Monday, October 24, 2011

Just A Hodge Podge Modge Smodge

I was going through pictures on mine and Andy's iphones tonight and cleaning them out. There were just so many funny ones that didn't make the "blog" cut. So, without further adieu, I give you our life.... un-edited :)

Magnus is addicted to the TV. He tried to get as close as possible, as shown here in this photo where he tries to use Jonah as a step-stool.

And then we have just your average day.... you know, where your 2 younger siblings gang up on you, bind your hands and feet with the vacuum cord, and then attack you with vacuum cleaner attatchments.

And here we have Miss Kaylah (Laylah's American Girl Doll) riding her horse Blitz and holding her dog Pepper.

Of course, Kaylah got bored riding on a horse that didn't actually move, so Sadie got turned into her horse instead. Can't you just tell how much Sadie is loving it?!

And here we have my man and me on a lovely date night to the temple. We have really been trying to make it once a month, even though it is very difficult (it takes about 7 hours total) to have a babysitter for our 5 children for that long. But, since I have been able to leave M for that long for the last 5 months since he started solids, I am proud to say that I've been every month since June! And I love it. Go me.And yes, on this particular night, we almost ran over a turtle on the way home. It was huge, and we had to turn around and get it out of the street. It jumped and hissed and flipped out when Andy touched it. I was scared. Don't you think I have the right? Its eyes are glowing.
Oh yeah, and I did forget to mention (not really, I just didn't want to for obvious reasons) that I colored my hair again. Except way darker. And it was way ugly. This was the morning after I did it. I was snuggling with my boy.

Lucky for me it has faded quite a bit, but it is still very dark. I'm not quite sure what to do with it now.... I think I'm ready to be blonde again. Anyone care to share their opinion? Anyone...??

Laylah tried to get out of going to church one morning and decided to color a bunch of craft dots pink and stick them all over herself. She must have read THIS book one too many times. She told me she had the chicken pox.

She even remembered her feet!

But really, she wasn't trying to stay home. She actually loves church and learning and reading her scriptures. She's just hilarious, that one.

This boy is always telling me to take pictures of him. He's cute, so I oblige. Most of the time.

This kid is the messiest eater ever. Sometimes I strip him down after lunch and throw him in the sink because it's just so hard for me to carry him upstairs to the bath. Plus, he loves it and throws a fit when I try to take him out.

And of course, he makes a big, splashy, watery mess.

This guy is funny.

Especially at one o'clock in the morning when we really should be in bed, but for some reason we're just.... not?

Oh boy. I tried an experiment on Laylah to make curly hair like Taylor Swift. I really should have taken a picture of what it looked like before I took it out so that you would know what NOT to do. Unless you would like to have a 'fro. Then you should definitely do it.

Basically, I did a bunch of tiny pony-tails and twisted them up really tight so it looked like there were a bunch of corkscrews all over her head.

This is what it looked like after I took it out the next morning. Yeah, we won't be trying that again.

Family scripture study and family prayer. In my bed. I love it.

I love that Magnus adores Laylah and that she loves him like she's his mother. Here she is, trying to do homework, I was looking a recipe up on the computer, and Magnus was sitting at my feet throwing a fit because he wanted me to hold him. Sometimes, especially by the end of the day, I just can't. It hurts my back too much. So, he cries a lot around dinnertime. Anyway, Laylah picked that boy up, sat and held him, AND completed her homework with one hand (AND she was using glue and scissors. Did I mention with one hand?). I love her.

And once again, proof that my kid is a TV-a-holic. We rarely ever have it on, which is why I think he's so drawn to it when it IS on. Oh well, it's a great baby-sitter when I need it ;)

And there you have it. A hodge podge of pictures and regular day-to-day life here in the Collette household. I know, it's all so very exciting, right?!

Well, maybe not. But I love it anyway.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Got This

Except, maybe I don't. My baby turns one in a matter of days now people. 11 to be exact. And now, with his stylin' new 'do, doesn't he just ooze "little boy" instead of "baby"? Plus, the kid up and took 3 steps today. I wanted to push him over.

I refrained.

Stop baby! Just stop.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Playgroup Take 2

Remember Bear's play group from last year? I signed him up again. It's only once a week for 2 hours. I had thought about doing preschool for him, but all of my kids only did one year of preschool, so I decided to wait a year on that. It's just so expensive, and I hate driving there and I figured he would be just fine going out once a week to play with friends, plus he plays with the neighborhood kids sometimes. He has always been really good at entertaining himself and playing with toys quietly. Uhhh, apparently not anymore. I am so wishing we had done preschool. The kid is bored out of his mind and wants me to play with him every second of the day while the 3 oldies are at school. I have played more games of Go Fish, Memory, Checkers, and Break the Ice than I would care to count. I hear this at least 10 times a day:

"I'm bored."

"What can I do?"

"Will you play a game with me?"

"What should we do?"

"What can I eat?" (he only asks to eat when I know he's bored and can't think of anything else to do.)

Lest you think I'm a terrible mother that never wants to play with her child, I have to break in to say that I do! I play with him All. Day. Long. But a lady's gotta clean, cook, and take care of other things too, right?! Namely, a baby. A baby that I'm wishing would hurry and grow up so he can be a playmate for his brother! (that's a lie, I would waaaaay rather him stay a baby :)

What am I going to do in a couple years when Bear goes off to kindergarten all day and M and I are stuck home alone together for hours and hours??

I'm sure I'll get really good at Go Fish.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Come In And Play!

Okay people. I gotta come clean. I have a confession, if you will.

I secretly play on my kids Webkinz accounts.


I hadn't even heard of these silly little creatures until about 3 years ago. Laylah asked for one for Christmas, and she got one. But she was old enough to play it herself, so I never really helped her or saw what it was all about. Then Jonah and eventually Daphne wanted one too. Once in awhile Andy would help them play if they had questions or needed something explained to them, and he started logging into their accounts and playing after they went to bed! I laughed and laughed at him and used to tease him that I was going to get him his very own Webkinz for his birthday.

Well, last Christmas, Bear decided he had to have one too. Now, he was only 2 at the time and definitely needed help playing. Basically, he would sit and watch and tell his "helper" what he would like them to do and what games he wanted them to play. Usually one of the kids would help him, but one day it was just me and him at home. He asked me to help him play his Webkinz. I obliged and oh my goodness. I wasn't prepared for how much fun it was! Andy came home from work that day and caught me playing on Webkinz World. He could not stop laughing at me. I was a little embarrassed. But not really... it is too fun for me to care that much :)

I started logging into my kids accounts at night to play and weren't they pleasantly surprised when the next time they logged in and found all this extra "kinzcash" that they had no idea where it came from?! You see, I was doing them a service. Yes, that's right, a service.

But seriously, it's fun. If you ever have the chance, play Pizza Parlor. That's my favorite.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Tradition Of Cookies

When I was a little girl, once a year my mom would make sugar cookies. (I'm sure she probably made them more than that, but I know it wasn't very often. We are a chocolate-chip-cookie-kind-of-family). It was always in October and they were giant, pumpkin shaped, lovely, delicious sugar cookies. I would come home from school on any given day in October, and there they would be sitting, on the counter. I remember the feeling of happiness I felt when she would tell me that I was able to have one of those whole, huge cookies to myself.

Many many years went by and I had children of my own. I remember mentioning to my mom this story and telling her that I would like to get a huge pumpkin cookie cutter just so I could recreate this fanciful memory and carry on the tradition for my children. A few days later my mom showed up at my house with said cookie cutter. A big, silver, pumpkin cookie cutter. I thanked her and put it in my drawer, only to be forgotten. I had 3 tiny kids after all, with a 4th on the way. I didn't have time to make sugar cookies for heaven sake! (I really did.... these are just the silly thoughts that go through my head).

Que to 4 years later, which would be now. Guess what? I finally got around to making those sugar cookies.

My kids were just as thrilled as I remember being. It made me happy :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Thoughts By Yours Truly

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post. It's just adorable. Whenever I say "cheese!" Magnus smiles like this. Hilarious.

I have been having quite a boring week. My hubs is out of town. In Utah. Without me. But really, I'm okay with that. He's doing repairs on our house there and giving a good, stern talking to to our renters who need to catch up on their rent. Big time. I hate being a landlord.

Ayway, have a gander at some recent thoughts that have been rolling around inside my head. (That makes it sound like not a whole lot is up there. Which is probably true.)...

~I have to have my blinds pulled up and open during the day. I like my house nice and bright. And if there are two windows next to each other, the blinds have to be exactly even. None of this slanted blinds stuff. Exactly even. Or it will bug me every time I see it, until I fix it.

~I do not like to cook or bake with my kids. I have no patience for it and it pretty much drives me up the wall. I used to feel really guilty about it, but I don't anymore. I just don't like it. Now I tell them that they can help me in the kitchen when they're 10. And when Laylah turns 10, that rule will change to 12. Haha.

~I hate when people use the word "guac" instead of "guacamole". I realize that by revealing this, everyone is going to go around saying guac in front of me all of the time just because they'll think it's funny. But seriously, don't do it. It bugs.

~I love to sing and dance in the car. Especially with my kids. I move the rearview mirror down so I can see them all in the back and we sing to each other and rock out. I love it. And I don't care when people in other cars stare and/or laugh at me. I just smile and wave and keep on singing. This is most fun when all of the windows are down.

~I finally joined Pinterest. Why? I don't know. I'm already regretting it. I told myself I wasn't going to do it, and I caved. Big time. And I love it. Why? I don't know. What is it about it? I hate it. But I don't. I love it. Just like I knew I would. I'm so weak.

Alright, that's it for me.... I'm off to fold a gazillion piles of laundry and watch TV. And dang it, I just realized I missed The Office while I was wasting more time on Pinterest. I knew that place was bad news. I just knew it.

Any random thoughts buzzing around in your head? Do share!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Because There Were 5 Little Blessings

It's a rainy Wednesday here in these parts. I love the rain. A non-stop pitter patter. It's so soothing and refreshing, and makes me feel so cozy and comfy in my home.

Speaking of my home, I finally checked something off of my (alway-growing-never-finished) to-do list that has been on there for months! My babies blessing pictures are finally hung in my stairway. We've lived here for over a year and a half, and it is finally done. Hooray!

*I apologize for the terrible picture quality. Someday I may be a photographer. But probably not.
I had each of my babies photographed in their blessing outfits when they were a mere 6 weeks old. Only 6 weeks. Tiny, sweet-smelling little babies. After I (okay, not I, Andy did the actual hanging.... I did the begging :) hung them up, I sat and stared at each picture. I remembered each time with each baby, warm and snug and safe in my arms. I remember bathing, feeding, dressing, and rocking each one. I felt a bit of a tug and an ache in my heart; a warmth and feeling of indescribable love for each one of those tiny, precious bodies.

I wish I could physically pull them out of those photographs every once in awhile, just for an afternoon of gazing upon their tiny features and hugging them close, wrapped up in my arms. I guess it's a good thing that I can't actually do that.

I don't think I'd ever be able to put them back.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Squeezing Out The Last Drops Of Summer

If there is one things I really enjoy about living in Virginia, it's the fall weather. It lasts longer than 2 weeks for starters. In Utah, it goes from 95 degrees to 60 degrees (for about 2 weeks, and all the leaves change color and fall off the trees in that time as well) and then it is 30 degrees and snowing for the next 6 months. Now, don't get me wrong. I love the snow. But, it's nice to get to enjoy the warmer (and not have it be broiling hot!-I hate VA summers) weather for a little bit longer than I'm normally used to!
That's why we decided to take advantage of these last warm days and nights and have ourselves a little campout! It was funny how it came about: Andy had gone on a campout with the Young Men in our ward the weekend before, and he had set-up the tent to dry-out because it had rained on his campout. The kids loved playing in the tent all week, so we just left it up. Come Friday night, they wanted to sleep out in it. I just couldn't say no to those sweet, little begging faces!

It was a funny night. We gathered in the tent, snuggled up all nice and warm. We told scary stories, fairytales, and made up jokes. We had a little dance party, and we teased Sadie, who moved from one kid's sleeping bag to the next and just kept trying to go to sleep.

We had a pretty nifty lantern hanging up, just in case anyone got a little bit scared.

Sadie ended up being the first to fall asleep at our little slumber party, so we put her underwear in the freezer.... or something like that....

I ended up sleeping in my bed and Andy slept on the couch with all of the windows and sliding door open so he would be able to hear the kids on the deck in the tent. I got a good night's sleep, but I can't say the same for Andy.... Bear came in around 2 AM because he was cold, and the rest of the kids and the dog came in around 5 AM because it had started raining. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!

The best part of the morning was waking up to these beauties. Andy baked! Perfect end to a lovely weekend!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jail Break

I heard a noise late in the night. Something that sounded like a cross between a squeal and a shriek. Upon further investigation, I found these hamsters having a party under my couch. The had all gotten loose, out of their cages (toyboxes?) somehow. Curious....

At least they had put their babies to bed before going out for the night... they even got a baby-sittter. Zhu-zhu dog.

I love finding Bear's "imaginary play" all set-up. Hilarious.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

'Twas A Blustery Day

A couple weeks ago it was all of the sudden Fall, my favorite season. Hooray! The air smells amazing, the scenery is spectacular, and my house is comfy and cozy. I sure love it.

Anyway, a few Saturdays ago, it was drizzling and windy all day long. We were all in the mood for some comfort food. A steaming bowl of thick, chunky soup, some piping hot breadsticks, and a sweet treat for afterwards. I've been absolutely LOVING the website Our Best Bites. It has turned my cooking world onto it's head. My family has been raving about my meals since I've started using recipes from the website. I just really really like them. Plus, the girls who write it are hilarious, so, bonus.

We started out with the Baked Potato Soup. It was incredible, and super easy too.

Along with our soup we had to have some of these super easy made-from-scratch (I know!! ME!! Baking from SCRATCH! Incredible I tell ya!)Breadsticks. Perfect for dipping.

We topped off the night with some homemade donuts (Sinful!). Now, I actually got the idea from here and was planning on making that particular recipe. But when Andy found out my plan, he immediately vetoed that (he has something against a doughnut with fruit in it?) and requested (ever so sweetly) that I call and ask his mother for the recipe she used to use when he was a kid. So I did, and it turns out that the two recipes were nearly identicle (minus the cider). She also gave me different ideas for the toppings. Maple glaze, chocolate frosting, powdered, and cinnamon sugar.

They were super easy to make and soooooo gooooood. We all snuggled up in blankets with our hot cocoa with marshmellows and donuts and watched Free Willy on Netflix.

I think it's safe to say that the evening was perfect.

Oh wait, except for the kitchen after my day of cooking and baking. That was decidedly NOT perfect, but definitely worth it :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Aaaaaand I'm Back

Well hello. It's been quite a spell, hasn't it?

I can't begin to tell you how thankful I am for the sweet, kind thoughts sent my way and for wonderful friends. It was really uplifting to read everyone's generous words and advice. Thank you.

And General Conference? It was surely just what I needed. Isn't it amazing how it seems like every talk was written just for you? But also that everyone feels that way? Incredible.

So, life goes on. It hasn't all of the sudden gotten easier, or less challenging. I am still going through several hard, frustrating, and trial-filled things. Definitely one of those "when it rains, it pours" scenarios. I had decided to take a bit of a break from blogging because I was having a really bad attitude about my life, and I didn't want that to come through on my blog. But, then it wouldn't be real, and I decided that life can be hard, but I can still be happy. And I'm really trying to do just that. Of course I forget that sometimes, and I become frustrated with my trials once again, so I'm definitely not perfect, but who is? It's okay to let people know that I'm human.

I love these little people in my life: Our prophet was speaking when this picture was taken, and I love it because they are all listening attentively. No matter that it was only for 3.5 seconds. I'm surprised it lasted that long :) And I'm glad Andy was able to snap this picture when he did!

So, like I said, I am back. And I don't plan on going anywhere for awhile, so you're stuck with me.

Thanks again friends-old, and some new!