Friday, December 17, 2010

We need a garage

Only those who know how much remodeling we've done on our house will find this funny. But earlier today my brother asked us, in all seriousness, "Do you have a saw?"

Hmm, let's see how many we have:

1. circular saw
2. miter saw
3. another miter saw
4. hack saw
5. coping saw
6. miter block saw
7. basic wood saw
8. drywall saw
9. saw that we use to cut the bottoms off of christmas trees (I forget the name)
10. dremel tool attachment saws
11. jig saw

What's missing? Let's see: a table saw, radial arm saw, tile saw (but we have a the diamond blade for one that we attach to our circular saw to cut tile), ....???? Can you think of any others?

I think we've got the saws covered, Erik. Take your pick. :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Little Mix-up

A common phrase from Waimea:

"My chapstick hurts. I need some lips!"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Real Haircut

I have never officially cut Waimea's hair. The bangs have been trimmed, and a few straggly ends snipped here and there, but never cut. Until today. I'm done with the bangs thing, and with her not letting me do ANYTHING with her hair, including comb it, I'm done with the long hair thing, too. It doesn't help that the humidity is gone in the winter, and with it, her curls. She has been looking pretty scruffy recently, and I am tired of it. Luckily she was willing, practically begging to get it cut. So we had a few minutes today, and that's really all it took. A straight cut across the bottom, slightly angled up in the back, with a few attempts at some layers. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I don't think it turned out too bad. What do you think?

Here is the before:

And the after:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Loving these car conversations...

Today Waimea had a friend come over for a visit. They were chatting it up in the car on the way to our house. Here are a few snippets of conversation that I overheard:

W: "I don't eat boogers anymore because I'm a big girl. Big girls don't eat boogers."


C: "If I jump over a car, then you have to jump over a watermelon."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

He really likes to use the resurrection card

In the car yesterday:

Spencer: "I want a pet fish."

Evan: "Well, when you earn enough money, you can buy a fish. But then you have to take care of it and feed it or else it will die."

S: "And then we can eat it!!"

E: "No, we can't eat a pet fish!"

S: "But it's okay. Really, dad, it is. The fish will be resurrected."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Weird it is

In the car today:

Spencer: "Look! They already have their Christmas lights up and it isn't even December yet! They're weird!!

Evan or I (can't remember who): "Well, we're going to go get a Christmas tree on Saturday, and it won't be December yet. Does that make us weird?"

S: "Yes!"

K: "Or we could wait until next week to get a tree."

S: "No, I want to be weird."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wedding thoughts already

Apparently Spencer's attachment to his friend at school is stronger than I thought.

Tonight, in all seriousness, he asked, "Mom, where are you going to be when Katie and I get married?"

How do you respond to that type of inquiry? This is coming from a kid who, until now, has been declaring that he's going to live with us FOREVER. And not just in the eternal realm of things, he literally meant he was not going to move out ever. Not to go to college, not to get a job, not to get married, nothing. (Believe me, I've asked).

His biggest attraction to her -- she hates princesses.

What a silly kid.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The fates were against us

We had it all planned out. Evan and the kids were to leave on the 7:10AM flight out of Philadelphia, heading to Salt Lake where Evan is presenting at a conference, and where the kids will spend a week with their grandma and grandpa. It takes us normally just over an hour to get to Philly, and with check-in 1 1/2 hours before takeoff, we figured if we left by 4:30AM, we'd get there in plenty of time.

Yeah. Right.

We were in the car, all packed and ready by 4:35. The car had been on for about 5 minutes, heating up. But as we were pulling away, we noticed that the defrost wasn't working, and we couldn't see a thing. After driving a few streets away, with the air still coming out cold, despite the car being warm enough, we decided we'd better take the Honda instead. So back home we go. Take out luggage, sleepy kids, car seats. Squish everything into the Civic. And we're off. 4:50AM.

We get to the airport just fine. But when we pull into the place to get a ticket to park, we get a ticket, but the guard thing doesn't go up. So we try again. Evan gets out to try and lift it. Meanwhile a car has pulled up behind us. We signal him to back up. We follow him to the next parking entrance. He gets through. We pull up and push the button for a ticket. Lo and behold, for us it is out of order. We back up once again and pull into the next parking entrance, even further from our terminal. We finally get through and park. Just after 6 AM. But by then we are so far away that we get lost trying to find the right terminal.

We finally get to our terminal and get in line. We get to the front, the computer isn't registering Evan's flight. We realize we're at the Southwest ticket counter and not Delta. We get in the Delta line. A few minutes later we are told that we have to get in another line for the self-check-in. We try to check in. We get Evan's ticket, but we can't find the kids tickets. We get help. She is slow. Finally we get that taken care. Off to another line to get our bags checked. We find out we are too late to check in our bags and must go to yet another line to talk to the supervisor.

10 minutes later we are helped, but told that the only thing we can do is rebook our flights for later, costing $50 a ticket. We finally get that sorted (and thankfully she only charged us for one ticket instead of 3), with them leaving on the 7:45 AM flight. But now they have a layover in Atlanta (the original flight was non-stop). And it took so long for her to arrange all that that by the time she was done and our tickets were in hand, it was already 7AM. So we book it to security. I say a quick goodbye, and then sit there bawling as I watch them walk away, knowing that they are in a rush, security takes forever, the kids are tired and hungry, and all I can do is watch from a distance with glass between us.

And then I watch as it really does take forever to unload all the crap that needs to be out to get through security, with the kids moving all over, people cutting in front, and Evan distracted with all he has to do, as the minutes are ticking by in my head. I'm about to have an anxiety attack. Sitting there watching it all, not being able to do anything, hoping the kids stay near their daddy, and hoping they get to their plane on time and can arrange to have them all sit together. I'm having an anxiety attack. But then they are gone, and I can do nothing but walk to my car. Oh wait, where IS my car? Somehow I find it and drive home and here I am, venting. Thanks for listening.

All I know is that I always thought it was stressful to be the one flying. Now I think I stress more when I'm watching my family walk away from me.

And this is supposed to be my week of freedom. I sure hope it turns around and becomes so.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If pictures of snot gross you out...

then do not look closely at this post.

Waimea recently got a hold of our camera and took some not-very-flattering close-ups of herself. Take a look:

She kind of looks like a piggy. My favorite is the 4th one.

Monday, November 1, 2010


We celebrated Halloween backwards this year. Normally we get our pumpkins in early October. This year we got them a few days before Halloween. Normally I do my very best to wait as long as possible to buy Halloween candy. This year I bought it too soon, and we went through two Sam's Club bags before the month was half over. Oh well.

We finally got around to carving the pumpkins Friday afternoon. Here is what Spencer wanted his pumpkin face to look like:
(The pumpkin is supposed to me mad)

Here's how they turned out:

Spencer "helped", but wouldn't touch anything with his hands:

More Halloween festivities:

Spencer's school parade:
He refused to acknowledge me, just like the first day of school.
(Am I really that embarrassing?!)

Trunk or Treat at the church:
Matching jedi's

Waimea as Cinderella (who thinks she still needs to be carried):

Neighborhood trick-or-treating:
Waimea decided she wanted to be Snow White instead of Cinderella.

When she got home she stripped out of Snow White and put on this lovely arrangement:

Friday, October 29, 2010



Spencer (while doing homework): "I hate lowercase letters. They're boring! I only like uppercase letters."

Waimea: "I eat boogers."

Me: Waimea, that's gross. Please don't eat your boogers!"

W: "No, boogers are YUMMY!"

Lovely. Just lovely.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spencer's Solution

He wanted to pull a wagon AND be pulled on one. It just couldn't be one or the other.

(So guess who did all the work?)

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Productive Day

Saturday was a day of accomplishments. Some small, some not so small.

Here's the big:

(Sorry about the sideways viewing--if you know how to fix this, let me know)

The best part about it was that it required almost nothing from us. We filled his tires with air, he hopped on, and after a few wobbly starts, he was off.

And the not-quite-as-big:

We made a dent in the wood pile in our living room by:

-finishing the trim work around our windows (only a good year after they were installed).
-installing the baseboards in two of our bathrooms. (One bath had been over a year without them, and the other about 6 months).

If only all Saturdays could be so productive.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Waimea!

If you ask her, she'll tell you she's six now. Only once has she admitted that she's three.

Yesterday we threw her a princess party. She invited her good friends: C, A, and J, who all dressed up with her. We had lunch, decorated foam crowns and wands, and danced to princess music. And, of course, there were cupcakes. Who'd have ever thought I'd have such a girly daughter?Three Cinderella's and one Aurora:

Today we had a more low-key family party. Opening presents (lots and lots of princess things):

And more cupcakes:

They sure grow up fast:

We love you, Mea! Happy Birthday!

Camping at Voorhees State Park

This last weekend (the 8-10th) we decided we needed to get one last camping trip in before all the state parks closed for the winter, and before it got too cold. We decided on Voorhees State Park because it was just about an hour away from us, and because they had these "shelters":
We weren't sure how cold it was going to be, and we didn't want to risk it, so we rented one of them. They have four bunks, a picnic table, and a wood-burning stove inside, and another picnic table and a fire ring outside. They charge by the bunk, so for a family of four, it was almost as expensive as a cheap hotel room, but much more fun.

Here are some pictures:

Enjoying the scenery from the front porch:

Going on some "hikes":

Attacking daddy in his bunk first thing in the morning:

Evan using his birthday present for the first time:

I love this picture:

Not pictured, but probably the highlight of our trip: visiting the Astronomical Association's observatory which was located in the park. We went at night and were able to look through some telescopes, including their 26-inch Newtonian reflector scope. We saw Jupiter and three of its moons, the Andromeda Galaxy (supposedly the furthest thing that can be seen with the naked eye), and a nebula (an exploded star). Pretty neat stuff.

What we didn't like were the stink bugs. They were all over the shelter when we arrived. We had to go on a bug-killing spree the first night before we could sleep soundly. (It reminded me a little too much of the mosquito-killing hunts we had to do in Finland, June 2009). And somehow they kept finding their way inside the next day, though there were a lot less to kill that night. Harmless creatures, but VERY annoying.

All in all, though, we had a great weekend, much of it spent outdoors, which I love. With Winter fast approaching we've got to get as much outside-time in as possible.

October Happenings

Evan and I have never been able to get much out of General Conference with the kids around. Thinking about it now, it's probably because we've never prepped the kids for it. Of course they're not going to be happy about us hogging the tv for hours on a Saturday, telling them to be quiet, not going anywhere, and not paying much attention to them.

But this year, thanks to the suggestions in the Friend magazine, we had a Family Home Evening dedicated to talking about conference and why we listen to it, using the example of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon. And to make things fun for the kids, we decided to pitch our tent with the opening facing the tv:
We had a picnic lunch in the living room. We played Conference Bingo with the kids as we listened to the speakers, and we had special treats for them to eat. And between sessions we made sure we got out of the house and let them run free.

And when the kids got tired of staying in the living room, we just explained to them that we needed to listen the prophet and apostles, and if they wanted to make noise, they needed to go upstairs and play by themselves. And they did. All in all, it was a great Conference experience.

What do you do to make Conference time special?

Also this month we went apple picking with the play group. I don't know if Waimea actually picked any apples, but she sure had a blast climbing up and down the ladder:

My Little Helper

Dressed up. Of course.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Evan

Yeah, that was a month ago. September 12.
We can't remember what I made him for dinner, but according to him, "whatever it was, it was really good."

Instead of a cake, he wanted a giant cookie-cake. Not a cookie-sheet-like cookie, but a cake-type cookie--thick, crusty outside with a warm, gooey inside. I found a recipe here, but instead of spreading it out in a cookie sheet, I put it in a 9 x 13 pan and cooked it for an hour. SO good right out of the oven, with ice cream melting on it.

What did we give him? You're going to laugh. But he claims it's the best birthday gift ever. That evening he sat on the internet looking up reviews and videos on YouTube. He was so excited to receive it, but he had no way to actually use it...yet. Here is what he got:
It's the Fiskars 28-Inch Pro-Splitting Axe.

While camping in Maine this summer, using our crappy Walmart hatchet to chop wood, I decided that for his birthday I'd give him a good axe. When I started doing research online for axes, I found that Fiskars makes them. Fiskars is a Finnish brand. (And for those of you who know me well, you know that I like to claim that "everything Finnish is better"). Fiskars has been making "the world's finest cutting instruments" since 1649. If you've ever owned a really really good pair of scissors, chances are they are Fiskars brand. Evan can tell you all about why the design of this particular axe is so good. All I know is that it's Fiskars, so of course it's good.

Anyway, enough plugs about Fiskars and Finland. Happy Birthday, again, Evan!

(Check out the Fiskars website:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Yesterday may as well have been Christmas with how excited Evan was with what came in the mail. Here they are: (Operations Management: Processes and Value Chains)

And his favorite:

He ordered these with his birthday money.

Did I really marry such a brainiac?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Have you ever wondered... you'd look dressed as a penguin?

Because, apparently I have.

Merry (early) Christmas, Jokke! Hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of School

Spencer has been ready to start Kindergarten for a long time. He insisted on taking the bus, despite my best efforts at trying to get him to let me drive him on his first day. He went about the morning in a business-like fashion, ready to take on the rest of his life. He said his short good-byes long before the bus came so that he wouldn't have to do it in front of everyone. He tolerated mine and Pappa's photo shoot with annoyed patience. And when the bus came, he made a bee-line for the line forming at the bus door, without even a glance back at me.

Being the paranoid mother than I am at times, I followed the bus to school to make sure he'd make it to his classroom. When I arrived, Spencer was in the line heading for the kindergarten wing of the school. He refused to acknowledge that I was there, though the smile on his face gave him away. And when he found his classroom, he walked in like he owned it. No looking back for him--watch out, world, here he comes!

Here are some of my favorites from the photo shoot:

The must-have in-front-of-home shot:
The backpack/lunchbag combo I found for him--the lunchbag attaches and detaches for convenience and ease of carrying (thanks, Gap Outlet!):
Waiting for the bus (it had the audacity to be late):

In line to board the bus:

Refusing to acknowledge me (not looking at me when I called his name, and turning his head away whenever I tried to take a picture):

Still hasn't looked at me or Pappa:

In his classroom, with his teacher:

The end of the day--deboarding the bus:

Congratulations, Spencer! Thanks for making this transition easy!