Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Update: here's the link to the classic commercial: '

And the Alice Cooper one.

"It's the hap-hapiest season of all..." Yes, the kids have started school, and I'm just the teensiest bit ashamed to say that I am enjoying it very much. But I'm not too ashamed, because a happy mom makes for happy kids, and the kids do seem to be enjoying going back to school too.

Here are the photos from the end of summer party we had with the Bardsleys. We went to Portland for Voodoo Donuts, took a ride on the "flying boat" (a tram), and ate pizza at a place that one of Bob's co-workers later told us was known when he was a teenager as the place people went to buy pizza and less-than-legal substances. Which is a bit of a co-incidence, because Voodoo Donuts seems like a place that might offer a similar service today. Anyway, here's Donna, Mia, and Sam with their voodoo doll donut. Note the pretzels sticking out of the body.

And, here's the moment we've all been waiting for, the day the kids can walk two block to our new school that just opened. We have 3 families and 7 kids on our street who are now "Walkers". This is the first day's parade.

As you can see, Emily and Nicki are quickly adjusting to their new habitat. It is a beautiful school, and the girls seem very happy about their classes.

James is starting his 8th grade year doing a combination of homeschool and public school. He likes the program, and I think he will have a good year. Matthew started Seminary, and has a full schedule for his Junior year. He is taking Chemistry, Calculus, History, Spanish, PE, and AP English. Ouch, my brain hurts just thinking about it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dan and Judy's New Digs

Well, after several days of running around town looking at older one-level homes and newer 2-level small condos, the realtor finally stopped showing us the places we'd found on the internet, and instead took us to THE ONE. It is one level, with a deck off the back (the property slopes), 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a great room, a laundry room, a two-car garage, and air conditioning.
Dan and Judy put an offer on the house on the left. The two houses are adjoined at the garage. The rest of the neighborhood is a mix of single-family homes and duplexes similar to these two.

The living room part of the great room. Judy thinks she will put a desk in the alcove on the far side of the fireplace, and the piano in the alcove nearest the hardwood floor. Bob thinks they need a flatscreen TV for above the fireplace.

The Kitchen has granite countertops and nice appliances. Guests not included.

The other side of the kitchen has a double pantry, and a smaller pantry behind Joyce (red shirt).

Master bedroom

Master bathroom

Master bathroom shower.

Second bedroom

View off the back porch.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hawaii Pictures- Finally!

We didn't have a cord for our camera in Hawaii, so we could only post videos made on Matthew's Flip camera.  Here, finally, are some photos from our trip.  

Iao Valley.  The trail looked like Multnomah Falls with different folliage to us.  It was very pretty, and also made us realize that we live in a beautiful place as well.

Our first dinner in Hawaii, at Napili Kai.  

Matthew and James at Napili; we enjoyed several days of snorkeling at this little beach.  Just around the point of land behind the boys is Kapalua, of the famous golf course fame.  Bob and dad enjoyed a round of golf there one evening.

Get ready for Surfing School!  We went to Goofy Foot Surf School (like everyone else in the family has) and we could't believe that they actually could teach us to surf.  None of us were goofy footed though, although we are all a bit goofy in general.

Bob catchin' a wave.

Brunch at Kapalua- verry nice!

Dinner at Kimo's at sunset- it really was as pretty as a picture.

Kimo's still.  Poor James, this was his first day with his sunburn, and he was too sick to eat anything other than a few bites of the ice cream pie.

Bob under the famous banyan tree in Lahaina.  

Mom and Kristy, just before a local sitting on a park bench decided to apply to become our personal tour guide.

Matthew, expressing how he felt about walking all over town just to see a tree.

The beach at Mama's Fish House.  At the time of this photo, there were people taking pictures all along the beach, and it was very difficult to get a shot without someone else (especially "the stupid kid" who kept running behind us) getting in the photo.  Good camera work dad!

Grandpa on top of the world!  He is at the top of Mt. Haleakala, and behind the peak, visible amongst the clouds, is the Big Island.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lets Go Surfin Now, Everybody's Learnin How

We finally found something the boys REALLY like and that they are good at. Too bad it's surfing, and that is a sport that will be hard to enjoy in the cold Oregon beaches we like to frequent. Anyway, they liked it so much, we are going back tomorrow. Gnarly.

In other news, we played Bananas, and Dad won the last game. Mom won most of the other games, using the dubious words "gorm" and "bier". Turns out bier is a word, but gorm is a different story. Mom was thinking of "corm"; gorm really isn't a word. Except now Dad has decided that it makes a great adjective, and he is using it frequently. Don't be too surprised if you hear him say, "What the gorm!" someday.

We are going to Mama's Fish House tonight, and we are sending the boys out with $ and a room card, and a map to RoundTable Pizza near the Sheraton. Last night we told them to take the shuttle to the banyon tree to meet me and mom, but Matthew didn't take his cell phone, and we forgot to give them the money we told them they'd have. We also didn't give them a room key. Opps. All's well that ends well, I guess. They made it to the tree, but not without much worry and perhaps the hint of a tear or two. Tonight, I've already given them money and a key. Here's hoping it goes better!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Maui Day 4

Sunburn! James, Matthew, and Bob all got a sunburn yesterday. So, today is T-shirt day, and spf 85 sunblock day.

Donna says that Emily is bored, and Nicki is having a good time; sounds like the girls have made themselves right at home, and are behaving just like they do for me! Thanks for having them stay with you, Donna.

Emily, I think you will have to b e the one to add humor to our blog through your comments. Love you!

Here is a video from the first day:

P.S. James and Matthew are tired of going to slow, noisy, grown-up restaurants, and they just want McDonalds.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Maui Day 3

We have just had breakfast, and the boys are playing their Nintendos. We are going to go snorkling in the pool soon, because the boys kind of freaked out in the ocean yesterday. Opps, Bob just kicked them out and told them to go to the pool. We are going to snorkle at Napili later this morning, once the boys realize that snorkling is easy. Yeesh.

Dad has planned out our meals for the day- lunch at Napili, dinner at Kimo's. No time to watch the 3 Lost discs we brought, but that is good- we can do that at home.

Yesterday we drove up to the top of Haleakala, and we were above the clouds, and could see the Big Island. I discovered that I am afraid of heights, because once we got above 9,000 feet I cringed every time we came to a corner, or anytime I looked down the side of the volcano. Surprisingly, I didn't mind walking around or climbing to the top of the hill near the visitor's center. Driving down wasn't too bad either, but wow, driving up those last 1,000 ft really was hard.

We also went to church yesterday in Kapalui, and we saw a gecko climbing the foyer wall. The church is pretty much the same anywhere you go, I guess . . . But the gecko was fun.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Greetings From Maui!

We arrived yesterday after a 5 1/2 hour flight that was very difficult for . . . Bob. The boys were great.

The first thing we did was drive to a canyon to go on a short hike through the jungle. There was pretty river that meandered through the canyon, and a beautiful view all the way to the ocean. We thought that the trail reminded us of Multonomah Falls-

I've been told we have to go- I'll add more later. We love you Emily and Nicki, and I think we will have to bring you two with us when you are teenagers!

Love, Mom

Monday, July 20, 2009

Magic Flute

I'm trying to get some friends to go see The Magic Flute with me. The Metropolitan Opera recorded it a couple of years ago, and it is showing at movie theaters around the country on August 5th. I thought some of you, dear readers, might enjoy it as well. Here's the info on it:

Let me know if you see it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer 2009

With 4 kids and a dog home all summer, you are probably wondering if the house is still standing.  So far so good.  The kids have accepted the chore chart, and are somewhat accepting the TV policy, with sneakiness on the side, which I pretend I don't know about. We have forgotten swimming lessons for the last two days, but we celebrated Bob's birthday and I made a trellis over the front door durring those days. You win some, you lose some, I guess.  Here are pictures of the winners:

The Birthday Boy and his entourage.

Behold, the Trellis!

Some of you have been asking how we like having my dad live with us. Well, it's going pretty well, if we could only get him keep his rock music a little quieter.  And the phonecalls from his fiends like that Chuck Schwab are a bit much . . .  

Dad enjoying his pad.

Naw, we're having a fun time visiting with Grandpa.  We have introduced him to Lost, and so most weeknights are now Lost nights.  Hopefully we'll get through all the seasons before January!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Awesome as a Possum

Remember when Matthew turned 16 and he got a Fedora for his birthday, and he and his friends played Rock Band 2 before going to the Stake dance?

Remember when the Stovalls visited and we drove up to Mount St. Helens and the visitor's center closed 20 minutes after we arrived, but the views were amazing?

Remember Nicki's 6th birthday, where she
invited 5 girls and one boy and they loved playing Mother May I, and Nicki wanted chocolate cake with sugar cookies on top, and we actually sent out Thank You notes?

Remember the time when we went to the Oregon coast with Grandma and Grandpa Stovall, and we stayed at a beach house and explored tide pools, and met a
beagle named Bowzer, and found a great restaurant for the adults, and made caramel brownies, and we forgot to take pictures until it was time to go and the kids were grumpy, and then we drove north to Astoria to see where the Columbia meets the sea?

Remember the last week of school when Kristy and Mom helped out at Helen Baller Field Day?

Remember the last day of school when the neighbors came over for ice cream, and the first thing the kids did after getting their food was sit down to play video games?

Remember Emily's 10th birthday when we let her have a sleepover, and she and her friends had a pillow fight, and they sang "Eye of the Tiger" and "We got the beat" until they were memorized, and for some crazy reason the girls all added "naked pickle!" to the end of each line of the birthday song?

Remember the time Kristy and Donna took Emily, Nicki, Mia, Sam, and Nate to California, and the kids were great on the way there, but they were totally grumpy and over-tired on the way back, and we met a dog, and we picked wishies, and we played "Red Light Green Light" at a rest stop?

Remember when we were in California, and we went bowling with all our California Cousins, including Anna, Sarah, Peter, Jacob, Ryan, and Allison ?

That was awesome!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We've Seen One Too Many Design-in-a-day Shows

Warning: Emily thinks this post is boring, and she wanted to make sure I mentioned that.

Donna and I took Nicki, Emily, Mia, Sam, and Nate to California to help Grandma and Grandpa fix up the ol' homestead, and we thought some of you might enjoy the pictures. In 4 work days we:

Packed at least 35 boxes.
Hung curtain rods and curtains in the yellow room and the hall.
Painted the trim on the stairs, the walls going up the stairs, and touched up the hall.
Replaced the light fixture and mirror in the downstairs bathroom, and re-stained the cabinet.
Painted the upstairs bathroom and cabinet, replaced the light fixture, added a shelf, a shower curtain, and new towels.
Removed 3 bookcases and their contents from Katy's room and rearranged the furniture.
Hung new curtain rods and curtains in mom and dad's room, bought them a headboard, and moved out one dresser.
Removed one bookcase and many boxes of stuff from the living room and family room.
Cleared off both of mom's china hutches.
Removed many items from the kitchen counters.

Here are the photos:

Look how spacious the built-in is! Who knew? We also like mom's patriotic tableau, which you can now, you know, SEE.

We also put a new curtain up in the kitchen, and (gasp) put the dish-drainer under the sink every morning after putting away the washed dishes from the night before.

Somehow Donna got all the pictures off the glass. And look! The china hutch is actually displaying tablewares! Ok, it's not china, but vases and silver platers are close enough.

Also, note the wicker In-Box that the family will now get to learn to use!


After. Did I mention that we came to kick butt and take names?

Donna not only packed away many boxes of things from the living room, she also found wedding photos of nearly all of us and displayed them nicely in the bookcases.

The upstairs bathroom. Gee, what I would have given for that shower curtain when I was growing up!

We painted the walls blue again, painted the cabinets white again, added a shelf, changed the light fixture, put up a shower curtain, and centered the mirror above the towel racks. Then Donna worked her magic with towels, shells, and soaps. Now the tub is hidden and you hardly notice the yellow sink.

Note the white trimwork and the lovely new tan color. (Thanks Suzy and Katie, for keeping the kids away while the paint dried!)

To paint the last inch near the ceiling involved a death-defying stunt performed by Kristy on the Russamano's ladder that was laid flat from the top of the stair to the floor in front of the bathroom, so that it formed an 18 inch wide platform. On this we placed a square board that was almost but not quite as large as the footprint of the stepladder, which we placed on the board that rested on the Russamano's ladder. Then I climbed up the stepladder while Donna commented "Yeah, that looks safe" and Katy provided moral support and stood ready to call an abulance.

Ah, the hallway. Coming soon: carpet and a new railing. Sorry kids, carpet will probably slow down your roller-coaster rides down the stairs. Bummer.

A big thanks to mom and dad for letting us have fun playing at being decorators, to Sally, Suzy, and Katy for watching the kids, and to Arnold and Denise for their enthusiastic appreciation of the shiny new downstairs bathroom.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

"I won 8 Gold Medals at the Whining Olympics!"

This is Matthew's response to a whine of Emily's today. My response was "I like to whine too!" Emily is still laughing, so . . . whining managed!

Bob and Kristy's Blog- Mother's Day Edition

For Mother's Day today, my goal is to not do any work. More accurately, my goal is to get others to do all the work that I want done today. We had a nice breakfast of waffles and bananas in bed this morning; BBQ Salmon, french bread, and corn on the cob for lunch; and now the kids are cooking bacon and eggs for "breakfast for dinner".

Meanwhile, I spent two hours reading the book I got for Mother's Day. I had to go to Deseret Book this week to pick up a book for someone else, and the first table in front of the door had about 20 books for Mother's Day. There were a lot of pastels and a lot of flowers on the covers of those books. Many had sentimental titles, others had self-depricating titles; I couldn't bring myself to pick up any of them. Perhaps it was the sheer number of choices that put me off, I don't know. But I decided to peruse the other shelves to see what else struck my fancy.

I walked past the fiction, the teen fiction, the books for teenagers, the books on how to deal with teenagers, the books on how to deal with kids, and the personal finance section. Then, I saw it, the book that I kept going back to and didn't want to leave without. Sergeant Nibley, PhD: Memories of an Unlikely Screaming Eagle. My guess is that not many moms wanted that book for Mother's Day; I really am happy with it, though.

In other news, Bob taught Nicki to ride a bike two weeks ago, and now she is a little daredevil. I'm going to attempt to subliminally claim so credit by posting this on Mother's Day, but really it was all Bob's doing.

In Matthew news, Matthew will be taking the AP Biology exam tomorrow. He is also now a member of the National Honors Society. Congratulations Matthew!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Big Pharma 7, our family 0

Here at our little abode, we've long been a dream family for pharmaceutical companies, since several of us take daily prescription meds. But last week we were laid low by 3 cases of strep throat, and the amount of medicine I dispense daily is just ridiculous. I thought it was time for a scorecard:

Daily meds as of 4/20/2009
Mom- 1
James- 2
Total: 7, given once, twice, and three times a day.

I did not count Bowzer's monthly heart and flea meds, nor the ibuprofin, nyquil, and benadryl the kids have taken this week. Serriously, we went through two bottles of liquid ibuprofin, a box of children's tylenol, and many pills of ibuprofin, Nyquil, Dayquil, and Benadryl. Almost every hour I was walking up to some child with a glass of water and a pill or tablespoon.

The good news? Everyone is now back in school!

Also- Dad is the winner of our award for never giving up on our blog! He was the first to notice we had begun posting again! Yay Dad!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One Mean Machine

Here is our mascot in the thick of the action. Matthew spent the better part of a day in this costume.

Matthew and Team Mean Machine's robot

OK, I've never posted on "our" family blog, because I didn't know how- so it's really been Bob's family blog. But today I decided to see if I could figure out how to post, and what do you know, it's super easy! Who knew?

So, we went up to Seattle for the Revenge of the Nerds Robotics competition. OK, that's not the real name- it's a competition for high school math and science kids, sponsored by all sorts of high-tech companies, and the kids are assisted in building their team's robot by mentors. So it's essentially a chance for the science guy mentors and sponsors to turn their interests into the competition they wished they could have had when they were in school, and it was totally wonderful for Matthew. He had a ball, and even caught up with a girl from Spokane that he had met at a previous competition.

Matthew's team is "Team Mean Machine", and they made it to the semi-finals, and lost to the alliance that ultimately won the competition.

Something fun for Matthew's team- most teams bring their school mascot to the competition, and most of them are an animal of some type. Which usually works for a mascot. Well, our high school is "the Papermakers". Yes, really. Not the cougars, or the bears, or the lions, but the papermakers, and our mascot is a foam paper-making machine, black, red, and white, with large foam rollers. I know, lamest school mascot EVER. Except at the robotics competition, where we are the only school with a mascot that is essentially a robot. So our mascot goes down to the "mosh pit"-type area and leads the congo line, and becomes the adopted mascot of the whole group.

Donna and Mark were very kind to host us at their home overnight while we were in Seattle, so Mia and Nicki were able to stay up until 11 enjoying each other's company, and Donna and I were able to talk politics till the cows came home. Thanks Donna and Mark!