trunk hatch, moved my bumper, destroyed the lights and knocked some internal things loose.
Suffice it to say, I was not pleased.
The only good thing about this whole debacle is that it was not my fault in the least. The other insurance company has taken good care of us, and I am thankful for that.
My car needed to get fixed ASAP on October 5th (date of the accident). Too bad it couldn't get fixed until October 31st! It may just be me, but I felt that was an unusually long time to wait until I could even take my car into the shop to get it fixed.

Halloween arrived (see my previous post) and the car went into the shop (almost) as planned. And I got this to drive:
It's a Mazda. I think that should be 'nuff said. But I'll elaborate. It's a Mazda POS 3.
Well, maybe that's not entirely correct.
It's not a total lemon.
Although, for the last couple of days it's been telling me that a tire has low pressure, but not which one so I can fix it!
jerk.

It's good points:
It can accelerate faster than my shaggin' wagon.

I think that's it.
It's not that I dislike Mazda cars.
I just really miss my Subaru.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

See our bones? We need to eat more.
Oliver refused to put on his whole costume. He went out in his favorite footies- I had to BEG him to wear the shirt I made for him!
As you can see, D didn't have the time to get makeup on.
But James and I had a great time with face paint.
Oliver dictated his own- including the colors. I had nothing to do with that. He looks like a space clown.

Happy Halloween 2011!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day #8: Halloween was a success!

We celebrated the epic holiday of Halloween by paying homage to my mom's heritage: We all dressed as skeletons.
My girlfriend took a picture of our family with her FAR NICER camera than mine, and I expect to have those photos tomorrow to share with you. But I'm sure you'll remember our pics of Boo at the Zoo. Same thing, more makeup.

We attended our ward Trunk-or-Treat and on the way home, passed our neighbor friends and this whole troop of children. Not wanting to put anyone out of their comfort zone, we immediately turned around so James and I could join them!

I have never seen a child so excited about Halloween. Including myself when I was young enough to be a trick-or-treater.
J RAN to every. single. home. whether they had their porch light on or not. At one house, that did NOT have a porch light on, but it DID have a door open, James stood there talking through the door to the person on the couch inside who was, I'm positive, desperately trying to ignore my 5 year old. To their everlasting credit, they did come to the door and explain to the hoard of children now gathered on their tiny doorstep that they did not have any candy, and they were sorry. It was sweet how all the kids kindly said 'thank you' then DASHED off the porch to the next house- presumably to make up time.
There was one house that was handing out a brilliant treat: JUICE BOXES!!! All the kids with us cracked theirs open ASAP- it was refueling time. But that meant J needed to go potty while we were out.
Another house, whose owners I had never met before, opened their house to my little 5 year old to use their potty. Bless them to high heavens for their generosity. I would have had a hard time keeping J from just dropping his pants and using an obliging bush as a latrine. Thank you thank you thank you house on Briarwood dr. You know who you are.

And the candy. Oh my. My boys did Boo at the Zoo, the 3-ward Trunk-or-Treat AND traditional Trick-or-treating. We. Have. Candy.
Honestly, we threw most of it out- you know the stuff: Jawbreakers, gobstoppers, pixi stix, starburst. The stuff tough to get out of teeth.
But our Reeses peanut butter cup pile was staked 10 high. Full size. Guess who's keeping those?
And we now have as many dum-dum's as the bank.
My favorite treat was a tiny bag of swedish fish! Who GIVES that anymore?!! I loved it.

And I'm thoroughly looking forward to next year's Dia De Los Muertos!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day #7

Still no photo.
It's sunday- no buying batteries.

but I had a little interview with James during Talk-about. Here it is:

Q: James, what did you learn about in Primary today?
A: I learned about Jesus God and the Temple. And there were some kids and I told the girl with the big fish.

Q: I know Sister Friest gave a lesson today. What did she talk about?
A: I learned about the knee fights.
Q: knee fights? Oh! The NEPHITES!
A: yes, the knee fights and how they (sound effect, like swords, maybe?) did that.

A: I love Thomas S. Monson. He's my favorite prophet.

Q: What did you sing in song time today?
A: I love to see the Temple and the best one.


There it is. He learned about knee fights. age appropriate.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day #6: the day the camera died

It's true. She ran out of batteries this evening, JUST as I was attempting to take a picture of the boys outside.
James is still wearing his Spiderman costume, thankyouverymuch.
And Oliver is just as cute as a button.

But a funny story.

Every night, our bedtime routine is executed with exactness. James will have it no other way! The funny thing is that James has added a part to the schedule: the talk-about.
In this segment, he talks about anything he wants to, and the listener is just there to listen. Sometimes he talks about what he wants to do, and that can include anything on any day in any year. So, for example, sometimes he talks about stuff he DID when he WAS 6. Welp, he's not 6. Not even close. He loves to talk about whatever is his obsession at the moment. Currently, he's talking about skeletons and spiderman. Tonight, in fact, his name was "SkeletonSpider". But if he actually SEES a skeleton or spider he's absolutely TERRIFIED. I'm not sure what to do about that- I'm not really sure anything ought to BE done about it. He's just got some fun ideas.

Tonight's talk about was a story.
He said:
Tonight's story is about a Man who had all bananas, and a skeleton by Dr. Seuss.
Once there was a man who had all bananas and he ate them. And a skeleton. The End.

I love to hear his stories- they crack me up and I just want to sit there with a paper and pen to transcribe everything he says. But I'd have to work on my short-hand and I've just not got the time for that. So it's very luck tonight's story was so short. Sometimes he tell such fantastic stories that I can't keep the characters and story lines straight. Maybe he'll be a writer. Or a mechanic. Yes, I need a good mechanic.

Please accept my apology for no picture tonight. I hope the story makes you smile.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day# 4 and 5

Question: What do you do when you're all dressed up as Spiderman and have no where to go?
Answer: You go to Boo at the Zoo!!

Okay, okay. We didn't just FIND him all dressed up with no where to go. Confession: I dressed him up AND told him where to go.
So, that first part may have been a fib.
Maybe.

Boo at the Zoo is a great celebration! It's especially good when you remember your zoo membership card (which I didn't do) and it's even better when they FIND your membership on the lists just in case you didn't bring your card (which they didn't).

I DID remember to bring my "Early Bird" passes though!
Just the fact that I had those I think saved our night.

And by the way, they STILL didn't find our Zoo membership on their lists, and actually told me that we didn't have one for the entire YEAR! Too bad we went to the zoo EVERY WEEK during the season. But they still took our money.
Can you tell I am nursing a small grudge here?

But to make a long story short, we got in, we went through, and we arrived home having consumed only 3 pieces of candy between the three of us.
I call that a success.

The boys. 

And one with the mommy. Please excuse the tired eyes. It's been a long week.


And Spidey, in the flesh.


Advice for my future self: come up with costumes that can be WARM. We might all go as Polar Bears next year.
Yes, that's a great idea.

The Hubs on the Radio

BIG NEWS!!!
Drue is on the radio this morning!!!
Thank you to NET Radio (our local NPR station) for having him on your Friday Live program, interviewing him AND playing his music!!!

We love NET!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day #3: Biggest surprise ever

I have been keeping a secret from James for weeks. And it has a whole lot to do with one of his favorite people in the whole world- Drue's mom, Grammy.
I've known about this visit for a couple of weeks and it was STILL a surprise to me when the day actually came. 
But I have been carefully plotting this afternoon for all of that time.

I picked up Grammy and Papa in Omaha this afternoon and we rushed home so Grammy could come to school with me and pick up J.
I carefully placed her in the spot where I normally stand, I stood just to the left of her and waited. And waited. And waited. 
Of course, J's class was the LAST one out.

But it was priceless!!!!!!
He saw us both, looked at me, then her then back to me, very unsure of what was going on. I'm pretty sure he thought he was hallucinating. 
Then he looked at me and back at her (again!) and back to me with a dawning realization.
It wasn't until the third try, and with a small wave and "hi James" from Grammy did he allow himself to believe.

This photo is of him beginning to say "Hi Grammy"
 Look at how excited this boy is!! HIs smile was just HUGE! And he couldn't believe she was really there until he for a big hug!!!
 Here's my James and Grammy- he is just so happy she is here. His teacher saw how happy he was to see her, she even came up and told me she got a little teary-eyed.
And I'll admit I did too.
Alright, I got a lot teary-eyed.

Just the look of pure joy on my boy-o's face was worth the wait. Here's to a few days of heaven.

to be continued...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day #2: Egg nog

Egg Nog is...
 is...
 Delicious?
 Yes! Delicious!
 Hey, I need a picture too!
 Check out my light saber.

I am trying to find a way to successfully upload video I've taken of our family to ANY video hosting website. Perhaps because I am such a video rookie, no site will WANT to host my films- and hey, I may not blame them- but I need suggestions now. The suggestion box is now open. Tell me how YOU do this.

Also, by way of explanation, tonight was the first time I've ever let James try Egg Nog. I've traditionally hid it in the back of the fridge so NO ONE- not even Drue- may drink my Nog. But for some reason, I've decided to become a bit more charitable regarding the dispersement of my coveted drink. And tonight was the night.
Step one, let J see the egg nog. His reaction "eww.... what is THAT!?"
Step two, let J smell the egg nog. His reaction "ugh...(wrinkles up his nose)"
Step three, get J to taste the egg nog. His reaction "..."
It was love at first taste.
He GULPED it down then asked for seconds. And when we told him no, asked to finnish D's drink. And when we told him no, asked to finnish MY drink.
He loves it.

I am glad.
He needed a taste of this before the holidays!