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

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

In case of Emergency

So I've been behind on things.

That may have something to do with moving (changing homes does strange things to a person).

But one of the yearly chores I missed out on while we were muddled in a move was our exciting annual evaluation of our 72 hour kits.

Ooooh, hold on to your hats, this one is going to be F-U-N!!!

Yup, every September about the time the kids head back to school, we hold a fake family emergency where we come home all aghast and pretend there is a big doomsday type disaster (we go over the top enough for the kids to know it is fake, but they are well trained enough to play along) and we all have to rush to grab our emergency backpacks and hustle to safety.

It's good prep, even if it is done with a side of laughter and joking.

Anyway, this year our fancy preparedness bags were packed away in a fancy storage unit which made them difficult to access so we decided to pass on the practice.  But the job of digging through the bags to be sure all the stuff inside is still good still needed to be done, so one lonely afternoon I did it.

I thought about telling myself there was a disaster and running through the house in a panic, but decided against it.

Anyway, I pulled out all the goodies.  Each pack has food for three days each day divided into a zip seal bag (we will NOT eat like kings, but we won't starve either).  We also have water, thermal blankets, spare clothing, paper, a few dollars cash, some tools, flashlights, and other emergency odds and ends.

I discarded everything that had expired (or would expire soon) and replaced the items that seemed like they were on their last legs.  I added a few things that I thought we might be missing and then I packed it all back up and stashed it away for a real (or invented for our practice) emergency to come.

At least I know we are prepared for the new year.

(yes, I know here're isn't a real word...but when did that ever stop me before)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

On With the Show

 Wanna know a secret?

I love watching my girls perform.

Actually, that's sort of a stinky secret because, well, it's not that hard to figure out.

One of the things I love about the holidays is seeing my two princesses traipse around the stage while singing their little hearts out.  It makes my heart happy.  Take a quick look at what I mean.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Crohn's-ing through the holidays


That is often the start of it.  

And as much as I love them, the holidays are pretty much a guarantee of stress.  Add to that moving to a new house (are you tired of hearing the tales of a new house yet?) and you can almost bet on a flare.  Actually, I don't have to bet, I can tell you for sure.

Yes sirree, sure enough that means my corrosive pal, Crohn's Disease, has waltzed his way back onto the already semi-overloaded stage of my life.  He isn't my favorite.  And his timing stinks.  Like REALLY stinks.  He is vexatious to the nth degree.  What a turd (not a word we use freely around here so you know I mean business)!

Anyway, yes, my so called "friend" has been assaulting my gut lately and that is, shall we say, inconvenient.

However, whatever irritation and torment he laughingly plops into my intestines, I will not be swayed from celebrating one of my favorite times of year with a whole herd of my absolute favorite people.  

There's is just too much that is beautiful in life to be derailed by one ugly pester-pants who can't keep his negativity to himself.

And so, I will enjoy the snow (enjoy may be a strong word here, but there's something about kids bundled in puffy attire throwing frozen stuff at each other while breathing out clouds of laughter and fun).

And I'll love the post-frozen moments in front of the fire (thanks to our new house...which we just moved to...ha ha, you thought I was done with that subject).

And I will love being snuggled up next to this guy no matter what the weather is like outside.

And I'll try to revel in all the energy and spirit this crew of crazzies has to offer.

But most of all I will work to remember a Savior who lived and died for me so that one day I can home home to Him in heaven, clean and pure and Crohn's free at last.  And then suddenly a little bit of mortal abdominal pain doesn't seem to carry much weight after all.  

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas and all the other greetings.  I hope it is the very best season for you and everyone you love (and your intestines as well).

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Color me pleased

Sometimes life hands you small favors.

Like, this for example.

Now, to you this probably looks like your run of the mill Ikea spice rack which we have conveniently installed on the wall of our baby DeMoux so she can keep track of her books.

And you're not wrong.

The bit you missed (it really isn't your fault, I didn't tell you yet) is the fact that said spice rack/book shelf happens to match the paint on the wall perfectly.

Now, I can see that you still aren't impressed, and that's ok because I didn't lower the boom yet.

You see, we painted those book racks at our West Valley house when we last painted Ellie's bedroom there almost a year ago.  And then we moved and the paint in Ellie's new room just happens to be EXACTLY the same color.

See what I mean, BOOOOOOM!!

Happy color-coordinated reading to my little princess.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Them Magical Moments (the ones you almost miss)

Sometimes life is bit like a giant bowl of chaos.

It often feels like we just run from thing to thing to thing without much breathing room (I'm sure you know just what I mean).  From school to work to dance to scouts to shopping to birthday parties and homework and doctors and holidays and everything else -- sometimes things feel pretty wild.

So, when a moment makes me slow down and remember the magic that always lazily encircles my home and family I think it is something worth noting.

The other night I was making dinner.  Ellie kept asking me how to spell the names of friends from her class because she was practicing her mad letter/sound/spelling skills by building the names in letter tiles on our table.

She was kind of frustrated with me because I wasn't giving her as much attention as she wanted (cooking does require at least a modicum of my focus).  I had a hard time hearing her through the clank of pots and the search for spices and she had a hard time hearing and understanding me for the same reason (Ellie: Did you say 'e' Me: No, I said 'p'...repeat ad nauseum).  We were two ships passing verbal letters to each other across the noisy night.  It wasn't exactly pretty.

Enter the 16 year old.

Bryce noticed that is baby sister looked sad and that I was on the prickled side of frustrated so he sauntered over to the table and sat there with my seven year old beauty for nearly an hour helping her sound out names and figure out how to compose them into words.  It was SuPeR sweet.  He was really patient with her and helped her think through the sounds and maneuver the letters into place.  He helped her sort through tiles to find right pieces and laughed and smiled with her all the while.

Seriously, what kind of 16 year old boy does that sort of thing?   I was pretty proud of both of my babies (the biggest baby and the babiest baby).

Not every moment in our house is this full of enchantment.  We have our squabbles (and our full blown fights), we deal with drama, and grades, and hurt feelings, and messes, and misunderstandings, and all the other sticky stuff.  But that makes it all the more important that we slow down enough to notice the tiny un-troubled times when they bubble to the surface unexpectedly.

See, it really was a little sprinkle of magic.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Winter in (or not) the doghouse

It's winter 
(ok, not technically until later this month, but there's snow and cold outside and actions speak louder than words so let's just say winter.)

And this is our dog's house.
It has been his house for a good long time.

We recently moved and we brought the dog's house to our new house (see how nice we are).  Finn spends a fair amount of time inside, but he needs a nice spot to repose when he is outside during the day.  We installed his abode in a little nook in the yard where is it semi-protected from the weather and is close to the walls of our home to give him some warmth and block the wind and stuff.

But our pooch has absolutely no interest in his house.  He hangs out AAAALLL over the yard, but NEVER in his doghouse.  (See, here he dragged a sled over into the snowy corner near the fence and settled down for a long winter's nap.)  
 I've scoured the doghouse out inside and out and I can't find anything offensive about it.  He USED to like his house before we moved.  I don't get it.
Being winter (just go with it) I also brought out a fleece blanket to give the pup something warm to snuggle with.  I tucked it into his house and hoped it would be a benefit for our canine pal (and also hoped it might entice him to remember that his house is a nice place).  

But, no.  Over and over and over Finn yanks the blanket out of his house and stashes it in various places around the yard where it gets dirty and crusty and frozen.  UGH!!!

I know he doesn't hate this warm snip of fabric because once in a while I catch him cuddling up to it.
But NOT if it is in his house.

Nutty mutt.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nutcracker 2016 (dancing into the holiday)

This past weekend was our annual Nutcracker performance with Miss Margene's dance studio.  

Although they are very different people with very different preferences, both of our girls love performing with this studio.  We were ThRiLlEd to spend the weekend supporting them (ok, I'll be honest, I am more thrilled about that than Josh is because the full production is three hours long and Josh doesn't love watching dance for that long...but he was more than happy to watch his girls).

Anyway, this year Elinor was slated to dance a Forest Fairy and Aubrey performed in the Mice and Soldiers medley and the Scottish dance.  I also got to see some youngsters from a couple other of my favorite families perform in this presentation.  My heart smiles when I get to watch them share their talents.  Awwwww!

But, enough gushing, It was really fun to watch all of the work these kids have done for the past few months come center stage.

What's that, you want to see how they did?  Well, I'm just the sort of mom who likes to show that stuff off so here you go (warning: the first two videos are pretty dark so I'll forgive you this one time if you don't watch them).

Nutcracker, for me, signals the start of the holiday season, and there are few things I love more than watching my girls shine so it sets a lovely tone for the season ahead.  Happy start to your holiday, however you get it going.

Take a taste of our way below.

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