...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hold Still

Josh has had this week off from school (both high school and college school...it has been lovely!).  Because of that we have had the chance to spend the afternoons together here at the house (mornings and evenings are dominated by the needs of the children and the house but nap time -- which isn't the quiet escape that I usually look forward to when the older kids are home from school -- is time for adult indulgences).

Well, Santa knows how much our family loves books so he brought us a bunch (thanks Santa!) so Josh and I have done a fair amount of reading together in the living room when the little kids are resting. 

We have two couches in the living room so we each claim one as our spot and we plop down to enjoy our stories.  The thing is, once Josh settles in he doesn't seem to move until he gets up to go do something else.  I, on the other hand, fidget and adjust and change positions every few minutes trying to stay comfortable.  I cannot fathom sitting down and just staying put in that same position for an hour or two.  That is completely weird (if you ask me).

This picture has nothing to do with any of this, but I
thought I'd put it in here anyway.
I have known that I was broken when it came to sitting still for a very long time.  I remember going to a movie with one of my best friends in high school and noticing that when she sat down to watch the show she didn't budge until we got up to leave the theater.  My body twitched and moved while I crossed and uncrossed legs and arms and shifted from one side of the chair to the other.  That was the first time I realized maybe there was something wrong with my internal fidget-o-meter.  I think it is on high when maybe it should only be on medium.

Oh well, I still get the books read and the movies watched.  Maybe all that extra movement counts as exercise and it will keep me thin (ha ha ha).  Mostly it just makes me chuckle at myself (like lots of other things do).  Keeping up with six children does require near constant movement so maybe this little gift was a blessing to help prepare me for the life I never knew I had coming.  Life is good, even if I can't hold still. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Turf War, Nerf Style

One of the Christmas treasures that I stumbled on while shopping was a set of six Nerf guns that all worked beautifully (you should have seen me in DI plugging the two darts that I could find into each slot in each gun and then shooting them into the shelf to be sure that they all worked...what a dork!).  Anyway, these guns are a total hit and a couple of epic battles have ensued in the DeMoux home since Christmas.

Everyone gets in on the action (usually we all gang up on poor Dad, but he's a good sport about it and sometimes even outdoes us all which usually results from some sort of hostage situation). 

Because we have had a couple of Nerf guns before I knew that if we were going to have any fun at all with our new toys we were going to need a boatload of darts to go with them.  I watched for deals all season and ended up buying 136 (138 if you count the two darts that I found in our used guns) darts for use in household battles.

We have had So. Much. Fun!  We ambush each other from closets and splatter a barrage of bullets onto unsuspecting couch sitters.  We keep the guns in a communal basket where they are easily accessible so everyone can quickly load up when war starts. 

The only downside is that now I have become fanatical about our darts.  I rally the kids and meticulously gather and count them after each onslaught while Josh just shakes his head and laughs at us (I mean me).  We started with 138 darts...already (as of this morning) we are down to 117.  Unacceptable.  Guess I will be making the rounds to try to find the stragglers and get them back in our arsenal.  I find them everywhere.  Sometimes in plain sight, sometimes not so much.   

I realize that over time our darts will slowly vanish, but I'd like to prevent that as long as possible.  I hope there are many many more Nerf shootouts to come. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in a Nutshell (hopefully a pistachio one because those are my favorite)

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas this past weekend.  What a great time to celebrate and be together as a family.  I feel so very blessed to know kind people who make our lives so much sweeter in big and small ways; thanks to all of you for making our Christmas holiday memorable and bright.  I could not be more grateful for all those who share their love and light and help us feel the Savior's spirit.  We want to be more like Him because of your example.  Our family has been richly blessed this season and we love you all!
We had such an incredible holiday that I could hardly wait to post about some of our fun.  Holidays with kids are THE BEST!!!  Thanks to my little ones for completely restoring all the magic of Christmas and then some. 
Kidlets spreading magical reindeer feed (oatmeal mixed with sparkles) on the back lawn to attract Santa's reindeer.

The exciting conclusion of our scripture reading and nativity on Christmas Eve (don't you love Logan's gifts of candy and cookies).   We know that when it comes time to open presents it is REALLY hard to maintain any kind of focus on the Savior so we try to spend Christmas Eve night remembering whose birth and life and sacrifice we are celebrating. 

As we finished our nativity and scripture reading and hymn singing, Gavin just
couldn't leave our baby Jesus alone on the table so he cuddled him for the rest of the
evening.  Love moments like that. 

DeMoux sprites in their new Christmas Eve pajamas.  They usually whine that it is no fun to open just pajamas so we
thought about giving Jimmy Kimmel rotten gifts to our kids, but I just couldn't do it...and for the first time in a few years
they were all THRILLED to get new pj's.  It was really fun. 

Our Christmas morning was enchanting (to me).  The kids were all thrilled with their Santa Surprises.  We waited on present opening until after 9:00 am church.  I LOOOOVE it when Christmas is on a Sunday and part of our day includes taking the sacrament and worshiping the Lord with neighbors and friends who we adore. 

Toward the end of sacrament meeting our bishop got up to speak and asked by raise of hand how many people still had presents to open at home.  Lots of hands shot up.  He then said that was nice and that maybe we should let the meeting go for another hour or so.  As loud chorus of "NOOOOOOO" sprang out of the mouth of every child (I think ours may have been the loudest).  We couldn't help but laugh, all of us.  It is great to have such a family feeling in your ward.

I could not be more grateful for this past weekend.  I just keep saying I feel so blessed, because I really do.  Like many families, we are not rich.  But as we shopped this past year it seemed like every trip to DI (a local second hand store) or every stop at a yard sale netted just the right thing for one of our children.  Secret Santas stopped by our house helping us fill our fridge with beautiful food and just plain love...and the real live Santa showed up and brought twinkling joy along with him to our kids and some neighbors who happened to drop by. 

I say I feel blessed, because I am.  I have the kind of life that I never imagined was possible.  I have an amazing family, a much bigger one than I ever thought, but I couldn't be more glad for that.  I am grateful for my Savior who lived and died for me and who helps me through the hard times, and smiles down on me during the beautiful times.  There is just so much to be thankful for.  Hope your Christmas was just as magical and your new years will be too. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like Him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. It is His example which, if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.

Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence.

Because He came, we know how to reach out to those in trouble or distress, wherever they may be.

Because He came, death has lost its sting, the grave its victory. We will live again because He came.

Because He came and paid for our sins, we have the opportunity to gain eternal life.

Because He came, we are gathered tonight to worship Him, in bonds of brotherhood and love.

May His precious Spirit be with us, and may He ever be the center of our celebrations and indeed of our very lives, I pray in His holy name, amen.

-Thomas S. Monson

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas: The Rundown

This holiday season has been a great one.  I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people and to have the chance to do so many fun things.  Thought we'd share just a bit of what this past week of Christmas has held for us.

We had a family party and helped to fill stockings for each of the 12 kids under 12.  I opted to give them each coal (did I tell you about the time I actually gave my little brother coal for Christmas and told him he'd been bad and it made him cry...sorry Bri-Guy).  Thankfully this coal was tasty so it didn't draw tears.
 Aubrey had her last couple of musical theater performances and one of them was at the Dickens Festival so I got to hang out there with Aubs and my parents and we had a lot of fun.  Aubrey's group did great and we got to eat funnel cake...what more could I ask for?
Aubs and my Dad and me posing with a faceless Ghost of Christmas present. I think we all make pretty good looking ghosts as well.

Poor, sad, shackled Aubrey.

Three generations of wonderful women ready for a carriage ride (boy am I grateful for bucket seats and shocks).

Isn't my oldest daughter gorgeous (not to mention nice and smart and kind).  I really adore that girl. 

Also this week, Santa and Mrs. Claus showed up at our house for a pre-Christmas visit.  We thought it was amazingly sweet for them to take time for our little brood and were very very grateful for their kindness.  Santa took time with each of the children and made them feel like the MOST important child on the planet.  Santa is pretty amazing and Mrs. Claus isn't half bad either.

A couple of friends stopped by while Santa was chatting it up with our family so they got to join in the fun as well.  I would definitely report that they are on the "nice" list (if Santa needed my input).

We have also spent a lot of time reading Christmas stories.  I LOVE BOOKS! (Have I ever mentioned that?)  We love to read Christmas stories, both the book kind and the "Cheesy but Sweet Story a Day 'Till Christmas" kind (we read one by candlelight every night before bed). 

School parties, neighborhood treat delivery, Christmas cards and all kinds of holiday love...it really is the most wonderful time of the year. 

I hope you all have a really incredible Christmas.  More than anything else I hope that you feel the spirit of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and that your family is filled with love and peace and hope (with six kids in the house peace is something I hope for every year).  I hope you feel the love of our Father in Heaven and remember that you are a precious child of God and that our big brother came to earth to set a perfect example for us to follow because he adores us.  May His sweet spirit fill your heart and home this season and always.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Out with the old...or not

This year as I pulled out all of our Christmas odds and ends I decided it was time for a new tree skirt and maybe a few other things.

This old, sad, maroon tree skirt has dressed our  Christmas trees for ten Christmases now.  I made it, along with seven stockings and a couple of matching pillows, the second Christmas of our married life (I was working full time our first Christmas but by our second I was staying at home with our then six month old son and had plenty of time but not much money so I got all crafty). 
When we moved into our house here in West Valley I found that our really really old, faded, maroon carpet looked even older and fadeder when topped by my bright maroon tree skirt (which went with the beige carpet of our duplex great!).   So for years I have thought about making new Christmas stuff, and this year was the year.

But I just couldn't do it.  Even if these things are old and plain, I am in love with them.  They have seen every Christmas present that our children have ever gotten.  The pillows have been hugged while reading Christmas stories. The once nameless stockings have slowly been filled as children entered our family and Mom and Dad lost their individual status when Elinor was born (I only made seven stockings that first year because I never imagined we would have more than five children...in fact I never imagined we would have five).
These sweet Christmas pieces hold so many memories and so much love that I just can't get rid of them.  So, even if they don't match the carpet and they are a little bit tattered, I think we'll just keep them.   

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Letters to Santa

This week we wrote our letter to Santa.  I always love it when we do this, it is so much fun.

Santa is very sweet to us and he usually returns our letters to us so that we can put them in our kid's scrapbooks so that someday they will have fun looking back and remembering what they asked for for Christmas.  As part of that fun, when we write our letters we like to cut out the picture of what we are asking for and glue it on our page.  That way when it is thirty-seven years later and we read a letter asking for "squinkies" we won't just curl our lip and wonder, "What the heck is that?"

 We have tried to teach the kids not to be too greedy (ha ha ha) so they put their three favorite wishes onto their Christmas list and then we remind them that Santa may bring them ONE of those items.  (Of course, Santa also has the option to ignore their requests altogether and instead bring them something he thinks will be best for them, that happens sometimes.  It's his prerogative.)

 Ellie was stubborn and did not want to participate in our family letter writing so she pouted in her room on her own instead.  Silly girl. 

Hopefully the big man up north gets our letters in plenty of time and we end up with happy kidlets on Christmas morning (actually, I know we will because if nothing else my sweethearts are pretty easily pleased -- we'll see if that continues as they get older).  So.  Much.  Fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mmm, Mmmm good...Oreo Truffles

A few weeks ago someone brought us some treats and the kids gobbled them down in a flash.  That in and of itself isn't abnormal, but the kidlets kept asking if I had any more or I could make them.   My friend Kathy said she thought she had a recipe for these sweet treats hiding somewhere in her kitchen.  Well, the kids wouldn't stop.  They just kept pestering me so I joined the fun and pestered Kathy until she finally gave me the recipe (she is a dessert creator extraordinaire...goodness the stuff that girl can throw together). 

Anyway, I needed to put together some treats to sell at the snack bar for one of Aubrey's dance performances last week (surprisingly I don't usually package treats quite this way when they are just going to be eaten by my sweethearts).  So I gave the recipe a shot.  It is a little bit time consuming because things have to cool between steps, but these treats are easy to make otherwise.  Our family loves them so I thought we would share.  Hope you enjoy!

P.S. They taste better (to me) served chilled so we kept ours in the fridge until we were ready to eat them, but they do fine on the counter as well. 

Oreo Truffles Recipe:
1 package (18 oz) Oreo cookies
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
Almond bark or white chocolate, for dipping
Chocolate Chips, for drizzling
Makes about 35, depending on size
1. Crush Oreo cookies, cream center included, into small pieces. You can crush them in a food processor if you have one. We had fun crushing our cookies with a simple kitchen utensil.

 2. Mix crushed Oreos and cream cheese until well-combined. The best way to do this would be with your fingers, though a bit messy!

 3. Roll into one inch balls (we used a small cookie scoop to make sure they were all the same size) and place onto a baking sheet or tray.

 4. Refrigerate until firm (3-4 hours) or place into the freezer for about an hour.

 5. Melt white almond bark or Vanilla Melty's from Winco according to package directions. Using two forks, dip Oreo balls into white coating and place onto waxed paper to harden (I stuck mine in the freezer to help them set faster).

 6. Once dry, melt chocolate chips with a bit of shortening/vegetable oil and scoop melted chocolate into a Ziplock baggie. Snip a very small corner off the bag and drizzle back and forth over the truffles. (I didn't use the bag, just drizzled off a spoon) Let dry.

Then the good part, EAT THEM!!  Yummy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas goes to the birds...and a little laugh

This morning while the two youngest boys were eating breakfast I stripped all the bedding off their beds.  I found some wet underwear and pajama bottoms in the bathroom this morning and I think G may have had an accident in the night (that hasn't happened in forever, but no big deal).  Since I haven't washed their bedding in a little bit I just decided to do both boy's sets.

When the boys came downstairs to clean their room Logan was mad.  "Mom, I didn't pee my bed, why did you take off my blankets?" (Logan has a very small bladder and does still have issues through the night so nighttime accidents and sheet washing are a pretty regular occurrence for him.)

Gavin piped in, "No, Logan, you didn't pee your bed...I did."

Now Logan was REALLY disgusted, "What!  You peed on my bed?  Gavin WHY DID YOU DO THAT!"  I don't think that is quite what Gavin meant, but it made me laugh.  Silly kids. 


Also, yesterday after school we did a fun project.  I bought the supplies for this in the summer, but we never got around to it until now and probably the birds will be more grateful since it is cold and food is scarce this time of year.

We made peanut butter covered pine cone bird feeder things (no, that's not the official name...I have no idea what to call these).

We gathered a bunch of pine cones at our local elementary school (since we didn't have an obliging pine tree anywhere near our house).  Then I gave the kids small bowls of peanut butter and plastic knives and they set to work filling every crevice of their pine cones with peanut butter.  This was a pretty messy process, but it was plenty of finger lickin' fun.
Once our pine cones were properly coated, we rolled them in bird seed and tied ribbons on them.  Waiting until this point to tie on ribbons was a BAD plan.  With greasy peanut butter fingers ribbon tying is not as easy as it ought to be.  I STRONGLY suggest tying ribbons on before you peanut butter anything if you ever try this. 

Finally, we installed our new feeders in our front yard tree and now we will wait to see if the birds actually dine with us or if they snub our holiday offering.  Should be fun!

Holiday fun for our fowl little friends.  What a great season.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Phamily Photo

I needed a new family picture so I asked my parents if they would help us out with that (lots cheaper and they have lots more patience for six kids who don't always want to cooperate).  So, on a Sunday after church (not the best plan as the kids were already tired of being good) we got together at their house to try our luck. 

Disclaimer: I haven't cleaned these up yet because, lets be honest, it's the holidays and I just haven't gotten to is yet...but I still think they are fun so I am going to share anyway.

Getting all six children to look at the camera at the same time and make non-dorky faces is next to impossible, but sometimes we come pretty close.

There is just something about daddys and daughters...love those guys!

Ellie was pretty much uncooperative the whole time, but at least she didn't scream the entire session (just half of it...we'll keep the incriminating evidence to ourselves though).

Even if we can't afford a professional photographer, I still love having family pictures scattered around the house to remind us of good times and  happy memories together.  We are so very blessed.

And the piece de resistance...my very favorite picture of all...the real true honest to goodness DeMoux family.  I think I'll blow this one up for the family room.  That should keep us smiling for a while.

Thanks, Mom, for all you do to help us out and for your time and especially your patience.  I think you do a great job and we are very very grateful.

I love my family! 
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