Friday, December 17, 2010

December fun!

One of our Christmas traditions the kids really look forward to is to make a gingerbread house. Years ago, before the advent of my children, I would put in hours making my own house and decorating it inside and out with lights and everything. But since children have come along I've found the Costco pre-made kit to be much more enjoyable and far less stressful for everyone involved! The kids had so much fun decorating everything.
Nathan and Grace worked together on the roof. At first Grace would get mad every time Nathan or I tried to stick any candy on. She would immediately pull it off and put it back in the bowl. I finally had a stroke of inspiration and asked her if she wanted to eat a piece. She did and then happily helped us put the rest of the candy on the house!
Maddie worked very hard to squeeze the thick, hard frosting onto the house. She made everyone promise that no one would "snitch" any candy!
The final results! What a cute house kids! This was the best the house looked because in less than 48 hours Grace had picked off ALL of the candy! The first 24 hours the frosting was still pretty soft but the second day she would come to me and tell me "finger hurt" and I knew what she had been up to! The hard, dry frosting didn't seem to slow her down too much though! Maddie felt pretty bad about the stripped down house so I told the kids that we might try and decorate again a few days before Christmas. We'll see how long round two lasts!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Some new additions

It has been way too long since I blogged last but I do have an excuse which I will get to in a minute. John and Bethany's wedding was wonderful and sad in that we had to say goodbye to them since they decided to move across the country to Massachusetts. After the wedding Keri and Jeff packed up their family and took them back to Washington and life got back to normal, well for a minute anyway.

Right after Keri and Jeff got home came the happy announcement that they are expecting a baby on April Fool's Day next year - an excellent due date for an unexpected addition! Now, anyone who knows how my sister and I operate will know what happens next. One month later I was not surprised to find out that I am also pregnant!!! My due date is June 3rd. All of our children are between 12 days and 9 months apart, so these little cousins will be no exception at approximately 8 weeks apart!

The happy news got even better when a month later Steve and Sarah announced that they are joining the parenting parade too. Sarah is due on July 2nd! These cousins are going to have a ball when they all get together! My parents are thrilled with the idea of 3 new grand babies next year! We'll all keep them busy.

So anyway, I haven't been blogging because I haven't been feeling well but I think the morning sickness is finally starting to fade and I'm starting to feel a little more human again! Yay!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

John and Bethany's Wedding

My brother John got married to Bethany on August 21st. It was a beautiful day! Gracie and "Warla" (that's how Grace says Laura) were so cute running around in their pretty dresses. The wedding was outdoors and they had water misters going which the two little girls didn't like. They would sit down and pull their skirt overlays up over their heads to keep the mist off. Nathan was a very handsome ring bearer who did his job just right!
Jeni made a very lovely flower girl.
Maddie and Amy were both junior bridesmaids. Here they were being goofy with Scott.
Here's the handsome groom with the judge.
Here comes the bride!
The judge started the ceremony by reading "Oh, The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss. It was a great way to begin!
You may kiss your bride!
John and Bethany skipped back down the aisle!
Then it was on to pictures. This is my whole family except for my nephew Andrew who had disappeared. It turns out he was in the restroom so imagine him in the picture and it will be complete.
It was impossible to keep the little ones out of the reflecting pond!
Andrew, Nathan and Grace had fun playing together on the lawn while we were waiting for more pictures at the reception.
I love this family picture, even if Nathan is looking pretty sober!
Cutting the cake.
Maddie caught the bouquet. Again! What does this mean?!?
Nathan was fascinated by the cans on the back of Johns truck. Most of them were still full so it was fun to watch them drive away with the can's popping and spurting everywhere!
Congratulations John and Bethany! Have a wonderful life together!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Amazing Race - Moultrie Family Edition!

This year we ended our annual Moultrie Family Fun week with The Amazing Race. Dave and Becky divided us up into three teams (we were the red team) gave us a backpack full of clues and snacks and away we all went. Our first roadblock was to go to the grocery store to buy a package of bubblegum and see who could blow the biggest bubble. Not bad Bob! Then it was over to the high school where we had to "buddy walk" together on some boards. As you can see we didn't get off to a very good start! But once we got the hang of it we moved pretty quickly.
After that we headed to the mall to buy a cookie from Mrs. Fields. We got to the mall at 9:30 and found out they didn't open until 10:00! It was nice for us because we caught up to everyone else. Meanwhile, we had kids to entertain so we rode up and down the escalators and elevators...
...and found these fun carts for the kids to play in. I was amazed that Maddie could fold herself up enough to fit in one. She doesn't look very comfortable!
After purchasing our cookies (that we couldn't eat right away because they were required at a later checkpoint - what's up with that!?) we were off to the clock tower at Weber State.
Once there we found out we would have to wait around for 20 minutes until we could take a picture of the clock at 10:55. So Bob and I showed the kids around our old stomping grounds. The campus has changed a lot since I attended there!
Notice how delicately Grace holds on to Bob's ears when he gives her a shoulder ride! It always makes me laugh. As we were traveling the kids kept showing us how big they could blow their bubblegum bubbles. This is how Gracie blows her bubbles!
After the clock tower we had to brush up on our Pig Latin to determine the next roadblock was at the Willard Bay State Park sign.
After that we had to collect a bag of dirt from the Brigham City Temple lot.
Then we worked our way up to the Old Grist Mill in Logan where lucky Bob got to order and eat the sandwich we were required to order. Mustard, horseradish, onion, green peppers and pickles anyone?
Then after lunch we were off to Gosners to get some cheese curd. It was a good thing we had just had lunch because we were suppose to save the cheese curd for later as well!
After the cheese curd (and some asking around) we ended up at the Limberpine Trail where we got to go for a hike and take a picture in front of some trees that are almost 600 years old! The trail was beautiful, the temperature perfect and the kids whiny so after refreshing ourselves with some Fruit-by-the-foot we pressed on and completed the hike. The nice thing about being in last place was we felt free to take our time and enjoy the hike! It really was beautiful, especially the view of Bear Lake.
After we finished our hike and showed off our untouched Mrs. Fields cookies we were given our last clue which lead us to the Sherwood Hills Resort where we spent the night with everyone else. We had a fun evening playing in the pool with all the cousins and eating yummy stuff in Grandpa and Nana's room.
Grace found the perfect sized little perch in the hot tub so she could kick back and relax after all her hard work!
Thanks Dave and Becky! It was a lot of hard work for you but so much fun for the rest of us!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Deep fried adventures

A few weeks ago we went on a deep-frying kick. We made some homemade doughnuts that were absolutely wonderful so we decided to try some batter covered french fries. They were working out just fine but going a little slow so we got over-confident and put a bigger batch in the pot and all of a sudden the whole thing boiled over. We had hot oil everywhere! It was honestly a miracle that we didn't burn the house down! I don't know how the whole mess didn't catch on fire! Once everything cooled down we cleaned up the oil (it completely filled up the drip pan under two burners) and thought we had it all taken care of.

The next morning I baked something for breakfast and the oven filled the whole house with an awful burning oil smoke that made my eyes sting. It was terrible! We pried the top of the stove off and found more oil everywhere and even puddles of oil all over the floor. We cleaned it up the best we could but it kept leaking oil onto the floor. I didn't dare use my stove again so I called a repairman to come look at it. It turns out the oil had leaked down the oven vent and had also soaked into the insulation all around the oven box! It was going to take over $400 and a 2-4 week wait to get it back to a safe-to-use state. We decided to get a new stove instead.

We got a Maytag Gemini gas range. It has 5 burners on the top with the knobs down the side instead of across the front (no more kids playing with them!) and the double oven. I love it!

For some reason the kids love it too. They like showing it off to their friends and the other day I heard Nathan tell Maddie "Our new stove is so awesome that my eyes could fall out!" What!?! I think he must be thinking of a cartoon character that has it's eyes popping out in shock or alarm. What ever he meant our new range is so awesome that we have eyes falling out at our house!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The shock of a lifetime!

Two weeks ago I sent Bob off to his Sunday bishopric meetings without a care. Sure I had to get myself and four kids ready and out the door to church by myself but I'm used to it and that's how life is. Oh, how unsuspecting I was that day when Bob called home just before noon to tell me he was on his way home to watch the kids because the bishop wanted to meet with me. Off I went with wet hair, no makeup and no idea what was about to happen. I felt pretty secure in my calling - I'd only been the second counselor in the primary for just over a year so I didn't really consider a new calling. Well, I got one. Relief Society President!?!?! Who, me? Apparently yes.

I went home and cried for the rest of the day. Then began the week of no sleep and difficulty eating because of the constant butterflies in my stomach. Oh yeah, and lots and lots of prayer! Things began settling a little bit when my counselors were decided on and called - I was amazed at how right it all felt and how much better I felt knowing I'm going to have good sisters at my side! Then came the sustaining and setting apart last Sunday. I stood up in sacrament meeting and tried my best to smile but I guess it didn't work too well because I received the following comments from three different people: "you looked so nervous","you were as white as a ghost" and "you looked like you were going to vomit!" Dang, I guess I didn't look as calm as I was trying for! Oh well.

After sacrament meeting we were set apart and the bishop gave me a beautiful blessing that reassured me that this is where I'm suppose to be and that the Lord will make me equal to this task. And He has. I am feeling far more confident than I ever imagined I could feel in this calling, especially only two weeks out! I have had lots of ideas come to me. I've survived my first food order and after following a prompting to go to the Temple yesterday, I even feel like I might survive giving my first ever Relief Society lesson next week!

It has been an amazing and very humbling experience to feel the Lord's hand in my life so strongly these last two weeks. I know that with His help even little old shy, mousy me can do this calling, and maybe even do it well. So, here we go...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

To bee or not to bee...

We bee! So, Bob is in the bishopric in our ward. Last spring our bishop got two beehives and he has been raving about bees in their meetings ever since. He is so enthusiastic about it that he talked Bob and one other guy in the bishopric into getting their own hives as well! I must confess that the more I read and learn about bees the more excited I got as well. Bees are amazing little creatures! Anyway, our adventure began last December when Bob started getting beehives and equipment for Christmas. He has spent the last several weeks putting the hives and all the frames together and putting them together in the garden all in preparation for the big day when our girls would arrive. Yesterday was the day!
We got up early yesterday morning and headed into Salt Lake to pick up two "packages" of Italian bees. Each package or box contains one queen and 2 1/2 pounds of worker bees. That translates to approximately 10,000 bees in each box!
We put them in the back of the suburban and listened to the buzzing all the way home. There were a couple of stray bees flying around by the time we got home but they seemed more interested in their sisters than in us which was good! Nonetheless, it was sort of a tense drive home!
When we got home Bob put on his bee suit and headed to the backyard. He pried out the can of sugar water that was feeding the bees and then removed the queen who was in her own little cage inside the box and put her down in the hive. Then he turned the box over and started shaking the bees out into the hive.
This was the point I decided to retreat inside and watch from the window! Dart wouldn't leave though. The bees just fascinated him. He is standing just beside Bob and tried to catch and eat the bees! It was fun until they had enough of him and started stinging him! He would run away and roll to get the bees off and then go back for more! He might not be the smartest dog in the world...

This is some video I took of the package of bees. I wanted to record the sound of all the bees buzzing - it's a one of a kind sound, that's for sure. Anyway, it has been fun and amazingly peaceful to watch the bees humming around their new hives and all the blossoms on the trees. They really do seem to be as gentle as the books say they are. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. In spite of all the shaking and everything Bob had to do to install the bees in their hives he got stung only once and it was by a bee that got trapped in his pant leg and couldn't get out. Next time he is going to put rubber bands around his ankles!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Easter!

We had a very nice Easter weekend. The kids started off by coloring Easter eggs at the Moultries. I'm not sure what Grace thought of the whole thing but the rest of the kids had a lot of fun. They came home with four dozen brightly colored eggs that they want to treasure forever. I had to work pretty hard to convince Jeni that she couldn't keep her Easter eggs in her bedroom!Because of the funny weather we had we ended up postponing our neighborhood Easter egg hunt until the next Wednesday. We got together with four other families and went from yard to yard finding the eggs. The kids were all so excited. Here are Jeni, Nathan and Maddie with their "hunting helmets" on. Ready to go!
Maddie and Jeni were very good about helping Grace find her eggs.
Here is what Dart looks like on the neighbor's side of the fence! I think we have a hole to fill in...
I love my neighborhood! There are really great families with lots of cute kids to come outside and play in the cul-de-sac with my kids. With the good weather we have been having lately it's like a big party out in our circle every day as soon as the kids are all home from school. I love spring!
Here we are with some of our neighborhood friends.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Royalty and Warriors

Nathan is talking about the joy of Individual Confidence & Uniqueness in Joy School this month. They are each making a book "All about me" and talking about how each of them are special and unique. So the mom who was teaching got each of them a crown because they are special. She had an extra one and gave it to Grace when we went to pick Nathan up. They have had so much fun playing with the crowns. Here is King Nathan and Queen Grace. Then they got bored with that and turned their crowns upside down to become warriors!
Nathan is off to conquer the land with his trusty bunny sidekick and a deadly pink ball...
Later Grace was playing peek-a-boo with me! I'm sure this is a yoga pose of some sort.
Kids are so funny! Nathan has me a little worried right now. A couple of weeks ago, out of the blue he said to me "Mom, what's taking this baby so long to get here?" It caught me by surprise because I am definitly not pregnant. But I guess he didn't like that answer too well because a few days ago, again out of the blue, he told me that we needed to name the other one Fred. What?!? I asked him what he meant and he told me that I "am going to go to the hospital and pop out two babies. The first one will be named Thomas and the second one will be named Fred!" Does this mean he wants a brother or two to play with? I guess we will wait and see what the future holds but, in the meantime he will have to make do with playing warriors with Gracie!