Monday, November 14, 2011

Testing the Blogger app!

I just found out that blogger has a smartphone app! I've spent so much less time on the computer lately (and that's not going to get better any time soon, Nathan pulled to standing today!), being able to blog from my phone should make it a lot more likely to happen! It looks like I can load plenty of pictures, but they all go at the end without writing in between. That's sad, but better than nothing!

So here is a set of three pictures I took while making dinner this evening. Nathan had just taken a short nap and needed cuddles, so I plopped him on the couch with the other three who were watching Pink Panther (and luckily David cuddles were enough so I could go make dinner!). I love the progression of Nathan not seeing me, looking over, and grinning at me. He sure is a sweet guy. :-)

Okay, I've tried three times and it keeps posting the pictures out of order. Which doesn't show the cute progression. That's disappointing...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Halloween!

As with all things in my life (especially cleaning), blogging comes in fits and starts. So it's been two months since I blogged last. Oops. So here is the obligatory Halloween costume picture (only a week and a half late!). Hopefully I find the time, energy, and motivation to blog again before two months pass this time!

Every year since Ryan was born we've had coordinating costumes (with the kind of exception of the year the boys were knights and Katy ended up being a strawberry fairy by day and pink bunny by night...she was supposed to be a princess to coordinate. I say "kind of" exception, because it could be argued that the strawberry fairy fits the theme of Fantasy with the knights...and at least the boys matched if that's too much of a stretch).

Pooh & Tigger
Dash & Jack Jack
Buzz & Woody
Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, & Peter Pan
Princess Leia, Darth Vader, & Luke Skywalker
Princess Peach, Mario, & Luigi

It's been fun, but it's getting harder! Not so much because of the extra person, but because the kids are getting old enough to have strong opinions about what they want to be. Oh, and I'm not forcing them to coordinate, they really want to. We have a few ideas left that will probably work (expect "super heroes" at some point). This year we ended up settling on the theme "Classic Halloween" - we have a jack-o-lantern, a witch, a skeleton, and a spider!

You can tell this is my fourth baby. I found his costume for $2.50 at Once Upon a Child. The head part was way too big and kept falling over his face (despite me having safety pinned part together to make it smaller). As long as I kept adjusting it he didn't mind it, though, and was pretty darn cute!

Getting there...

Big smiles!

Dan took the pictures (at my command), so I'm only guessing that she's sampling our candy here. Seems a pretty good bet though! Katy is a pretty witch (easier on the girly girl & her mom than a scary witch). I made her costume (sorry boys, I swear I love you all too!), and it took two very late nights. And I indulged in putting make up on my little girl. Look at those lashes!!! It's a good thing she has so many brothers to watch out for her!

She's a little happy, don'tcha think?

David borrowed this super cool spider costume from my mom. Aunt Hannah wore it when she was his age! He really liked how the costume arms moved when his did.

Ah, Ryan, the hardest one to get to decide. He finally settled on skeleton thanks to his love of Minecraft (a computer game). It glows in the dark! And guess what - so does his face! It was pretty cool looking!

Here we all are, ready to go out! We got a decent haul - everybody still has plenty of candy (especially David). It was fun!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


It's that time o' year again. Time to buy a bunch of name brand school supplies because that's what the list says to get, even though I rarely buy name brand anything. Time to buy the boys nice new clothes and hope they like them better than some of the ugly things they've been wearing lately. Time to start getting up early every day in exchange for many hours with only 2 children. Oh yeah, and maybe time for the boys to learn a thing or two! Maybe. David starts full time Excel this year, so chances are better than they were last year that he'll actually learn something!

Here's the big 3rd grader! I can't believe how grown up he's getting. He has really matured a lot the last few months. Who woulda thought David would ever be the easy one?

There was some ball dropping in the transportation department this year. Rather than contacting us prior to the first day of classes as it stated in bold in the letter, they didn't contact at all. So I called at 6:45ish the morning of, and was told a 7:09 pickup down the road a little ways. So David & I went out at 7:04 and waited. And waited. After a little while I went back to check up the baby, and he was awake so he got to come out and wait some more. Finally after about a half hour we walked back home, I woke up Katy & Ryan (never something I like to do!), and drove David to school, ending up leaving at 7:47, 2 minutes after his class started. I've only been to his new school once, so that was a little adventure in and of itself (my phone sent me into a neighborhood and told me my destination was on my right. Um, no). I walked David in (hadn't brushed my hair or teeth...), and his teacher was really happy and nice about everything. When he was dropped off he brought me a note that said "Pickup between 6:58 and 7:00." So, either she had come but 10 minutes earlier than the time I'd been given, or she hadn't come and was just planning that for the next day. Either way, this morning she picked David up in front of our house at 6:59. Phew!

And here's 2nd grader Ryan! Interestingly, they both wore those matching fleeces for their first day, when it was just a quick random purchase at Old Navy last weekend (on sale, of course!). I didn't think they'd need such warm clothes for August 31st. Silly me.

Well, today was the second day of school, and as far as I know things are going well! Cross your fingers & toes that they keep going that way!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sidney & Nathan

Nathan is a lucky little guy. He's the only one of my children to have a Smith cousin close in age. It's really fun to have the two babies at the same time! Of course, the size difference being much less than the age difference makes Nathan look a little dumb, but that will pass in a few months.

See, Sidney can sit up all by herself. Nathan needs a bumbo. What did I tell you? It looks like he should be able to do everything she can!

This progression of pictures cracks me up. Here they are sitting nicely next to each other. Now watch what happens next:

Sidney has scooted around kind of in front of Nathan...

"I like your face, it's really soft"

"Can I use this thing too?"

"Mama, save me! This girl is in my space!"

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hot Tub Time

One of our favorite things about Grandma & Grandpa's house is the hot tub. This holds true for every single member of our family (with the possible exception of Nathan. He doesn't really seem to care, which is surprising when you consider the utter joy he shows about being in the bathtub!) Not being able to go in it while I was pregnant was really, really sad. Sure glad I never have to go through that again!

Katy likes Sidney. 1. She is a baby. 2. She is a girl. What more could you want?

Chubby babies! I just want to squish them!

Nathan was born 6 days before Sidney turned 5 months old. In this picture Nathan is 1 day shy of 5 months, so just barely over HALF Sidney's age! Wouldn't guess it from looking at them!

Most of the Morrills! Including Molly. Stop dropping dog toys/rocks/sticks in the hot tub, ya dumb dog! We aren't out here to play with you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band

At the beginning of the summer I spent some time looking around at all the activities going on around the area - library programs (I think we ended up going to 9 or 10 between 4 different libraries!), cheap movies, etc. I even thought to look at stuff happening around my parents' house, and stumbled upon a good one! Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band was doing a free concert at Lake Meridian, about 2 miles from my parents' house. Dan has been a fan of Ryan Shupe for a long time. We went to a concert at BYU the semester after David was born, so it's been at least that long. So since we wanted to visit Grandma & Grandpa anyway, might as well go then!

I have lots of pictures from that trip. I intend on posting lots of them between several different posts. If I don't follow through with that, I'm sorry. There just isn't enough time in the day or energy in my body to do everything I want to do. I've done a better than usual job of keeping the house clean this week, so I didn't get around to watering the grass at all (bad week for that to happen!). Sigh.

Here's most of the group at the Ryan Shupe concert. My parents, Danny (home from BYU for the summer), Nadine & Scott & Brady (in town for a week), and our family all went!

David played on his DS the entire time. Well, at least he didn't cause any problems that way!

See, we were there!

Grandpa loves Nathan. :-)

Here's the three missing from the other pic - Brady on the far left, Grandma, and Scott. Actually, I just looked at the first picture again, and they're there too, just up the hill! Nope, I'm not going to go change what I wrote.

After the concert Dan & I got our picture taken with the man himself! Yay! If only we hadn't had the recently set sun behind us, it'd be a bit better of a picture. Oh well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Fun!

Making a Summer to-do list has become kind of a "thing" lately. Apparently it started here, although I'm pretty sure I first heard about it here. We did a Summer list last year, but it wasn't as cute as the one we made this year. I really like the idea. As Kimba says on A Soft Place to Land, "it helps me be more intentional with our time." It helps us remember what we want to do, as well as remind us of what we've already done! It helps keep the summer from turning into an endless stretch of mindless sitting around at home (often having way too much screen time). I was really happy with our experience last summer, so we did it again this year! I looked around at all the other cute lists out there (my favorites being the latest versions of Meg's and Kimba's), took the ideas I liked best, and came up with this:

Two months later, here it is:

I need to check off Pajama Day, we did that on Monday (Complete with French Toast for dinner! It was fun!), we're probably going to Powell's today, and I can check off Crafts whenever since we've done a couple (although not checking it off helps me remember to do more). That leaves Put on a Play (I'd like to do Goldilocks & the 3 Bears or The 3 Little Pigs. Maybe for FHE next week?), Wash the Car (it needs it badly!), Bowling, and Chuck E. Cheese (both of which we will probably skip because they cost money. Besides, we went to Oaks Park Amusement Park, I think that will have to count!). And go to the park one more time. I would like to point out that we've been to the park 9 times since summer started 2 months ago, and of the 9 only 1 has been a repeat park!

Now that I think of it, it would have been really fun to take a picture of everything we did. Maybe make a big picture collage of all the Summer Fun activities. Definitely an idea to think on for next year! Well, I got pictures of some of them at least, and here's the one that I was wanting to post:

When I put down "Make T-Shirts," I was thinking of letting the kids paint on them. Aunt Miriam mentioned doing tie dye, and I'm so glad we did! It was a lot of fun! The big boys in particular love their shirts! We made more at Grandma & Grandpa's house when we were there a week and a half ago for the "family reunion" (When does it become a family reunion instead of just a visit? All 16 members of the Smith family were there, which meant all 3 married daughters brought their whole family from at least a few hours away. Are we old enough to call it a reunion?). We really like tie dying!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Morrill cousins!

One of the saddest things about leaving Utah is being so far away from Dan's family. We didn't see them all that often while we lived there, but certainly more often than we do now! So we were so excited when some of them decided to come visit us here in Washington! Dan's sister Heather brought her family from Pleasant Grove, and his sister Becky brought her family from Glendora, California, and met up at our house last Sunday night! Between the three families we had 12 kids (10 of which are boys!) running around, so it was a little wild and crazy around here! The kids had a blast with their cousins, and were sad to have them go after only 2 days. :-( We'll definitely have to get together again soon!

I handed Dan the camera and told him to take pictures. He took 10. These are the two best of the lot:

Ryan was cranky and making angry face is most of them. Katy wasn't feeling well and refused to smile. Oh well, what can you ask for with so many kids? Especially when most of them are rather strong willed. Yes, of course I mean that in the best possible way! ;-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Katy turned 4!

In keeping with my new quest to blog about things I missed without stressing myself out about doing them in order, I'm jumping back a month and a half to June 3rd - Katy's birthday! Now, Katy is my one and only girl, and that alone often makes me spent extra time, attention, energy, and money on her. Add on the fact that she is truly adorable, and that she really enjoys dressing up and being doted upon, and, well, we have a lot of fun together! A little while before her birthday we went dress shopping. As in "pick out a bunch of dresses that we like and try them on to decide which one to get" dress shopping. We both had a lot of fun! It's not that I wouldn't take the boys clothes shopping, but they would do just about anything to avoid it! And, while there ARE cute boy clothes, the kinds of clothes my boys would choose are not them. So it was fun for me to have a mother-daughter dress shopping experience. :-) Even better, I got a free $10 Kohl's card in the mail, and the dress Katy chose was on sale, so I got a $24 dress for $2.16! Win!

On Katy's birthday she got to wear her pretty new dress! And new hair clips. And birthday girl ribbon. She sure felt special!

So we went out front and took some pictures of the beautiful birthday girl. It helped that it was such a gorgeous day!

How come it's cloudy and rainy now at the middle of July?

One of the reasons this was the chosen dress was because it was good for twirling!

I wish I got that much joy out of spinning in circles!

See? So much happiness!

Then it was time to look at the plants. :-)

One of Katy's favorite things to do is to go have lunch with Daddy in Portland. So on her birthday we went and picked him up and went to Red Robin with him! Yum!

Too bad Katy didn't like the ice cream... :-P

And of course she got a balloon, which also caused much happiness.

After lunch, Katy, Nathan, and I stopped by the OMSI for a short visit. Then we hurried home to be there before the boys got home from school. Then after dinner (chicken noodle soup at Katy's request) we went to the school for the "Family Fun Night." A bunch of little games, a couple inflatable toys, and some cotton candy. I don't have any pictures from that. Odd.

After Family Fun Night we came home and opened presents. Katy was ridiculously spoiled this year, for several reasons. First of all, Katy is happy to get things for presents that the boys wouldn't, as seen here:

That is not the face the boys' would make if they opened up a birthday present to find shoes!

Also, several of her presents were really, really good deals. I found some Littlest Pet Shop sets at Toys R Us that were not only on sale, but had 2 sets stuck together for that sale price. So what was normally $12.99 for one set was $8.99 for 2 sets. And I got her 2 tutus, a pair of wings, and the hair bows using a $40 gift card I bought for $20. Grandma & Grandpa Smith got her the set of Disney Princess dolls when they were almost half off. So we sure stretched the birthday budget this year!

And finally, Grandma & Grandpa Morrill just flat out spoiled her! I called to recommend a particular DS game, and instead Katy got a DS, DS case, pack of multi colored styluses (styli? What is the plural of stylus?), and 3 games. Thanks, Grandma & Grandpa!

That reminds me, I should have Katy send thank you notes. Every time I or one of my children has a birthday I intend on writing thank yous, and keep forgetting until eventually I decide not to do it because it's been so long. How rude of me!

Katy immediately got in her new jammies, put on a tutu & wings, and started playing her DS! Too bad it was already so late because of Family Fun Night!

Then it was cake time! Now, I've made ice cream cakes forever, the same way my mom made them when I was growing up: ice cream smashed into a pan. This time I finally tried doing an ice cream cake with cake in it, and it was so yummy! I have a set of 8, 9, and 10 inch springform pans, so I baked cakes in the 8 & 10 inch ones. After they cooled I wrapped them in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. Then I put plastic wrap in the same size pans (two long pieces making a cross), smashed the ice cream into them, and wrapped the ends of the plastic wrap over the top. After everything was frozen I built the cake by doing the 10" cake, 10" ice cream, 8" cake, then 8" ice cream. Then I made some whipped cream, died it bright pink, and frosted the cake with it. It wasn't the prettiest thing ever but it was delicious! I'm excited to play around with different flavor combinations of ice cream & cake (and I could even do different flavored whipped cream)!

Katy sure had a wonderful birthday! We are so happy to have her as part of our family!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4th of July!

Man, I'm on a roll lately with blogging(hopefully acknowledging it doesn't ruin it)! I have plenty of stuff I can/should blog about from the past couple, well, years really. So please forgive me if I jump around date-wise. I'm going to just post what I feel like rather than impose restrictions on myself ("I have to post in order, I can't post that until I do all these other things first) that serve no purpose other than stress me out.

Quick question while I'm thinking of it, has anyone found a way that works for them to have a "hard copy" of their blog? As long as I'm doing this, I really should have something printed out, but I don't know about using so much colored ink. And I don't know that I'd want to just do it in black & white. Any suggestions?

So anyhow, we had a pretty fun, exhausting 4th of July here at the Morrills' house. We had a bit of a leisurely morning, then were on the go most of the rest of the day!

Our first stop was to buy fireworks. I figured all stands were pretty much the same price, so we might as well go to the one put on by the local high school band. On the way there I looked at an ad for a different stand. Started walking around the band one, noticed the prices were often 3-4x what I'd seen in the ad, so we bought a few little ones and went in search of more bang (literally, ha!) for our buck. We found the one from the ad and got some really good stuff! We usually spend around $100, and I think we did a much better job this year of choosing what to get with that money. We've had too many fountains in years past, this year we made sure we had a good variety.

After a quick stop at home to drop off our fireworks, we headed to Fort Vancouver for their 4th of July celebration. It wasn't quite as much fun as I'd hoped. They advertised "traditional family fun games and entertainment all day!" and it was a little lacking, but we had a pretty good time nonetheless.

One of the activities was a children's parade! They gave out the necklaces, glasses, headbands, and stickers, and we got to walk in the little parade through the park.

Now, we would have been ready to leave about a half hour before the parade, but stuck around because Katy & Ryan especially wanted to do it. Well, it didn't take long for Ryan to change his mind. Nice, Ryan.

When I took this picture and looked at it on the camera I thought Ryan had decided to be nice and do thumbs up. Then I saw it on the computer and thought he was making fists at me. Then I noticed the headband in his hands. He's still got grumpy face, but at least he isn't making fists at the camera!

Near the end we spotted some inflatable toys off to the side, so I decided that was as good a place as any to quit being in the parade and watch instead. The entire parade consisted of a band, a bunch of kids, a pipe band, some horses, and a bunch of convertibles. Really, it was nice that we got to do the parade thing without it being a major ordeal. We do wish they had thrown candy though. :-) Nathan was really interested in watching the parade, especially the cool shiny cars!

Poor baby boy in a pink & purple stroller. I'm tempted to get a manly one since they're pretty cheap, but just can't justify buying a new one when this one works fine. He doesn't mind (yet)!

After the parade we went to the inflatable toys. Nathan decided he was hungry, so I sat in the shade and fed him while the kids did these over and over again. Despite the expression on David's face, they all loved it!

Even cranky Ryan perked up!

And beautiful Katy was thrilled to get to go so many times!

Baby's hungry, gotta wrap this up. After that we hiked back to the car and headed home. We had some down time, grilled some burgers and hot dogs, watched a bit of a movie, then did fireworks. Fun was had by all. The end.