Saturday, October 31, 2009

Give it your best shot

Can you guess what we are?
John, Annabel, and I all dressed ourselves in theme this year for our church's Trunk-or-Treat.

We represent the title of a well-loved children's book. (And no, I am not the Statue of Liberty. My very wicked face is a clue.)

And I think this just may be the cutest costume I've ever made. (Or maybe it's just the baby, which I also made, so I'm keeping my pride.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

And speaking of apples. . . .

Number One reason to climb an apple tree:

Number One reason to wear shoes when you decide to jump out:

Olivia, one of my three little monkeys, was climbing up and down all Grandma Wells's fruit trees when we were in Monticello a couple weeks ago. Right before we were leaving for a Nielson family party, she decided there was one last delectable-looking apple that simply begged to be picked. She had taken off her shoes to jump on the trampoline, but climbed up that tree anyway, lickety-split, and only had a problem when she lost her footing on the jump out. For all my talk about how I have no motherly intuition (I never know what gender my baby will be, and I never can tell if it is my child or another child crying), I knew immediately by the way she was crying that something was wrong. Uncle Sandy, or Dr. Nielson as he is known in Blanding, and Aunt Donna arranged an x-ray in their clinic, and when we saw that she had a buckle fracture in both bones, they casted it for free. I said "thanks" before, but I need to say it again. Thank you! We really appreciate that.
Now that her cast is on, she's back to her old self. Everyone on the Hole-in-the-Rock trip signed her beautiful pink appendage, and there was just enough room for everyone in her school class to sign it, too. (Mrs. R made them all practice writing very small before she allowed them to write on the cast. She must have some experience in first-grade cast-signing tantrums to have given her that foresight.)
Edited to add this picture from my cousin Andrea's blog. She was sweet enough to take a picture of Olivia just after she got her splint and sling. We were at Bodell's (Andrea's daughter) birthday party, and it was delayed while we took Bodell's grandma to the hospital with us.

Very soon after she broke her arm reaching for that last amazing apple, it became difficult for her to eat apples at all. Can you guess what she wants for Christmas?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm glowing. It's HAPPENING!

(This post is written by my darling newest sister-in-law, Kasey Jean Wheeler Anderson, whom we met for the second time this past weekend. She and my brother Rob came to visit Chicago and South Bend, and it was delightfully fun. I've stolen this from my family's blog because a)it's always nice to get a new perspective (especially about my own kids), b) Kasey wrote it up better than I ever could, and c) I still haven't pulled my act together since our little trip to Utah. I'll be blogging again soon.)

This past weekend Rob and I flew to Chicago to visit his favorite city, and his favorite little girls. Best weekend ever.

Rob convinced me to pack all of my stuff for 4 days in one backpack.

You can see how well that went over.

We wandered around Chicago a little bit until we met up with the party van. (Editor's Note: Rob guided me through the South Side of Chicago into downtown when I got lost on the way to pick them up. The maps capability of the iPhone made me a believer.) We headed over to the Museum of Science and Industry. Eye spy, trains, baby chicks...and as Mimi would say, "So much fweakin fun!"

Then it was time for Chicago's stuffed crust pizza (which was incredible). It took about an hour for our pizza to come and in the mean time we had quite the group. It came down to the girls licking seasonings off their plates with a little bit of parmesean, pizza sauce, and the occasional crushed cracker. Mimi decided she was concoting a potion, when I asked what kind of potion she said it was a Pineapple potion that apparently turned you into a princess. A few seconds later she says, "I'm's HAPPENING!" SO classic.

Over in her highchair, Bella was determined to reach satiation. She was going to take matters into her own hands, literally, and just lick every last morsel from her plate. And it's not like we're going to stop her, it was fweaking hilarious.

Mimi and Livi were withering away with their lack of food asking over and over, "are we going to get our food OR WHAT?!" "Or what" was the phrase of the weekend, as it was tacked onto every sentence where it would fit. "Are we going to watch a movie, or what?" "Aunt Kasey, you been wearing dose eawings (earrings) all week, do you have any oder eawings or what?!" And my personal favorite, "Can we have some more orange pumpkin head, OR WHAT!?" (Rob bought a rice crispy treat covered in melted candy corn).

And it was cold and rainy the whole weekend, but what is a little rain amongst munchkins?

...and who's to say rain and mud would stop us from apple picking?

And to celebrate John's Birthday, and a little early Halloween fun...a party. Complete with ghost bowling, pin the nose on the Jack-O-Lantern, and John dressed as a Shaman. Awesome.

(Of course, skinny-minny Kasey fit into the size 6--CHILD'S--ladybug costume. Rob was perfect as Flik from A Bug's Life.)

I would say that you can't tell how much fun we were having by the pictures...but I think they did the weekend justice.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Here we go a-pumpkining. . .

On Wednesday, our wives' club scheduled a little jaunt up to Stovers' Farm, where we have previously picked peaches, grapes, and apples, for an autumn hayride.
It was chilly.
But not so chilly as to prohibit some friendly wrestle-mania.
And the tractor must be watched very carefully and very soberly.
Then everyone got to pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. (I was grateful it was not a real pumpkin patch with dirt and pumpkin vines, but rather full of pre-picked pumpkins on a freshly-mowed lawn.)
Bella made several choices, picking the best possible pumpkin. . . . . . then spotting another one, much better.We were treated to an interesting story from a darling grandma about farmers and Potowatomi Indians, then they gave us samples of fantastic apple cider. But the biggest hit was the choosing of a single apple from the apple orchard. Annabel picked one nearly as big as her own head. I thought she'd soon lose interest, but she consumed that entire apple, core and all. Yum.If I had access to an enormous haybale, I'd make one of these happy jack-o-lanterns too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Series of Rhetorical Questions

What would you think if you heard that you could purchase a bushel of apples for $4.45? Would you think that if one bushel for $4 was a good thing that two bushels for under $9 was a fantastic thing?

What would you think when two bushels of apples showed up at your door and each bag weighed more than your six-year old? A reasonable person would never, never, EVER hurriedly hide those two large bags of apples in the garage, of course, but would a reasonable person think about hiding the bags in the garage? And then maybe hide those overwhelming bags of apples in the garage later?

Let the record show that this bag was half-empty at the time of this photo opportunity.
What would you think if another canning novice showed up at your door with this pot? Would this be the pot you would peg as the perfect pot for boiling up 150 pounds of apples? (Or would you secretly try to stuff two one-year-olds in the pot because that would be funnier than destemming and cutting 3 million apples?)

Would you complain bitterly or laugh hysterically as those 150 pounds of apples were squished through a food grinder? How many times would you need to use Google to determine how to bottle up some applesauce?
And two final questions:
Would you be absolutely astounded when 150 pounds of apples turned into a perfectly reasonable amount of applesauce?And how proud would you be of yourself and your novice partner when it turned out to taste delicious?

Friday, October 2, 2009


Picture unrelated to post except it shows three things I love
Things I love today:
*Crisp air and bright sunshine, especially after last night's thunderstorm.
*A lovely friend entertaining Naomi downstairs.
*Refashioning princess dresses for my girls from thrift-store prom dresses (only $5 each!)
*Getting up early to read my scriptures each day for a month. It's fantastic the difference this has made to my attitude and priorities. (Have I learned this lesson before? Absolutely. Will I probably have to learn it again sometime in life? Almost certainly. Let's hope it won't take too many more slips before this becomes a permanent habit.)

Things that still frustrate me:
*Trying to figure out time slots for cleaning the house, feeding the children, and exercising in the same day. I can't even quite get that worked out, but my sanity requires creative time, and I'd love to offer help to my friends who need it. My routine is still definitely a work in progress.
*That the window of opportunity for a baby to have a great nap is almost infinitesimally small. If you miss it, BOOM!, you may have doomed yourself for the rest of the day.
*That Google Reader doesn't work with private blogs. WHY NOT, fancy-pants Google Reader? You know my Blogger login. It seems you ought to be able to read those private blogs that I'm allowed to read. However, G.R., please don't take offense at my ire. Other than that (and especially with this little trick), you have made keeping up with my blogging friends a joy of efficiency. So, really, my complaint is just minor. Please don't kick me out.