Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Easter

I just want to start out by seriously complaining about blogger. Seriously, it's like it has a mind of it's own. I carefully post all my pictures in a particular order, and using the blogger guidelines (like please post all pictures backwards, upside down and standing on one foot) and they still end up a mess and completely out of order. And yes, I have figured out a very complicated way of reworking them back into the correct order- but seriously, I am already defying the odds of homeschooling four kids and blogging too, like who has time to do that?

And I am pretty sure blogger is run by ex-KGB and they are hearing everything I am ranting about and probably in the middle of this post I will not be able to keep my text from being blue and underlined (does that happen to anyone else?) but I am at my breaking point! Does blogger not know that the majority of it's users are not highly trained professional computer people but mom's who are usually blogging in the wee hours of the night with half opened eyelids? Would it really be so hard to make their system a little more user-friendly?! I know. It's free. I am obviously dealing with reprecussions of having been born in the Entitlement Generation.

So moving on...
Todd and Lisa came for Easter weekend. This picture was supposed to be about five down, but whatever, right? I can go with the flow. I'm a calm cat. Can't get to me KGB-people! Okay, I'm done. So Todd brought a basket full of items such as his own cooking knives, his Kitchen Aid, a scale to measure ingredients in ounces instead of with measuring cups, and fine spices. He cooked for us all weekend. This is a picture of him making incredible, I mean incredible pancakes. He actually drove all over town looking for whole buttermilk, because 1% apparently doesn't do the trick. And he lost all confidence in me when I suggested he simply add some vinegar to whole milk and let it set a few minutes. I have never seen such a look of disappointment in my older brother's face.
Todd and Lisa at my mom's Easter Egg Hunt.

An Easter Tradition... Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday. The vision of these little beauties is what got Savannah through her fourty days without sugar for Lent. Way to go, Savannah!

Easter Morning...

The Easter Egg Hunt at Grandma Rosie's...

Yes, her hair started out all cute and frilly and bowish. I don't want to talk about it.

This picture takes the cake.

Grandma Nita Easter Morning.

The problem with Clara and an Easter Egg Hunt is that she does not understand why you would not stop to open up the egg and eat the candy inside before finding the next one. Thank goodness her siblings were in a sharing mood or this may have been her single claim to an egg.

And ...
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer!!
After two months of daily practice - it was showtime for Tom Sawyer! I know I am the mother & wife of these fine actors, but seriously, this show was sooooooooooo cute!!! I wish I could have taken pictures of them on stage but it's against the rules, so these backstage pictures will have to do...

And these are science club pictures in the middle of my play pictures because of, well perhaps I have whined enough?

This week they were split into two teams and with a box of random supplies, and competed to see which team could create the fastest paper airplane, the best contraption to keep and egg dropped from 10 feet to keep from cracking, a bridge that would hold the most weight, and a way to carry a cup of water without spilling it holding only a metal hanger.

Oh! And look, another Easter picture. Jake wanted to make sure he didn't miss any eggs during the hunt.

Savannah and her beloved Grandma Rosie. They look quite a bit alike, wouldn't you say?

Now back to the play. This picture might betray some true emotions for Jake and Nick after a week of midnight dress rehearsals.

And Science club again. This is their bridges which ended up being exactly the same. Great minds think alike!

This was my favorite. It's the paper airplane contest and Jake's team decided that if they attached a balloon to their plane and then popped it as the race started it would surely jet propel the plane to an unheard of distance. Unfortunately the plane made a dive after being in flight for about two nano-seconds.

This is our adorable Savannah as Lucy Harper, with a whopping five lines (that she delivered with unsurpassed grace and emotion)

Nick's cousins and friends came to see the play opening night, and he gave them a personal tour of the auditiorium. He was feeling quite popular.

Okay, I know I am his mother, but Nick was a show-stopper. The boy is born to be on stage.

Savannah with friends Morgan Clinkscale and Jessie Walker who came to see the play...

Nick practicing his sword fighting.

Jake was incredible in this play. He was even able to withhold acknowledging my cousins, Jennifer and Stacey, who sat on the third row and waved at him through an entire performance.

This was Jake's best friend during the show, Holden. Coincidentally he was also Savannah's dance partner and his parents reported to us that he fell heartwrenchingly in love with his leading lady.

Chad getting into character as the cruel schoolteacher.

Savannah on closing night (their where eight performances) with friend Nicole Purdy and neigbors Ari and Riley.

Nick on closing night with his "Aunt Polly's sugar cookie" (psuedo flowers) throwing out an "I love you" sign to his adoring fans :)

And that's that... we have a whopping 6 month break until Annie starts in the fall... just the right amount of time to forget the incredibly long practices and weekends minus a husband and my near nervous breakdown that always happens round about opening night. But I must say, this is play #4 and it's always worth it in the end. Showbiz ala' Nampa!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2 Birthdays, 1 Visitor, and a Conference

The first of which birthday was mine. This is a picture of Savannah making my beautiful, amazing lemon-poppyseed cake. This is the second birthday cake Savannah has decorated this month, which is seriously amazing considering that she has given up sugar for Lent.

I know, lousy job on focusing the camera, but you get the idea.

The Finished Product.

On my birthday Chad took me out to breakfast, lunch, shopping, and to get a massage. This is a picture of us at lunch at my favorite Mexican Restraunt, right after I got a free birthday makeover at the mall. The eyeshadow is hot pink, which apparently is supposed to make your eyes look bright blue. I think it just makes your eyelids look hot pink.
I just think that Chad is really, super cute.
(I didn't just say that because he asked me why I never post pictures of him on my blog. Of course I did it just because I totally love him and want tons of pictures of him all over my blog, I've, uh, just kind of forgotten to put any on it.)

Here is me about to blow out the - oops! Forgot the candles! After this picture was taken, Savannah grabbed a candlestick from the front entry way and stuck it in the cake so I would have something to blow out. I like how the lighting in the picture kind of makes me look like I am at a seedy bar. Or maybe my house really just looks like a seedy bar.

...And Nicole came to visit!
I have known (and loved:)) Nicole known since I was 10 years old. I like to lay claim on the fact that on the day she moved into the Portland, Oregon neighborhood where we grew up, I was the first to have her over for a playdate. So I am her oldest friend ( like by a day, but whatever.)

We were married two weeks apart, and since I moved to Idaho we usually do the trek between Idaho and Oregon to visit about three times a year. She was there for my birthday, which was really cool, because the lemon poppyseed cake recipe is hers. Okay, every good recipe that I lay claim to has come from her. She's also an amazing triathlete/marathoner and gets up every morning at 4am to run their business. Oh, and she's a dental hygenist, master gardener, and does wedding flowers, too. Did I mention she plays the cello, piano and flute beautifully? Nicole is seriously cool.

The highlight of our week was taking all 8 (!?) kids to the dollar movie to see Bedtime Stories. Once again, I was the loudest laugher at the kids movie, but at least this time I had Nicole to rival me. We kept trying to talk to each other over the heads of the 8 kids about how funny it was. I'm pretty sure we were the theater favorite. Hey, you guys only paid a buck, okay?!

These are pictures of Nick, Jake and I planting our annual bean pole tee-pee. Last year the pumpkins took over, so this year the tee-pee gets a spot of it's own.

And Conference Weekend! conference weekend, when we listen for two days to church leaders speak by satellite on TV, is one of my favorite things in the world. When we started having kids, we realized that they were not so into watching 8 hours of talks on TV all weekend, so we decided to make it more like a holiday, to get them into the spirit of things.
So this... our 10th bi-annual Conference Holiday...
started Friday night with our hot dog and S'mores roast.

Does life get any better? Seriously - what is better than a S'more?

No, Chad is not wearing parachute pants - he just got back from skiing...

that fine moment of putting a burnt marshmellow between chocolate and graham...

Then...the tent...sometimes we sleep outside, but considering it snowed earlier that day (?!?) we decided to camp inside this year.

Here the kids are after reading the King Benjamin story, ready to sleep in the tent for the night.

Saturday morning - playing the conference game, where they put a candy corn on a picture everytime they hear it said. Then they get to cash in their candy corns for prizes at the end of the session. Clara was more interested in just inhaling the candy corn.

The Conference Store

Saturday Afternoon Session - the kids switched to conference packets, where they earned 10 points per page they completed to use at the conference store. Savannah was saving for straw glasses, Jake for Peeps, Nick for a slinky, Clara for whatever she could sneak while we weren't looking.

Saturday Night Campout in the Living Room

After Clara was told no to more candy corn fifty bazillian times by her serious game-playing siblings, she decided to take matters into her own hands. These marshmallows were on the top shelf of the pantry, hidden from view. How on Earth?...

And this is a picture of her, only you can't see her, because she is hiding in the curtain with the one bag of sugar cereal in the entire house. Unfortunately the empty box that you see lying next to her gave her away. Oh, and the ferociously loud crunching.

Sunday morning session - the kids all won fuzzy posters to color from the conference store, and spent this session coloring them.

Why? Why not just color the poster?

Yes, she won the straw glasses - a true treasure. Well, the next best thing to Peeps, anyway, if you happen to have given up sugar for Lent.

...And my Grandma's Birthday...

This is my Grandma Spitzer on her 72nd birthday. Is she not just smashing? Seriously. Check out the turqoise ring. She is so cool. Oh, let me get her 70's genes!

Lunch at Olive Garden - my Aunt Leanne, Grandma, me, Savannah, and Mom.

After lunch we hit a few stores, and then let the serious shopping begin - Savers 99 cent Monday! Second hand shopping runs deep in our blood. (Don't worry Kristin, we'll re-enact the whole thing next time you're in town:)!)

I love my Grandmother dearly. She has truly aced the art of being a Grandma, and I am so glad that I get to live close to her and that my children can know and adore her as much as I do. She is the essence of unconditional love and devotion. She has spent a lifetime making sure her family was always close, and I am so grateful to her for it.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!