Sunday, December 23, 2012 Christmas

Back when I was a sailing instructor I had one of my students show up for class over an hour late.  At a military camp, this was totally unacceptable behavior, and most other students would come with a note or a REALLY good story if even ten minutes late.  This kid just waltzed up, looked at the attendance sheet and in the thickest Spanish/mobster accent ever said, "So I'm a little late.  Just chill."

What could I do?  Best line ever.  The kid got off scott free.

So, when I have absolutely no excuses, I just like to repeat this kid's amazing logic.

Here comes Halloween.  I'm a little late, just chill.

Madelyn was a "Rosy Vampiress"  I have no idea what that means, but according to Maddie, it's a real thing.  It involves a vampire a princess and a red dress.  Apparently they hiss at cameras.

Jude was Luigi - and was asked ALL day if his mustache was on upside down.  It wasn't ... I googled it. 

This was Ella's third costume of the day, and the only photographed one, so we'll say she was super girl with leftover princess accessories.  Happy kid.

A picture of Maddie and Jude's choir concert.  This was also Jude's last concert because later that day he cried and admitted that he really hated choir, he only went because Maddie begged him to do it with her. Is is sad that I was actually happy to hear him say that?!  

Four Happy Hallowieners   Halloweeners.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Done Protesting

I have a few posts sitting in my "unpublished" file...just staring me in the face.  I want to publish them, but stupid Google is now charging me a monthly fee to upload pictures.  You probably want to know what this new outlandish fee is, so I will swallow my pride and admit that I have been protesting blogging over a $4/month fee.  Yes, you ARE a mathematician and have correctly deduced that I am pouting over a mere $48/year, but it's the principal here - not the cash.

I assumed that my blog was important enough that Google would think, "Oh my gosh!  Melissa has stopped blogging!  We have got to do away with this new policy!"  But Mr. Google has yet to knock on my door offering his sincerest apologies, asking me to please reconsider and rejoin his amazing family of bloggers.  So, moral of the win some you lose some.  Blog anyway.

So, the next time I sit down at my computer, and choose to post those blog entries just waiting to be published, I am going to suck it up and give google my soul.

But - back me up here....just for mere validation purposes.  Having to pay for something that used to be free sucks, right?  EVEN if it's only $4/month?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Grossest

Is grossest a word?  My spellcheck seems to think so, so I'm just going to run with it.  Ahhh.   Where have I been?  That is a great question.  It can only be answered with living in the grossest six weeks of my life.

Vomit, people.  That is what I speak of.  Vomit and diarrhea to the max.  Not me, but four kids.  It all started Friday October 5, when I felt queasy and Rob and I had to come home early from a date. I threw up a couple of times, and within 24 hours was feeling much better.  No biggie, I assumed.  So when Rob started feeling nauseous a few days later we figured that he was going through the same 24 hour bug.  His, unfortunately lasted the next four days.

The difference between sick kids and sick adults is the fact that I trust mine and Rob's ability to make it to the bathroom in time to throw up. My kids?  Not so much....for good reason.

While Rob was out working one night we grabbed some Wendy's for dinner.  We eat at Wendy's maybe once a year so it was a real treat for all the kids to get frosties with their dinner.  The kids cheered and giggled as they shoved down that chocolatey goodness only minutes before bedtime.

After getting the kids into bed I started cleaning up the day's mess when I heard Maddie yell, "Uh, Mom?  I think Jude just threw up!"  Funny, why would Maddie be telling me that Jude puked?  I snuck into the room and was knocked out by the smell.  Jude, however, had nothing to say.  I remember stepping in vomit as I walked towards his bed and climbed the wet ladder to his bunk bed.  SO GROSS.  Yet, there was Jude, completely asleep.  The kid had projectile vomited while lying on his back sending it all over his bed, his clothes, his face and the floor below.  Apparently it had only woken him enough to roll around in the puke and fall back asleep.  When I woke him up he panicked and started spitting like a mad man.  I dragged him into the shower still half asleep and washed both him and all the contents of his bed in the same shower.  Trying to get throw up out of ears is really a tough thing.

He woke the next morning with diarrhea.  He then stopped throwing up for four days, then started again.  This pattern happened with every single person in my family.  They would stop throwing up just long enough to think they are finally better, only to then throw up again in the middle of the night...unexpectedly.  I was under, "Will they throw up again tonight?" stress for six solid weeks.  All of this on top of the fact that three out of four kids had diarrhea for the entirety of those six weeks.


Jude missed eight days of school, while Maddie only missed five.  Ella just sat at home for weeks with a bowl by her side.  I don't think I will ever take the words, "My tummy hurts" lightly again.

But, it appears as though the grossest six weeks of my life have finally come to an end, so I hereby announce my return to the blogging world.  I return a much more cautious, prepared and sanitized woman than I was six weeks ago.  Bring it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinterest Addict

The first step to Pinterest Addiction is, obviously, admitting that you have a problem.  Check.  The great news is that you can jump on over to Pinterest to search the many solutions/ecards dedicated to solving the aforementioned problem.  
Easy as pie.

Luckily as an admitted Pinterest addict (who has no interest in changing) I have found the greatest companion site ever.

This doll-of-a-lady has put together a website letting the blind followers of Pinterest know the do's and don'ts of that ridiculously believable site.

Check out my new favorite "Idiot's Guide to Pinterest"  on THIS site. I promise you that you'll not only gain some insight, but you'll grab a few laughs along the way!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


I hope that if I one day get arrested...for real...I can make a similar "I hate being arrested" face.  Life really sucks when you get caught

(wait for it)

 stealing someone's bike.

Totally worth it...I'm sure.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I've been meaning to post about family camp since we went way back in August - but the task seems so overwhelming due to the gazillions of photos that we have.  To make it easier, and to leave it up to YOU whether or not you want to see all the photos, I'm just going to put a link up of all of the pictures.  There are a good 300ish photos - but they're pretty awesome.  A big thanks to my awesome sister in law, Mandy, for putting these together.

Click HERE if you want to immerse yourself in family camp fun.  

Here are a few of my favorites:
The brood
The floating lanterns
Ella with the velcro paddle stuck in her hair.  

Ella getting ready to jump on the bungee tramp

Maddie ready for the talent show

Water skiing

Boat ride

Flight Simulator
No hands

My monkey husband
Tubing - I haven't laughed so hard in years

Thanks again, Dad, for a second-once-in-a-lifetime trip!  

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Mouse

I have been living in fear for about a month now.  We had a little mouse living in a pile of wood by our garage - and with the weather being so warm - our back door has been open almost every day while the kids run in and out.

At some point the mouse found its way in.

This is not your typical mouse that comes out at night, hides in dark places, sneaks around and avoids humans.  Oh, no.  This mouse was RUTHLESS.  He was living somewhere in our kitchen, and would come running at me while I was making dinner or doing the dishes.  Then, every night around 9:00, he would just run amuck in our kitchen - dodging all NINE traps we had set for him.

I was terrified to go in my kitchen, and from time to time he would even come running into the family room when I was watching TV.

About three days ago I hit a breaking point.  I was doing my dishes and cooking while standing on a stool  (that'll really hurt your back), I was spending hours sitting on my kitchen table just WAITING for him to come out - only to have him come out minutes after I had given up, I even set up a video camera so I could figure out where this mouse was coming from, and how he was getting around all of the traps in our home.  Yes, pathetic, but it had become an obsession.  I wanted this mouse DEAD.  I actually wanted it alive, so I could watch it die while feeding it to our neighbor's hawk.  Pathetic AND cold hearted....I know.

Last night all of the mouse drama came to a head.  I headed back to my bedroom to get my video camera and wait for the mouse, but when I came back he was already out.  I watched him dart under the refrigerator - so I called Rob in for backup.

We decided that we needed to scare him into one of the sticky floor traps by getting him out from under the fridge.  It worked.  Rob stuck a fly swatter under one side of the fridge and the mouse came flying out in the right direction.  It saw the trap, tried to stop, but was already going so fast on the tile that he basically slid into the trap.  I was SO EXCITED....for about a second.  Then the mouse was squeaking and crying and totally stuck.

Suddenly my worst enemy looked like this in my mind:
This cold-hearted snake was broken hearted at the thought of anything happening to Gus Gus.  All I needed to do was give him little booties, a hat, and a too-small shirt, and he would probably be my new best friend. 

(Right now my mom is thinking, "Told you so!")

We knew we couldn't just release the mouse without finding him right back inside tomorrow, so we did what had to be done. SO SAD.

Well, apparently we slaughtered the world's purest mouse because today the universe has completely turned on us - seeking to destroy our lives the way we destroyed his.   Rob called this morning letting me know that his car (which we have been expecting to finally die) died on his way to work.  Great.  But that wasn't enough.  The universe also decided to kill my car while it was at it.  Two cars destroyed in one day.  All thanks to you, Gus Gus.  Why on earth did you have to be so darn cute once we caught you?!  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Very Great Gram (but not my great-gram)

Can you believe this young lady is my grandma?  Okay, that part may be obvious...but would it shock you if I told you that she is about to celebrate her 98th birthday?  No, I'm serious.  Not only is she a knockout - she's also still as sharp as a tack...I'm talking Betty White status! Whenever I talk to her or see her she ends every conversation with, "Love you, dear."  I say I love her too, then she says, "Forever and ever.  Forever and ever."  If she is telling me this in person it's while holding both of my hands and looking me straight in the eyes.  It's just too precious for words. 

Love you Gram...forever and ever!

( there any question where I got my nose and chin from?!)  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Electronics Fail

My blow dryer is actually melting itself.

I don't know about you...but I consider that a bit of a design flaw.

Then again, maybe I'm just too picky!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Communication Breakdown

Last September when Rob lost his job I wanted to do everything in my power to minimize our bills.  I dropped my really expensive iPhone contract with AT&T, and got on a plan with some family members to cut the cost.  I was eligible for a new phone through Sprint, but at the time they didn't have the iPhone 4.  I thought for a couple of days and decided that spending $30 on a crappy droid was worth the money I could be saving for our no-income family.

Three weeks later, the new iPhone 4s was released, and Sprint had now been given the phone.  I slapped my forehead, and figured I'd wait until the iPhone 5 came out.  Anyone can suffer for a year with a junk phone, right?

Well, turns out anyone doesn't include me - apparently I don't suffer very well.  I have been checking iPhone 5 rumor websites since June and counting down the days until I could run over my already-cracked, charger-input-broken, tells me I don't know how to spell "cake" phone.  Remember the texting post I did way-back-when?

My computer is still on the fritz, and Rob has his iPad, and my phone Blogger is acting nutso...Nutzo? Nutso? My phone doesn't recognize either, but then again my horrendous autofill renames Rob Rib every time I Rupert it. Yes, I'm leaving that. Ih I am going to leave eceeyring I type the way ky phone fills it Ih. Yes. thinks scary one of thaw words is correct. It's autofill has a.mind of its own. Oh, and I am used to typing on an iPhone, zu every tune I try to press the space bar I end up hurting the period button. Anyone who texts me sees a lot if periods instead of spaces. The space bar is much wider on the iPhone, than on the Droid, so I always seem to miss it and hit the period button. Well that sentence went okay!! 

I won't type an entries post that ill end it now. 

With one quick sentence...

I hate my Droid. 

So yes...back to the dilemma.  I hate my phone - and have been dying to get a new one since the day after I bought the old one.  

This morning I logged into my Sprint account - eager to get a new 5 pre-ordered.  I looked at my "cart" total - and there it was...a whopping $860!

WHAT?!  I pulled up some more info on my account and came to a screen that said, "GOOD NEWS!  You're eligible for an upgrade in only 286 days!" 

Ahhhhh, poop.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Yoshi and Bowser!

Arrived August 31, 2012
4 inches, 2 oz
New brother and sisters are adjusting well.

Yoshi and Boswer were originally named Johnny and Greg, but there was constant disputing over who should be who - so Yoshi and Bowser stuck.

No....they don't gross me out, I think they are DARLING - and they require very little attention/care so in my opinion, they are perfect!  I don't even mind feeding them crickets.  I'm so mature. 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Life Unsweetened

I took the month of July as a month off of sweets - it was rough, but totally worth it.  It helped me to see how often I snack on sweet things, and that my sugar addiction really was quite ridiculous.  I didn't go off sugar completely - I still ate TONS of fruit, and there is always sugar in places you're not expecting - I just made sure that I didn't eat cookies, candies, cakes...any kind of treat basically.

One of my FAVORITE things to have to satisfy my sweet cravings was a simple smoothie:

One cup of VERY VANILLA soy milk, which is higher in calcium than regular milk (honestly - I didn't drink soy milk before this - but it is SO good...just make sure it's VERY tastes like vanilla ice cream)

A handful to two handfuls of fresh blueberries (Hello, antioxidants!)  I'm sure you could use frozen, I've just never tried it.

A handful of ice (this makes for a thinner - cold drink, add more if you want it thicker)

Throw these three ingredients into your handy-dandy Ninja 

and blend to your heart's desire.

I'm sure there are some of you out there STILL gagging at the first ingredient, but I dare you to try it.  Seriously - melted ice cream.  If you try it, and hate it, I will then accept complaint comments - but I don't want to hear a peep from those of you who fear soy.

I'm sure you could also add a million other fruits - even some greens if you're interested, but I drank this same shake for breakfast almost every single day of my sweet-less month. I even whipped it up on a couple of nights where I just HAD to have something sweet.  It always did the trick!

I think I'm going to try this with a green-base once my bananas ripen up - and I'll let you know if how that works out. Because, by golly, I think I'm taking another month (gasp) off of sweets.  Wish me luck!

BDEM:  Yeah, I think I'll start this again...We took our new pets on the trampoline.  It was hilarious.  Guess now I'll have to blog about our new pets!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

For Bonnie

I have really wanted to get back to blogging, but up until now I haven't really been ready to post this.  A month ago, yesterday, my step-mom passed away after battling cancer for over a year.  We knew she was sick, but her passing was quite sudden and was not something that we were remotely prepared for. I know that a lot of you out there have kept my family in your thoughts and prayers - and everyone, especially my dad, has felt the outpouring of love from family, friends and church members.

I generally try really hard to only write about positive things on my blog, but I really felt the need to dedicate a post just to Bonnie because she followed my blog DAILY.  She often checked several times during the day to see if I just happened to post twice.  She was wonderful to my kids, she was a great friend to me, and made my dad incredibly happy.  I was always amazed at her willingness to try new things - even at her weakest she was tackling ridiculous obstacles and smiling the whole way through.  I am grateful for the things I have been able to learn about myself because of the relationship I had with her.

Two weeks after she and my dad got engaged, they learned about her cancer - and from that moment on the two of them filled a lifetime into fourteen months.  They traveled all over the world and spent as much time as they possibly could with their loved ones.  Rob and I are especially grateful for all the times they visited us and the opportunity we had to spend so much time with them in Hawaii.  They are memories that we will cherish forever.

Please continue to keep my dad in your thoughts and prayers - I know that all of the support continues to help him through this.
Riding the Heber Valley Creeper June 2009
Hawaii March 2012
Day after their wedding May 2011
Family Camp August 2011
Johnny's wedding March 2009
Indiana Dunes 2011
Tubing March 2010
Alpine Slide June 2009

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Video Share

Usually I am just "meh" about the Olympics.

Yes, I realize that makes me 1. un-American and 2. Awful.

No need to rub it in, I just don't get that excited about the whole ordeal...sorry.

Can I win back your faith and love by posting this video?  Because, honestly, it's the happiest the Olympics have ever made me.  Proof that there is a human in here, somewhere!

So presh.

 BDEM: Listening to Claire's unforgettable laugh as Rob tickled her little arm-pitties.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One Year Ago...

Claire hated food THIS much:

Yes, this is the same Claire that is often found roaming the house carrying an entire bag of potato chips. This is also the same Claire that is in the 99th percentile for her weight.

 Living proof that miracles do happen...

 and sometimes miracles go too far.

BDEM: My wonderful sister in law and (more importantly) good friend, Lindy, is in town! We loved spending the afternoon visiting with their family - and can't wait to see them again tomorrow!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust

 ...and only five days after losing the first one.  In her words - being seven is awesome.

And now they are teeth twinners! 

BDEM:  Free Slurpees for the entire family on 7/11?  Oh, heck yes!  They even had a sugar free option for me.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy! maybe blogging is becoming a bit of a habit again.  I guess there are worse things that I could take up.  I'll just go with it.

I try...and I mean REALLY TRY to keep my house in pretty decent condition.  It gets messy, obviously - seeing as how I have four kids, but I always like to have the 4pm clean up that resets my sanity.

The 4pm clean up hasn't happened since last Friday.

My house is a PIG STYE.  I honestly cannot walk into a single room without seeing crap everywhere.  Things have just been so crazy busy around here that I haven't had a 4pm (or a 3pm or even a 10pm) since Friday.

This morning I watched some of my darling neighbor's children - and as we stood in my kitchen as she picked them up we could honestly see black footprints (several sets of them) leading from my back door - to my kitchen sink - then back out the door.  I looked at those footprints while standing in front of my full sink of dishes wondering what the heck happened around here.

In most cases neighbors wouldn't even be invited into my home when it looked like this. So today, as I gear up for my evening sweep of the house, I am grateful for friends that just don't judge.  The kind that wouldn't think twice about the footprints/dishes/spilled raisins/overflowing garbage and will just carry on a normal conversation with you as if everything were completely normal.

You're awesome, Jessica.  Totally awesome.

BDEM:  On top of my ridiculous mess, I idiotically decided that TODAY was the day that we needed to take cookies to the local firemen that saved my father-in-law's business.  I whipped up a quadruple batch and Rob and I took the kids over with the pictures they had drawn as a thank you.  Even though it was bad baking timing, the kids had a blast.  The firemen were so nice and showed the kids all over the place - while trying to convince Rob that he really should follow his heart and become a fireman.  I wish I had taken pictures!  

Monday, July 09, 2012


Oh, man.....I am WASTED tired - and not that I'm blogging every day again - but I feel that I should just put a little something out there from Maddie's party today.  We had nineteen kids here - followed by a trip to seven peaks with my brother and his family....AND to add to my exhaustion, today was the hardest workout in our new program.  (It's called Les Mills Pump - check it out, we love it!)

So I'll wrap up tonight with my favorite shot from all of Maddie's birthday pictures:

I told Rob that if I were a seven year old, I would have loved this party.  I hope all 19 of them felt the same!

BDEM:  Maddie was so grateful for this day.  I'm so happy that everything went well and that she felt like a princess for an afternoon!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Watching Time Fly

Counting Down

Birth Day

First Birthday

Second Birthday 
Third Birthday

Fourth Birthday

Fifth Birthday

Sixth Birthday
Seventh Birthday

Happy Birthday to my beautiful firstborn.   You are the sweetest, kindest and funniest seven year old I have ever met.  I am honored to be your mother and am so proud of the amazing girl you are.  Love you, Sunshine!  

BDEM:  Maddie LOVED her presents.  I was at such a loss as to what to get her (iPad, TV, and dog were all ruled out) but we ended up getting her a new hat, a purse, a kids bop CD, some chapter books and a little clip on light so she can read in her bed at night.  It was a random year, but she couldn't have ben more excited for each gift. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Even at her messiest...

I can't seem to get enough of this mug.

BDEM:  It's been a crazy day of running around for Maddie's birthday tomorrow, but I think everything is done (for tomorrow at least - Monday will be a whole different story) and I'm feeling good about the way it all came together!