i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween!

i have finally embraced this holiday ... and like my sister, i have become a little preoccupied with decorations. you've already seen my mummy candle holders ... i made another today out of a pickle jar and our carved pumpkins are so cute!

i put these up yesterday and today (half up each day)

and i made a spooky lunch for the 3 that i get to eat with everyday.

we visited both grandparents and then even went around our neighborhood we made a haul ... stomach ache in a bucket! sad thing is ... i can't stay away!!

i've decided that they can have it until Saturday and then it's going to disappear!

we had a Happy Halloween!
and i am thankful that it's almost CHRISTMAS!!
november 1 - time to break out the Christmas movies!!

tagged - My Six

Super Angie tagged me - i like to do these because they make me think and blog about things out of the ordinary. so here's goes!

1. I absolutely love... Christmas! I am one of those crazies that goes out for the After-Christmas-Sales ... clad in my football shoulder pads so that i don't get hurt by all the other over-zealous shoppers! (just kidding) but i do have a count down on my calendar that starts the day after Christmas! in a perfect world i would have been preparing all year long - this year my sister and i even worked up a schedule to do prep work by the 25th of each month ... it worked for a few months here and there ... but you know we're celebrating the mayhem around here!

2. I don't care if... it rains. i have lived in the Seattle area for most of my life and the rain is all part and partial to the whole green-ie gig. we may be wet but there is NO prettier place than Seattle when the sun shines! besides, we know that if you don't do it in the rain ... you just plain don't do it when you live here!

(i changed this one ... there were 2 'i loves')
3. I like to... read. i want to read, i try to read, i wish i had time to read. if i could have a few more hours in the day i would!!

4. I play... cards and board games with my friends 'the party'; 'tackle' with Ammon; counting/math games with Abi; roll the ball with Easton; playdoh with Elyssa; and Bubble Breaker on Andy's phone!

5. I have a horrible habit of... eating. seriously - my eating habits are TERRIBLE and i really need to change them. i need boot camp. don't get me wrong - i'm not 300lbs or anything ... i'm just holding on to about 10 lbs from each pregnancy ... which means, yes, 40 lbs!!

6. I love to... spend time with Andy. even if we are just at home folding laundry or if i'm riding along as his carpool buddy. i love to go away with him too ...

I tag Alicia, Nicki, JennyCook and Jennalee.

Monday, October 29, 2007

family night, jack-o-laterns and ghost candle jars!

a cute story i read a while back: A lady recently being baptized was asked by a co-worker what it was like to be a Christian. She replied, "It's like being a pumpkin: God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off that you may have gotten from the other pumpkins. Then he opens you up and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

on that note: for family night we carved our pumpkins!

after the kids went to bed i made these:

it's ripped masking tape and construction paper! easy, quick and cute huh?!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

we are odd ... all of us!

today is Abi's birthday ...

in march Andy turned 31, in april Elyssa turned 5 and i turned 31, in august Easton turned 1, in september Ammon turned 3 and today Abi is 7 - all of us odd again. without a lot of planning we had all our kids in even years and it just so happens that Andy and i were born in 1976 ... so each year for 5 months we are all even or odd ... this year we're odd - in more ways than our age!

Happy Birthday Ab!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

makeup 101

clearly these girls need an education in the application of eye shadow, blush and lipstick!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

big birthday bash!!

the whole gang!

daddy had surgery on thursday - no playing for him.

even the big kids played!
the best idea ever! pump it up was a hit! we all had so much fun!

elyssa turned 5 in april ... i like to tell myself that we were in the middle of possibly selling and then not selling and it just got overlooked ... but i think what really happened is this: i put off planning a party for her, she didn't press the issue and then i just didn't do it - not winning 'mom of the year' for that one! so instead we celebrated her half birthday! easton turned 1 the end of august, ammon turned 3 the end of september and abi will be 7 on the 27th. (stay tuned for the blog on that day - i already have the title ready!)
i think we'll do this again! the cake,ice cream and open presents time could have been smoother ... i need to figure out how to make that transition more controlled and methodical and less chaotic and disorganized. overall it was a GREAT time had by all!

Monday, October 22, 2007

fasten your seatbelts ... it's gonna be a bumpy ride

[WARNING: this is very wordy, not grammatically correct and a little convoluted. forgive me.]

i was not prepared for the weekend ... and for the record - this is not meant to be a PityParty, just a reminder of the weekend that i just survived!

i'll tell my story in a time line (of sorts):

Thursday: morning was business as usual; Abi to school at 9:10; straightened the house, made lunch, fed the kids; Elyssa to school at 12:30; boys down for quiet time and nap; 1-4pm Andy's Knee Surgery: he had his meniscus scoped - it had a little tear and they cut it off and smoothed the jagged edges. we didn't have anyone to watch the kids so his dad took him to the surgery center and then i would pick him up after i got the girls from school. the nurse called at 3:15 to tell me that Andy would be able to leave at 3:45. i called my in-laws to see if it would be ok to drop the 3 oldest while i got Andy. his dad volunteered to go get him. fantastic! then the nurse called again at 4:15 "Andy needs to be rescued," she said. i told her i'd be there asap. i called the Shaw's and my mother-in-law said that my father-in-law had to pick up my sister-in-law too and that he was running a little behind and would probably be there in 5 mins or so ... i headed to the surgery center anyway. my father-in-law was just going into the building when i pulled in - at 4:35! the nurse gave us the instructions and he was discharged. they wheeled him out and he rode in his dad's car to dinner at his parent's house - like every other thursday ... except this time he was drugged, lethargic, and when upright on crutches = zero help with the rowdy kids! home at about 7:45; jammas; teeth; prayers; bed. Thursdays are typically my 'night out' so Alicia came over to watch Survivor and hang out. she was going to stop at Wal*mart but the power was out due to the windstorm. i tended to Andy while he camped out on the couch and then put him in bed at 11:30ish. we stayed up chatting and tweeking our blogs a bit and finally went to bed at 2ish in the AM!

Friday: Alicia was up and out at about 8:30 and i took Abi to school at 9. then home to tend my recovering husband: ice on for 20 minutes then off for 40, pain meds every 4 hours, nausea meds every 6, advil every 8, make sure he has at least a cup of water every hour and food before meds, keep his knee elevated above his heart and periodically check his circulation, he should stretch and bend as much as the pain will let him, he will be drowsy and should sleep. don't leave 'minors' in his care - he is considered 'under the influence' while he's on his pain meds. (basically he's no good to me - i was anticipating being able to run errands and such while he was laid up at home ...); 4:30 pick up babysitter; 5pm help set up for a wedding reception (Andy's still on crutches = zero help at the reception but came as a show of support) and be home by 6:30ish so that babysitter can attend said reception; clean the house in preparation for company; get party favors prepared for Saturday's Big Birthday Bash (which were going to be bottles of bubbles for everyone ... but did you know that bubbles are SEASONAL!?!? Wal*mart doesn't carry them in fall and winter months! plan B: 10" balls for Easton's friends, squishy footballs and basketballs for Ammon's friends, Silly Putty for Elyssa's friends, and bubble gum for Abi's friends!); ALL in addition to my 'regular' duties as the mom. (mind you there is Mt. Foldmore on my bedroom floor and Mt. Washmore in the Great Laundry Basin AND all the hampers throughout the house are full to capacity as well.) i didn't get in bed until 2ish AGAIN and the house was still a wreck!

Saturday: boys woke at 7:30; girls at 7:45; breakfast for everybody; finish the house; clean out the van; visit with the Felts!!; pick up Elyssa's friend, the cake, icecream, and drinks at Costco on the way to BBB (planned to leave the house at 3 but didn't until 3:30 in turn pushing everything a half hour behind); Party from 4-6pm (arrived 4:15ish - thanks Alicia for being on time!), play time from 4-5:15, cake and ice cream, took turns opening gifts - "we've got time, right?" Abi, Elyssa, Ammon, skipped Easton - ran out of time; my mom and dad came for the party (and also brought a cane for Andy to use - no more crutches ... but still has only one helping hand0; frozen pizza dinner for the Andy and kids and get them in bed by 8:30 (after pitching Ammon's bed tent that he got from Grandma and Grandpa Shaw); it was supposed to be date night but the invalid hadn't been sleeping well (in addition to his meds causing drowsiness) and often dropped off to a snore mid-conversation - not so much fun to take out. i left when the kids were asleep and andy was on the couch with an ice pack and the remote to get gas in the van, and a burrito at Taco delMar (yum) for my dinner, then to Alberston's for dessert makings for Granny's birthday.

Sunday: everybody up, showered, dressed, fed and out the door by 10 for 10:45 deaf branch so that i could interpret for Relief Society and Sacrament Meetings. thankfully Grandma and Grandpa Shaw were in attendance to assist Andy with the kids during Sacrament Meeting. Then to Granny's for her birthday dinner and dessert. my sister Molly and her husband Chris got the Wii for their kids' birthday/christmas gift and opened it and played it at Granny's and we couldn't leave there until everybody got their 'mii' set up and played a round of boxing. We finally got home at 8ish; pjs; teeth; prayers; bed for Ammon; read for 15 minutes with Abi and Elyssa; bed for the girls and (phew) the weekend was over. Andy and i watched Shark (he dozed during the commercials) and then i put him in bed, medicated and drowsy at 11:30.

[heavy sigh]

now for the things i forgot: thursday night i was supposed to put out the garbage for friday morning pick up - didn't realize it until i took elyssa to school and saw all the garbage cans out on the sidewalks (didn't notice them when i took Abi to school- DUH); saturday morning Andy was supposed to go to a scout meeting at 8:30; and the Wright's left the party with hugs and "thanks for coming" but no party favors!!

all weekend Andy has been asking me what that "look" means ... here's your answer dear: i am tired and was totally unprepared for this weekend. i honestly thought that it wouldn't be all that bad - "shoot! i'm super woman - i can do everything"... until i was in the middle of it wishing i could run away and hide. this is not to say that i don't love you or that i am upset about any aspect of this last weekend's mass chaos ... i simply was not prepared (ie: geared up, equipped, organized) and therefore i am tired (ie: worn out, depleted, exhausted).

the trouble now: my house is a wreck again (the living room is filled with new toys, art supplies, and wrapping; the kitchen looks like the cupboards threw up; and my bedroom is a disaster area of clean and dirty clothes) and i need to catch up!! i have been everything to everyone this weekend and my house has suffered. Andy is walking better, with the help of the cane, and has gone back to work and i am left to pick up the pieces - literally.

wanna come over??

Friday, October 19, 2007

what's in a name?

i have been tossing around the idea of changing the title of my blog for a while and last night finally had the inspiration i needed. (Thanks Alicia!)
i thought about what i really write about here ... most often i am blogging about my circus life as a mother of 4 crazy kids, wife of 1 handsome husband and friend to as many people as will have me.
There were many in the running:
- organized chaos - except i'm not all that organized
- pleasant pandemonium - you know how i like alliteration, but it's not always that pleasant
- calm disorder - we're never calm
- tranquil turmoil - still liking the alliteration ... turmoil - not the best word
- harmonious havoc - hmmm...
- stable bedlam - who has heard the word bedlam?
- peaceful anarchy - the natives are restless ... but revolution is not on their minds.
(gotta love the thesaurus and dictionary.com!)

celebrate (sěl'ə-brāt'): 1. to make known publicly; proclaim, 2. to praise widely or to present to widespread and favorable public notice, as through newspapers or novels (or blogs), 3. to engage in festivities, 4. assign great social importance to. -- synonyms: announce, declare, rejoice, party, enjoy yourself, make merry
(that describes what i'm doing here exactly)

mayhem (mā'hěm'): 1. a state of rowdy disorder, 2. absolute chaos and/or severe disruption.

we may be wildy disorganized, super silly, and at times down right ridiculous ... but i wouldn't have it any other way. come celebrate with us!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

blogging ...

"A blog (a portmanteau of web log) is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs..." (wikipedia is a wealth of knowledge.)

Emily Anne wrote a blog entitled Why Blog? and i commented,
"wow … i’ve been thinking about this same subject lately and wondering how i can come to terms within myself. i, personally, have 25+ blogs that i frequent and feel a need to read on a daily basis. why? … i think maybe i’m nosy, curious, looking for help with my own problems. i often find other blogs from blogs that i frequent and start to frequent those new blogs simply because of a comment made that is 'right on' or a topic that i am personally working on. i love that the group of blogs that i do read are moms (for the most part) that are just like me! i think that the reason we keep coming back is for the ‘friendship’ that is formed by commenting on each others blogs. my husband asks me the very same question “are you blogging again??” and i want to smack him! i blog for several reasons 1) it’s my journal, 2) to keep in touch with distant friends and family, 3) to find old friends, 4) to make new ones, 5) to learn how to be a better mom, friend, photographer, you name it!, 6) to learn about how other people deal with the same things i face!, oh and 7) to waste time. I, too, enjoy reading your blog and look forward to many more years of learning and growing on the web!"

it's true ... i blog for many reasons. some more 'worthy' than others, and yet i feel like i might die if i don't check my list for new posts everyday (sometimes more than once)! my biggest fear is that i spend too much time here. i feel i should be limiting my screen time the same way i limit my children. i have noticed that in the last few weeks i've been wasting time here ... when i could/should be doing other/more productive things. i have holiday projects that i have started and need to finish ... but the computer's magnetic 'personality' sucks me in and suddenly i've been sitting here for and HOUR!!

i need to set a timer and walk away when the timer goes off - because quite literally i could surf from one blog to another just looking at pictures, reading stories, collecting ideas, and generally wasting time all day and night if i don't!

wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Help Richard get Fitness Back in Schools. Support the FIT Kids Act

Who doesn't love Richard Simmons?! I was watching David Letterman and he was the first guest. Mind you Dave wasn't nice to him - mocking him about his tank tops and shorts and shiny legs ... but Richard's message was VERY important. He asked all of America to Support the Fit Kids Act. I totally agree and if all of us (while we're surfing anyway) stop by RichardSimmons.com and send a quick email on his behalf - we might just be able to help!! We all want our kids to have PE and Recess and a chance to move around inbetween studying! Thanks for your help! I knew you'd think this was important too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

hay rides, pumpkins and apple cider (should have brought some!)

We were up and out at 9:55 AM on Saturday headed to The Farm, we have made it a tradition to go the weekend closest to Alicia's birthday and pick our pumpkins, go on the hay ride and take some really fun pictures!
The sun was shining and glorious when we left home and headed north on Highway 9 ... we looked toward Snohomish and were greeted by a BIG CLOUD that had taken up residence right in the valley! OH NO!! Fog is not fun and what's worse you can't take good pictures in it! I called Alicia - she convinced me that it would burn off and sure enough, by the time we finished visiting the animals and got Abi to stop crying about wanting to take a kitty home, it was sunny and warm! Halleluiah!!
So here are some of the good ones ... there's so many to pick from! I love the fall colors and the farm always makes me smile!

And now my display out front looks complete!

(until we carve them up!)

i know i'm a little behind ...

I love General Conference! We watched from home again, what a blessing! Although, I look forward to taking my kids to the Conference Center someday. I think the rules say they have to be 8 years old ... Only 7 more years ... if we don't have anymore kids!
This picture explains why laughter broke out after Elder Eyring was called and sustained to the First Presidency. The folks at home missed the 'knighting' of President Eyring! I just LOVE President Hinckley!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Alicia!

When it comes to wonderful people - few hold a candle to Alicia!

There are many, many reasons to love her ... we all thought long and hard, we want to share with you what we love best about her.

Andy: She is a very good friend.

Emily: She is the Best Listener and helps me be a better mommy.

Abi: She comes and helps us carve pumpkins.

Elyssa: I like it when she comes over to sleep at our house.

Ammon: She makes yummy cookies.

Easton: She picks me up and loves me!

We love you!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

mid-week escape

There really is nothing like a mid-week belated anniversary get-away to recharge the batteries. My mom was in true 'Angel-Mindy' form when she rushed up here to stay with our 4 little busybodies after a week in Utah caring for her mom. She went from a fairly sedentary Grandma Jenny to our full-throttle pandemonium!

We used mom's Worldmark points and got a room at the Camlin - it used to be a hotel downtown Seattle with the Cloud Room Restaurant on top. It's been converted and renovated and the Cloud Room is now 3 Penthouses and 1 Suite with a small observation/lounge room. (Andy worked on the restaurant's fire system when he worked for the Safety Team.)

Our room was a studio with a Queen size murphy bed. It was perfect. I think I should put a murphy bed in my room! Shoot - all you have to do is pull up the covers and fold up your bed! Nothing collects under there and nobody knows if it's made properly or not ... PLUS look at all the space you save!

We arrived at the Camlin at about 5:30 took our stuff in and had a tour of the hotel - the bellboy gave us a 'grand' tour and told us all the original Camlin trivia. The original doorknobs are framed next to each room. It's kinda cool, all the history wrapped up in that place!

We went into our room ...

The "view" will soon be gone due to the high rise hotels and condos going up all around the Camlin. Back in the day it was a 'high rise hotel' maybe even part of the sky line - not anymore! It will soon be dwarfed!
We made our way to dinner downtown ... we know what we like and look! they have one of these on the waterfront!!

We drove around town after dinner and did a little car sightseeing - pretended we were tourists! Then headed back to the hotel to have a little sparkling cider and clink our glasses to 8 years!

We didn't get out of bed until 9am! That's sleeping in! Although the construction woke me just before 7 - similar to my kids ... but all I had to do was shut the windows and the noise was muffled sufficiently to catch a few more winks. We got up, showered, dressed, checked out and headed to Pike Place Market had a breakfast bagel YUM!

Took a leisurely walk thru the market

Then went up to the Seattle Center - in true tourist fashion we were going to go up the Space Needle but couldn't bring ourselves to pay $16 PER PERSON ... maybe I'll save my pennies and we can do it next summer with my sister when they come!

We ended the day with a late lunch at our fave fast food restaurant!!

And a date wouldn't be complete if we didn't end up at Wal-mart! We had to pick up some baby medicine and wander around to see all the crazies that shop there! (don't mind that I'm one of those on an almost daily basis!)

It was a great little hiatus for us! If I had my way, we'd have one of these short get-aways every 6 months ... maybe when the kids are older and easier to manage! 8 years down and an eternity to go!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

on being a muggle ...

to clarify - i have no special powers, not a single trick. i don't wear a cape or have a wand, i've never been to Hogwarts or met with the Super Friends at the Hall of Justice. i am just like every other mom out there trying to do the best and constantly gleaning great ideas from the blogging mommies that i frequent.
my kids came hardwired with all their greatness and not so greatness :o) in fact, at times i'm ready to sell them to the circus. but when they retain and recall the things that i'm trying to teach - i remember that they really are sent from heaven.
i love to learn from them the simple truths that i'm sure i knew when i was young but my grown up brain has forgotten.
may we all take a lesson from these wonderful, crazy little friends that grace our homes!
(i love to read all about yours - please enjoy reading about mine!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I forgot to share one important part of the 'lost tooth tale' - at one point in the evening, said tooth was in fact lost. Abi dropped it while showing it to her sister and we couldn't find it. She said, "Should we say a prayer, Mom? Heavenly Father will help us find it."
We, the 3 girls, knelt there on her bedroom floor and she prayed and thanked Him for her many blessings, that her tooth had come out but that she had lost it and needed help to find it.
Then we got up, moved the rugs and shook them, put our faces to the floor and carefully went to work in order to do our part. We know that when we pray and ask for help we have to do our part so that He can bless us. Not 5 minutes had passed and we had located the tooth again. With it held firmly in her palm she said, "We better thank Heavenly Father for his help."
We knelt again and she was the voice offering her thanks that we were able to find her tooth.
Sometimes moms are privileged to witness the lessons they have hoped to teach manifested in simple acts of faith demonstrated by our kids!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

no need to 'police your brass'

Tonight we met at Wade's Gun Range. The Wrights with their semi-automatic handgun and Andy with his 44-Magnum Black Ruger (think John Wayne). Andy's has a serious recoil but with 2 hands and a little muscle it's fun and accurate to shoot. You have to cock it each shot and it only has 6 shots before you have to reload. Trav's is definitely lighter and easier to shoot - I did pretty good - after I figured out how to aim and told myself to 'relax'.

Husbands preparing
Nicki did REALLY good! She's gonna get a t-shirt that says "Don't Mess" with a picture of her target that has holes all thru the middle.
I didn't shoot anyone, guess that means I did good.
Nicki and Trav - the muffs are so cute huh!?
Aren't we cute?!

We had a great time and took some good pictures - too bad there aren't any from the front. They don't allow people out in the range - even if you have a camera.
Something about people shooting real guns with real bullets ...

shaw family tooth fairy debut!!

See how loose it is - I can push it with my tongue!
Great Abi ... now it's time for bed!

Then she came running downstairs, "Mom LOOK!"

Abi finally let her daddy get his finger on that tooth! For 2 nights she traded stories for wiggles. It only took 7 stories ... 3 stories (then wiggles) on Thursday night and then 4 on Friday - with an extra quick flick to pop it out!
Abi got a "Tooth Fairy Pillow" on her 1st birthday from Grandma Shaw and has been waiting to use it for a REALLY long time!
The Tooth Fairy let her keep her first lost tooth - to put it in her baby book. She also left a Sacajawea dollar! Pretty cool!
She came in at about 7:10 this morning
"Mom, the Tooth Fairy came!!"
Thus begins a new chapter in the book of life here at the Shaw household.

Friday, October 5, 2007

we know why they call it beauty bark!

First we had to rake the leaves,
it was so fun we moved on to our neighbors too!

Then put down the retainer bricks

Then shovel in the bark!

It's 'beauty'ful!!!