Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What will they say next?

Before I allowed myself to check anyone else's blog, I vowed I would update my own today. :)

So, it's been three+ months since my last documentation of the things my kiddos say, so here goes:

Carter: "I wish you could say 'you can have lots of treats' all the time!"

Me: "Carter, I'm tired of your whining."

Carter: "Well, I'm tired of your sewing."


Carter: "Can we watch Rio?"

Me: "Later."

Carter: "Daddy said 'later' too."

...a few seconds pass...

Carter: "Ya know, this is later."

Jemma to Carter: "Squeeze your own nose!"

Carter: "Gavin, push yourself!"

(My kids have issues with keeping their hands to themselves.)

Jemma to Carter: "You know why I have to do my exercises every single day? So when a bad guy comes to get me, I can punch him really hard."

Carter: "I don't like mermaids cuz they have booboos."

Jemma: "Mermaids don't have boobies Carter."

Carter, pointing to the Little Mermaid's chest: "What are those?"

Jemma: "Those are shells."

Me: "Oh Gavin, I think you have a poopy diaper."

Carter: "That's not Gavin. That's my bweath."

Me: "That's so nice of you to play with your brothers."

Jemma: "I know. I just love hangin' with my boys."

Carter: "Can I marry my friend?"

Me: "If you're in love with them and they love you too."

Carter: "Are you in love with Daddy?"

Me: "Yes I am."

Carter: "Oh, I'm in love too."

Me: "Really. With who?"

Carter: "With Reagan."

Me: "Oh, how do you know?"

Carter: "I don't know. I just am."

I am NOT a big fan of cereal, especially presweetened stuff...it's like sugar filled air with NO nutritional value and I'm hungry 30 minutes after I eat it...what a way to start the day. (And yet, 3 days out of 7, what's for breakfast in the Reed home...) Anyway, the other day, Jemma talked me into buying Lucky Charms. This is what Carter said (very excitedly) when I finally pulled them outta the cupboard: "Jemma!! Mommy bought Yucky Charms!"

Somehow the kids and I ended up talking about what a "crush" is...I defined it as when one person thinks another person is cute and likes them, to which Carter replied,

"Probly I'm a crush, cuz I'm cute."

I am learning to truly love homeschool - but there are certainly still days when Jemma gives me a run for my money. There was one particular morning when she wanted to play before reading to me and when I didn't budge she proceeded to throw a fit. When Carter interrupted her ranting, Jemma turned to him and said (in a high pitched wine), "We're trying to have a concentration here. We're kinda mad with each other."

I was talking with Carter about controlling his anger - alternatives to yelling and screaming. Ater explaining a few options Carter said, "Or I can punch them and they can fall down". I guess I'll have to keep working on that one.

Someone knocked on the door on a Saturday morning and I was unshowered, bra-less and still in jammies - I didn't recognize the person so I told the kids it was a stranger and that we needed to be quiet and not answer the door. Jemma's response was, "It' a stranger?! He's coming to take the kids!?!" and Carter's was, "Don't worry Mom, I'll get my gun."

Carter, as previously displayed, has become quite interested in marriage. First it was Reagan, and now it is Aunt Emma. Apparently he was eyeing her the other day while she was typing on her computer and when she asked him what he was doing, he told her, "I was just thinking if I could marry you." THEN, today Emma watched him and Gavin while I ran Jemma to a science class and when Emma left he was really sad.

Me: "Do you like your Aunt Emma?"

Carter: heavy sigh "Yes. I love her."

Me: "Ya, she's pretty fun."

Carter: "Who's she married to?"

Me: "She's not married yet."

Carter: "Probly she'll marry me."

Me: "She can't marry you. You're part of her family, and besides, she's too old for you."

Carter: "She's not old! Her hair is brown!"

Friday, February 17, 2012

this, that & the other

We've been stayin' pretty busy around here...but what's new! Aside from all the usual craziness, here are a few extra tid-bits we've been doin'.

1. Emma and I remade a couple of shelves.

Brandon's Grandpa Frank found a couple of shelves at a yard sale and was super sweet to give them to me. I wish I'd taken a before picture of them. Why do I always forget to do that these days? I guess I'm just overly eager to dig into a project. Anyway, to give you a visual, they were dark oak in color with scalloped backs that contained heart cut-outs. Initially I thought maybe I could use them in Jem's room someday...but I really didn't need two. So, I offered one to my sister Emma since she is in the process of re-doing her bedroom. Well, once I talked to Emma, the creative juices just started flowin'. We decided we were gonna take the shelves apart, replace the backs, give em' a fresh coat of paint and get some funky knobs to go across the backs.

So, off to Home Depot I went to look in their scrap bins for new wood for the backs and then to Hobby Lobby for knobs. Both successful trips - the wood was a little bowed and we had to saw the knobs down by hand, but with a little "brute strength" (say it like Scar off "The Lion King"), nothing is impossible for Emma and I. ;) Poor Emma ended up with blisters from sawing these bad boys off - if anyone has some nifty trick for sawing through metal (without an expensive piece of equipment), do tell.

Blasted little hand saw. We pulled out the circular saw initially, but figured it wouldn't be worth losing a finger over. Slow and steady paid off.

Back to power tools. (Sigh of relief.)

Ya baby!

Hey Reed, just wanted to say ThAnKs for letting us use your sweet drills. Gonna have to invest in some of those when I don't live close enough to borrow them!

Screwing in the AWESOME knobs. :)

Here is Emma's stellar shelf. Is that not ADORABLE!

And here's mine. I have a slight obsession with shelves. I think there is at least one in every bedroom and bathroom. Now there are two in me and Brandon's bedroom...Those funky knobs really compliment my goodwill mirror. :)

Love those knobs.

Moving on.
2. In early January, I pulled out all my brown and pink scraps and decided to make a Valentine quilt. Jemma noticed the colors and inquired if the quilt was for her...so, Jemma has a new, bigger quilt.

I love a good pinwheel, so that's what I did...I was having a hard time comin' up with a cute boarder. So, I talked to my quilting pro friend, Kristina and she pointed me in the PERFECT direction. I am in love with those little triangles. They just make me so happy!

And I backed it with a hot pink polka dot sheet from Target. :)

3. Brandon did some baking.

This is huge. He never bakes.

He wanted to do something for the office he did his 3rd rotation at, so he made cinnamon rolls to take into them on his last day.

He is a PRO! Next time our family is in the mood for this tasty treat, I'm sending him into the kitchen. :) (Can you tell he's trying not to smirk while I'm snapping shots of him in all his baking glory? I should've slapped an apron on him. Ha ha!)

Didn't they turn out great?

Not only did they look good, they tasted incredible too. Moist, fluffy, cream cheesy deliciousness.

So there you have it. Just a few snippets from the last couple weeks. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be My Valentine

Valentine's Day around here was pretty low-key...just how we like it. :) Jemma had a science class first thing in the morning, so we had to fore go the traditional heart-shaped french toast and save our Valentine meal for dinner...

If I'm honest, it wasn't as "Valentine-ee" as I had envisioned/hoped/planned...we ended up having taco salad and strawberries on paper plates (at least they were festive paper plates), a fruit smoothie with whipped cream, and GOBS of candy for dessert. I'm totally sick of sweets...and yet, here I sit eating a pile of Hershey kisses and dove chocolates. Apparently I have no self control - even if what I'm eating doesn't sound good. Brandon surprised me with roses and even took the kiddos for a bike ride while I made dinner. Preparing a meal with utter silence in the background was pretty awesome. Possibly better than the flowers. ;)

And, not that I made Jemma do much school work that day, but we did do some math with conversation hearts and, since I had a picture of it, I thought, might as well put it on here.

And, just for those of you who are interested, Jemma has had a recent BREAK THROUGH with her reading. It has been really exciting/rewarding/encouraging as a first-time home school mom to be a part of it. All of the rotten/frustrating/discouraging days paid off BIG TIME when things clicked for this little lady. Alleluia! Almost makes me feel like I could home school more than just this year...hmm.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Visiting the Evan's

Two weeks ago tomorrow (I am congratulating myself on posting this before the two week mark...I am perpetually two weeks behind) we loaded the kids into the van and drove down to visit my sister, Natalie, and her fabulous family in the warmest and sunniest portion of this state; So-Cal. Seriously, that's no exaggeration...when we headed up the grapevine, the skies were murky/smoggy with a temperature of 57 degrees. On the other side we were greeted by brilliant blue skies and a whopping 83 degrees - in JANUARY no less. Awesome. This was going to be a good trip. :)

So, these first two pics I meant to post last, but I screwed up and am unwilling to mess with rearranging the pictures now that they're all uploaded...the reason I put these on here is because my craft-genius sister had the stuff for us to make these adorable V-day banners. Natalie, I just wanted you to see how it COMPLETES the (simple) Valentine decor in my family room. Thanks a MiLlIoN. (And, sorry the lighting is so bad...I didn't take a picture until the sun had gone down.)

This room really isn't this yellow. Oh well. You get the point. That banner is ADORABLE! Love it. :)
Now, on to the main events!
Along with feeding us like kings and queens, putting us up in their gorgeous guest room (which I TOTALLY forgot to take a picture of. Seriously, Brandon and I want to move in), swimming/soaking in their spool and basking in the So-Cal sun, the Evans Family took us to SEA WORLD. Man, that place is cool...and even cooler if you get in for FREE (say in a high sing-song voice). Ya ya, thank you Military discounts, (and Brandon for serving in the US Air Force). They, of course, have amazing shows. Here's Brandon, Jemma (never looks at the camera) and Kyrie waiting for the Killer Whale show to start.

Carter, Natalie and Brian.

Mr. Gavin.

And, the killer whales! Those guys/gals are AMAZING. It's incredible how much personality and strength they have.

Brian, favoring us with a self-shot. :)

It was amazing to watch these guys lift they're big 'ol bodies clear out of the water...pretty sure my mouth was hanging open.
The shark tanks and tunnel were also impressive. Those guys have the freakiest mouths. Look at the teeth on that first guy!

Here we are waiting for the dolphin show. We got there SUPER early cuz it's a very popular show. We soon found out why. It was unreal.

Carter sporting my shades (Cassettes by my bro-in-law, Jade).

Among the AWESOME dolphins and all their tricks were all these crazy acrobats and divers doing insanely cool stuff.

Jemma loved the (above) Macaw lady. And I just couldn't get enough of the high dives. Made my stomach do flips in a good way.

Dolphins are just AWESOME! On the bucket list: swim with dolphins.

After hitting up four different shows (Two Killer Whale, one Dolphin and one Sea Lion - unpictured because we were inhaling lunch), we hit up some rides. Brian and Brandon took the girls over to the roller coaster (Jemma's FIRST, I might add) and Natalie and I took the boys over to the kid area. Carter is a HUGE fan of rides. He L.O.V.E.D. them.

Gavin, not so much. He looks pleasant enough here cuz the ride hadn't started. As soon as we started moving on all three of the rides we took them on, his famous scowl came out and he slouched down as low as he could in his seat. I tried so hard not to laugh, but it was so darling and funny at the same time, it was darn hard to conceal my urge to laugh.

Unfortunately, since I was riding with the boys, I didn't get a picture of Jemma on her first roller coaster, but apparently she LOVED it. She was, of course a bit apprehensive initially, but when it was said and done, she said it was "AWESOME"!

Funky mirrors.

The group, headed out after a fun and tiring day.

We swam/soaked in their spool a couple days/nights during our stay and I am SOLD on these babies. Jemma was totally uninhibited in that thing and swam all over the place and Carter was pretty brave too. I think the combination of it being smaller than a pool and heated were two big pluses.

On Saturday, while Natalie and I crafted and the kids played "Sea World", the boys went off to the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and had a MarVeLouS time. This was the first pro tournament Brandon has attended and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed himself. :)

Thanks so much, Brian, Natalie and Kyrie, for letting us come crash at your house for a couple nights. We sure had a good time. Love and miss you guys!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sin City

For Christmas, Brandon and all the other brothers-in-law got their wives a trip to Las Vegas. Now, frankly, this city is beyond gross in my opinion. Read my sister, Melanie's commentary on the place and that pretty much sums it up for me.

However, I could be ANYWHERE with my sisters and have a good time AND they had a darn good reason for sending us there. So I put up with the porn-slappers, (those irritating people who slap stacks of porn cards together trying to get your attention so they can invite you to a sick show)cigarette & cigar smoke (my clothes and hair were saturated with that stuff) endless noise, no free seating...anywhere, and all for...

Celine Dion.

She was so worth it...more on that in a minute though.

We spent the majority of the day just being silly. I mean, most of the people there were drunk and acting ridiculous, so we followed suite...only sober.

We decided on a limo for our transportation from the airport. Several of us had NEVER been in one and it was just three bucks more than the shuttle to have a limo for an hour. Sold. Three of the bros-in-law were lucky enough to find sitters for the kiddos, so they got to come along - Eric, Brian and Jade. Brandon and Arthur were not so fortunate and stayed behind watching the little-ones. Thanks boys!

A couple of things we spotted on our drive to the hotel. I love that mini statue of liberty. Very cool. And, of course the sign of Celine got me all excited.

Out on the strip. I have to say, it was CRAZY windy there that day...so here's the best outdoor shot...

And here's the worst.

We opted for mainly indoor photos after that. I can't even remember which hotel we were in here, but they had an impressive indoor garden. Side note - I think we saw at least 10 brides there that day...it made me so sad for them. "I got married in Vegas" - that just sounds depressing. I should have taken pictures of all of them and put a collage of them on here. I guess I was too busy gawking and wondering what possessed them to get married in this smoky, noisy hole.

Moving on.

This indoor mall was pretty impressive. They had every shop known to man inside. We ate lunch there at the Cheesecake Factory. Yum.

Inside the forum shops. Cool ceiling.

This Greek looking fountain reminded us of the old ladies in "The Music Man" and their Grecian Urns...we couldn't resist - being surround by drunk people and all their ridiculousness. ;)

And then we squished ourselves into this cool phone booth. I know, I look like a dork on the phone. Whatever.

After wondering around for several hours looking for something to do, we decided to head back to our hotel and take naps before getting ready for THE SHOW.

We had hoped to see the water show outside the Belagio on our way to the show, but again, the wind was so crazy, they canceled the show. Big bummer. We opted to take some photos to fill up our time and hunt for a place to get ice cream that didn't have an hour wait. Never did get the ice cream. But we did get some pictures. :)

Kiss face. Mine stinks. The rest of my sisters have great kiss faces.
Left to right: Me, Jewel, Melanie, Sharee and Natalie.

Tis the year of the Dragon, so in honor of the Chinese New Year, we did dragon faces.
I told you we were silly.

Cool glittery horse inside the Belagio.

Sharee took this picture, and it totally sums up the craziness of the day and (more accurately) the place. BLURRRRR.
During our hunt for ice, we found the ONLY free seating in the whole city on the edge of that Greek fountain. Our feet were KILLING us...and Natalie wasn't about to face a smile.

And finally, the reason we went to Vegas; the CELINE DION SHOW. Despite my utter dislike for the place, I would go there again just to see her perform. I'm certainly not a professional musician, but I am musician/performer picky. Especially when it comes to LIVE performances and I was in complete awe from start to finish with Celine. She is a classy, well rounded, power-house with an unmatched range - the MOST talented female artist EVER in my humble opinion. I have never been a die hard fan - but now, after witnessing her abilities LIVE, I don't think there ever has been or ever will be another Celine Dion. She sang several of her own classics, but also performed two Michael Jackson numbers in honor of his contributions to the world of pop - and nailed them. She sang a French song that, despite my inability to understand the words, moved me to tears - she sang it with such raw emotion. And she also sang an Ella Fitzgerald song and can scat like it's nobodies business. Ya, well rounded phenomenal artist.

I'm a retard and can't figure out how to get a youtube video on here...

Thanks again for the Christmas gift Brandon. It was AmAzInG!